SYDNEY: March 23, 2011
The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad Sends a Greeting to the Participants of the Pastoral Retreat of the Eastern American Diocese

Dear Brother Archpastors, Honored Fathers, Brothers and Sisters:

From distant Australia, I invoke upon you Godís blessing in your labors during the Great-Lenten Pastoral Retreat, being held under the auspices of the holy Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God and under the sanctified vaulted ceilings of St John the Baptist Cathedral, which has adorned the US capital for so many years. I prayerfully wish that you derive blessed successes, spiritual benefit and consolation from the meetings, discussions, and especially joint prayer and communion.

May this gathering and prayerful communion of the clerics of the Eastern American Diocese and their spouses strengthen and renew their inner strength to further carry on the podvig of fasting which leads us to the bright celebration of the Resurrection of Christ, and may it help them in their service to His Holy Church!

With continuing love in the Lord and a plea for your holy prayers,

Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.