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March 2006 Newsletter

Greetings in Christ! I pray this update on Annapolis College Ministry finds you well and persevering in your Lenten struggles. On the eve of Great Lent I was able to take a group of St. John’s students on pilgrimage to Holy Dormition Monastery (Romanian Episcopate OCA) for an extended weekend of spiritual retreat during their Spring break. For some, including one of the Orthodox students, it was their first time at an Orthodox monastery. It was a blessed and formative time for all who came with time for worship and prayer, reading, discussions of the Faith, and fellowship.

My catechetical work continues. For most of the catechumens, this is their first Lent. During my regular meetings with them I’ve used the time to strive to encourage them as they continue to learn to apply the Orthodox Faith to their daily lives. During Great Lent this means that they are coming to understand the relationship between fasting, the worship of the Church, and growth in Christ. They are learning to discipline themselves in new ways. And as they learn about themselves and their sin-sickness, they are entrusting themselves to Christ and His holy Church to become the “new creation” (II Cor. 5:17) God desires as they prepare for holy Baptism and Chrismation. It can be a difficult journey, but it is a fruitful one as we all work out our salvation with fear and trembling and receive strength and healing from the Lord.

Thank you for your continued support for Annapolis College Ministry. Your contributions keep this ministry growing. I keep you in my prayers with thanksgiving. Please pray for me, a sinner, and those to whom I minister!