2013 Annual Archdiocesan Clergy Retreat
The Annual Clergy Retreat for the Archdiocese of the Syriac Orthodox Church in Eastern USA was held at St. Mary’s Monastery, in Sloatsburg, New York. It took place from Monday, June 10th till Friday, June the 14th . The Retreat was opened with Evening prayers held at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Teaneck, followed by a special message on the theme of the retreat: ‘Earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12:31).
Most of the clergy of the Archdiocese attended this important spiritual retreat. This year’s retreat was accompanied by a specially designed Academic course, which is part of the Continuous Clergy Education Program of the Archdiocese. Various topics were on the agenda of the retreat, some of which were: Symbolism of the Cross, delivered by His Eminence Mor Cyril Aphrem Karim; lectures about the Syriac Saints, by Dr. Jeanne-Nicole; seminars about the Critical Editions of the Syriac New Testament and the Collate Bible Manuscripts Activity by Dr. Andreas Juckel and an analysis of the Phanqitho, by Dr. George Kiraz.
During the retreat, the Liturgical Committee of the Archdiocese received several on-going projects, such as; the Sunday School Curriculum, Instructions for couples to be married, and the book of Holy Matrimony. Morning, noon and evening prayers were recited every day, and the Holy Qurobo was celebrated on Ascension Thursday at Mor Gabriel Church in Hackensack.
Meditations and spiritual inspirations enriched the Clergy’s time of reflections on their vows and commitment to better serve their parishes. The last day “Ideas that Matter”, collected by the esteemed Clergy throughout the retreat, were discussed, and His Eminence concluded the retreat by a special message that included an evaluation of the session.