St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary 60 Alumni Update: Archpriest Igor Soroka celebrates 58 years at St. Nicholas Church! Mon, 17 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] Archpriest Igor Soroka (STOTS Class of 1946) was recently featured in a news story focusing on his 58 years of ministry at St. Nicholas Church, Donora, Pennsylvania! &nbsp;You can see the story&nbsp;<span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href=""><span style="color: #ff00ff;">here</span></a></span>, including this photo (by Nate Guidry) from the story, written by Peter Smith, of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fr. Igor was one of four sons born to the Very Reverend Mitred Gregory and Matushka Anastasia Soroka.&nbsp; Fr. Gregory originally came to this country as a choir director! Two of Fr. Igor&rsquo;s brothers were also ordained priests:&nbsp; Archpriest Vladimir and Leonid.&nbsp; Though his two brothers have passed away, the Soroka family members were prolific in setting Orthodox services into English chant settings that for generations were used broadly across the Orthodox Church in America!&nbsp; One of the photos accompanying this story is that of the cover of the &ldquo;Red Soroka Vespers book&rdquo; in print for many years!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fr. Igor entered seminary, graduating from St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary in 1946.&nbsp; Following his graduation he continued serving as a choir director, where he met his wife Irene. They were married, had four children, and Matushka Irene passed away in 2004.&nbsp; Fr. Igor and Mat. Irene began serving at St. Nicholas Church, Donora, Pennsylvania, on December 1, 1959.&nbsp; This was his first, and only, parish assignment!&nbsp; Now at age 91 he is thinking about retirement.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Even though continuing his service to the St. Nicholas parish, Fr. Igor continued his service as a church musician, as did a number of clergy who had musical talent.&nbsp; He was the director of the Cathedral Choir of the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. He retired as director after 50 years of service in 2013. &nbsp;(See this story&nbsp;<span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href=""><span style="color: #ff00ff;">here</span></a></span>, including the story and photo by Emma Jene Lelik.)</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Archpriest Steven Voytovich, seminary dean, recalled encountering the Soroka family and many other church musicians while participating in the annual choir conferences at St.Vladimir&rsquo;s Camp in Farmdale, Ohio: &ldquo;These choir conferences were an inspiration to me in the 1980&rsquo;s as a young church musician, encouraged by my parish priest and choir director to attend!&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In honor of Fr. Igor's many years of service to our Orthodox Church in America, he was one of the inaugural recipients of the St. Romanos Award in 2014. &nbsp;Fr. Igor&rsquo;s service (and that of his family) to our Orthodox Church in America is exemplary! May his service and dedication inspire many more young men to step forward to serve our church.</p> <p>May God grant many blessed years to Archpriest Igor Soroka!</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary St. Tikhon's Monastery and Seminary Celebrate Holy Week and Pascha Sun, 16 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] &nbsp;Following the conclusion of the preparation of <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href=""><span style="color: #ff00ff;">Holy Chrism</span></a></span> at the <span style="color: #993366;"><a href=""><span style="color: #993366;">Vesperal Divine Liturgy of Holy Thursday</span></a></span>, services of the later part of Holy Week were celebrated. &nbsp;His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon remained at the Monastery Church to lead the celebration of Matins of Great and Holy Friday with the reading of the Twelve Gospels. &nbsp;We were also blessed to have Archimandrite Philip Mugadizi, from Nairobi Kenya, remain with us through Holy Week and Paschal services.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Please see the slideshows from the services of: &nbsp;Matins of Holy Friday, Vespers of Holy Friday, Matins of Holy Saturday, the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of Holy Saturday, the Most Blessed Sabbath, and finally photos from the services of Great and Holy Pascha. &nbsp;The St. Tikhon's community shares the joy of the Risen Lord: &nbsp;"Christ is Risen! &nbsp;Indeed He is Risen!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Photos taken by Reader Andrew Bohush and Seminarian Robert West.</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary St. Tikhon's Mission Choir Visits St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Sat, 15 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] On the Feast of the Holy Cross in Great Lent, St. Tikhon's Seminary Mission Choir visited St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Allison Park, PA, singing the responses for the Vigil&nbsp;on Saturday&nbsp;night and at the Divine Liturgy&nbsp;on Sunday&nbsp;morning. Seraphim Danckaert, Director of Mission Advancement, was one of the presenters at a retreat held at the cathedral earlier in the day on Saturday.