The Cathedral of Ss. Constantine and Helen of Chicago hosted, between 31 August and 1 September 2018, the Clergy Conference of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas. The conference was organized for the first time in this format, namely as an annual pastoral-missionary meeting of the priests of the two dioceses of the Metropolia: the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese of the United States of America and the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Canada.
HE Metropolitan Nicolae and HG Bishop Ioan Casian presided over the works of the conference that began with two themes presented by the hierarchs:
- HG Bishop Ioan Casian – Priest’s Ministry – Reflections on a few texts by Father Dumitru Stăniloae.
- HE Metropolitan Nicolae – Service and Responsibility of the Priest in the Sacrament of Confession.
The two themes occasioned priests’ comments, considering the importance of the two subjects about priestly ministry. In the two presentations, the hierarchs cited a number of theologians and Fathers of the Church, giving examples of the answers they gave to various questions about priestly ministry in general and the Sacrament of Confession in particular. A list of Fathers’ quotes and a bibliography on the Sacrament of Confession were offered for a more in-depth reading.
The conference continued with the following themes:
- The Pastoral Care of Persons with Mental Problems, a theme prepared by Fr. Daniel Sandu and Fr. Traian Petre of St. George’s Cathedral in Saint Hubert / Montreal, Quebec, and Fr. Ion Gherman of the Annunciation Cathedral in Cleveland, Ohio.
- Living and Dying in a Post Christian World Advance Directives: An Orthodox Christian Perspective, a theme prepared by Fr. Julian Anitei from the Protection of the Mother of God parish in Houston, Texas.
- Prison Ministry – Hieromonk Atanasie Popescu from the Ss. Constantine and Helen Cathedral in Chicago.
- Pastoral Care for Homeless People – Father Cornel Dragomir of St. Nicholas parish in Vancouver, British Columbia.
- Bishop Roman Ciorogariu of Oradea – Contribution to for the Awakening of National Consciousness and Orthodox Identity, a theme prepared to mark the Centenary of Great Romania by Fr. Lucian Puşcariu from the Holy Resurrection parish in Hamilton, Ontario.
- Improving religious education through a family-type approach – Father Daniel Ene, Eparchial Secretary, Holy Trinity parish, Rochester, New York.
On Saturday morning, the hierarchs, priests and deacons of the Metropolia served the Divine Liturgy. HE Metropolitan Nicolae spoke about the significance of the day, the beginning of the church year: the Sundays cycle, celebrations and fasting periods that urge us to re-listen to, receive, and let us be transformed by the Word of God found in the Holy Scripture.
The conference ended with discussions about the organization of the future conference in 2019, its format and content.
The prayer together, the discussions on many pastoral and missionary themes, brought at this meeting of the priests of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas joy, enthusiasm and a desire to continue the joint consultation work.
Photo credit: romarch.org