Please see the attached flyer, and please share it and post it.
Our Annual Founder's Day October Lecture will be held in the Convocation Hall on Thursday, October 14, at 7:00pm. All students are expected in person, excepting those with a blessing in advance.
This matter, unfortunately, is not dying a quick death, and Dr Nash is a sane and competent voice. The Board of Trustees will be joining us this year for the Lecture.
Families and other members of the Local Community are welcome to attend in person, subject to COVID concerns on that day. The Lecture will be live-streamed and recorded.
Yours in Christ,
The flyer for St. Tikhon's Founder's Day Lecture can be found HERE.
On September 8, 2021, the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon awarded the kamilavka to Fr. Ignatius Gauvain, Director of Student Life at St. Tikhon’s Seminary.
The Liturgy was concelebrated by His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon and His Grace Bishop Alexis of Bethesda, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska. Serving with them were Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of St. Tikhon’s Monastery, and Fr. John Parker, Dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, along with other priests and deacons. In bestowing the award upon Fr. Ignatius, His Beatitude commended him for his years of service in the Holy Priesthood and for his tireless work and effort given to St. Tikhon’s Seminary.
Congratulations and many years to Fr. Ignatius, who is truly worthy of this award. Thank you for your labors of love that help make possible the continuing formation of servant leaders in Christ’s Church. AXIOS!
With the start of a new school year, it is our pleasure to welcome a new class of students onto the campus of St. Tikhon's Seminary. It is a larger class than we have seen in a while, and they come from a variety of backgrounds, regions, and sets of experience. Also, as we begin a somewhat normal school year, after the disruption of quarantining and online schooling, we look forward to continuing long-held traditions of St. Tikhon's, while taking this unique opportunity to adapt the school to our ever-changing world.
This year, we welcome:
Micah Breland and his wife Rachel,
MK Chang and his wife Doris,
Gregory Fedorchak and his wife Christina,
BenjaminGarcia, his wife Casey, and their children,
Jordan Kingery, his wife Vanessa, and their children,Reader Damian Kulp, his wife Lilliana, and their child,
Caleb Lewis and his wife Tabitha,
Basali Mathew and his wife Shawny,
Michael Pak and his wife Carlyn,
Timothy Paproski and his wife Hailey,
Reader Kevin Pimpinelli,
Deacon Ambrose (Charles) Powell and his wife Margaret,
Reader Seraphim (Josh) Robertson, his wife Lena, and their children,
Mark Solomon and his wife Alana,
Jonathan York, his wife Korrine, and their children,
Jacob Zawatski and his wife Olivia.
By Deacon Ignatius Strange
Tomorrow at 1:30 PM ET/12:30 PM CT, Fr. John Parker, Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary, hosts Dr. Ryan Sampson Nash, M.D., M.A. in a discusstion about COVID and the vaccines. Dr. Nash will discuss, from the bioethical perspective, as a faithful Orthodox Christian and Physician, the nuances of the vaccines and their relationship to medicine in general. Expect an hour packed with accurate medical information and clear explanation COVID, vaccinations, and the complexities involved in it all. A limited number of questions will be taken live.
On August 22, 2021, at Saint Mary Orthodox Church, in Wilkes-Barre, PA, His Grace Bishop Thomas of the Antiochian Archdiocese ordained our second-year seminarian Subdeacon Kristopher (Cody) Vest to the Holy Diaconate, and gave him the name, Ephraim.
Serving together with Bishop Thomas were Father George Alberts (pastor of Saint Mary’s), Father David Hester (former pastor of Saint Mary’s and former professor at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary), Father John Parker (Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary), and Father David Hyatt (assistant pastor of Saint John Chrysostom Orthodox Church, in York, PA). Joining them in attendance were Deacon Ephraim’s wife Erin and their six daughters, his parents and in-laws, many of his classmates, and the whole parish of Saint Mary’s.
Parish assignments are an integral part of the Antiochian seminary formation. For the past year, Deacon Ephrem has served under the guidance of Father George at the richly historical church of Saint Mary’s, which was established by one of the founders of Saint Tikhon’s – Saint Raphael of Brooklyn, the Patron Saint of the Antiochian Archdiocese in North America.
The Saint Tikhon community shares in the joy of all the assembled witnesses, acclaiming, “He is Worthy! Mustaheq! Axios!”
