Congress ~ Divine Liturgy

Today, being Sunday, we celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the end of our Congress. Serving the Liturgy is a spiritual event for sure on any Sunday, but to be with the bishops and all the priests of the Archdiocese serving is something very special. On top of this, it is my anniversary today. Six years ago today I was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in this very cathedral so it was extra special.

Also today we had an ordination. Another event that does not happen all that much but is a wonderful event as a priest to participate in. I was surprised how emotional I was then all the priests were singing for the newly ordained. As well all exclaimed Axios! (Worthy) as each part of the vestment was put on him and to see him take his place at the Holy Altar. Simply amazing. The spiritual high has not worn off yet.

Also, as there were so many priests here this year, only the senior priests were at the altar. All of the us junior guys were outside of the Iconostasis but it was a wonderful event none the less. Liturgy is Liturgy no matter where you serve it. From the grandest Cathedrals to the back of a HUMVEE in Iraq, the presence of God is there.

La Multi Ani (Many Years) to the newly ordained priest Vasile!

After Liturgy we posted for the official picture of all the clergy, it’s like herding cats by the way, and then out side for the official picture of all those is attendance at the congress, again herding cats. Then off to more food.

I have said this before, but I do believe it to be true, this is one long meal separated by meetings. You have to experience it to understand what I am saying. Needless to say the food was great, and I think I have put on about 10 pounds. I need to start my walking program again when I get home.

During the meal we recognized several priests who have 25 years or more as priest. I was sitting at table with a priest from Canada who has been priest for 43 years and in the same parish all 43 of those years. Man I thought six years was a great accomplishment. It was also the 75th Anniversary of Bishop Polycarp (Morsca) ordination to the Episcopate as the first Romanian bishop in North America. Bishop Polycarp had a tragic life that ended with his imprisonment in Romania.

So the 77th Congress of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in the Americas has come to a close. We meet again in 2 years in Montreal. People are already making plans. Hugs and kisses were exchanged and we have all gone our separate ways.

I board the train at 8:30pm to start my journey home.

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