[Archived News] Monday, January 2, 2011

Sixth Annual Winter Retreat-Eastern American Diocese

Shadeland, PA - At the initiation and with the Archpastoral Blessing of His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN, the Sixth Annual Winter Retreat was held at St. Sava Camp-Shadeland in Springboro, Pennsylvania beginning the evening of December 27 and concluding on December 30, 2011.

The format of the retreat included evening and morning prayers, Vespers each day and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Friday as the fitting conclusion. The theme of this year’s retreat was: John 3:15-“That whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” Diocesan clergy held classes on Wednesday and Thursday mornings discussing topics relating to the general theme as it relates to daily life. The Creed, repentance and the path to eternal life were highlighted.

A bonfire was held on Wednesday evening at which time Serbian Christmas customs and practices were reviewed. Earlier in the day on Wednesday the youths learned to sing songs associated with the Feast of the Nativity. Writing letters and team competition in Bible learning activities were enjoyable parts of the retreat this year as they were in previous years. Each afternoon the youths had the opportunity to play soccer in the snow or to sled ride. The Divine services were held in the beautiful Monastery of the Mother of God Church.

On Thursday evening, confessions were heard in the monastery church. His Grace Bishop Dr. MITROPHAN participated in the retreat on Thursday evening and Friday. His Grace talked with the youths after the evening meal on Thursday and joined with the youths in watching a movie on the History of Orthodoxy. On Tuesday and Wednesday evenings, the youths watched the Sixty Minute documentary on Mt. Athos and a movie devoted to The Jesus Prayer as practiced in Orthodox monasteries.

Clergy participating in the retreat included: Father Dragomir Tuba, Father Rajko Kosic, Father Djokan Majstorovic, Father Mioljub Matic, Father Dejan Obradovich, Father Milan Pajic, and Protodeacon Milan Medakovich. Father Milovan Katanic and Father Dragoslav Kosic came during the retreat. Counselors included Nikola Vranesevic, Nikola Jovanovich, Gregory Yovetich, James T. Kordesich, Krista Jovanovich, Daniella Vucelich and Sonia Capuzzi. Robert Marshall also came to contribute.

Youths from the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, New York, North Carolina and Niagara Falls, Canada participated in the retreat. Eastern Region Federation of Circle of Serbian Sisters President Millie Radovick pledged support and has been part of the retreats from very beginning. President Radovick ensures along with Kolo members helping that the participants have very well prepared meals in a very warm and hospitable atmosphere. In addition to helping with advance food preparations, Eastern Region KSS Vice President DeeDee Baskot carefully oversaw and detailed the application and registration process.

Additional adults helping with the retreat included Protinica Mirjana Majstorovic, former KSS Federation President Olga Dimitrejevic, Angeline Stojanovich, Daniel and Elaine Vucelich, Zicha and Slavica Markov, Savo Majstorovich and Ian Brenlov. Caretaker Scott and Lorrie Felix make sure the facilities at St. Sava Camp are well-prepared and ready for the retreat to be conducted. They make themselves available for assistance during the retreat.

Everyone participating in and helping with the retreat is deserving of expressed appreciation for having contributed significantly. God blessed this retreat in many different ways. Thanks be to God for this retreat as a means of preparing for the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Father Rodney Torbic