The Psalmist tells us, ‘What a beautiful thing it is, for the brethren to dwell in unity ..(Ps 132).” This is surely appropriate for us in the ROCOR WR Communities as 2016 comes to an end. I know it is a busy time, and many are enjoying some holiday time with family and loved ones, and we all look forward with hope and anticipation for Christ’s Nativity.
I wanted to reflect back for a moment on the wondrous year of blessing for the ROCOR WR Communities that was 2016. Here are a few highlights :
Another well-attended and fruitful Annual Conference
Tonsures and ordinations of men to Minor Orders
Receptions of new missions and Parishes and ordinations of their Clergy
WR Communities students taking studies at Holy Trinity Seminary , Jordanville
A successful newsletter, the Wonderworker, with parish photos and articles submitted by our own clergy that is literally read around the world.
A growing group sharing fellowship and prayer through the weekly Compline conference call
and much more…
I was recently approached by an AWRV cleric I met long ago, who attended the recent ordinations in Florida this week who asked when we would be able to break free from the 2013 decree and build again I was able to inform him that the clergy we were ordaining were indeed for the WR in Puerto Rico, and he became very happy.
Many think we are dead. Many think we don’t belong. In spite of this, and in the spirit of Pentecost and the missionary zeal of St Paul, we push forward. God continues to bless our growth in grace and numbers through the blessing of His Eminence and my meager efforts, along with a lot of help from you all.
Let us thank God for all the blessings of 2016, and let us prepare for the Nativity of Our Lord. Let us pray for each other and embrace 2017 with a renewed zeal. May 2017 be the year we all dust off the gifts God has given each of us and build His Church.
Here are some things to look forward to in 2017 already in the works:
New Missal and Breviary will be available
New Ordo will be available
Our first Pilgrimage to England will be in Sept (actual dates tba soon)
Annual Conference @ Mt Alvernia Oct 9-12, 2017
Holy Trinity Seminary, Jordanville and I are working on offering a residential liturgical practicum week each summer that focuses solely on ROCOR WR liturgics.
We will soon have one of our own WR clergy as Chaplain at one of the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (Boot Camp) chapels.
We have received a blessing to form a ROCOR WR monastery, which will formally be announced after Theophany.
We have received another Nun to the WR communities to join Mother Cecelia in Louisiana. They are forming a skete to be under the new Monastery (more info to follow at a later date)
We are looking into a possible summer camp location in 2017 for possible use in 2018.
We are planning on opening missions in the following areas, God willing, in 2017 thus far
St Joseph’s -Sarasota, Florida
TBA- St Petersburg/Tampa, Florida
St Aidan’s -Nashville, Tennesee
St David of Wales- Las Vegas, Nevada
St Joseph of Arimathea -San Diego County, California
St. Andrew’s – Lakeland, Florida
*With also interest in Houston, Texas
We thank God for these and all our future blessings. Please know that I love you all and appreciate every one of you. I know it is not always easy to reach me at times, but be assured, I am diligently working to serve His Eminence and you all as your Dean. The harvest is truly plenteous !
Please keep myself, each other , and the WR Communities in your prayers
God bless you all, and I remain,
Yours in His Service,
Archpriest Mark Rowe
Dean, ROCOR WR Communities
‘What a beautiful thing it is, for the brethren to dwell in unity ..(Ps 132).”