Nov 5 - 7, 2021


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“Whoever desires to be great among you shall be your servant.”
Mark 10:43

The Clergy Continuing Education Ministry of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco is hosting a Deacons Retreat from November 5 – 7, 2021. The Deacons retreat is open to all Deacons and Diaconal candidates, and will be held at Saint Paul Greek Orthodox Church in Irvine, CA.

The retreat will begin with an Opening Prayer Service and Archpastoral Reflection from His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. Other featured presenters throughout the weekend include Protodeacon Peter Danilchick who will speak on “What does it mean to be a servant leader?”, and “Personal Experience as a Deacon with a Lay Profession”. Dr. James Skedros and Rev. Deacon Sal Fazio will speak on “The Diaconate in America”. Participants will also have the opportunity to directly engage with all the speakers in a Panel Discussion to gain even greater insight into the important role of Deacons in the church.

“This retreat is an excellent opportunity for those who are serving the church as Deacons, and those who are studying in the Diaconate Program, to discern greater information and insight into their calling,” stated His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. “Providing a continuing education platform for the cultivation and training of our deacons allows for our parishes to be enhanced by their service and enriched by their example of being a leader and witness for our faith.”

Online registration is open now through October 22, for just $100 per person. Hotel accommodations are available online at the La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Irvine Spectrum for a special retreat rate of $107 per night.

For more information, please contact Rev. Deacon Daniel Cunningham (, 714-618-8935, or Rev. Deacon Justin Bosl (, 925-786-0811).


Profile Danilchick

Protodeacon Peter M. Danilchick

Protodeacon Peter M. Danilchick has served domestic and overseas parishes and missions of the Orthodox Church for almost forty-five years, and is presently assigned to St Mary Orthodox Church, Falls Church, VA, OCA Romanian Episcopate. He is also a retired ExxonMobil executive with over three decades of international operations, planning, and management experience, including as President, Exxon China Petroleum & Petrochemical Company, and Vice-President, Planning, ExxonMobil Asia-Pacific Ltd.

His ExxonMobil career was principally focused in the international arena, working in six different countries. At the same time, he worked in the Orthodox Church in these locations, either supporting existing parishes or establishing new missions. He also served on two national church governing boards in the USA and East Asia (Orthodox Church in America and Ecumenical Patriarchate, respectively) as well as the board chairman of the International School of Hamburg, Germany.

He currently serves as Trustee Emeritus of St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, a member of the Secretariat for the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA, and a until recently was a member of the board of FOCUS North America. He now serves as Vice Chair of the Orthodox Christian Leadership Initiative.

He received Bachelor's and Master's degrees in electrical engineering at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and Syracuse University, respectively. He was recently awarded the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters (D.H.L.), honoris causa, from St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary. He is the author of "Thy Will Be Done: Strategic Leadership, Planning, and Management for Christians", published by St Vladimir's Seminary Press --

Profile Fazio

Deacon Sal Michael Fazio

Deacon Sal Michael Fazio completed the Diaconate Program at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on December 20, 2009. He and his wife Diakonissa Angela have two sons Andreas and Elias. In his secular career, Dn. Sal is a Principal in an Electrical Engineering Consulting firm. Dn. Sal has also been the Diaconate Program Director of Outreach for Hellenic College/Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (HCHC) in Brookline, MA since February of 2017. He is a guest speaker, organizer, and supporter of diaconate retreats and events to strengthen diaconate fellowship in communities throughout the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. He currently serves at Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Austin, Texas in the Metropolis of Denver.

Profile Skedros

James Skedros, Th.D.

Professor of Byzantine Studies and Early Christianity at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology

James C. Skedros is the Michael G. and Anastasia Cantonis Professor of Byzantine Studies and Professor of Early Christianity at Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology. He has been on faculty at Holy Cross since 1998 and served as dean of Holy Cross from 2013 to 2018. A graduate of Holy Cross, Dr. Skedros received his ThD from Harvard Divinity School in the History of Christianity. From 1996 to 1998, he was Assistant Professor of Orthodox Studies at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He is also Lecturer on New Testament Greek at Harvard Divinity School where he has been teaching Greek since 2001.

His teaching and research areas include popular religious practices in Late Antiquity, Byzantine Christianity, the lives of early Christian and Byzantine saints, and Christian-Muslim relations. In addition to his book on the historical development of the veneration of the early Christian martyr Demetrios (St. Demetrios of Thessaloniki: Civic Patron and Divine Protector, 4th-7th c. CE), he has published several journal articles as well as entries in important references works (The Cambridge Dictionary of Christianity; The Encyclopedia of Eastern Orthodox Christianity; The Orthodox Christian World) and in several books dealing with the veneration and commemoration of saints. His article “Byzantium and Islam in the Mediterranean World” (Blackwell Companion to World Christianity, 2016) traces the interaction between Islam and Byzantine society. He is the recipient of an innovation teaching grant from the Association of Theological Schools for the course Jews, Christians, and Muslims Interacting, a course that brings students of the three faiths together for theological and historical studies. He is a double recipient of a Fulbright Fellowship, both for the study of Byzantine saints in Thessaloniki, Greece.