The Mitred Archpriest Michael Koblosh, son of the late Michael and Mary Koblosh of Yonkers, NY, fell asleep in the Lord on the morning of August 18, 2021.
Archpriest Michael Koblosh was baptized in Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church in Yonkers, NY and, from his earliest years, was an altar server who learned church Slavonic and liturgics from the Right Reverend Mitered Protopresbyter Joseph J. Pishtey, first Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, (formerly The Metropolia). Father Michael’s Orthodox worldview was shaped at Holy Trinity Church, where he was raised and which had been consecrated by Bishop Tikhon who later became Patriarch of Russia.
Upon graduation from Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in 1964, Father Michael advanced his studies by pursuing and receiving a Master of Divinity Degree at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Father Michael took advanced Russian courses at New York University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Philosophy from Iona College in New Rochelle, New York. Father Michael was deeply influenced by the preaching and writings of Protopresbyter Father Alexander Schmemann. Father Michael taught Liturgical Theology at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, and also taught philosophy at the college level.
On Wednesday, July 28, at 7:00 PM ET, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon will be hosted by Archpriest Thomas Soroka to discuss and formally announce the 20th All-American Council which will take place in Baltimore, MD on July 18-22, 2022. His Beatitude will address various aspects of the All-American Council and will introduce the theme as approved by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America. His Beatitude will also entertain questions which can be submitted through the comments section.
His Grace Bishop Alexis, Bishop of Bethesda, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska and of the brotherhood of St Tikhon’s Monastery, was the first OCA bishop to ordain several fathers on the Holy Mountain of Athos to diaconal and priestly orders during the month of July 2021. The Holy Monastery of Karakallou.
On July 1, 2021, Deacon Jacob Ramsey was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence Archbishop Michael of New York and the Diocese of New York and Jersey and rector of our Seminary at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Endicott, NY. Co-serving with His Eminence were Mitred Archpriest Joseph Lickwar, Chancellor of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, Archpriest Alexey Karlgut, parish rector and Dean of New York State, Archpriest Wiaczeslaw Krawczuk, Dean of New York City, Archpriest Gary Breton, Dean of New Jersey, Archpriest David Cowan Vice-Chancellor of the Diocese and a multitude of clergy from the Diocese and various jurisdictions. A festive meal took place after the Liturgy.
Many years to the newly-ordained Priest Jacob, Matushka Anastasia, Stephen, Nicholas and John!
By Subdeacon Andrew Bohush
Photos: Subdeacon Matthew Ortiz
On June 29, 2021, on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Dn. Jeremy McKemy was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at St. Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas, TX by the hand of newly consecrated Bishop Gerasim of Fort Worth.
The Feast was characterized by true apostolic joy and brotherly love, with concelebration by brother hierarchs from across the Orthodox Church in America, as well as other hierarchs from the wider Orthodox world. The Liturgy was presided over by His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon with brother concelebrants His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of the Church of Georgia; His Eminence Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West; His Eminence Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania; His Eminence Archbishop Alexander of Dallas and the South; His Eminence Archbishop Paul of Chicago and the Midwest; His Grace Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa; His Grace Bishop James of Sonora of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia; and His Grace Bishop Andrei of Cleveland. In the Divine Liturgy, Archimandrite Gerasim (Eliel) was consecrated Bishop of Fort Worth, as an Auxiliary to His Eminence Archbishop Alexander of Dallas and the South. Dn. Jeremy was then ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Bishop Gerasim as the first ordination conferred through the grace of his episcopacy. It was a truly historic and unforgettable day which now marks the beginning of Priest Jeremy’s priestly ministry.
The following day, Priest Jeremy concelebrated his first priestly liturgy for the Feast of the Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles at St. Barbara’s Orthodox Church in Fort Worth, in which Bishop Gerasim was enthroned as Bishop of Fort Worth.
Many years to the newly ordained Priest Jeremy McKemy and his wife, Matushka Mei Lei. AXIOS!
