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2018 Western Region Lenten Retreat (3/24/18)

Despite an early Spring Midwestern snowstorm, the faithful traveled near and far to Descent of the Holy Spirit Orthodox Church in Schererville, Indiana on Saturday March 24, 2018 to rid the deep chill and spend the afternoon together commemorating the final weeks of the 2018 Lenten Season. The day’s events began with a Moleben to the Holy Cross. Joining host pastor Reverend Fr. Lev Holowaty were Chicago Deanery Clergy Very Reverend Protopresbyter Fr. Samuel Sherry (Niles, IL), Reverend Fr. Alexis Miller (Crawfordsville, IN), Reverend Fr. Gregory Allard (Battle Ground, IN) and Reverend Fr. Jonathan Bannon (Rockford, IL). Also joining today’s Diocesan Clergy were Altar Servers Nikko Dimaggio and Alexander Bartholomew. Karen Stephens led as the day’s Cantor.

Fr. Gregory Allard provided the day’s Homily which focused on fasting as part of the spiritual guide to a fulfilling life. Fr. Allard reminded the faithful that fasting should not be considered a “diet”, but rather an important part of being a Christian, especially one who is Orthodox.

The Service wrapped up with a fascinating speaker! Pani Marianna Bannon, who authored Fasting for the Feasts, offered the faithful great insight into Lenten meal planning with wonderful tips and a side of humor. She intricately tied her topic in with Fr. Allard’s Homily… a great way to drive the message home! What a wonderful presentation which was well received by those in attendance. Pani Marianna’s book is available on Amazon for purchase. Make sure to check it out!

Posted Photos Courtesy of Nicholas Madvek
The day began with the celebration of them Moleben to the Holy Cross. Fr. Sam Sherry, the Dean of the Chicago Deanery was the main celebrant.
Praying the Moleben to the Holy Cross
Fr. Alexis Miller reading the Gospel account of the Crucifixion and Passion of our Lord.
Fr. Gregory Allard delivered the Homily.
The Faithful in attendance
Chicago Deanery Clergy from left to right:
Rev. Fr. Jonathan Bannon (Rockford, IL)
Rev. Fr. Gregory Allard (Battle Ground, IN)
Rev. Fr. Lev Holowaty (Schererville, IN)
Very Rev. Protopresbyter Fr. Samuel Sherry (Niles, IL)
Rev. Fr. Alexis Miller (Crawfordsville, IN)
Pani Marianna Bannon gave a well received presentation on the topic "Practical Preparations for the Spiritual Preparatory Seasons."
Blessing of the Lenten Meal
Lenten Meal following the Service