&nbsp; (You can view this story <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href=""><span style="color: #ff00ff;">here.</span></a></span>)</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Archpriest Michael Senyo, Dean of the Cathedral, welcomed the choir, and His Eminence, Melchisedek, Archbishop of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, attended the Vigil&nbsp;on Saturday night. Following the Vigil, clergy and members of the cathedral community joined the Mission Choir members for an evening of fellowship at the home of Protodeacon Michael Wusylko, a long-time member of the Board of Trustees of St. Tikhon's Seminary, and Matushka Mary Wusylko.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">"We are grateful to the clergy and faithful of the cathedral for their long-standing love, hospitality, and support of the seminarians at St. Tikhon's," Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary, said. "It was a great blessing to visit with them again, to spend time together in prayer, and to enjoy fellowship."</p> <p>May God grant Archpriest Michael, Protodeacon Michael, and cathedral faithful many blessed years!</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Holy Chrism Prepared by Primate of the Orthodox Church in America Fri, 14 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] This Holy Week, during the 100<sup>th</sup> anniversary of St. Tikhon being elected Patriarch of Moscow, was most special at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s as His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon led the whole church in preparing Holy Chrism at the Monastery Church.&nbsp;&nbsp; Holy Chrism is used to receive those who are newly baptized, and those being received into the Holy Orthodox Faith in the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).&nbsp; This is one of the actions of an autocephalous church.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">According to Fr. John Erickson&rsquo;s 1971 article in the SVS Quarterly, a church is termed &ldquo;autocephalous&rdquo; if it has the right to resolve its own internal problems on its own authority (following Holy Tradition of course), independent of other churches, and is self governing, appointing its own bishops, including the first among them, without expression of dependence on another church. (SVS Quarterly, Vol. 15, 1971, pp. 28-29) The right to prepare Holy Chrism is given to the primate of an autocephalous Orthodox Church (see brief write-up on this from our OCA website by clicking <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href=""><span style="color: #ff00ff;">here</span></a></span>). Our Tomos of Autocephaly, given by the Russian Orthodox Church on April 10, 1970, specifically includes the preparation of Chrism as <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href=""><span style="color: #ff00ff;">point 2 (d)</span></a></span>.&nbsp;&nbsp; This is an especially important action for the OCA in fulfilling its mandate of ministering to the needs of God&rsquo;s children here in North America.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In glimpsing God&rsquo;s hand present in the preparation of Holy Chrism, a most significant group of witnesses and participants were present.&nbsp;&nbsp; Our first Orthodox Christians in the new land, the native Alaskans, were represented by Archpriest Peter Chris, from St. Innocent Church in Anchorage, and Fr. Vasily Fisher, from St. James Church, Napaskiak, Alaska, respectively.&nbsp;&nbsp; Among those stirring included descendants from Orthodox immigrants to America and converts to the Orthodox Faith.&nbsp; Finally, we were blessed by the presence of Archimandrite Philip Mugadizi, Deputy Dean of the Patriarchal Seminary in Nairobi Kenya, from the ancient see of Alexandria.&nbsp; He came to observe and participate in the preparation of Holy Chrism.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Archpriest Joseph Martin has led the work of preparing Holy Chrism, under the Metropolitan&rsquo;s oversight, since at least 1999.&nbsp; He shared that over 50 clergy came to assist in the preparation of the Holy Chrism.&nbsp;&nbsp; Among them were clergy from St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery, St. Vladimir&rsquo;s and St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminaries, and OCA hierarchs, and clergy from across the church. As is evident from the photos, one priest reads the Gospels continuously while the other stirs the mixture of olive oil, wine, and many oils and essences that is heated over a burner. &nbsp;During services one priest continually stirs the mixture. When the essences and oils were added, the church was filled with the fragrance of the Holy Chrism!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The preparation began on Monday morning with Metropolitan Tikhon blessing the ingredients before preparation and Holy Week services got underway.&nbsp;&nbsp; Fr. Basil Ferguson, a third-year St. Tikhon&rsquo;s seminarian, assisted Archpriest Joseph during the course of the days of preparation.