Past Events


See our facebook page for photos and videos from our 2015 Pilgrimage for Peace.


We host various retreats, days of recollection, lectures, Bible study, faith sharing events, as well as celebrations and prayer services. Our facilities are available to groups or individuals at modest prices. Our icon workshops and Bible studies are very popular.

Past Icon Retreats

Iconographers Peter Pearson, Marylyn Barone, and Valentin Streltsov have taught the following icons at our Emmaus Hall: Christ the Good Shepherd, the Face of Christ God, the Wedding at Cana, St Francis of Assisi, and Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Pilgrimage for Peace: Sunday, September 22, 2013

Many pilgrims joined us to pray for peace. Good food, concert, anointing and confession, prayer services and spiritual reflections.

Returning to the roots of this pilgrimage embracing parishes of different jurisdictions, we used music from both Ukrainian and Ruthenian churches.

Volunteers came from many area parishes, our neighbors, and Secular Franciscans. Thank you all!

Join us on Sunday September 21, 2014, for our next Pilgrimage for Peace.

Dimensions of Prayer: a Lenten Day of Recollection for Women

held Saturday, April 5, 2014

Dimensions of Prayer : Gospel reflection on Whole-heartedness … Faithfulness … and Authenticity

Fr Laurian guided our reflection on important dispositions: a listening heart … personal openness and generosity … a spirit of conciliation … having faith in God’s work … waiting on the Lord … a sense of recollection: silence and quiet.

Reinvigorate your soul with a day of quiet prayer and reflection. Contact us for more information about making a private retreat or bringing a group to our Emmaus Hall.

Seeking God in a Busy World: a Lenten Day of Prayer and Recollection for Men

held Saturday, March 15, 2014

Respond! Speak! Do this! With busy lives and sounds bouncing around us 24/7, rarely do we feel the freedom to be quiet. We do not truly listen without planning what is next, what we are going to say in response.

Jesus frequently went up the mountain or to the desert to be alone and to pray. The prophet Elijah, at a time with many responsibilities and many enemies, found God not in the earthquake or the storm but in a quiet whisper, hidden in a cave.

Fifteen men took this opportunity to go to the “mountain cave” in the valley and spend a day of prayer away from the busyness and noise of the world. If you would like to make a private quiet retreat, or arrange for a group of men to come either for a day or overnight, please contact us.

Registration: holydormition@gmail.com or 570-788-1212 ext 402.

Reinvigorate your soul with a day of quiet prayer and reflection.

Icon Pilgrimage arriving at St John Byzantine Church, Hazleton, December 23-24 Our Lady of Czestochowa icon


Our Lady of Czestochowa icon pilgrimage to promote respect for life

We joined the people of St John parish to pray for respect for life and venerate the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa, Monday, December 23. We prayed the Akathist to the Theotokos, standing prayers in honor of the Mother of God. This pilgrimage is to promote respect for life. For more information: www.hli.org/oceantoocean.

Our Fr Carmen, OFM, is the pastor of St John's at 5 E 20th St in Hazleton, PA. For more information, please call 570-454-1142.

blessing firetruck

"Blue Mass" Panachida for firefighters and emergency medical personnel

On Sunday, August 25, firefighters, families, and other community members gathered with us to pray for and honor firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and other emergency responders who protect and guard us. Blessing of equipment and Panachida (prayers for deceased emergency responders). Since this was not a Eucharist (Divine Liturgy or Mass), but an opportunity to remember those who have fallen asleep in the Lord, everyone was able to participate fully, even non-Catholics.
Fr Gary Mensinger, pastor of St Michael Byzantine Church in Pittston and St Nicholas Church in Swoyersville, was the celebrant and homilist. Fr Gary has been a volunteer firefighter for many years. Fr Michael Salnicky, who also works with emergency personnel and is pastor of St Nicholas Chapel, Pocono Summit, also joined us.

Stories Leading to Faith: Russian Folk Tales and Eastern Christian Spirituality

On July 28, 2013, twenty-three people heard Robert Bela Wilhelm tell two stories popularized by Leo Tolstoy, illustrating the way stories help us to reflect and grow in our faith. Robert is a professional storyteller who gives workshops around the world and is a Byzantine Catholic living in Maryland.

