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Reflection: Saint Gregory Pope of Rome, Guide for Spiritual Leadership - 02/14/17

by Hieromonk Innocent of St. John Monastery, Manton

Soon, our Church will enter the great season of the Fast. As we empty the meat and dairy sections of our refrigerators, we may be a little apprehensive of the long weeks of Lent that lie before us. How easy it is to forget all the good things that happen to our souls as we set aside our many cares, quiet down and focus a little more on God. The service of the Presanctified Gifts embodies what is good and deep and meaningful about this season of repentance. Candles flickering in the dim light, the chanting of the Psalms, the journey through Genesis and Proverbs, the choir singing “Let My Prayer Arise”, and the hunger pangs of our fasting all blend together to humble us, to slow us down. We can be thankful that a fifth-century Pope of Rome developed and instituted this evening liturgy as a way to strengthen us and spur us on to the repentance and spiritual growth that we seek during these forty days. Yet St Gregory has given us more than this beautiful, lenten liturgy. He also wrote The Book of Pastoral Rule to inspire spiritual leadership and raise shepherds for his flock.

In 6th century Rome, Pope Gregory faced a problem. Candidates for bishops and parish priests were scarce, yet there were many ascetics who were qualified, yet reluctant to leave their seclusion. To address this pressing issue, Gregory wrote The Book of Pastoral Rule. In his wonderful book, he details the stringent requirements of the spiritual director, yet invites the ascetic not to hide his talent but to step up to the task of leading Christ's flock. Gregory graciously shares his experience with this would-be pastor by providing an encyclopedic description of nearly every conceivable human situation and personality-type and how best to advise and treat each condition. Compassion and discernment shines through this unprecedented sixth century work as the pontiff brings a wealth of experience to beginner spiritual fathers as they follow the Chief Shepherd and endeavor to feed and guide His rational flock.

Orthodox Pilgrimage: Celtic Isles of Scotland and Northumberland - 12/02/16

The Orthodox Monastery of All Celtic Saints ( is sponsoring a pilgrimage to the Celtic Islas of Scotland anbd Northumberland July 23-August 1, 2017. The cost is $1,600.00 per person.

The week of the pilgrimage we are spending in the Scottish Isles costs 1600 dollars per person. This includes:
- accommodation on the Isle of Mull for the entire period;
- three rented cars for our use on Mull (which we shall have to drive);
- this also covers the transport from Glasgow to Oban, as well as gettig from Scotland to Northumbria.
- all food (breakfasts, dinners and packed lunches);
- entries to all visited places;
- three ferries (one to to Mull; two to Iona);
- a private-hire motor boat (to take us to St Brendan’s Isle);
- a private-hire sailing boat (to take us to St Kenneth’s Isle).
The cost is built on the assumption that there will be eight paying pilgrims (two families, sharing double-bed rooms; and four singles, sharing rooms with two single beds).

Holy Land Pilgrimage - 11/16/16

Follow the steps of Jesus from the Annunciation to the Resurrection: Nazareth, Capernaum, Sea of Galilee, Samria, Mount Tabor, Mount of Olives, Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Jordan River, and Jacob's Well. The tour will be led by Father Matthew Tate.

Tour cost: $3900. Tour application can be downloaded on the tour website.

Call Michael Alyas for more information or reservations: (503) 888-6117 or (503) 919-4501.


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