With two postponements from the previous week, the second week of the visit of Metropolitan Kallistos to America became quite filled with events. The snowstorms had left there mark on the area, but we managed to not cancel a single event, and only delayed two — coincidentally the two Catholic venues were those postponed!
The lecture on the theme of “Lent: Our Personal Journey” took place on Sunday evening, February 14, at Epiphany of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church in Annandale, VA. Nearly 100 persons attended the reception in the parish center followed by the lecture in the church. Bishop William Skurla of the Eparchy of Passaic, the diocese of Epiphany Church, also attended the lecture and welcomed Metropolitan Kallistos.
On Monday, we traveled to Toms River, NJ where His Eminence attended Great Compline for the first day of the Great Fast at St. Barbara Greek Orthodox Church that evening. Nearly 400 persons were present for the service and his lecture on the same theme as at Epiphany, “Lent: Our Personal Journey”. A large receptions was held in the parish social hall, and a long line of people eagerly waited to have copies of his books signed. The next morning we returned to Washington.
On Tuesday evening, an ecumenical prayer service was conducted by the student board of the Washington Theological Consortium, a group of theological education institutions around Washington, DC. At the prayer service, the annual Ecumenism Award was bestowed upon Metropolitan Kallistos. After a short reception, Metropolitan Kallistos delivered the Second Annual Figel Lecture in Ecumenism to a group of over 100 persons gathered in the Happel Room of Caldwell Hall on the campus of The Catholic University of America. His Eminence gave “An Insider’s View of the Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue Today.” A lively Q&A discussion followed with many interesting points raised. Father Mark Morozowich, Associate Dean of CUA, Father John Crossin, Executive Director of the WTC, and Father Paul McPartlan, Professor of Ecumenism at CUA and member of the International Catholic-Orthodox Dialogue Commission, all made remarks welcoming Metropolitan Kallistos. As the financial sponsor of the event, I also made a few remarks, and told of my first encounter with Metropolitan Kallistos some 18 years ago (perhaps subject of a future blog posting?!)
The last scheduled event of His Eminence’s visit was a lecture at St. George Greek Orthodox Church in Bethesda, MD on Wednesday, February 17. Over 200 persons attended the Liturgy of Presanctified Gifts and the lecture entitled “Trinity: Heart of Our Life.” A Lenten dinner buffet was served between the liturgy and lecture. After the lecture, a line again formed for many to have their books signed.
I obtained copies of the Metropolitan’s most popular works to have available for people to buy at all the events, and we sold over 100 copies of each. They included: The Orthodox Church, The Orthodox Way, and The Inner Kingdom. We are now carrying all three titles in our catalog and on our website: www.https://ecpubs.com/.
All of the lectures from this week are also available from OLTV, and a combo pack of all the lectures has been specially priced. You can order online at www.olconference.com or call 703-691-8862.
After a grueling schedule, and speaking to nearly 1000 persons at 8 venues, Metropolitan Kallistos returned to the UK on Thursday morning. We especially scheduled his return on the “day” flight that leaves the US in the morning and lands in London the same evening, avoiding having to sleep overnight on a “red eye” flight. At the age of 75, His Eminence deserves all the comforts possible!
But in the end, I believe he returned home with a renewed vigor and enthusiasm for his ministry of teaching and lecturing, given the great response he received everywhere and the thousands of people he has touched with his wisdom and insight. Many years, O Master!