From Sunday 19 to Wednesday 22 March 2017, His Grace Bishop Haigazoun Najarian led a retreat of Diocese clergy for the first time to St Shenouda Monastery Coptic Orthodox Monastery in Putty, NSW. His Grace was accompanied by Very Rev Fr Nerses Harutyunyan (Holy Trinity Church), Rev Fr Avetis Hambardzumyan and Rev Fr Bartev Karakashian (Holy Resurrection) and Rev Fr Khacher Harutyunyan (St Mary’s Church, Melbourne).
This was a time of solitude, prayer, reflection and meditation with daily hours of service commencing from the early morning. It was also a time of sharing fraternal relations with one another and the Coptic monks of the monastery.
On Wednesday, observing the Median of Lent (Michink), the clergy were joined by over 120 parishioner-pilgrims from the Churches of Holy Resurrection and Holy Trinity including deacons and choir members to celebrate the Divine Liturgy offered by the Primate in the chapel of the monastery. The pilgrims arrived by buses and cars to be greeted by the hospitable welcome of the priests and monks.
Following the church service everyone shared in a Lenten meal together prepared and served by the monks.