New England Clergy Enjoy Lenten Retreat at Faith & Heritage Center
His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios hosted a two-day Lenten retreat for the clergy of the Metropolis at the newly constructed Retreat House on the scenic grounds of the Saint Methodios Faith and Heritage Center in Contoocook, New Hampshire on March 1-2, 2010. This retreat was a historic event as it marked the first gathering of our clergy at the Retreat House. In prior years these annual retreats were held at other centers. Now the faithful of New England—clergy and laity, young and old alike—have their own “home away from home” at our 300-acre facility nestled in the woods between two lakes in picturesque Contoocook, NH. During this two-day retreat, the clergy enjoyed prayer, fellowship, and on-going education led by three priest-professors from our Holy Cross Theological Seminary. The first day centered on the theme of “Celebrating Holy Week” during which Fr. Alkiviadis Calivas led several hours of discussion on various pastoral, liturgical, and teleturgical aspects of the celebration of the week of our Lord’s Holy Passion. His Eminence and the clergy engaged in a meaningful dialogue about this most sacred and holy week of our liturgical year. The second day focused on the themes of “Ecumenical and Inter-Orthodox Dialogues”. Fr. Emmanuel Clapsis began the discussion with a detailed report on the ecumenical dialogue entitled, “Why the Orthodox Church Participates in the Ecumenical Movement.” Father George Dragas continued the theme focusing on Inter-Orthodox relations, with special focus on the Pan-Orthodox discussions in the United States. In between the sessions, the clergy enjoyed fellowship with one another, and were strengthened and renewed in their ministry. Metropolitan Methodios had the opportunity to address the brotherhood on several occasions, as well as to meet separately with many of the clergy. His Eminence encouraged all the priests to use this Retreat Center as a place of spiritual renewal and refreshment for themselves, and also for their parish families. It is His Eminence’s desire that each of the 63 communities in New England schedule parish retreats at the Faith and Heritage Center at least once each year.
This Clergy Retreat followed the first ever three-day “Family Camp” held in the new Retreat House during which over 150 family members gathered for a weekend of renewal focusing on Faith, Family, Fellowship, and Fun. On the weekend of March 12-14, a retreat for young professionals is planned entitled “Avatars of Spirituality: Rediscovering the Parable of the Prodigal Son”. Fr. Frank Marangos, Dean of the Archdiocesan Cathedral, will come with over 50 young adult professionals from the New York area to join others from New England for this inspiring weekend retreat. Registration information for this program is found on the Metropolis website: www.boston.goarch.org
Over the next several months, more than 15 over-night programs are scheduled at the Retreat House. All those interested in scheduling an event at the Saint Methodios Faith and Heritage Center should contact the director, Michael Sintros, at 603.746.4400, or at firstname.lastname@example.org