The Third Annual Diocesan Youth Pilgrimage began on Friday afternoon August 15, 2008 at Camp Nazareth. Upon their arrival and registration the pilgrims participated in the Daily Vespers service and enjoyed a delicious supper prepared by the Camp Nazareth Staff. Following supper the pilgrims hiked through the woods here they experienced the peacefulness and enjoyed the peacefulness and beauty of the waterfalls. The day ended with a spiritual talk on the porch of Sts. Cyril and Methodios Church and the singing of Complines.
The day concluded with the celebration of Great Vespers at Sts Cyril and Methodios Church. The clergy are pictured during the blessing of the specially prepared "St. Basil's Bread."
At the conclusion of Great Vespers, His Eminence presented the Sts. Cyril and Methodios Church with a Miraculous Icon of the Mother of God - Panagia Odigitrias (The Directress). This icon which was obtained by Mrs. Eleanor Dussling of St. John the Baptist Parish in Ambridge, PA from a monastery in Greece, miraculously shed tears in July of 1988. It was Mrs. Dussling's desire that the icon be enshrined in the Sts Cyril and Methodios Church at Camp Nazareth.
The day began with the celebration of Divine Liturgy by Very Rev. Fr. Miles Zdinak. The Plain Chant responses were sung by the youth pilgrims.
Holy Transfiguration Monastery - A women's monastery of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of the Orthodox Church in America.
Following breakfast, the bus arrived to transport the pilgrims to Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Ellwood City, PA.
The youth were invited to ring the monastery bell.
A group photo was taken with Mother Christophora, the Abbess of the Monastery, before departing for Camp Nazareth.
The younger children learned about the life of the foundress, Mother Alexandra during a group discussion in the gazebo.
The youths listen intently to the presentation in the monastery Church.
Fr. Miles Zdinak celebrated a Panachida at the grave of Mother Alexandra.
Upon arriving at the monastery, Fr. Andrew and the pilgrims were greated by the members of the monastic community.
The older children are given a talk on the monastic life by a member of the monastic community.
The youths sang the responses to the Vespers. The clergy and faithful who were in attendance were moved by the beauty of their singing.
An image of paradise..... One of the many perennial gardens on the monastery grounds.
The faithful in attendance at Vespers joined His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas on the Porch of the Camp Church where Marian hymns were sung at the shroud of the Theotokos.