Robert noted: The audience at the friary was quite wonderful in their questions and reflections about the stories. It was as if all shared in imaginative prayer -- both the tellers and listeners -- through the stories.

This talk was part of our ongoing Stories of Faith series.

housing in the Green Hell section of the Amazon

Stories Leading to Faith: Embracing the Leper

On September 8, 2013, almost 30 people gathered to hear Jim Flickinger, OFS, tell us about the faith of the poorest of the poor, living in the Brazilian Amazon, and how their faith has shaped his life.

Jim is an attorney and Secular Franciscan who has worked in the "Green Hell" area of the Amazon for the past 18 years, coordinating relief and assistance for the poorest of the poor, through Amazon Relief.

Jim tells the story of a man he called Job, who had leprosy for many years. Jim called him "Job" because of his great patience. Eventually Job lost both legs, his left arm, and right hand. He could not even brush the flies away, yet Job had a gracious and patient heart.

After buying hotdogs for two young girls, Jim wondered why they were not eating them. One girl asked if it would be okay to share it with her family. So desperate are some families in their poverty, Jim also saw the generosity of the people who so willingly and easily share with others what little they have.

Having brought clothes to other parts of the world, what Jim thought would be a one-time trip turned into 18 years of trips at his own expense, that all the money raised through Amazon Relief would go directly to help the people there. They have built and funded schools and adult education programs, churches, subsidized a seminary that is now thriving on its own. The money goes yet farther because the people are happy to help build and work. Amazon Relief also feeds people and funds medical care.

This assistance, working with Secular Franciscans and Religious in Brazil, helps many out of poverty, away from sniffing glue to dull hunger pains, rescues women and girls from prostitution to feed children. Children who were seven years old when Amazon Relief began are now in their mid-twenties, starting families. But with education they are able to get jobs and a step up from the crushing poverty their families experienced 18 years ago.

A free-will offering was taken for Amazon Relief.


Forgiveness Vespers - Sunday February 10, 2013 - at 3pm

About 90 people gathered to celebrate Forgiveness Vespers and hear Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton preach on Forgiveness in the Life of the Church:

We cannot cut out all our hurts, push aside, and forget. We can't let go on our own, but in the mystery of Christ crucified, we need the sacramental life of the Church to bring healing. The human exchange between priest and penitent allows the divine presence through the miracle of God to come into our midst.

Emmanuel Moleben and Concert 2012

After praying the Emmanuel Moleben, led by Fr Carmen, OFM, we enjoyed a concert anticipating the celebration of the Birth of Jesus Christ. Cantors of Northeast Pennsylvania, led by Andrew Drozdick, sang a variety of songs and hymn for preparation and celebration of Christmas.

Cantors singing after the Emmanuel Moleben St Nick gave something to everyone after the concert. Enjoying the afternoon.

Following the Real Francis

Blessing of Emmaus Conference Hall

Peace Light

arrived Saturday December 15 before the 5pm Divine Liturgy
Each year, the peace light is carried by a child from the grotto in Bethlehem where Jesus was born; this flame is kept in two blast-proof miners lamps and flown to Vienna and around the world. You are welcome to bring a candle or purchase one in our chapel to carry this light from the birthplace of our Lord and Light to your home.

Peace Light arrives at Holy Dormition Friary Lighting a candle from the Peace Light

Catechists' Day of Recollection

Workshop: Developing Faith-Sharing Communities

Workshop: Evangelization ... A Blueprint

OFM Ordained to Presbyterate

A Day of Pilgrimage For Peace

Blessing of Animals

Russian Christmas, April Fools, and 13 Days that Never Were:
Observations on the Julian and Gregorian Calendars

Eternal Memory!Fr Michael OFM

In blessed repose may God grant eternal rest to his servant the friar-priest Michael Derbish OFM and remember him forever!

Fr Michael fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday December 2, 2012. Funeral services were held at Holy Dormition Friary. Fr Michael will be buried at the provincial cemetary in Pulaski, Wisconsin.