The Annual Diocesan-wide Youth Pilgrimage began on Friday August 21, 2009 with the arrival of youth from Connecticut, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Ohio at Camp Nazareth and the celebration of Daily Vespers. Later that evening, following free time on the camp grounds, the youth gathered for a candlelight Moleben to the Theotokos followed by Confession. The photos posted below show scenes from the day's events.
Upon their arrival the pilgrims registered in the main lodge of Camp Nazareth.
The wonderworking icon of Our Lady of Smolensk was enshrined in Sts. Cyril and Methodios Church prior to the start of Daily Vespers.
The youth await the start of the evening Vespers Service.
"Blessed is our God..... Fr. Matthew Moriak of Manville, New Jersey was the celebrant of the Daily Vespers Service."
"Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, Have Mercy on Us!"
The pilgrims venerated the Precious Cross following Vespers.
The pilgrims enjoyed a delicious pizza supper.
Fr. Andrew Fetchina, the director of the Diocesan Apostolate for Youth greeted the youth following supper.
After supper the pool was open for swimming.
Taking a break from a kickball game.
"The Sun knows its time for setting. and it is darkness and there is night..."
As evening set at camp, the youth assembled at the Church for the Moleben to the Theotokos.
Fr. Andrew Fetchina gave a brief history of the Icon of the Theotokos of Smolensk, a copy of which he brought with him to the Pilgrimage.
Fr. Miles Zdinak was the celebrant of the Moleben Service.
The church was aglow with candles as the pilgrims prayerfully sang the moleben service.
"O Mary, Mother of God, Pray For Us, O Mary Mother of God, Pray For Us!"
St. Nicholas, the patron saint of children.