&nbsp; Additions were made periodically as the preparation continued to cook. Wednesday afternoon, the cooking concluded and the mixture was allowed to rest. Later on Wednesday evening, the Holy Chrism was poured into a number of jars.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The process of preparation was completed during the Vesperal Liturgy of Holy Thursday, with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, and His Eminence, Michael, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and Rector of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary, who was also present on Monday morning. Archimandrite Philip, Archpriest Eric Tosi, OCA Secretary, and Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak, Secretary to the Metropolitan, were among the concelebrating clergy. &nbsp;(To see story and photos of the celebration of the Liturgy, click <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href=""><span style="color: #ff00ff;">here</span></a></span>.) At the Great Entrance, clergy carried all the jars of the newly prepared Holy Chrism, led by Archpriest Joseph Martin who carried a historic jar of Holy Chrism, given by the Russian Orthodox Church when autocephaly was conferred. The jars were then placed on the altar.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Later on in the Liturgy, the lids were removed from the jars. Before the Litany preceding the Lord&rsquo;s Prayer, Metropolitan Tikhon blessed the contents of each jar three times. Then at the end of the Liturgy, the process was completed.&nbsp; A few drops of the historic Holy Chrism were placed in each jar of the new Holy Chrism. Then a few drops from each of the jars were likewise replaced in the historic jar.&nbsp; Now all the Holy Chrism is mixed between that which was newly prepared, and the historic Holy Chrism received!&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This Holy Chrism will be used to receive all those being baptized into the Orthodox Faith in the Orthodox Church in America in the coming years, along with those being received in like manner into the Orthodox Faith. This Holy Chrism has been lovingly and prayerfully prepared by the hands of many in our Church under the direction of Metropolitan Tikhon. Thank you to all who assisted in this most holy action of our Orthodox Church in America, and thank God for the blessing of being able to participate in this essential effort during Holy Week.</p> <p>Archpriest Steven Voytovich, St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary Dean</p> <p>(Photos meticulously captured during the course of the week by Reader Andrew Bohush!)</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Vesperal Divine Liturgy includes completion of Holy Chrism preparation Thu, 13 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] &nbsp;The Vesperal Divine Liturgy celebrated at St. Tikhon's was much more full both as His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, led the celebration that included the final steps of the preparation of Holy Chrism. &nbsp;(To see more about the preparation of Holy Chrism and related photos, please click <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href=""><span style="color: #ff00ff;">here</span></a></span> to see article devoted to this holy work during Holy Week.)</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">His Eminence, Michael, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and Rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary, was present for the beginning blessing of the ingredients of Holy Chrism on Monday morning, and joined His Beatitude for the celebration of the Vesperal Divine Liturgy. &nbsp;Archpriest Eric Tosi, OCA Secretary, and Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak joined celebrants of St. Tikhon's Monastery and Seminary, and Archpriest Joseph Martin, who oversaw the preparation of the Holy Chrism all through the week, at the celebration of the Vesperal Divine Liturgy. &nbsp;We were also blessed with the presence of Archimandrite Philip Mugadizi, Deputy Dean at the Patriarchal Seminary in Nairobi, Kenya, who present with us at St. Tikhon's through the course of Holy Week.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It is during this Vesperal Divine Liturgy, commemorating the celebration of the Last Supper by our Lord Jesus Christ, that Holy Communion is prepared for communing the sick during the course of the year. &nbsp;Metropolitan Tikhon, in his comments at the end of the Liturgy, indicated that this Liturgy is a present day celebration of the Passover from the Judaic Tradition, instituted by our Lord as the Last Supper, and the preparation of Holy Chrism also represents an ancient tradition (pouring on oil and wine for healing). &nbsp;Together they represent two ancient traditions carried forward at the present time. &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">What a truly memorable celebration of this special Holy Week service! &nbsp;Blessed Pascha to all in and beyond the St. Tikhon's community!