St. Silouan the Athonite Mission Parish


Youth Retreat-Pilgrimage 2009

I felt very happy about going to the pilgrimage, because we were all going to do activities, and be there altogether. We also learned a lot of new stuff about God, since we asked questions. Some of them were – “Why did God make dangerous animals?” Mine was, “If God knows everything, why does he still look at us to see what we do. But of course you already know my question. So about the activities, we went to the rapids, we went fishing, swimming, and we played games. When we went fishing, I caught 6 fish, and I am the only one who caught fish. (Except for Audrey, he caught 1.) I didn’t go the rapids; I stayed to fish all the time. I went swimming, for only 15 minutes but I went pretty deep. We went to visit the monks, and I thought that they were very nice and happy all the time. I also thought that the liturgy was beautiful. After we left the monks, we arrived home. I said I wanted to stay a few more days, but I also was happy to get home. Sofia

"I think that the retreat was very successful; the forest atmosphere is really peaceful. In fact, it completely brings out the theme of the retreat: getting away from modern life and living with God. That happens all according to your surroundings. In the woods, you are completely separated from modern attractions (e.g. TV, computers, what new car to get, or what's the latest fashion). In the woods, walking out from the chapel, or just coming from morning prayers, you don't walk outside straight into the busy hustle of downtown Toronto. No, you walk into a place, an atmosphere that helps you to reflect on your thoughts and prayers. I was fairly surprised when Fr. Luke asked me to serve at the hermitage. I very much enjoyed it, partly because it was a new experience for me, and partly because Bishop Seraphim was there. I also enjoyed the retreat because of the amount of time to think and talk. I thought and talked a lot, and I can say that again.
The yearly youth St. Mary of Egypt retreat is fantastic. Very peaceful experience. Nikita

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