The abbess of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery participated in the Assembly of hegumens and hegumenias of the Russian Orthodox Church monasteries

On September 23, 2022, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia presided at the Assembly of the hegumens and hegumenias of the Russian Orthodox Church monasteries. Hegumenia Sergia, the abbess of the Seraphim-Diveyevo monastery took part in the work of the assembly.

Prior to the gathering, the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the Transfiguration Church of the Christ the Savior Cathedral Church. His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia presided at the service.

Metropolitan Theognost of Kashira, the chairman of the Synodal Department on monasteries and monasticism, began the meeting in the Hall of Church Councils at the Christ the Savior Cathedral Church.

The keynote address on “Monasticism in the Russian Orthodox Church: meaning and tasks in a contemporary context” was presented by the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church.

One of the speakers at the meeting was Metropolitan Georgiy of Nizhny Novgorod and Arzamas, who highlighted the activities of the Inter-Council Presence Commission on the organization of life of the monasteries and monastics that he chaired.

His Holiness Patriarch Kirill expressed his wishes to the hegumens and hegumenias gathered in the Hall of Church Councils: “It is always a great pleasure for me to communicate with you – the leaders of our warriors in monasticism. With you, since you are at the front line of the struggle that the Church wages against the forces of evil. Behind your back are the monastics or, if speaking in military terms again, the vanguard of the Church. Therefore, be aware of your special responsibility, first of all, for the monks and nuns whose lives are entrusted to you. Treat with love the ones who arrive to the monastery. However, love isn’t, nor it never should be, synonymous with weakness, because we sometimes need to exercise reasonable strictness. But in that strictness, you must never mix any feeling of anger or irritation. Strictness and irritation are antipodes, because through irritation, we display our sinful self-love, an attempt at self-validation, and it is already a sin. In strictness, above all, toward ourselves and the people who need it, we must always display our humility of mind.

Again, I would like to emphasize the importance of the work each one of you does for the Church. All of us, especially in these difficult times, must cherish the unity of our Church, the unity of our monastic brotherhood and sisterhood, be open to people and treat them with love. There is no telling what trials await us. So, the Church must not only be the place where sin is condemned, but the Church should first of all be the place where God’s love is gushing forth towards the people – through us, feeble and weak, but who bear responsibility for the human souls.

So, let’s thus carry out our ministry, each in his own place. As for differences in our positions, ranks, and titles – the human society is made up this way, but we all stand equal before God. Up there, there will be no reference to the position, rank, or the color of your cloak, like there won’t be any reference to what cross or panagia you carry. We won’t stand before the Lord in our physical body, but spiritually naked. We should always be focused on this picture of our standing in the presence of God, when none of our learned knowledge, regalia, position, or authority will play any role. It is necessary to avoid the mistakes and sins that could prevent us from standing before God with a clear conscience. May the Lord help you all in your labors!”

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