to the Archpastors, Pastors, Deacons,
Monastics and All the Faithful Children
of the Russian Orthodox Church
Beloved in the Lord archpastors, all-honourable
presbyters and deacons, God-loving monks
and nuns, dear brothers and sisters,
Today, as the Heavenly and earthly Church in conciliar unity glorifies God Incarnate, I extend my heartfelt greetings to all of you on the great and radiant feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The XVI Annual Saint Herman’s West Youth Conference was held from December 26-30, 2022. Being supported by several diocesan clergymen and many youth counselors, the conference hosted just under 50 youth of the Western American Diocese at Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Youngtown, Arizona.
The conference met its aims by providing educational and social opportunities for our diocesan youth. Lectures, panel discussions, workshops, and exposure to a broader range of clergy and peers heighten an Orthodox formation in our youth and provide them with a much-needed authentic, spiritual context, as their young and fresh minds are forming opinions, coming to conclusions, and establishing convictions about the path they will take in life.
With the blessing of His Eminence KYRILL Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America, diocesan clergy gathered around His Grace JAMES Bishop of Sonora, who presided over the conference.
Two holy icons graced the occasion:
Eminent Fellow Archpastors, Honorable Fathers, Beloved Brothers and Sisters in the Lord,
Greetings with the Nativity of Christ!
In these days of great joy, the thoughts of the archpastors, pastors, monastics, parishioners, and faithful of the churches and monasteries of our dioceses, scattered like God’s wheat over the vast earth, meet in the meek Bethlehem cave, in the semi-darkness in which was lit the unquenchable Light of the world — our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God! Spiritually gathering with all of you in the modest cave near Bethlehem, and kneeling down before the poor manger of the Divine Infant and His Most Pure Mother, I join my prayers to yours and implore God the Word incarnate to grant His Church grace-filled mercies and blessed success in Her ministry, and to all Orthodox peoples speedy deliverance from fratricidal war, restoration of justice and peace, that peace of which the angelic choir sang over the city of David on that holy night of the Nativity!
As the Biblical book, “The Wisdom of Sirach” narrates: