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Sacred Heart Retreat House

Alhambra, CA

May 21-23, 2019

Clergy of the Diocese of the West gathered for three days this week at the Sacred Heart Retreat House in Alhambra (Southern California) for a mandatory retreat. The retreat speaker, Hieromonk Maximos (CONSTAS), traveled from Holy Cross Seminary in Brookline, MA and delivered four talks on Spiritual Fatherhood, focusing on the role of the spiritual father in the sacrament of confession.

Fr Maximos is a monk of Simonopetra monastery on the Holy Mountain, which until recently has had as its abbot the Elder Aimilianos (the Elder reposed in the Lord about three weeks ago after many years of poor health -- memory eternal!). The DOW clergy found his talks engaging and inspiring, especially his impromptu recounting of the elder's life during the fourth and last session.

While the retreat was spiritually fulfilling as well as a boon toward completing the annual continuing education requirement of the OCA, it was also a blessed opportunity for fellowship and council (and, to be sure, counsel) amongst the diocesan clergy. The Catholic Carmelite Sisters running the retreat center also did a wonderful job of extending hospitality toward our group. The clergy of the Diocese of the West thank His Eminence, Archbishop BENJAMIN for ordering the retreat and inviting Fr Maximos, and they look forward to the next opportunity for spiritual refreshment!

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