CANAAN, PA [by Monk Gregory, Aide to the Metropolitan] -- Many Orthodox hierarchs, clergy and faithful gathered in here on
the weekend of May 28-31, 2010 to take part in the 106th Annual Saint Tikhon of
Zadosnk Orthodox Monastery Memorial Day Pilgrimage.
beloved "weekend of traditions" officially began on Friday afternoon
when His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania
celebrated the Blessing of Waters at the monastery well. This was followed by
the daily celebration of Vespers, and a public meal provided by Igumen Sergius
and the monastery brotherhood.
Saturday, May 29 Bishop Tikhon was joined by His Grace, Bishop Alejo of Mexico
City and His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey in the
concelebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Monastery church.
Bishop Tikhon ordained Deacon Benjamin Tucci to the Holy Priesthood during the
hospitality offered by the monastery brotherhood, Igumen Sergius and many
pilgrims welcomed the Miraculous and Myrrh-Streaming Hawaii Iveron Icon of the
Mother of God to the pilgrimage. Those who were blessed to be present at the
greeting of this Icon were able to venerate and receive some of the precious
myrrh which flows forth in abundance from this sacred image of the Mother of
God. The icon was available for veneration in the Monastery church throughout
the pilgrimage weekend.
Sunday morning, the Feast of All Saints, in the presence of the Miraculous and
Myrrh-Streaming Hawaii Icon of the Mother of God, His Beatitude, Metropolitan
Jonah was joined by brother hierarchs and clergy in celebrating the Divine
Liturgy at the monastery church. Concelebrating with His Beatitude were Bishops
Tikhon, Alejo, and Michael. Also joining Metropolitan Jonah were Igumen
Sergius; Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in
America; and clergy from around the country.
evening, at a banquet hosted in honor of the new graduates of Saint Tikhon's
seminary -- see related story at http://www.oca.org/news/2171-- those present were again blessed to
hear from their beloved hierarchs. Though remarks were directed specifically at
those students who, having graduated, are now preparing go out in to the world
to serve the Church and her faithful, all who were in attendance were greatly
moved by the vision of transformation which was the common thread in the
evening's remarks. Throughout the course of the evening, extremely generous
donations were given to both the Seminary and the Monastery by the Saint Alexis
Foundation, the Saint Tikhon's Centennial Association, and the Saint Tikhon's
Memorial Day, Metropolitan Jonah concelebrated with many brother hierarchs and
led hundreds of faithful in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the large
pavilion church established for this yearly event. Concelebrating with
Metropolitan Jonah were His Eminence, Bishop Joseph of Los Angeles and the West
of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; His
Eminence, Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Moscow
Patriarchal Parishes in the US; His Eminence, Archbishop Job of Kashira,
Administrator of the Moscow Patriarchal Parishes in Canada; His Eminence,
Archbishop Seraphim of Ottawa and Canada; His Grace, Bishop Nikon of Boston and
New England and the Albanian Archdiocese; His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of
Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania; His Grace, Bishop Alejo of Mexico City
and the Diocese of Mexico; His Grace, Bishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and
Western Pennsylvania, and His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey.
At the invitation of Metropolitan Jonah and his brother hierarchs, retired
Metropolitans Herman and Theodosius joined in this historic concelebration of
the Divine Liturgy. Igumen Sergius; Archpriest Alexander Garklavs; Archpriest
Eric Tosi, OCA Secretary; Igumen Alexander [Pihach], Chancellor of the
Archdiocese of Canada; Archpriest Joseph Lickwar, Chancellor of the Diocese of
New York and New Jersey; Archpriest John Kowalczyk, Chancellor of the Dioces of
Philadelphia and Pennsylvania; and STOTS class of 1950 Valedictorian Archpriest
John Nehrebecki were among the many notable clergy who served at the Divine
the service, the hierarchs processed to the grave of Metropolitan Leonty,
located directly behind the monastery church, and celebrated a Panikhida.
Hierarchs and Patriarchs, monks, nuns, and those who have served the church
were through the years were also remembered in prayer.
highlight of this year's pilgrimage was the childrens' activity booth staffed
by the OCA Department of Christian Education [DCE]. Over 75 children
participated in activities that included a tour of the monastery museum,
presentations on North American Orthodox Church history, and stories relating
the lives of North America's Orthodox saints. Resources recently produced by
the DCE were featured. Children enjoyed making sand crosses, prayer bracelets,
and the always popular and often requested bird feeders. Maria Proch directed
the activities, assisted by her mother, Marie Proch; DCE members Valerie
Zahirsky, Alexandra Safchuk, John Pusey, and Daria Petrykowski; and Anastasia
Bilas. The children were delighted to have Bishop Melchisedek join them.
