Some final notes from Fr Shaun of San Diego on the 2023 clergy conference. Emphasis by the editor.


Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:

Christ is with us!

As today is the last full day of the Melkite clergy conference, here’s the last update:
We started with a brief introduction to the day from Bishop François; he discussed his ideas about church art, architecture, and design.

That was followed by an inspiring and edifying talk from Fr. Mark Melone entitled “Iconography: A Pastoral Approach.” This had to be the greatest talk all week. I hope we can get Fr. Mark to get us a copy of the presentation – or, better yet, have him record it on Zoom.

Then there was a talk on standardizing communications and databases in the eparchy using Flocknotes, a package popular in many Roman Catholic dioceses. Lots of good features in this product; we’ll see how the roll-out unfolds.

Next came brief presentations from important offices of the eparchy (e.g., Judicial Vicar, Liturgical Committee, Chancery, and NAMY). All were informative and helped the clergy get a better idea of how we can help these offices function better, as well as what they can do for us. Fr. Philip Raczka’s presentation for the Liturgical Committee was more than just nuts-and-bolts, though; he gave some important insights into liturgical translations, history, language – it was really great!

The clergy then broke out into small groups with the other clergy of their respective regions. We have a follow-up meeting on these small group confabs later this evening. Naturally, the highlights of the day were Orthros this morning and Paraklesis to the Theotokos this afternoon. (The photo is from Paraklesis, as the faithful venerate the icon of the Theotokos and then the Cross at the end of the service.)

Tomorrow, we have one final group meeting to wrap up and then we hit the road. Again, many thanks for your support in affording me the opportunity to attend this conference. As always, we keep you in prayer here and please do the same for us.

In Christ,
Fr. Shaun