March 24, 2011
Washington, DC: The first day of the Pastoral Conference concluded

On Wednesday, March 23, after the official opening of the Pastoral Conference, Their Graces, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishops George of Mayfield and Jerome of Manhattan, spoke in the parish hall about the work of the Holy Sobor of Bishops that recently convened in Moscow. The hierarchs took questions from the clergy regarding liturgical practices, interchurch relations, administrative work on the part of the hierarchs, and other concerns.


After lunch, Fr. Victor spoke about the work of the Fund for Assistance to ROCOR, underscoring the fruitful labors undertaken by the Fund over the last five years. The Fund was able to provide financial aid to families in need not only in Japan, Haiti, Mexico, and Chile, but also in the United States, especially to the families of deceased clerics. Aid was also provided to youth groups for the funding of summer camps and pilgrimages. Fr. Daniel McKenzie (rector of St. Vladimir Church in Miami, FL) then spoke about the situation in the Orthodox missions in Haiti, and called on all of the rectors to gather funds in their churches for suffering Orthodox Christians around the world.


Archpriest Andrei Sommer spoke on the work of the Synodal Youth Department and its work with young people, including the upcoming youth conference in Paris, and answered questions on the topic. Eastern American Diocesan secretary Archpriest Serge Lukianov then spoke about diocesan life in 2010, after which a photomontage of important events in diocesan life over the past year was shown.


After dinner, a unique photomontage dedicated to the life and blessed repose of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky), third First Hierarch of ROCOR, was shown. The photomontage was compiled by the diocesan Media Office in honor of the 25th anniversary of His Eminence’s repose, commemorated last autumn. Bishop Jerome then led a moleben and akathist to the Most Holy Theotokos in the cathedral before the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God.


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