Orthodox Youth in Benelux Weekend, 27-29 october 2017, De Kluis -Leuven

Orthodox Youth Weekend at St-Joris-Weert (Belgium) 2017 Following the established good traditions, the Orthodox Youth of the Benelux (OJB-JOB) held its annual Orthodox Youth Weekend from October 27-29, 2017. About 80 Orthodox youth came together at “De Kluis” at Sint-Joris-Weert (Belgium) to learn, talk and ask about “Our Brother is Our Life – Relationship in Orthodox Spiritual Life According to Saint Silouan”. Guest speaker was Fr. Nicholas Sakharov from the Orthodox Patriarchal Monastery of St. John The Baptist at Maldon, Essex (United Kingdom), a relative of its founder, the late Geronda (Starets) Sophrony, who was a spiritual child of St. Silouan the Athonite. The quiet village of St-Joris-Weert is rather easily accessible by train and bus. Nevertheless, as its name indicates, the “Kluis” (=hermitage) is on a remote locating, in the middle of the Meerdaal Forest. It is moreover situated in a little valley, which eases contact with nature and with God, but not with mobile phone networks. For this reason, the trip from the railway station or bus stop to the Kluis turned out to be more adventureous than some had expected. We were however all being welcomed on Friday evening by the responsible Father Kyprianos Popescu. The weekend began with a vegetarian supper, followed by a first evening walk along quite dry paths through the wood. Meanwhile, we had transformed the sober boy-scout Chapel into an Orthodox field Chapel by means of a mobile Altar, Icons, a candle stand and some candlesticks. During the Complines we were joined by the local Metropolitan Athenagoras of Belgium, together with Fr. Agapios, a priest from Romanian descent living in Náousa, Greece. There were representatives of no less than 18 nationalities during the weekend: Greeks, Polish, Romanians, Russians, Ukrainians, and even Dutch and Belgians. Nevertheless, we immediately felt connected to each other by our shared Orthodox Faith. The joy of the common prayer and of seeing each other again, unnoticeably moved into a sociable singing time around the campfire. On Saturday morning, the bell called us to breakfast, after which we celebrated short Matins, followed by the Keynote Speech on the main theme of the weekend. Without being pushy, and neither too detached, Fr. Nicholas managed to start up a lively dialogue. We could ask questions without feeling restrained. Fr. Nicholas gave an honest answer to even the most difficult life questions on relationship. Thereby, he stressed the importance of good relations, especially in our western society, which should meanwhile not make us lose hope – something stressed by St. Silouan himself. Using many examples, by old saints, modern saints, and equally just from the everyday western life, he clarified what is the best way for us. To give one example: Fr. Nicholas compared a relationship to a tomato. If you can’t wait until a tomato is ripe (red), you will never know how it really tastes, and most probably never like it. After the Questions and Answers session, a short walk, and dinner, there were practical workshops like a chanting course. Afterwards, Fr. Nicholas went further into our questions, and there were also workshops per language group: Greek (with Father Agapios), Dutch (with Father Dominique Verbeke, co-founder of the OJB-JOB), French (with Father Athanase de Theux, former member of the OJB-JOB) and English (with Father Nicholas), during the course of which we discussed how to implement the vision of St. Silouan in our daily life. The Service of Vespers was presided by the young Priest Antonios Tarlizos, together with Deacon Barnabas Genbrugge, and supported by the youth who had formed a multilingual choir. The chants and prayers passed fluently from one language into another. Fr. Antonios is also one of the driving forces of the OJB-JOB, and was recently ordained to the priesthood.

Orthodox Youth in Benelux 2017 Weekend


When: from Friday 27th to Sunday 29th October 2017
Where: De Kluis, Sint-Joris Weert (Leuven-Belgium)
Our guest: Hieromonk NICOLAS SAKHAROV from Patriarchal Stavropegic Monastery of St. John the Baptist (Maldon – UK)
„Relationship in orthodox spiritual life according to Saint Siluan“
Participants: Young people from 15 to 30 years old
Inscriptions on-line:
By mail: youth@orthodoxia.be
For More Informations:
Father Ciprian Popescu 00 32 496 03 29 41
Nicolas Peckstadt 00 32 477 46 79 87
Price: 80€/ person (all-inclusive)
Inscription: the 80 Euros have to be payed until 30/09/2017 on this bank account: Orthodox Youth of Belgium BE59 3631 3925 1826, Communication: Name and Age
Please note that participants must bring: – sleeping bags or bed sheets – bath towels / soap.
OJB-JOB 2017 Weekend
27-29 OCT 2017,
De Kluis- Leuven (Belgium)
18.00 u. Onthaal van de deelnemers / Accueil des participants / Welcome of the participants
19.00 u. Avondmaal (veggie) / Dîner (Végétarien) / Supper (Vegetarian)
20.00 u. Wandeling / Promenade / Walk
21.00 u. Completen / Complies / Compline
22.00 u. OJB-JOB bonte avond / Soirée musical OJB-JOB / OJB-JOB musical evening
8.15 u. Ontbijt / Petit Déjeuner / Breakfast
9.00 u. Morgengebed / Prière matinale / Morning prayer
9.30 u. Lezing / Conférence/ Lecture & Questions – Réponses / Questions & Answers by Father Nicholas Sacharov: „Relationship in orthodox spiritual life according to Saint Siluan“
(1) (in het Engels / en Anglais)
10.15 u. Pauze / Pause/ Break
Vragenronde / Séance : Questions – Réponses / Questions & Answers
11.30 u. Praktische werkgroepen / Ateliers pratiques / Practical Workshops
12.30 u. Lunch
13.30 u. Wandeling / Promenade / Walk (of / où/or Sport(s))
14.30 u. Lezing / Conférence/ Lecture & Questions – Réponses / Questions & Answers by Father Nicholas Sacharov: „Relationship in orthodox spiritual life according to Saint Siluan“
(2) (in het Engels / en Anglais)
15.15 u. Pauze / Pause / Break
15.45 u. Vragenronde / Questions – Réponses / Questions & Answers
16.30 u. Werkgroepen in verschillende talen / Ateliers en différentes langues / Workshops in different languages (GR, NL, FR, EN)
9.00 u. Metten / Les matines / Matins
10.00 u. Goddelijke Liturgie / La Divine Liturgie / Divine Liturgy
12.00 u. Lunch
13.30 u. Slot / Conclusions