On Friday March 7, 2014, St. John’s Institute hosted its first Lenten Retreat, planned and coordinated by our new Spiritual Programming Coordinator, Christina Kowalenko. Following a delectable Lenten meal in the 1st Floor Gallery, participants enjoyed a talk given by Fr. Timothy Chrapko about the Holy Mystery of Repentance, Asceticism and Hesychasm.
Participants ranged from their early 20s to 70s, and included Canadians, Ukrainians, East Indians, and Brazilians, of Orthodox and Roman Catholic spiritual traditions. Christina Kowalenko and Fr. Cornell Zubritsky spoke about the meaning of sacred music as an icon of constant angelic worship in heaven. Listening to excerpts of Orthodox chants used in popular music, they explored what makes chant unique and why people are inherently, but subtly, attracted to its melodies.
A Compline service was led by
Fr. Timothy, with cantors of the Alberta Benevolent Cantor’s Association leading the responses, and participants taking turns reading psalms.
We thank the Alberta Benevolent Cantors Association for its generous sponsorship of $500; Fr. Timothy for making the trip from Calgary; Fr. Cornell for hosting; Christina Kowalenko for organizing, Regina Lazutin for preparing the beautiful dinner, and Devraj Hansdah for serving as SJI’s photographer!
To see more photos, please visit our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/stjohnsinstituteyeg