The monks of Most Holy Trinity Monastery in Petersham, Massachusetts, opened their General Assembly on September 24. The General Assembly, held every six years, comprises all the perpetually professed monks and is the highest decision-making authority in the monastery. Because of its importance, the eparchial bishop or his delegate is to preside at it. Chorbishop John D. Faris was invited by the monks to serve as the canonical adviser.
On the evening before the opening of the General Assembly, Bishop Gregory met with all the monks to reflect upon the notions of "gratitude" and "generosity." He explained that generosity flowed from gratitude: when we are grateful, we are more generous. The bishop then asked the monks to express what they were grateful for with regard to their monastic way of life, their abbot, and and typicon. What followed was an edifying expression of the appreciation the monks had for their way of life and gratitude for the loving spiritual father that the abbot had been for each of them. They all expressed a deep respect for the typicon and the values it embodied.
The typicon (statutes) provide that the first order of business of the General Assembly is to decide whether to elect an abbot. The current abbot, Father William Driscoll, is the founder of the community and has served as abbot for more than forty years. The General Assembly voted that it was time to elect an abbot who would benefit from the experience that Father William could share with him. Father Patrick Kokorian, 44, was elected the second abbot. Later that evening both Father William and Bishop Gregory blessed the new abbot. Additionally, four councilors were elected to assist Abbot Patrick.