The fourth and final day of the Sts. Sebastian and Mardarije Institute began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.
Officiating at the liturgy was His Grace Bishop Maxim with the concelebration of diocesan clergy along with visiting clergy from the Eastern, Midwestern and Canadian dioceses.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, received His Eminence Archbishop Luciano Suriani, the Apostolic Nuncio to Serbia, at the Serbian Patriarchate on 25 February 2016. His Excellency made his first visit to Serbian Patriarch since his appointment to the diplomatic service in Serbia.
His Eminence was accompanied by Monsignor Janusz Blachowiak, First Secretary of the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See and father Aleksandar Ninkovic, local secretary at the Apostolic Nunciature. The audience was attended by Rev. Vladimir Vranic, chief secretary of the Office of the Serbian Patriarch, and deacon Aleksandar Sekulic, assistant secretary in the Office of the Serbian Patriarch.
His Holiness Irinej, Serbian Patriarch, met yesterday with Admiral EvangelosApostolakis, Chief of the General Staff of the Nacional Defense of the Republic of Greece at the Serbian Patriarchate.
Admiral Apostolakis was accompanied by Commodore EvtimiosMikros and Major Nikolaos Gonis, who came to the Patriarchate along with ambassador of the Republic of Greece, Mr. Konstantinos Ikonomidis and representatives of the Serbian Armed Forces Brigadier General Jelisije Radivojevic, Commander of the military ship Goran Arsic and Lieutenant Colonel Sasa Arsovic. The audience was attended by Rev.Vladimir Vranic, chief secretary of the Office of the Serbian Patriarch.
Following Orthros on the third day of the Sts. Sebastian and Mardarije Institute the fourth session, entitled "The Stages of the Spiritual Life", began with an introductory word from the moderator Monk Siluan.
Fr. Maximos spent the majority of the morning session reading from selected texts of St. Maximos' writings, more specifically, selections from his Questions to Thalassios. This was followed by questions and answers resulting in a lively discussion. More discussion continued after a short break which began with a word of clarification by Fr. Maximos on the passions in light of the teachings and writings of St. Maximos the Confessor.
The first full day of the Institute began on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 with the celebration of Orthros followed by coffee and refreshments. The first session of the Institute followed: Virture and Knowledge in the Theology of St. Maximos the Confessor.
In the first session Fr. Maximos introduced the works and the complexity of the writings of St. Maximos the "father of Byzantine theology". The session continued after a short break with a lively discussion. After lunch and a short break two sessions followed. The first was entitled "A Failed Worldview" was held, led by Fr. Maximos and moderated by Segurd Lefsrud. Afterward Fr. Damascene moderated the session "The Fall and Its Consequence" after which Fr. Gregory Edwards moderated "Reason". The afternoon sessions provoked much discussion.