74th Graduation Exercises held at St. Tikhon's Seminary
The St. Tikhon's Seminary Community was very pleased to welcome His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, and Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, as Commencement Speaker for the 74th Graduation Exercises! He was joined at graduation by His Eminence, Metropolitan Savas, of the Pittsburgh Metropolis of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. Our Metropolitan Tikhon, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and President of all three seminaries of the Orthodox Church in America, led the Commencement Exercises. His Eminence, The Most Reverend Michael, Seminary Rector and Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey was joined by His Eminence, the Most Reverend Benjamin, Archbishop of the Diocese of the West of the Orthodox Church in America.
The Doctor of Divinity Degree, Honoris Causa, was conferred upon Archbishop Demetrios by Metropolitan Tikhon and Archbishop Michael before Archbishop Demetrios offered the Commencement Address. Archbishop Demetrios shared very practical dimensions of ministry with the graduates, both with genuine warmth, and from the depth of his many years of service in our Lord's vineyard.
Graduating with a Master of Divinity Degree were: Joseph Frangipani, Priest Theodore Gregory, and Erik Timothy Winegar. Priest David Gresham completed a Certificate in Pastoral Studies. Edward Dawson and Russell Komline completed the Diaconal Formation Certificate Program.
Timothy Winegar graduated with honors. He completed a thesis entitled: The Temple of His Body: Saint Cyril of Alexandria's Understanding of the Temple and Worship in Spirit and Truth in His Commentary of John.
Timothy, also having served as Student Government President, Presented the Fr. Alexander Atty Memorial Award for Community Service to Archpriest Daniel Donlick for his decades of service to the seminary that continues to this day as he serves as confessor for many of the seminarians! The first set of photos reflects the graduation exercises.
Later in the evening, after Vespers, the graduates, their family members, and the community of St. Tikhon's came together for the graduation dinner, held at Genetti Manor in nearby Dickson City. All the hierarch particpating in graduation remained to join in the celebration. Each graduate shared some reflections during the dinner, as did Archpriest John Jillions, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, and Metropolitan Tikhon.
Andrew Nelko, now President of Student Government, presented the graduates with an icon bearing the patron saints of all those graduating. This has been an initiative of Student Government. Dn. John Kennerk also shared a gift certificate, representing hearfelt gratitude by all the seminarians, with Matushka Lorissa Gregory, who has served as our cook for the past two years. The second set of photos cover the graduation dinner.
May God grant many years to Archbishop Demetrios, and all our St. Tikhon's Seminary graduates!
112th St. Tikhon's Monastery Pilgrimage Begins
Archimandrite Sergius, St. Tikhon's Monastery Igumen, welcomed His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, and other hierarchs, as the 112th Pilgrimage began, on Friday, May 27th. Metropolitan Tikhon was joined by: His Eminence, the Most Reverend Benjamin, Archbishop of San Francisco and the Diocese of the West, His Eminence, the Most Reverend Michael, Seminary Rector and Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and His Grace, the Right Reverend Thomas, Bishop of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic Diocese of the Antiochian Archdiocese.
Archimandrite Sergius received the miraculous myrrh-streaming Iveron Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos from Subdeacon Nectarios who travels with her and Mitred Archpriest John Soroka from St. John's Cathedral in Mayfield. After veneration of the myrrh-streaming icon by the hierarchs, the procession continued into the Monastery Church of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk. The first slide show chronicles the beginning of the pilgrimage.
On Saturday, May 28th, the pilgrimage continued with Divine Liturgy followed by the 74th Graduation Exercises at St. Tikhon's Seminary. The St. Tikhon's Community was very pleased to welcome His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America. He arrived in time for the Divine Liturgy in the morning, before giving the Commencement Speech at graduation. The second set of photos here are from the Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning.
St. Tikhon's Seminary Community Softball Game
The St. Tikhon's Seminary community gathered near the end of final's week for a softball game played at the local high school ball field. Seminarians, seminary wives, and children gathered for an annual match-up between dormatory and married students. As will be evident from the photos, this was an incredible evening!
Photos, Andrew Bohush, Rachel Frangipani, and others!
St. Tikhon's Mission Choir Visits Lorain, Ohio
The Mission Choir visited Sts. Peter and Paul Church, in Lorain, Ohio, over the weekend of May 14-15. This was the third Sunday of Pascha commemorating the Myrrhbearing Women. Fr. Joseph McCartney was the celebrant, along with retired pastor, Archpriest Basil Stoyka.
The weekend began with Vespers, followed by a wonderful dinner! Fr. Steven shared events occurring at St. Tikhon's Seminary, and the Mission Choir sang. Megan Haak joined the mission choir for this event, offering Fr. Steven the opportunity to share her engagement, over Bright Week, to Seminarian Jonathan Lincoln! This is the first engagement of seminary students occurring at St. Tikhons!
The Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning returned everyone to the events of Holy Week and the beginning of the Paschal Feast with the beautiful hymnography. After this the choir was invited to a parishioner's home for a sumptuous Paschal dinner with friends and family of Sts. Peter and Paul Church. What a joyous visitation!
Photos by Andrew Nelko and Veljko Pejovic.
Hospitality A la Russe VII
Members of St. Tikhon’s Seminary Century Association, clergy, matushki, seminarians, and friends enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of food and fellowship at Hospitality ala Russe VII on Sunday, May 15, at St. John’s Center in Mayfield, Pa.. In all, over 150 attended! The festival featured a magnificent “Russian Table” with zakushki (appetizers) of potato pancakes, beet salad (vinaigrette), eggplant caviar, potato cheese pierogi, kielbasi, Russian meatballs, marinated mushrooms, meat and cabbage pirozhki, Georgian pizza, marinated herring, and Paska bread followed by a dinner with shaslyk (beef kabobs), Novgorod potatoes, and old country carrots with a delicious ice cream sundae.
The renowned Kauriga Balalaika Orchestra played our favorite balalaika melodies! There were door prizes and a superb basket raffle with themes of Cold Cash, Keurig Coffee Maker, and Vera Bradley, Star Wars, and Russian Trinkets. “HANYA’S KITCHEN: The Orthodox Herald Recipe Collection,” cookbook was available for purchase.
On behalf of the Association members and friends, Sarah Jubinski, president, presented Father Dennis Swenki with a check for $15,000 for the Seminary.
Story by Sarah Jubinski, Photos by Dn. John Kennerk
In Memoriam: Fr. Walter Smith -- Updated
Fr. Walter Smith, Class of 2004, reposed in the Lord on the evening of May14, 2016 at the rectory of Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church, Waterbury CT.
A native of the state of Montana, Fr. Walter’s first career was as a professor of art history and art gallery curator/director. He has taught and directed art galleries in Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Mississippi. A convert, he was received into the Orthodoxy at Holy Trinity Church of Kansas City, Kan., in 1996. In 2001, he took up full-time study at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary in South Canaan, Pa. Smith was ordained a priest in 2003, and graduated from the Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in May 2004.
Since his ordination, Fr. Walter served in several parishes: Holy Trinity Church, McAdoo Pennsylvania, Holy Trinity Church, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church back in Missoula, Montana, and most recently began serving at Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church, Waterbury, CT.
Presbytera Nancy Smith, who received her Ph.D. in art history from the University of Chicago in 2000, taught art history at Marywood University in Scranton Pennsylvania from 2001 to 2006. She has also trained as a painter and iconographer, producing icons for Holy Trinity Church in Moose Jaw. Father Walter and Presbytera have one adult daughter, Flora.
Visitation will begin at the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Church, 3125 North Main Street, Waterbury, CT at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 20. The Funeral for a Priest will be celebrated at 6:00 p.m. On Saturday, May 21, the Divine Liturgy and a Panikhida will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m., followed by interment in the parish cemetery.
May Fr. Walter’s memory be eternal. Please remember Presbytera Nancy, Flora, and the faithful of The Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church in your prayers.
Matthew Fuhrman Ordained to the Diaconate by Metropolitan Tikhon on St. Alexis Feast
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon visited Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan, PA, to lead the celebration of the Feast of St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre on Bright Saturday, May 7th. During the hierarchical Divine Liturgy His Beatitude tonsured Matthew Fuhrman, St. Tikhon’s Seminarian, Rassophore Monk Maxim and Hesychios Webb from the Monastery brotherhood, readers. Rassaphore Monk Maxim was subsequently ordained to the Subdiaconate, as was Matthew, who was then ordained to the Diaconate!
Priests concelebranting at the Liturgy included: Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of Saint Tikhon's Monastery; Igumen Gabriel; Archpriest Steven Kopestonsky; Seminarian Priest Theodore Gregory; deacons included: Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak; Deacon Alexander Cadman from State College where Matthew previously studied; and Seminarian Deacons Matthew Joyner, John Kennerk and Basil Ferguson.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy a Molieben was celebrated before St. Alexis’ relics. St. Alexis is remembered for leading many Eastern Rite Catholics to the Orthodox Church, beginning with congregations in Minneapolis MN, and Wilkes-Barre, PA, and many others who followed. You can read more about St. Alexis at our OCA Website by clicking here.
Axios to Deacon Matthew and Mat. Jessica, who continues to serve as part of the website team for our Orthodox Church in America!