Bishop Gabriel visits Camp NORR

His Grace Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, visited the childrenís summer camp NORR (Association of Russian Explorers Outside of Russia) in the Catskill Mountains on July 11 and 12, 2004.

For five consecutive years, Vladyka Gabriel has come to camp: he visits with the instructors and counselors, spends time with the youth, and takes part in camp life. This year NORR is operating its 38th summer camp in the Catskill Mountains in the State of New York, where there are over 100 youth (campers and junior staff) and about forty additional instructors and support personnel.

During the all-night vigil in the camp chapel dedicated to SS Peter and Paul, the camp choir sang prayerfully. Many of the campers went to confession. Vladyka Gabriel officiated at the all-night vigil. The service was celebrated by the campís spiritual father, Mitred Archpriest Alexei Ohotin, Priest Alexandre Antchoutine, along with Deacon Dimitri Temidis.

After the vigil, Vladyka met with the counselors and junior staff for a discussion and to answer questions. At the request of the youth, the discussion was held without the presence of the parents or senior staff. Based on comments from participants afterwards, Vladykaís session made a significant impression on the youthful participants.

On the feast day, the meeting of the Bishop occurred at 7:30 AM with the participation of the entire camp. Vladyka Gabriel served divine liturgy, which was concelebrated by clergy listed above. The large number of communicants created a solemn, festive atmosphere. In his sermon, Vladyka Gabriel spoke about the SS Peter and Paul and of the strength of faith.

After breakfast, Vladyka met with the older campers to answer their questions. Later, Vladyka met once again with the first group to address remaining questions.

Vladyka stated that he was very happy to be in NORR again, and he expressed the hope that next summer, he would be able to extend his stay. In parting, Vladyka treated the camp to ice cream.