On Saturday, March 5th, Fr. Steven was invited to lead a family retreat on the topic of confession. Archpriest Michael Senyo, pastor of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Allison Park, Pennsylvania, has been actively scheduling educational programs for parish faithful, and asked Fr. Steven to lead this retreat.
Among the participants was Joel Brady (Class of 2015) who is now a parishioner of the cathedral, and Matushka Mary Wusylko, wife of Protodeacon Michael Wusylko, one of our seminary board members. Parish youth were invited to attend the morning session, and in the afternoon they participated in making prosphora that were used for commemoration of family members at Sunday's Liturgy.
Fr. Steven offered a brief historical sketch of confession, drawing upon the many icons in the nave of the church to highlight Scriptural accounts focused on repentance. In the afternoon he led the participants in reflecting upon the eight deadly thoughts attributed to Evagrius Ponticus, and developed further by St. John Cassian, whose feast day was just celebrated on this leap year. The overal focus was on the signfiicance of repentance at the core of confession. The retreat was well-planned in terms of timing to prepare parish faithful for the upcoming Great Lenten Journey.
Fr. Steven stayed at the cathedral during the remainder of the weekend, preaching during Sunday's Liturgy. He expressed heartfelt gratitude, both for the ongoing generosity of the cathedral community toward the work of the seminary, and for the depth of their hospitality. He shared his anticipation in returning with the Mission Choir in early April!