The annual Clergy Retreat of Canada took place this year from Tuesday, October 3rd to Thursday, October 5th in Kingston Ontario.
Archbishop Sotirios of Canada, Bishop Athenagoras, and 43 clergymen participated.
The agenda was developed by the Clergy Syndesmos, whose President is Fr. Panagiotis Avgeropoulos.
It was overall a spiritual encounter; presentations were made and the following topics were discussed with much love and enthusiasm:
- “Biblical Exegesis on Hebrews 11: Old Testament Figures as Examples for the 21st Century Church.” Speaker: Fr Lambros Kamberidis
- “Transmitting the Orthodox Faith through the Liturgical Year: Why Liturgical Uniformity is Important.” Speaker: Fr. Photios Tsamis
- “The Liturgy of the Word: The Sermon as the Beacon of our Hope in Things Not Seen.” Speaker : Fr. Bohdan Hladio
- “The Priest as Administrator: Responsibilities of the Priest in his Community.” Speaker: Fr. Haridimos Sarris
- “Ministry to Youth Today: A Different Approach!” Speaker: Fr. Nikodimos Kodogiorgakis
All discussions were presided over by Archbishop Sotirios with much love and understanding. Elections were also held and the new board of the Clergy Syndesmos is as follows:
President: Fr. Photios Tsamis, Vice President: Fr. Fanourios Pappas, Secretary: Fr. Konstantinos Chialtas, Treasurer: Fr. Konstantinos Pavlidis. Members: Fr. Nikolaos Sidiras, B.C., Fr. Konstantinos Tsiolas, Ontario, Fr. Konstantinos Lungu, Quebec, Fr Panagiotis Maropoulos, N.S.
The new board along with Archbishop Sotirios and the Archdiocesan Council will prepare the topics for the Clergy-Laity Assembly, which will be held from June 28 to July 5, 2024, in St. Catharines, Ontario.
On the evening of Tuesday, October 3rd, the Divine Liturgy took place and everyone was concelebrated at the Dormition of the Theotokos (Kingston), with Archbishop Sotirios presiding. The Orthodox faithful of Kingston came to the Divine Liturgy and partook in Holy Communion with plenty of love and enthusiasm. Archbishop Sotirios delivered the homily and transmitted the love and blessings of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
After the Divine Liturgy, the Kingston Community hosted a dinner for all. Archbishop Sotirios presented all the Reverend Fathers, who sang Christian hymns together. They ended with the Polychronion of the Ecumenical Patriarch.
The Kingston Community is small, but with a family-like environment; the Parish Priest is Fr. Evdokimos Mathioudakis, who is a graduate of our Theological Academy and who works with zeal and with his heart for the spiritual and overall progress of the Community. The President of the Community is Efthimios Mardikis, a graceful man and the President of the Philoptochos is Marina Oikonomou.
The Clergy Retreat was excellently organized. Each day began with Matins and ended with evening prayer. On Wednesday evening, the day ended with a Paraklisis to the Most Holy Theotokos. All the Priests chanted in the Matins, Vespers, and the Divine Liturgy.
In concluding the retreat, Archbishop Sotirios thanked everyone and said that it was the most spiritual Clergy Retreat held. They were a real family. All together prayed and chanted the Phos Hilaron hymn. Archbishop Sotirios conveyed the wishes and blessings of the Ecumenical Patriarch and all together sang his Polychronion.