“The Journey to Emmaus Continued”

Byzantine Spirituality Conference Welcomes Eparchial Bishop of Newton

The annual Byzantine Spirituality Conference, sponsored by the Office of Religious Education, was held Nov. 9 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Munhall, Pa.

The title of this year’s conference was “The Journey to Emmaus Continued.” Most Rev. Nicholas J. Samra, Eparchial Bishop of Newton, gave two outstanding presentations on the importance of education and formation in understanding our baptismal call. He encouraged the participants to recognize and share their gifts in building up the Body of Christ.

Bishop Nicholas was ordained a priest in May 1970, and became a bishop in July 1989. Since that time as an energetic priest and bishop, cooperating with the grace of Christ and the Holy Spirit, he has built churches, started new missions, ordained many priests, written books and articles, traveled to visit parishes, given conferences, and attended synods.

In asking the question “What should we be doing in our parishes?” Bishop Nicholas reminded the participants our mission statement can be found in the Acts of the Apostles. Breakout sessions took place in the afternoon.

Sister Marion Dobos, OSB, MA, Director of Religious Education for the Archeparchy, distributed and explained a packet of materials on the God With Us curriculum.

Chris Singel, MAT gave a PowerPoint presentation on resources that can deepen the faith of Byzantine Catholics. He is a member of the board of directors of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius.

Chris is a Financial Software Support Specialist for Harris School Solutions. He and his wife Amanda have been presenters at the Pre-Cana Program since 2012.

The conference concluded with six participants sharing insights on how their parish is trying to grow closer to Christ and serve the church. The questions are included in this article for those who were not able to attend. The two presentations given by Bishop Nicholas can be viewed on the Archeparchy’s website, www.archpitt.org.

  • Name one idea or suggestion from this conference that would work in your parish. Name one that would not work and why.
  • What steps are your parish taking in reaching out to members who no longer attend? If no steps are taken, what would you recommend?
  • Give some examples of how all four eparchies — Pittsburgh, Parma, Passaic and Phoenix — could collaborate more with each other.
  • How many generations are in your Sunday mix? Do you agree with the statement “Many generations is a blessing. One is deadly.”
  • Finish this statement: “Our parish connects with the local community by _________.”
  • What suggestions might you offer for your parish, deanery and Archeparchy to work toward collaborating more to continue the rich legacy of the Byzantine Catholic Church in the United States?