Chicago, IL – Our Holy Resurrection Serbian Cathedral in Chicago recently played host to the VII Institute of Sts. Mardarije and Sebastian from February 5 to 7, 2024. The symposium, a creation of Bishop Maxim of the Western American Diocese seven years ago, provided an opportunity for deep insights and dialogue on contemporary faith issues.
Keynote speaker Archbishop Demetrios Trakatelis, the Former Archbishop of America (1999-2019), delivered a powerful address. Hailing from Thessaloniki, Greece, Archbishop Demetrios’ extensive background, including a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1972, offered attendees a unique perspective on the challenges facing faith communities today.
Bishop Maxim, who conceived the institute, expressed gratitude for the event’s success. His Grace Bishop Longin of New Gracanica and Midwestern America Diocese took on the role of this year’s host and provided opening and welcoming remarks, which set the tone for a further dialogue. Valuable insights and closing remarks were shared by His Grace Bishop Irinej of Eastern America.
In addition to the intellectual discussions, the symposium provided a platform for resource access. St. Sebastian Press showcased numerous books featuring a newly published book, “Remembering the Future” by John Zizioulas, to which a foreword was written by Pope Francis. The Manikas Group of Athens contributed to the practical and spiritual aspects by presenting church articles and liturgical utensils.
Bishop Maxim extended his appreciation to the Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral for hosting the event, emphasizing the collaborative effort that made the symposium a success.
Archbishop Demetrios conveyed his gratitude through a heartfelt message. He described the symposium as “magnificent” and thanked the organizers for the opportunity to participate.
Special guests, including His Eminence Metropolitan Nathanael (Symeonides) of Chicago and the students of St. Sava Serbian Orthodox School of Theology in Libertyville, IL, attended for one session, enriching the symposium with their presence.
Bishop Longin, in his role as the host, extended heartfelt gratitude to the cathedral’s catering and kitchen staff, acknowledging their hard work and dedication in providing delicious and nourishing meals throughout the symposium. Their efforts were essential in creating a welcoming atmosphere and contributing to the overall success of the event.
As the VII Institute of Sts. Mardarije and Sebastian concluded, participants left with a sense of enrichment and a deepened understanding of their faith. The symposium’s success underscored the importance of collaborative efforts in fostering meaningful dialogue and spiritual growth within the community.