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">(Photos by Seminarians Reader Andrew Bohush, and Bob West)</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary St. Tikhon's Mission Choir Visits St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church, Souderton, PA Sun, 02 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] &nbsp;St. Tikhon's Seminary Mission Choir visited St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church, in Souderton, PA. &nbsp;Archpriest Noah Bushelli is the parish pastor. &nbsp;Including the members of the Mission Choir, St. Tikhon's Antiochian Seminarians Marshall Goodge and Yazen Fakhouri were blessed to make this trip instead of traveling to their parish assignments. &nbsp;This was especially meaningful for Marshall who has often traveled with the Mission Choir, and then driven to his parish assignment.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Marshall shared his experience of seminary with the congregation at the end of the Divine Liturgy. &nbsp;Fr. Steven also addressed the congregation to share recent events at the seminary. &nbsp;The parish was very generous with contributions benefitting the mission choir members' tuition.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">May God grant Fr. Noah, Fr. James, and parish faithful many blessed years!</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Spring Appeal Letter Mon, 06 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p class="Default"><em><span style="font-size: 13.0pt; font-family: Georgia; color: #232d32;">The children at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s gather under the flowering trees after Divine Liturgy. Your Lenten gift helps these families prepare for ministry in the Orthodox Church. Thank you so much for your support!</span></em></p> <p>Beloved in the Lord,</p> <p>Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!</p> <p>When you think about Lent, what comes to mind? For many of us, we might think immediately about the serious ascetic tasks of increasing our prayer life, more rigorous fasting, and attending more services.</p> <p>But Fr. Thomas Hopko paints a very different picture in his famous book <em>The Lenten Spring</em>. He begins by saying:</p> <p>&rdquo;The Church welcomes the Lenten spring with a spirit of exultation&hellip;with the enthusiasm of a child&hellip; The tone of the church services is one of brightness and light.&rdquo;</p> <p>Here at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s, we are so blessed to be reminded of the &ldquo;enthusiasm of a child&rdquo; during our Lenten journey, precisely because we are surrounded by children in every service. Right now, there are over 40 children in our seminary community, with another 5 on the way this year!</p> <p>It&rsquo;s only because of your generosity that these families are able to attend St. Tihkon&rsquo;s and prepare to become leaders of the Church.</p> <p>Your past donations have helped cover tuition for these families, and even helped them cover emergency costs like medical expenses and car repairs. St. Tikhon&rsquo;s is a faithful steward of your investment, and we do everything possible to help seminarians and their families when they need it. Thank you for making that generosity possible!</p> <p><strong>During Lent, will you consider a new gift of $100, $250, or more to help the seminarians at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s?</strong></p> <p>Your generosity makes such a difference to the seminarians here &mdash;and to their families.</p> <p>The children have watched their parents leave extended family and careers behind, come to a new place, and sacrifice so much to follow God&rsquo;s calling to serve the Church.</p> <p>Yet these same children also get to experience your generosity and love. They see that Orthodox Christians like you around North America care enough about the future of the Church to support their parents during seminary. What an amazing gift you provide!</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Seeing Your Gift Make a Difference</span></p> <p>Thanks to your support, we have celebrated 7 ordinations since December. <strong>And</strong> <strong>I&rsquo;m so happy to share with you that the Seminary's accreditation has been reaffirmed by the Association of Theological Schools for seven years with no notations!&nbsp;</strong></p> <p>This amazing accomplishment is a tremendous validation of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s effectiveness. Our sole focus is practical preparation for ministry, rooted in the spiritual and liturgical life of the Church. Thank you for standing with us in this sacred mission!<strong>&nbsp;</strong></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">How We Say Thank You&nbsp;</span></p> <p><strong>Will you consider a new gift of $100, $250, or more to help the seminarians at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s during Lent?</strong></p> <p>By sending a new gift, you are re-committing to a special community of prayer and faith. We look forward to sending you pictures of the young families you are helping, and would like to remember you and your family by name in prayer during our daily Divine Liturgy.</p> <p>Please use the enclosed reply envelope to send your prayer list and your contribution today. Thank you so much for your support, and may God bless you!