From Sunday June 29 - Wednesday July 2, nearly 30 young women ages 12-18 from throughout the Diocese took part in the first-ever Diocesan Young Women's Retreat at Sts Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Windber, PA.
The young women enjoyed three days of Christian fellowship, learning and spiritual growth. During the course of the retreat, they visited a local retirement home, took a tour of an iconography studio and had lunch at the House of Miracles. A high point of the retreat was participating in a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy at Christ the Saviour Cathedral, along with the Diocesan Altar Boys who were also in the area for their annual retreat.
In addition to a private audience with His Grace, Bishop Gregory, the young women spent time learning more about the vocation of women in the Church. With the assistance of Pani Eleni Stagon, Pani Amy George and Pani Marianna Bannon, the young women learned more about the women saints of the Church and other topics of interest to the women.
The young women also had plenty of time for recreation and enjoyed spending time at the Windber recreational center swimming pool. They also learned how to make prayer ropes and enjoyed a wood burning crafting project.
The young women enjoyed this first-ever young women's retreat and look forward to meeting again next year.
On Monday the young women visited the Brethren Home Community retirement home in WIndber to show the love of Christ to the residents.
The young women assisted the residents with making bird feeders.
On Monday, the young women toured an iconography studio.
Iconographer Cheryl Pituch spoke on the vocation of iconographer and how God's plan for you can take your life to a wonderful, unexpected direction.
On Monday the young women enjoyed lunch at the House of Miracles in Berlin, PA
Enjoying each other's company at lunch.
The members of the Diocesan Young Ladies Retreat joined the altar boys for dinner in Windber.
Fr. Luke Mihaly led the Penance Service at Sts. Peter and Paul Church for the altar boys and young women to prepare them for Holy Confession and the next day's Liturgy.
The young women entered the Cathedral for Divine Liturgy.
Altar Boys and young women singing the Plain Chant Liturgy responses.
His Grace Bishop Gregory with the Young Women' s Retreat Group.
Young women's retreat participants await breakfast.
Bishop Gregory spoke about the crucial role women play in the Church.
Bishop Gregory explained how all women are "little moms" in the church; protectors of faith. Although they cannot be priests, they all share in a priestly vocation by taking care of everything in the church.
On Tuesday, the young women enjoyed a crafting project.
Using a wood burner, they created simple icons.
A lighter moment, Tuesday evening.
Pani Stagon taught the young women how to make prayer ropes.
The young women were engaged in an interactive discussion of Christian Beauty.
One of the five break out groups that discussed the lives of prominent women saints.
These young women enjoyed learning about the saints.