February 2, 2015
My dear brothers in Christ,
I pray this communication finds you in the best of health.
The Lord has blessed us for 21 years by allowing the greater Baltimore community to share
the ministry of our annual Lenten retreats. There have been many fine speakers who have inspired
us in our walk with the Lord. The retreats offer us a unique opportunity as well to spend the
day in fellowship with our Orthodox brethren of all jurisdictions, from 23 parishes and ten states.
We are writing to inform you of our upcoming Lenten retreat date (March 14, 2015), hosted by the
Twenty-first Annual Growing in Faith Bible Study in conjunction with the Greater Baltimore Orthodox
Clergy Association. We ask that you publicize it within your communities. We have enclosed a
flyer for you to post, and to include in your parishioner mailings.
You will note that the Retreat this year will be held at Saint Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church
in Hunt Valley/Cockeysville, Maryland. Our parish recently completed our new church, and we are
anxious to have you come to the magnificent edifice. It is the newest Orthodox church structure in
The topic of this year's Retreat is Do You Believe in Miracles? The centerpiece will be the
miraculous Myrrh-streaming Theotokos Kardiotissa Icon brought for our veneration by its Guardian,
Very Reverend Protopresbyter Mark Leasure from Saint George's Orthodox Church in Taylor, PA.
The "Tender Heart" Theotokos holding the Christ child has been streaming fragrant Myrrh for three
years, after being touched to the visiting Myrrh-streaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of
God, of which it is a copy. The Icon was written at Holy Protection Monastery in White Haven, PA.
The original Iveron Icon, of course, is on Mount Athos, and is believed to have been written by the
We will conclude the afternoon with a Paraklesis to the Theotokos, veneration of the Holy Icon,
and anointing with Her precious and miraculous Myrrh.
It is a great honor and blessing to host this Holy Icon of the Theotokos, who embraces Her Son
so sweetly, and who weeps for our fallen world. We encourage you to gather a group of your
parishioners and take the day to make this special pilgrimage. Please join us as we approach Her
with reverence as we ask for Her blessing.
Registration materials will arrive in the mail in a few weeks. Kindly help us publicize the
Retreat. As always, Mrs. Jeanne Tsakalos (JeanneTsakalos@hotmail.com - phone 410-252-6021) and her
volunteers are planning a meaningful day for us all.
Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Continental breakfast is from 9:00 to 9:45, and the presentation
by Father Mark will begin at 10:00. We will end the afternoon with a Paraklesis to the Theotokos,
veneration of the Holy Icon, and anointing with the precious Myrrh. Please note that priests
and their presvyteres are our guests, but we do ask that you complete registration materials.
We look forward to seeing you on March 14th.
With love in Christ,
Very Reverend Theodoros Daoud, 2015 Retreat clergy host
St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church