</p> <p>Wishing you a blessed Lenten journey,</p> <p><strong>Archpriest Steven Voytovich</strong></p> <p>Dean of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary</p> <p>P.S. Your generous support in the past has made St. Tihkon&rsquo;s what it is today. Please join us once again this Lent by sending in your Lenten gift today. &nbsp;Click <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href="/donate.html"><span style="color: #ff00ff;">here </span></a></span>to go to our online donation page. &nbsp;Thank you so much!</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Registration Open for Memorial Day Conductors' & Singers' Workshop Mon, 17 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] The St. Tikhon's community is pleased to be hosting once again a wonderful opportunity organized by PaTRAM for church musicians, The Memorial Day Conductors&rsquo; &amp; Singers&rsquo; Workshop, on&nbsp;<span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_384544140"><span class="aQJ">Friday, May 26 through Monday, May 29, 2017</span></span>.<br /><br />This year's program includes workshops for both conductors and singers, working independently and in tandem with Maestro Peter Jermihov and other faculty, and culminating in singing at the hierarchical services celebrated by His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, His Eminence Archbishop Michael, Rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary, and other hierarchs and clergy who will be visiting for the seminary's graduation ceremonies and the weekend's other traditional liturgical festivities.<br /><br />"PaTRAM is engaged in an ongoing effort to build up the quality of liturgical music in the Orthodox Church in the United States and Canada," Benedict Sheehan, Director of Music at St. Tikhon's Seminary and a workshop leader at the PaTRAM event, said. "In workshops like this one, they give Orthodox musicians of varying levels of experience the opportunity to work with first-class educators and to do so in a spiritual atmosphere."<br /><br />In addition to enjoying a very full weekend of instruction and singing, participants in the workshop will receive complimentary tickets to St. Tikhon's&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank" data-saferedirecturl=";q=;source=gmail&amp;ust=1492956566508000&amp;usg=AFQjCNHcyqZyeZsXY9LzIA9076UByTwzzw">memorial concert featuring Tchaikovsky</a>, of which PaTRAM is a major sponsor.&nbsp;</p> <div>To find out more about the workshop, and to register, please click <span style="color: #008000;"><a href=""><span style="color: #008000;">here</span></a></span>.&nbsp;</div></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Director of Mission Advancement Visits St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral Sat, 15 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] In addition to hosting the Mission Choir, (you can view the mission choir visit story and photos <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href=""><span style="color: #ff00ff;">here</span></a></span>) St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral hosted a Lenten Retreat&nbsp;on Saturday&nbsp;morning and afternoon, featuring a presentation and discussion session with Seraphim Danckaert, Director of Mission Advancement at St. Tikhon's, on the topic: "Why Young People Are Leaving the Church and What to Do About It."</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Through the course of the weekend parishioners commented on all they received from the retreat. Archpriest Michael Senyo, Cathedral Dean, shared his gratitude for St. Tikhon&rsquo;s contribution to the fullness of this special Sunday of the Most Precious Cross.&nbsp; Seraphim later joined in an evening of fellowship with parish faithful and Mission Choir members at the home of Protodeacon Michael and Mat. Mary Wusylko.&nbsp;</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary New Short Film Released: "Holding St. Tikhon's Close to My Heart" Mon, 10 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] St. Tikhon's Seminary has released a new short film that has attracted more than 22,000 views since its posting on Facebook and YouTube on April 10. &nbsp;The 10-minute film tells the story of Father John and Matushka Michelle Kennerk, who reflect on their three years at St. Tikhon's, and share how their time in seminary has prepared their entire family for their next step: ministry in the Orthodox Church.</p> <p>"You start seeing how the Lord opens up paths for you to come here. He opens up paths for you to remain here," Fr. John says in the film. "And I think that's one of the most powerful things that has ever happened to me in my life."</p> <p>The new film, "Holding St. Tikhon's Close to My Heart," is a follow up to another short film the seminary produced about the Kennerks last year, in which they very engagingly tell the story of how it was they ended up coming to St. Tikhon's.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">"Watching both of these films together, you see the providential nature of the Kennerks whole journey," Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary, said. "At all stages of their discernment process, from visiting the seminary to living in this community to accepting God's call to ordination, they have engaged fully in the opportunities for pastoral formation offered here at St. Tikhon's."