On Saturday, April 9th 2022 under the patronage of His Eminence Basilios, St Paul’s Woolloongabba conducted a day retreat for the teenagers in the parish. Themed “Behold, the Bridegroom Cometh” the attendees were introduced to Christ as the Bridegroom of the Church with talks relating to the services conducted during Great Lent and Holy Week as well as games and activities.

His Eminence led a session covering a number of topics which included St Mary of Egypt’s example of repentance and how important fasting is in our lives. He also discussed some of the special services of Holy Week. His Eminence finished the session with questions from the attendees. His Eminence was very pleased to spend time with the children from Brisbane.

There was a second session with Father John Daher who attended via video call. This session led the attendees through why we celebrate the events of Holy Week and why do we even come to Church. Father John briefly spoke about the fall of humanity and the beginning of death in the world in Genesis and how when Christ died on the Cross Hades could not contain Him. He explained Christ’s conquering of death and our salvation, as we sing on Pascha, “Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death and to those in the tombs bestowing life.”

The children also had a session where they learned the Troparion, “The Bridegroom comes,” from the Bridegroom Matins in Holy Week.

During His Eminence’s visit, he celebrated the fifth Akathist to Holy Theotokos, Great Vespers on Saturday and Divine Liturgy on Sunday. This was the first time His Eminence was able to visit Brisbane since 2019. On behalf of St. Paul’s Clergy and parishioners, we would like to thank His Eminence for his love, support and time. For many years master.