Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Together in Christ - Encounter 2012 (English text)


The Eastern Catholic Bishops of the USA are sponsoring three Encounters of our respective Churches this year which will take place in three locations: Cleveland, OH (September 20-23), Los Angeles, CA (November 1-4) and for the Eastern United States at St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church in Hillsborough, NJ (October 11-14). These gatherings and the one in Hillsborough in particular, are geared for the laity and clergy with the theme:


An Encounter is a time for all Eastern Catholics to meet and to grow in the Lord, and to study themes that would assist them in fostering more spiritual and educational growth in their parishes. By having an Encounter in our region, it will be easier and convenient for more participation of the laity and clergy. Also, follow up meetings and programs within a certain region will provide more growth for our Churches since parishes of Eastern Traditions have so much in common.

A special day for clergy who have pastoral commitments in parishes will precede the weekend. The weekend Encounter (Friday evening through Sunday brunch) is mainly geared for the laity who are asked to arrive on Friday for a welcome and hospitality. The main focus will be on Saturday and Sunday. Four plenary sessions will be held.

The first session, entitled Who is the Church? will be led by Rt. Rev. Damon Geiger of the Eparchy of Newton. The second session, Activity of the Royal Priesthood, will be led by Dr. Maureen Dadonna of the Eparchy of Passaic. The third session, Blueprint for Church Growth, will be led by Sr. Marla Marie Lucas, MSCL, of the Eparchy of St. Maron. The main session entitled, The ‘How” and ‘What” of Lay Leadership: Action – Put on Christ! will be presented by the Most Reverend Peter Libasci, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire.

On Sunday, Matins and the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated followed by the keynote address entitled, Servant Leadership: Be All That You Can Be! presented by the Most Reverend Nicholas Samra, Eparch of the Melkite Eparchy of Newton.

Registration is $75.00 per person for the Encounter. A discount for early registration of five or more from one parish is available at $50.00 per person. Hospitality and meals are included in the registration fee. Vendors of Eastern Catholic books and icons are being invited to complement the Encounter.

Previously, Encounters were held in 1999 in Boston and 2006 in Chicago. They were held mainly for bishops and invited clergy and laity. This year’s Encounter is open to all who want to learn, pray and grow in Christ for the building up of the Body of Christ.

The Eastern Catholic Bishops have formed a national body are a region in the US Catholic Conference of Bishops. They represent the following traditions: Armenian, Byzantine – Melkite, Romanian, Ruthenian and Ukrainian; Syriac – Chaldean, Maronite, Syro-Malabar, and Syro-Malankara.  

For more information and registration, visit the website,

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