Dear Parish Faithful,
Paul and I returned from our trip to St. Vladimir's Seminary and the Monastery of the Transfiguration. The Conference (Fellowship of St Alban and St Sergius Fellowship) went quite well, and it was a real treat to spend three days in the company of Met. Kallistos Ware. His great learning, engaging speaking style, constant flow of insights, and English wit were constant sources of amazement and admiration. A real "highlight" for me was con-celebrating the Liturgy on the Feast of the Ascension with Met. Kallistos serving as the presiding hierarch. That was the first time that I was ever able to serve with him. He delivered what was perhaps the greatest homily that I ever heard while actually present. It was like one of the great Church Fathers "rightly defining the word of truth." I also was able to serve with a brilliant young Russian Orthodox bishop - Ilarion Alfeyev, author of the book The Mystery of Faith, that I periodically refer to - who resides over a community of Orthodox Christians centered in Vienna, Austria. The Conference, following the lead of the seminary, placed worship at the heart of our daily activity, and the three hierarchical Liturgies we were present at (Thursday, Friday and Sunday) were very lively, prayerful, and filled with a deep sense of worship and reverence. The seminary choir has maintained its standard of excellence over the years and was wonderful throughout the Conference - almost as good as ours!
All in all, a good trip and one that Paul was able to meet some other Orthodox Christians at from around the country and some even from England.
St Vladimir Seminary - http://www.svots.edu/
Conference Talks Available Online Through Ancient Faith Radio:
- Bishop Ilarion's (Hilarion) talk is listed under Friday, June 6
- Metropolitan Kallistos' talk is listed under Saturday, June 7