</p> <p>Most of the film's views have taken place on Facebook, where a wide variety of people have responded to the Kennerk's story.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">"Quite a few people have told me they have teared up watching this film," Seraphim Danckaert, Director of Mission Advancement, said. "It's simply beautiful. When you put most people in front of a camera, they try to say the 'right' thing. They try to sound eloquent or present themselves with more polish than normal. The Kennerks, however, simply become a more transparent and honest version of who they really are: they open up and share from their hearts."</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Both of the films about the Kennerks, and a number of other short films about seminary life at St. Tikhon's, are available on the&nbsp;seminary's <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href=""><span style="color: #ff00ff;">website,</span></a></span>&nbsp;<a href="">YouTube,</a> and&nbsp;<span style="color: #0000ff;"><a href=""><span style="color: #0000ff;">Facebook</span></a></span>&nbsp;pages.&nbsp;</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Archbishop Michael Visits Kerala India Wed, 29 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] &nbsp;His Eminence, Archbishop Michael traveled to Kerala, India on February 2 to be the Keynote Speaker and the Guest of Honor at the Centennial of the Diocesan Convention of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church in the Diocese of Thumpamon.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Presiding over the five-day convention was His Holiness, Baselios Mar Thoma Paulose II, Catholicos of the East and the Supreme Head of the Indian Orthodox Church.&nbsp;&nbsp;He was assisted by numerous Metropolitans of the Holy Synod of the Indian Church.&nbsp;&nbsp;His Holiness is the successor to Saint Thomas the Apostle, who brought the Gospel to India in the mid-first century.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church is one of the Oriental Orthodox Churches, which separated from the Eastern Orthodox Church in the mid-fifth century over the doctrine of the two natures of Christ, promulgated at the Fourth Ecumenical Council in Chalcedon (451 A.D.).&nbsp;&nbsp;The Oriental Churches do not accept the dogmatic teaching that Jesus Christ is one Divine Person with two distinct natures, one divine and one human.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Even though our Churches are not in sacramental communion, the Orthodox Church in America and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church have a special relationship.&nbsp;&nbsp;Many of the Indian Orthodox clergy have been educated either at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary or St. Vladimir&rsquo;s Seminary. And Zechariah Mar Nicholovos, Metropolitan of the Northeast Diocese of the Indian Church, meets frequently with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, as the Indian Orthodox Centre is in Muttontown, NY, not at all far from the OCA headquarters in Syosset.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The Centennial Convention is an annual gathering of the Catholicos, hierarchs, clergy and faithful from all over a given area of India to renew their Orthodox Faith through divine services, Scripture study, presentations on the teachings of the Church, and Christian fellowship.&nbsp;&nbsp;This theme of this year&rsquo;s Convention was &ldquo;Christ in You&rdquo; &ndash; from St. Paul&rsquo;s Epistle to the Colossians&nbsp;1:27&nbsp;&ndash; and the gathering drew thousands of people from Kerala, the southwest region of India.&nbsp;&nbsp;The Convention was hosted by His Grace, Kuriakose Mar Clemis, the Metropolitan of the Diocese of Thumpamon.&nbsp;&nbsp;It took place at the spacious complex of St. Stephen&rsquo;s Cathedral in Makkamkunnu, Pathanamthitta.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Following the Sunday morning Hierarchical Liturgy, which was concelebrated by five metropolitans of the Indian Church, with hundreds of clergy and nearly 5,000 faithful in attendance, Archbishop Michael was given the honor of opening the Centennial Convention by lighting the traditional ceremonial candle.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Over the course of the Convention, His Eminence offered three presentations on the theme &ldquo;Christ in You&rdquo; &ndash; a Scriptural analysis, a patristic commentary, and a practical application &ndash; the final one addressed to a crowd of almost 12,000 faithful.&nbsp;&nbsp;His Holiness, the metropolitans, the clergy and faithful were very receptive to his reflections, which will be published in Malayalam, the language of the Indian Orthodox Church, in the Commemorative Journal marking the Centennial Convention.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">An interesting detail of the Convention is that it was held during the time when we observe the Week of the Publican and Pharisee and do not fast.&nbsp;&nbsp;The Indian Church does not have that practice of a fast-free week, and then a week of giving up meat, and then finally giving up dairy.