On April 1-3, the Clergy of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America gathered at the Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in Chicago for the 2013 Lenten Clergy Retreat. The retreat began with the serving of the General Unction service Monday evening.
On Tuesday morning the clergy gathered for a Moleben at the Cathedral, and after breakfast presentations began with Bishop Peter welcoming everyone and giving a report on the recent activity within the diocese. Other presentations included a discussion of funeral service rubrics and practices and cremation practices and challenges for Orthodox Christians. Reports were also given by the various diocesan committees including the pastoral school, the music, audit and youth committees, ORPR camp, the diocesan Spiritual Court and the St. John Kochurov Society.
Tuesday evening the clergy gathered in the Cathedral for Vespers and Matins, and on Wednesday morning Bishop Peter and the clergy of the diocese served the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts.
During the Small Entrance, Bishop Peter presented a jeweled cross to Archpriest Martin Swanson (rector of St. Basil's Church in St. Louis, MO), elevated Fr. Ilia Marzev (dean of St. Sergius Cathedral in Parma, OH) and Fr. Thomas Kulp (rector of Nativity of St. John the Baptist Church in Blue River, WI) to archpriest, awarded the gold cross to Fr. Seraphim Holland (rector of St. Nicholas Church in McKinney, TX) and Fr. Valeri Vovkovsky (of the Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in Des Plaines), and awarded kamilavkas to Fr. George Dahdouh (rector of St. Elias Mission in Humble, TX) and Fr. Daniel Marshall (rector of St. George Church in Loveland, OH).
After a delicious lunch prepared by the Cathedral's sisterhood, Fr. Christopher Metropulos of the Orthodox Christian Network made a presentation on the Network and its function.
The Lenten retreat concluded with Bishop Peter's closing remarks and a prayer.