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Archbishop Benjamin Celebrates Nativity - Receives Priest - 12/29/17

On Monday, December 25, 2017, His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the Nativity of Our Lord at Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco. During the Divine Liturgy, Priest Peter Fermeglia was received into the communion of the Holy Orthodox Church by vesting. Father Peter began attending services at Holy Trinity Cathedral two years ago and is currently attending a one-year special course of study at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.

Fr. Peter was born Charles Sergio and is a native of Queens, New York. The son of Sergio and Margherita Fermeglia, immigrants from Italy, Charles was raised in the Roman Catholic faith. He studied for the Diocese of Brooklyn, beginning seminary at Cathedral Preparatory Seminary in Elmhurst, then on to Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception to receive a B.A. in Philosophy. Fr. Charles was ordained to the diaconate May 1, 1988 in the seminary chapel after completing an M.Div. at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, Long Island. On May 28, 1988, he was ordained priest at St. James Cathedral, Brooklyn by His Excellency, Bishop Francis J. Mugavero, D.D. His ministry has included parish work, hospital chaplaincy, and music directorship. The search for beauty, truth, and authentic Christianity has led him to embrace Orthodoxy.

Link to photographs (courtesy of Matushka Sophia Sokolov):

Registration Open for 2018 Youth/Camp Workers' Conference - 11/27/17

Registration opens for 2018 Youth/Camp Workers’ Conference

Atlanta, GA – The 17th Annual Orthodox Christian Camp and Youth Workers Conference will take place at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Cathedral, Atlanta, GA from Thursday, February 1 through Saturday, February 3, 2018. Online conference and hotel registration is now available.

“This is a great opportunity for anyone involved with or interested in camp and youth ministry to come together with like-minded people,” said David Lucs, Director of the Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry.  “This annual event provides clergy, camp, and youth workers with opportunities for engaging conversation, making connections, and the sharing of ideas to help with their programs and specific needs in their home parishes.”

A number of OCA clergy and laity, including Father Daniel Hickman, Longwood, FL, Deacon Gabriel Aldridge, Atlanta, GA, and others, will be leading workshops and discussion groups. The OCA last hosted the 2016 gathering in Dallas, TX.  The keynote address will be presented by Father Alexander Gousettis, Director of the Center for Family Care of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

“This year’s conference theme focuses on the place of gratitude in youth ministry,” said Natalie Nixon, Director of the Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. “We encourage camp and youth workers from all Orthodox parishes across North America to join us for enriching presentations and discussions for their benefit and application in their home parishes and camps.”

The theme will help camp and youth workers discover a key element of ministry that often eludes us: the “gratitude of Saint Paul” who, while struggling to establish and maintain churches, was in fact thankful for everyone and everything.  Conference organizers hope that the theme will provide the inspiration and spiritual nourishment for youth workers to “abound in thanksgiving” [Colossians 2:7] in the midst of the beautiful, but often difficult, field of youth work.

The two-day event is being co-hosted by the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA, with the blessing of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America.

A discounted early bird registration rate is available until December 15, 2017, along with a discounted hotel rate. Detailed conference information is available online

The Stewards of the Orthodox Church in America helps provide funding for the OCA Department of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry. For additional information on the Stewards or to make a donation, please visit the OCA web site.

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@ocayouth @ocaorg @goarch @orthodoxxcyouth


2018 Retreat at St John Monastery - 11/27/17

Facing Provocations, Thoughts, and Temptations: Taking Jesus as our Guide

Retreat at the Monastery of St John March 16, 17, and 18, 2018

Retreat leader: Monk Cosmas (Shartz)

"Now the men who held Jesus mocked Him and beat Him. And having blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy! Who is the one who struck You?” And many other things they blasphemously spoke against Him." (Luke 22:63 – 65)

Jesus faced a lot more temptations and provocations than the three that come readily to mind, when Satan tempted Him in the desert. The Gospels describe many more such situations, although they aren’t always clearly labeled as such. Clearly in the passage here, He is being provoked to give way to fear, anger, and shame — and perhaps other passions.

During Lenten times, we face temptations and provocations, too. As we know, they come at us even more forcefully during periods of additional fasting, prayer, and asceticism. Let’s face it, not only do evil spirits have more incentive to attack us at such times, but we ourselves are more vulnerable when we fast, because we are tired and cranky, and therefore more vulnerable!

In this retreat we will look at passages in the Gospel texts which recount provocations and temptations that came Christ’s way, seeing what passions those situations would tend to provoke, and see how He confronted His challenges, so that He can be our guide in facing the temptations and provocations we ourselves will meet in our own Lenten journey. We will look at a combination of narrative accounts of situations from the Gospels and Christ’s own teachings in His sermons and parables.

Registration information, as well as an informational flyer, will be posted to this website closer to the retreat dates.



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