Under the patronage of His Eminence Metropolitan Basilios, St John the Baptist parish held its annual parish retreat at St Michael’s Monastery in Goulburn from Saturday, 11th of December to Sunday, 12th of December 2022.

Throughout the retreat, parish members were separated into small groups for the activities organised in the retreat agenda. Each group was to choose a Patron Saint for the group, search for the life of the Patron Saint and share it with the parish members. We had the following patron saints and groups;

• Group 1: St Thekla

• Group 2: The Myrrh-bearing Women

• Group 3: St Kassiani

• Group 4: St Nicholas

Father Elias Albaba gave an inspiring and spiritual talk about the life of St Spyridon followed by a film about the life and miracles of St Spyridon. Great Vesper Service was held in the evening of Saturday followed by dinner.

After Great Vespers and dinner, we had a session ‘Ask Abouna a Question’ about faith and the church. Also, we had an important discussion about engaging and bringing the youth more towards the church followed by activities about the culture.

On Sunday morning, Matin Service and Liturgy were held at the Monastery conducted by Father Elias Albaba and Father Lawerence followed by a breakfast for all people attending the Divine Liturgy.

Groups gathered again for trivia and quiz activities followed by a visit to St Panteleimon Greek Orthodox Church.

We thank God for giving us this opportunity to have a spiritual and uplifting weekend.