East Toward Mount Carmel:
Eastern Christian View of this Holy Mountain
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.