Each fall the clergy of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America gather in Chicago for the feast of the Protection of the Mother of God. This is the feast day of the Diocesan Cathedral and in addition to the Divine Services, the clergymen meet at this time for their fall pastoral retreat. The retreat took place this year on October 13. The morning was filled with reports and discussions of a pastoral and administrative nature, while in the afternoon the clergymen boarded a bus and traveled to the relics of the newly-glorified Hierarch Mardarije at the St. Savva Serbian Monastery in Libertyville, IL. After an akathist to St. Mardarije the clergymen had the opportunity to venerate his relics, as well as to visit the grave of St. Nicholas (Velimirovich) in the same monastery. This spiritually uplifting short pilgrimage fortified the clergymen for the All Night Vigil at the Diocesan Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God in Des Plaines, IL and the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy the next day. Unfortunately the weather was poor and did not allow for the usual triumphant procession following the Divine Liturgy. Nonetheless, the gathered clergymen, led by Archbishop Peter of Chicago & Mid-America, prayerfully marked the Second Pascha of the Diocesan Cathedral. Hundreds of the faithful partook of the Holy Mysteries, and the clergymen included guests from the Greek Archdiocese, the Georgian Church, and the Ukrainian Church (MP). Several clergymen were awarded for their diligent service to the Holy Church. In 2018 the feast of the Protection will fall on a Sunday. Thus, the clergymen along with delegates from the laity will gather in Chicago for the tri-annual Diocesan Assembly sometime in the late Spring or early Summer. When this date is finalized it will be publicized throughout the diocese.