&nbsp;&nbsp;At the same time as we observe the Week of the Publican and Pharisee, they observe a &ldquo;mini Lent&rdquo; &ndash; a time of strict fasting, penitential services and prostrations, in honor of the prophet Jonah and the fasting and repentance of the Ninevites.&nbsp;&nbsp;During the time of the Convention, no meat, fish or dairy products were eaten.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Throughout the rest of his week-long stay, Archbishop Michael traveled to various centers of the Orthodox Church in India.&nbsp;&nbsp;His schedule was set up by Fr. Abraham Thomas, the Secretary of the Department of Ecumenical Relations for the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.&nbsp;&nbsp;He was personally assisted by Deacon Kuriakose (Alex) Abraham.&nbsp;&nbsp;Both Fr. Abraham and Dn. Alex are graduates of St. Vladimir&rsquo;s Seminary.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">His Eminence was able to visit the headquarters of the Church, the residence and office of the Catholicos, in Kottayam.&nbsp;&nbsp;He was the guest of the senior hierarch of the Holy Synod of India, His Grace, Thomas Mar Athanasios, the Metropolitan of Chengannur, at his diocesan residence and headquarters.&nbsp;&nbsp;Archbishop Michael visited two men&rsquo;s monasteries and one women&rsquo;s monastery.&nbsp;&nbsp;All three have schools and orphanages attached to them, where not only Orthodox boys or girls are taught and cared for, but Hindus and Muslims as well.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One of the highlights of Archbishop Michael&rsquo;s travels was his veneration of the relics of Saint Thomas, the Apostle to India.&nbsp;&nbsp;Known by most as the &ldquo;doubter&rdquo; among the disciples, it was Saint Thomas who made the greatest profession of faith; he was the first to call Christ &ldquo;God&rdquo; &ndash; &ldquo;My Lord and My God&rdquo; (John&nbsp;20:28).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The other highlight of His Eminence&rsquo;s travels was his visit to the Orthodox Theological Seminary in Kottayam, where he addressed the faculty and students.&nbsp;&nbsp;He spoke on the important need for the spiritual formation and theological education of clergy in today&rsquo;s world; he encouraged the students to work hard and seek the will of God in their service of Him.&nbsp;&nbsp;After his presentation, he fielded questions from the 140 seminarians in residence. He also had an opportunity to share dinner with the Seminary community and to speak to a number of the students individually.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">His Eminence is grateful for the kindness and hospitality of the hierarchs, clergy and faithful of the Indian Orthodox Church over the course of his week-long stay in Kerala.&nbsp;&nbsp;He was the recipient of numerous awards and gifts, but most importantly the prayers of countless individuals whom he met.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">(Story submitted by Archpriest David Cowan (STOTS Class of 2007), Secretary for the Diocese of New York and New Jersey.)</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Drs. Ford Lead Retreat in Rochester Sat, 01 Apr 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><div style="text-align: justify;">[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] Drs. David and Mary Ford led a Lenten Retreat&nbsp;<span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_920899826"><span class="aQJ">on Saturday</span></span>&nbsp;afternoon, April 1, at St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church (OCA) in Rochester, New York.&nbsp; Dr. David spoke on "The Home as a Little Church: The Wisdom of St. John Chrysostom"; and Dr. Mary spoke on "Growing Spiritually in a Family." &nbsp;They also made available for purchase the various books they have written and/or edited.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> <div style="text-align: justify;">"The very warm reception we received from Fr. Ken Stavresky and the whole parish was deeply heartwarming," reported the Fords, who also stayed over to attend the Divine Liturgy the next day.&nbsp; Friday evening they spent with Cindy Heise, who used to be part of the St. Tikhon's Monastery parish for many years, and her husband Jeremy and children; and&nbsp;<span class="aBn" tabindex="0" data-term="goog_920899827"><span class="aQJ">Saturday</span></span>&nbsp;night they spent with our Board of Trustees member, Mitch VanDuyn, and his wife Jan. &nbsp;</div></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Century Association Invites All To Attend Hospitality A La Russe VIII Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] &nbsp;St. Tikhon's Century Association invites all to attend Hospitality A La Russe, to be held at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, 980 Bridle Path Road, Bethlehem, PA, on Sunday May 7th. &nbsp;You can view an announcement flyer by clicking <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href="/files/2017-Event-Files/Hospitality-A-La-Russe-VIII.pdf"><span style="color: #ff00ff;">here</span></a></span>. &nbsp;Doors open at 2:30pm, and wonderful ethnic music will be provided by the South River Balalaika Orchestra, directed by Dimitri Kauriga.