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Ukrainian Catholic Mission of Canton Announces Fifth Annual East Meets West Retreat

CANTON—The Ukrainian Catholic Mission of Canton announces that it will hold its Fifth Annual East Meets West retreat August 17-18, 2018, at Immaculate Conception Mission in Canton.

The retreat features prayer, conference talks, liturgy, and fellowship. St. Gregory of Nyssa’s book The Beatitudes will be the subject of four conference talks, two on Friday, August 17, and two on Saturday, August 18.

Conference talks will be presented by Fr. Deacon Kevin Bezner, Fr. Deacon Joseph Kibbe, and Very. Rev. Fr. Mark Shuey.

To conclude the retreat, Fr. Mark, pastor of the Ukrainian Catholic Mission of Canton, will celebrate Byzantine Rite Divine Liturgy for Sunday on Saturday, August 18, at 4 p.m.

The retreat is free and open to the public.

The Ukrainian Catholic Mission of Canton celebrates liturgy monthly at Immaculate Conception Mission in Canton, 42 Newfound St, Canton, NC 28716.

Visit ukrainiancatholicmissionofcantonnc.weebly.com for information about times and dates of liturgies, history about the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Canton mission, and directions to Immaculate Conception. The site also includes a blog about Eastern Christian spiritual life.

East Meets West Retreat Schedule

Friday, August 17, 2018
• 1:00-2:45 p.m. – Welcome. Conference One, St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Beatitudes, Sermons One and Two (Fr. Deacon Kevin Bezner)
• 3:00 p.m – Ninth Hour
• 3:30-5:00 p.m. – Conference Two, St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Beatitudes, Sermons Three and Four (Fr. Deacon Joseph Kibbe)
• 5:15 p.m. – Vespers Saturday, August 18, 2018
• 10:30-Noon – Conference Three, St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Beatitudes, Sermons Five and Six (Fr. Deacon Kevin Bezner)
• 12:00 p.m. – Third and Sixth Hours
• 12:15 p.m – Lunch and Fellowship (A light lunch will be provided)
• 1:30-3:00 p.m. – Conference Four, St. Gregory of Nyssa, The Beatitudes, Sermons Seven and Eight (Fr. Mark Shuey)
• 4:00 p.m. – Ninth Hour; Divine Liturgy for Sunday, Thirteenth Sunday After Pentecost

Questions and Answers
How did you get the idea for the East Meets West retreat?
Very Rev. Father Mark Shuey, dean of the Mid-Atlantic deanery for the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat, and pastor of two North Carolina missions, wanted to provide clergy with ongoing formation and at the same time explore the possibility of developing a mission in the Western North Carolina mountains following the request of a local group.

We developed the retreat for both of these purposes. The retreat, we believed, would be a good way to gather together all interested in a Ukrainian Catholic mission in the mountains and, once
developed, to provide ongoing formation for all who attend. With the retreat, clergy gather for prayer, talks, liturgy, and fellowship. At the same time, anyone interested in the mission can
attend our prayer services and talks; experience Byzantine Rite liturgy; and meet with clergy during fellowship.

How did you choose Canton as a location?
In June of 2014, we were invited to celebrate Divine Liturgy in Leicester by a group interested in our developing a mission in the area. We were then offered the use of St. Mary Roman Catholic Church in Sylva for our first retreat in August.

Following our retreat, we were offered the opportunity to use Immaculate Conception Mission in Canton for regular services. From October of 2014 to January of 2015, we offered liturgical services at Immaculate Conception. We were unable to continue with these services at the time, because we had no clergy to send. For the next two years, we continued to hold our retreat in
Sylva to gather all interested in our developing a mission.

In the spring of 2017, a deacon became available to offer monthly services in Canton and he began to do so in June, with a commitment for a priest to celebrate Divine Liturgy at least twice
a year. With services now being held regularly in Canton, it was the ideal time to move the retreat to Immaculate Conception.

Why is the retreat called East Meets West?
We had three reasons for naming the retreat “East Meets West.” First, the name honors the heritage of our Church. The Ukrainian Catholic Church is a daughter Church of the Church of Constantinople, and Constantinople historically has been known as the city where east meets west. In addition, St. John Chrysostom, whose liturgy we celebrate, was
Patriarch of Constantinople from 398 to 404. The name also honors him. Second, the retreat was planned as a way to gather our clergy, priests and deacons, who reside across the state of North Carolina, east and west, for fellowship, liturgy, and prayer. Third, the retreat’s services and talks are held at a Roman Catholic church and open to the public,
many of whom are Roman Catholic, or western. We see the retreat as a meeting, or gathering, of members of the Church east and west.

Why did you choose the Beatitudes as a theme?
The Beatitudes are a summary of all Our Lord teaches. With the Beatitudes of the Sermon of the Mount, Our Lord Jesus Christ teaches us how to live in the world as Christians. In the Byzantine
Rite, the Beatitudes are prayed as part of Divine Liturgy and as part of Typica, a service prayed on days Divine Liturgy is not offered. We hope our talks will give those who attend the retreat
greater insight into why the Beatitudes are included in our liturgy and why they are an essential guide to the Christian life.

Why did you choose the book on the Beatitudes by St. Gregory of Nyssa?
St. Gregory of Nyssa (ca. 330-394) is considered one of the great early theologians of Christian mysticism. He teaches us that with the Beatitudes Jesus Christ leads us up a ladder to perfection
by keeping his commandments and living an ascetical life. You offer a monthly liturgy now. Do you have any plans to offer liturgy weekly at the mission?
We expect to continue offering a monthly liturgy at the mission through May of 2019. Our hope is that we can begin to offer liturgy weekly starting in late May or early June of 2019.

For Questions Contact