spent the remainder of the day exploring the grounds of the monastery, the
bookstore and newly renovated and expanded museum, meeting old friends and
family, and taking part in prayer services held throughout the day. In the
cemetery that has organically spread from behind the monastery church and over
the surrounding hillside, which contains the grave of Saint Alexis Toth and
currently holds the graves of Metropolitan Leonty and Protopresbyter Alexander
Schmemman, many Panikhida services were offered for departed loved ones. A
memorial service was celebrated for departed military servicemen and women, and
was concluded by the playing of Taps by a retired military regiment. Many
flocked to the monastery bell tower for the service of healing and anointing,
and to the Akathist held before the relics of Saint Alexis in the monastery
church. The pilgrimage officially closed after the celebration of Vespers on
106th Annual Pilgrimage to St. Tikhon's Monastery - Friday - 05/28/10
The 106th annual pilgrimage opened with a blessing of the well on Monastery grounds. His Grace, Bishop Tikhon, led the faithful in prayer who were then blessed with the Holy waters from the well.
106th Annual Pilgrimage to St. Tikhon's Monastery - Saturday - 05/29/10
On Saturday, the second day of the annual pilgrimage, Bishops Tikhon, Alejo, and Michael concelebrated the Heirarchical Divine Liturgy. His Grace, Bishop Tikhon, ordained Benjamin Tucci to the Holy Diaconate. After Liturgy, the monastery hosted a meal for all the pilgrims. Shortly after the meal, the myrrh-streaming Iveron Icon of the Mother of God from Hawaii arrived at the monastery.
106th Annual Pilgrimage to St. Tikhon's Monastery - Monday - 05/31/10
On Memorial Day, there were an unprecedented 12 hierarchs and several other clergy serving the Divine Liturgy at the pavilion church. The choir comprised of many diocesan members led by Reader John Black of Holy Trinity in Pottstown. Throughout the day, many diocesan clergy volunteered their time to serve at the food stands.
With the blessing of their diocesan bishops, the superiors (or their representatives) of monastic communities within the Orthodox Church in America gathered at the Chancery here for a “Synaxis” July 21-23, 2014.
In addition to spiritual fellowship and mutual upbuilding and encouragement, common concerns and the emerging nature of North American monasticism were discussed.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, called for the Synaxis as an expression of his commitment to the strengthening of monastic life within the OCA and in an effort to identify areas of concern for the OCA’s monastic communities that could be better addressed on a wider level within the Church or by means of stronger inter-monastery cooperation. [See related article and gallery.
The OCA counts some 25 men’s and women’s monastic communities in the United States, Canada and Mexico.
Metropolitan Tikhon and the gathered superiors (or their representatives) issued the following statement at the close of the Synaxis.
STATEMENT OF THE SYNAXIS OF SUPERIORS OF MONASTERIES
July 21-23, 2014
As the Synaxis of abbots and abbesses, we were grateful to be together for these days and rejoiced at our intuitive sharing with each other in the Church services, at meals and in conversations about our common monastic life. While recognizing our shared challenges, especially in forming monasticism in North America, we can affirm the general health of monasteries in the OCA. We are committed:
To struggle to pray unceasingly
To live the values of the desert in the 21st century
To be witnesses and missionaries of the kingdom “that is not of this world”
To intercede for all people, for the Church and especially for the sick, the suffering and the departed
To be welcoming places of spiritual retreat and hospitality whenever possible, especially for clergy and their families
To continue the effort to establish a truly indigenous and organic monastic presence in North America
To encourage the Church at large to celebrate the diversity of monastic communities
During our wide-ranging discussions over the three days, we agreed:
That the nurturing and encouraging of monastic vocations should be a priority for the entire Church
That monastic life is a vital part of the mission of the church
That the formation and training of monastics should be developed more fully within each monastic community
That spiritual health can and must be in harmony with psychological health. We don’t have to pretend we are professional therapists, but there is value in our virtue of listening and supporting people in prayer
That families, parishes and monasteries are mutually dependent: healthy parishes with healthy parents produce healthy monastic candidates
That the monastic “mindset” (phronema) is to be conveyed to the entire Church
That monastics should have a strong presence at All American Councils
That parish awareness of monastic life ought to be encouraged, perhaps by setting aside a month or at least a Sunday devoted to connecting with monks, nuns and monasteries
That the emergence of authentic monasticism in North America can only come with time, effort and the grace of God
Finally, we were grateful for this opportunity to meet and pray together and agreed that such meetings would be helpful on an ongoing basis. We agreed that the next meeting of the Synaxis of monastery superiors will take place next year, October 27-29, 2015, at a monastery location to be confirmed.