Friday, August 14, 2015

New Skete Pilgrimage 2015

By Brother Stavros

This year’s Pilgrimage, on the Saturday after the Feast of Transfiguration, was blessed by beautiful summer weather. The day began with Matins, then all the faithful gathered outside on the terrace next to the frog pond and waterfall. After the bell peal, the clergy assembled to begin Divine Liturgy. Priest-monk Marc and archdeacon Peter of New Skete were joined by Capitol District pastors Father Peter from St. Basil’s in Watervliet and Father Terrance from St. Nicholas in Cohoes, and Father Don and Presbytera Jan Augusta from St. Basil’s Greek Orthodox Church in New Haven, Connecticut. The festal antiphons were sung in stages as the procession moved up and then into Holy Wisdom. A church tour followed the Liturgy, and the food truck began offering great Lebanese and Greek lunches.

The principal talk was given by Dr. Anton Vrame, Director of the Department of Religious Education for the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He is Adjunct Associate Professor at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, Massachusetts, and is well known as a writer and speaker on Orthodox Christianity, especially its life in the United States. He is active with inter-Christian dialogue, serving as a member of Faith and Order for the National Council of Churches. He holds degrees from DePaul University, the University of Chicago, Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, and Boston College. He has been a friend of the New Skete Communities since the late 1980s. His talk is available to hear, click here.

We also had, as has become a tradition, volunteers from the Boston area, mostly from St. Mary’s Antiochean Orthodox Church in Cambridge (“the other Cambridge”). Together with the staff and parishioners from our Holy Wisdom community, they made the activities of the day go smoothly. And, when not fighting fires, Ranger Mike Bodnar once again led a group on the trails in our woods, giving a full commentary on the flora and fauna and geology of our Taconic Mountains.

Next year’s Pilgrimage will be on the Feast of Transfiguration itself, August 6, and will mark the high point of our 50th-anniversary celebrations. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, will preside. We extend our heartfelt welcome to this and every event on the calendar for New Skete Monasteries.
Blessed by beautiful summer weather, the day began outside on the terrace next tot he frog pond and waterfall.

Archdeacon Peter and Priest-monk Marc were joined by the regions pastors.

Guest Speaker, Dr. Tony Vrame in the Holy Wisdom Church.

DEC Officer, Mike Bodnar, lead a hike along the New Skete trails.

Brother Luke conducting a puppy socializing demonstration.