Source: Orthodox Church in America
DETROIT, MI [OCA] – Saint Andrew’s House, Detroit, MI, was the site of the first annual Catechist and Diaconal Vocations Conference of the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of the Midwest August 8-9, 2014.
The conference attracted 43 students and faculty, including His Grace, Bishop Alexander and Priest Elijah Mueller, Diocesan Vocations Director, who facilitated the program. Also participating was Archpriest Paul Gassios, Diocesan Administrator. The program was especially designed for those who had completed theLate/Diaconal Vocations course before the present program was initiated needing to move forward with petitioning for ordination, those interested in beginning the program but who live in areas where no local group had been established, those desiring to participate in a diaconal practicum, and those who had taken courses in the program but desired to meet for further education and fellowship. The conference featured a variety of classes, a practicum, opportunities to meet with Bishop Alexander and the Vocations Director, “hands on” assistance with petition paperwork, and presentations on lay catechesis. Presentations on Orthodox spirituality rounded out the program.
Students attended talks by Bishop Alexander, Mark Roosien, Presvytera Rebecca Luft, and Priest Silviu Bunta. Workshops on catechetical and diaconal practice were led by Priest Stephen Frase, Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak, Anna Strelka, and Paul Saieg.
“A good spirit prevailed amongst all,” said Father Elijah. “The faculty, together with Bishop Alexander and Father Paul, met to discuss how to increase and better the work of the program, as well as to decide a name for the program. It was decided to go under the heavenly patronage of Saint Macrina, the great saint and teacher of her brothers Basil the Great and Gregory of Nyssa, as theSaint Macrina Orthodox Institute.”