Byzantine Catholic Church in America: News of the East


Looking East Toward Mount Carmel:

An Eastern Christian View of this Holy Mountain

A Byzantine Catholic Retreat, July 21-23, 2000


Niagara Falls, Ontario - Mt. Carmel Spiritual Centre hosted a retreat during the weekend of July 21-23 exploring early Christian monasticism in Syria, Palestine, and Egypt, and the connections between ancient Carmelite and Eastern Christian spirituality. The retreatmaster was Father Elias, O.Carm, a friar of the Carmelite Province of the United Kingdom, currently serving as pastor of St. George the Great Martyr Byzantine Catholic Church in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania and member of the faculty at SS Cyril & Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh.


Hieromonk Elias, O. Carm, with His Grace, Bishop Kyrill, Bishop of Taromina

Fr. Elias spoke of the early origins of the Carmelites on Mt. Carmel in Palestine, and noted the possible influence of the Christian East on the development of Carmelite lifestyle and spirituality during its formative years.

Co-retreatmasters for the weekend included His Grace, Bishop Kyrill, Orthodox Bishop of Taromina, who spoke about the different expressions of monasticism that evolved in the Orthodox East, and Father Bruce Baker, O.Carm, Director of Mt. Carmel Spiritual Center, who posited that the spirituality of the desert fathers and mothers of the Byzantine period is preserved and embodied in the Carmelite Rule.

The weekend included the celebration of the Divine Services of the Byzantine Church: Friday Vespers, Saturday Akathist, Saturday Evening All-Night Vigil and the Sunday Divine Liturgy. A follow-up retreat has been scheduled for July 5-7, 2002, also at the Mt. Carmel Spiritual Centre in Niagara Falls.

Audio tapes of the three major talks are planned to be hosted on this website and should be available in the near future.


Additional Photos:

An ariel view of Mt. Carmel Retreat Center, situated above the Canadian Horseshow Falls in Niagara Falls


Father Elias O.Carm preaches at Vespers

Father Deacon David Kennedy of St. Elias Ukrainian Catholic Church in Brampton, Ontario was one of the two deacons serving during the weekend

The team of clergy, readers and cantors who served during the retreat weekend.


Photos by Fr. Bruce Baker, O.Carm