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September was a busy month for us here. Fortunately,  Fr. Daniel returned after his Sabbatical Year. He arrived just after August 15. Frs. Petar and Claudio anxiously awaited his return. They carried some heavy responsibilities while he was away.

Besides the renovations of the parish church of Plovdiv, still incomplete, there was the gas installation in the house, Fr. Daniel’s parish and the finances.
In the midst of all this, we welcomed six high school students and had to prepare evening programs for them. We also cared for the parishes of Plovdiv and Pocrovan. We are very grateful to the Sisters for their help as well as to Lioubcho, our “Jack of all Trades”.
We advanced the date of our local chapter to August 29 in order to give Fr. Petar a chance to spend some vacation time with his brother. However, the planning done for the year 2012 was completely undone with the new nominations, especially the shifting of the Treasurer from Fr. Daniel to Fr. Claudio.
This was somewhat unexpected probably because of a lack of a consultation beforehand. After some moments of confusion, we reorganized and the community has now regained its regular rhythm.

We received several requests for our residential program. However,  in order to assure a good family atmosphere, we have limited the number to seven.
The weekly program of events is already well established: a brief gathering Monday evenings to share our agendas, examine our fraternal life and assure the community chores.

This is followed but the rosary in the chapel.
On Tuesday evenings we share the Gospel of the coming Sunday. On Wednesday each student in succession presents a theme of his choice for discussion or suggests a film. On Thursday we go to the Oblate Sisters for a period of Adoration.
We were delighted to see that a proposal made some time ago by a young iconographer, Dimitar Elenov, could be realized. In mid-October, he began an introductory course on iconography in the parish hall situated on the ground floor of our house. We put up a few posters and five well motivated persons responded.
The group includes one parishioner, three persons otherwise unknown to us and Fr. Daniel who was encouraged to try this after reading a book on the theology of icons at the end of his sabbatical. The group meets every Saturday from 8:30 to 12:30.
Each session begins with a brief time for prayer, sometimes followed by a few historical, spiritual or theological remarks. Then Dimitar guides the participants in the multiple steps needed for the writing of an icon. If all goes well, each participant will have an icon of the Holy Mother of God to offer as a Christmas gift.

The Provincial Delegate for the Near East Mission, Fr. Michel Kubler, visited us from October 18 to 20. This allowed us to share and clarify certain personal and community points of view concerning the witness and the role of our oriental rite community within the Near East Mission as well as more generally in the Congregation.