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">If you would like to learn more about the Century Association or are interested in becoming a member, please see their page on our website by clicking <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href="/friends.html"><span style="color: #ff00ff;">here</span></a></span>.</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary St. Tikhon's memorial concert to feature Tchaikovsky Sat, 11 Mar 2017 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p dir="ltr">SOUTH CANAAN, PA [STOTS Communications]</p> <p dir="ltr">The Chamber Choir of <a href="">Saint Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery</a>, a professional vocal ensemble under the auspices of America&rsquo;s oldest Orthodox monastery, will sing a memorial concert of sacred music, including Tchaikovsky&rsquo;s Nine Sacred Pieces, at Saint Stephen&rsquo;s Episcopal Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre, PA on Sunday, May 28, 2017 at 7:30 PM.</p> <p dir="ltr">Proceeds from the concert, titled &ldquo;Blessed Remembrance,&rdquo; will benefit <a href="">Saint Tikhon&rsquo;s Orthodox Theological Seminary</a> [STOTS].</p> <p dir="ltr">The concert will be the second annual Memorial Day Concert by the Chamber Choir, and will honor departed loved ones. The program will include two a cappella choral works: Stepan Smolensky&rsquo;s deeply contemplative Memorial Service for Tsar Alexander III (1904), scored for male chorus, and presented in a new English transcription by Benedict Sheehan; and seven of Tchaikovsky&rsquo;s seminal Nine Sacred Pieces (1885), performed in the original Church Slavonic.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;One of the distinguishing features of Orthodox Christianity is the extent to which the departed are held in continual remembrance,&rdquo; says artistic director Benedict Sheehan. &ldquo;There is literally no service in the Orthodox Church that does not at some point remember those who have fallen asleep, often by name. This phenomenon witnesses to the fact that living believers see themselves as but a small part of that great &lsquo;cloud of witnesses&rsquo; who have gone before, and which we ourselves will ultimately join. This depth and timelessness, this sense of being connected to an eternal reality, runs through Orthodox sacred music. Our concert is an attempt to present some of that reality, and to invite others to participate in it by remembering their own departed loved ones.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">In addition to commemorating the departed in Smolensky&rsquo;s Memorial Service, the choir will present seven of Tchaikovsky's Nine Sacred Pieces.</p> <p dir="ltr">&ldquo;While only one of Tchaikovsky&rsquo;s pieces expressly refers to the departed,&rdquo; says Sheehan, &ldquo;all of them partake in that sense of the nearness of eternity that characterizes the best examples of Orthodox music. They also formed an artistic foundation for the immense flowering of Russian sacred choral music in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.&rdquo;</p> <p dir="ltr">The concert will conclude with Tchaikovsky&rsquo;s triumphant chorus, Blessed Are They Whom Thou Hast Chosen (Блажени, Яже Избрал).</p> <p dir="ltr">The Chamber Choir of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery is composed of some of the finest solo and ensemble singers in the New York area and around North America.</p> <p dir="ltr">Among those appearing with the ensemble during this concert will be Portland-based baritone John Michael Boyer, known internationally for his work with Cappella Romana; and mezzo-soprano Tynan Davis, whose voice may be heard in Grammy award-winning ensembles Conspirare and Roomful of Teeth and who recently appeared in the cast of the North American Tour of Phantom of the Opera. The choir will also be joined once again by renowned American basso profundo Glenn Miller, a veteran of numerous recordings and concert stages, including Robert Shaw&rsquo;s seminal recording of Rachmaninoff&rsquo;s All-Night Vigil (1990), Conspirare&rsquo;s Grammy award-winning Sacred Spirit of Russia (2014), and Clarion Choir&rsquo;s recent Grammy-nominated Passion Week (2016).</p> <p dir="ltr">Tickets are $30.00 for adults and $10.00 for students.</p> <p dir="ltr">Memorial gifts and concert sponsorships are welcome, and the names and photographs of departed loved ones will be featured during the performance, as well as commemorated during the weekend&rsquo;s Divine Liturgies.</p> <p dir="ltr">Corporate sponsors of the event include <a href="">Renovation Angel</a>, a national non-profit organization that recycles luxury kitchens and donates proceeds to charity, and the <a href="">Patriarch Tikhon Russian American Music Institute</a>, which is holding a<a href=""> weekend training seminar</a> for Church singers and conductors that overlaps with the benefit concert. &nbsp;</p> <p dir="ltr">Please contact Seraphim Danckaert, STOTS Director of Mission Advancement, at 570-561-1818, ext. 104 for more information, or to make a memorial gift in honor of loved ones you would like remembered during the concert.</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary