Friendship as shared values
1954 - 1984
"Birds of a feather flock together"   or "shared values form friendships". The opening words of our retreat, March 25, 1954 determined the title of a future  Monastery in Sugarloaf. "God came to earth today and has never left us". The Eastern Church accords a unique privilege to this stupendous event. This feast is never transferred, it is always celebrated on March 25th
This retreat-master, Father Joseph Ledit, SJ, a bi-ritual of the Russian Catholic Rite viewed the Great Schism of 1054 as the  Wound in the Side of (Body of) Christ and exhorted us to be faithful in love as the Myrrhbearing Women on Calvary and the Tomb.

Father Ledit taught Father Walter Ciszek in the Russicum in the early 1930's before Father Ciszek went to the USSR (Russia).  The Russicum, founded by Pope Pius XI was given to the Jesuits "to educate priests to serve as missionaries in Russia."

In 1962 Walter Ciszek, SJ returned to USA.  We met him in 1966. His conviction, learned in Russia, was about FAITH and prayer, and God's loving providence governing every detail of his life. And this became his message and gift as he helped found Holy Annunciation Monastery in 1977. He died in 1984.

Evolving Ecumenism

Sugarloaf 1977- 2017
Our life in Sugarloaf from 1977 to 2017 is the 40 years described above. Outside our monastery in the Churches, Roman and Eastern Catholic a lot was said about mistakes (by the Church) in past centuries- even though the actual persons were dead were present persons accountable? Some well intentioned persons even left the Church. We newcomers on the Eastern Rite scene were  kept in balance and helped by the spiritual values active in friendships.

Peace in self-understanding

1993- 2017
We have the best of both worlds!
The Uniate Church has always been a problem to Church Unity - as resented by Orthodoxy.  In 1993, at Balamond Conference  (Lebanon)  the Roman Church agreed to a mistake, not to be repeated, the result of civil authorities (monarchies) pressing the Vatican. The Uniate Church is to be respected, protected. The words of Pope St. John Paul are true! Whatever the contingencies of that time, we see Divine Providence at work, uniting to Rome those Byzantine Catholics who today  believe that in the Pope of Rome they are in communion with the true Church.

Ours is not to examine but to rejoice in and avail ourselves of the best of the both worlds: The richness of OUR Byzantine tradition and obedience to Peter.

1925 until Vatican II
Russicum-trained missionary priests

Vatican II
Eastern Rites to restore ancestral tradition
Eastern Catholic Hierarchy

1993 Balamand statement
Uniate Churches are to be honored and maintained
Not to be repeated

After hearing much, learning much- forget much