Clergy Gather in Houston for Diocesan Business Day of Pastoral Retreat

On day two of the Great Lenten Pastoral Retreat, Tuesday, March 16/29, 2022 His Eminence Archbishop Peter presided at the business portion of the Great Lenten Pastoral Retreat. The day began with Vladyka’s opening remarks and instructions, as well as his recap of the significant events in the diocese since the last Great Lenten Pastoral Retreat in 2019. Following his remarks, the Archbishop took questions from the gathered clergymen on various issues of concern for them in their parishes and ministries.

After Vladyka’s presentation, Diocesan Secretary Archpriest Gregory Joyce updated the clergy on several administrative issues in the diocese and answered questions of the gathered clergymen in this regard. In addition to general administrative matters the issue of the 2022 Diocesan Assembly was discussed. The Diocesan Assembly, with both clergy and laity representatives from all parishes of the diocese, takes place every three years. However, due to the pandemic and the ever-changing policies regarding meeting indoors, it was decided to postpone the Assembly in 2021 and hold it in 2022. More information regarding the Assembly will soon be sent to all Rectors. It is expected that the Assembly will take place this coming autumn.

The Editing Committee, having been chosen earlier by the gathered clergymen, then sought feedback from the priests and deacons about the content of the Resolution of the Pastoral Retreat.

After the Editing Committee work, Priest Antony Alekseyenko, Master’s Candidate at Sretensky Spiritual Academy in Moscow, gave a presentation on his thesis topic: Pastoraship in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Following Fr. Antony’s presentation he solicited recommendations from the fathers attending the retreat. After a robust conversation among those attending in person and attending virtually, Fr. Antony thanked the clergy for their feedback, and Archbishop Peter thanked Fr. Antony for his presentation.

Following a lenten lunch Archpriest Joseph Honeycutt of the St. Joseph Antiochian Church in Houston, Texas, made a presentation entitled “The Great Reset and the Resurrection”, comprised of his reflections on the pandemic, the advice of the Holy Fathers, and input from the gathered clergymen. Fr. Joseph addressed the last Great Lenten Pastoral Retreat held before the pandemic in 2019, and he received a warm welcome from the fathers again this year.

At this point in the day questions were sought from the participants of the retreat regarding the reports from the leaders of the various diocesan offices, committees, and organized efforts:

ORPR Camp Report – Priest Micah Chisholm

Diocesan Youth Committee Report – Priest Nicholas Park

Spiritual Court Report – Priest Christopher Allen

St. John Kochurov Society Report – Priest David Companik

Diocesan Pastoral School Report – Archpriest Gregory Joyce

Diocesan Music Committee Report – Larissa Sander

Monastic Communities of the Diocese – Hieromonk Raphael

Military Chaplaincy – Priest Christopher Allen

Diocesan Media Department – Liubov Kichakov

Audit Committee Report – Priest Benjamin Naasko

Diocesan Financial Report – Subdeacon Andrei Urtiew, Diocesan Treasurer


Following these reports a general discussion was held regarding the Hierarchal Presanctified Divine Liturgy, including some planning for the Liturgy on the morrow. Following a lenten dinner Vespers, Matins, and First Hour were served in the St. Jonah parish church.


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