On the evening of Friday, May 28, Saint Tikhon’s Seminary presented the beginning of its 2021 Commencement addresses online. With a prayer and welcome by the Dean, Father John Parker, and with a word of greeting from Michael Herzak, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the presentation began. Viewers were treated to an octet beautifully performing the Paschal hymn by former seminary rector, Saint Nicholai of South Canaan: Christ God is Risen! Let us Rejoice! Then, from Ireland, the Commencement Address was presented by Jonathan Jackson, a celebrated actor, author, and singer. Jonathan spoke about Christ at work within the lives of priests and other ministers of the Church, focusing his talk around the works of Saint Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland. Referencing modern elders and Holy Fathers, Jonathan went on to dramatically emphasize the martyrdom that our life is centered upon, as Christ emptied Himself as a martyr for all creation. Jonathan inspired viewers to transform their suffering into something glorified and ultimately bound to God. Quoting the Patron of Ireland, Jonathan concluded that “‘this is the way we repay God for correcting us and taking notice of us: We honor and praise His wonders before every nation under heaven.’” He then challenged the graduating class to do just this.
Following the announcement of those students who were graduating with honors, the seminary’s Rector, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, offered encouragement to the graduates; recognizing that the world is mired in sin, His Eminence explained that servanthood to all--including the Lord--is the secret to success as Christian leaders in the fallen world. His Eminence zealously charged the graduating class to “pray faithfully, serve humbly, teach uncompromisingly, preach boldly, evangelize tirelessly, celebrate joyously, and love sacrificially,” imitating the Saints who have been a part of the Saint Tikhon’s community. Father John, after introducing the new format of the Tikhonaire, introduced His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, who offered the Presidential Address. As President of the seminary, His Beatitude exhorted the graduates to reflect on their experience in seminary in order to see how they have been prepared for their vocations ahead: “In order to truly know Christ, one must know oneself.” Each of the speakers offered prayers for the graduates, and Father John concluded with a reminder that the Lord commands that those whom He sends out are to make disciples of all nations.
Beginning on the morning of Saturday, May 29, a Primatial Divine Liturgy was served in the Monastery Church with two hierarchs, eleven priests, three deacons, numerous servers, a full choir, and a multitude of believers. At the conclusion of the Liturgy, a wonderful brunch was offered to all present, followed by the procession of the graduating class and the dais party into the seminary’s Convocation Hall to the singing of the Paschal Troparion. The in-person ceremony began with a Molieben served by His Beatitude and the newly-ordained Deacon Athanasios Kombos. And after a brief word of introduction from Father John Parker, the class valedictorian was offered the opportunity to speak. Reflecting on how his class had once been described as “sober,” Father Peter Simko discussed the importance of joy in sharing the Orthodox Christian Faith, emphasizing its necessity in living the Life of Christ. The ceremony continued with a presentation by Father Patrick Burns, the Alumni Association President, who conferred the “Alumnus of the Year” awards to Father Yaroslav Sudick, and to the late Father Nicholas Timpko of blessed repose. Next, Father David Hester was honored by the seminary on the occasion of his retirement; he was presented with a newly painted icon of Saint Tikhon of Moscow alongside his patron, King David. The commencement ceremonies concluded with closing words from His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, and His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, as well as the presentation of the Class of 2021 icon of Christ the True Vine by Ryan Miller, the student body president, and the presentation of a large icon of the calling of Saints Andrew and Peter to the school by Mitch and Jan Vanduyn. Following the conferral of degrees and a gift from Dr. David Ford to each student, a closing prayer gave way to celebrations among everyone in attendance. Congratulations to the STOTS Class of 2021! Many years!
By Priest Peter Simko, STOTS Graduate 2021
The Program of 79th Commencement Ceremony of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary can be found HERE.
The photos of 2021 Graduates can be seen HERE.
Palm Sunday was all the more glorious this year. Not only were we celebrating the Entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem, but here at St. Tikhon's, we had the joy of witnessing the ordination of the seminarian Athanasios Kombos to the holy diaconate.
His father has visited several times during Nasi's time here at seminary, and was able to travel up and join in with an affirming "axios" for his son's ordination as well. The newly-ordained deacon's wife and boys were also present for this momentous next step for their family in the service of the Church, and we all pray they will enjoy many years of labors full of the grace and joy of Christ.
Dn. Athanasios and family are spending this summer down in his home diocese, the Diocese of the South, in an internship with Pr. Jason Foster at Nativity of Our Lord parish near Shreveport, Louisiana.
By Dn. Ignatius Strange
On the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Lord, 2020, the faithful of Saint Tikhon’s gathered to celebrate the birth of Christ, as well as to honor one of their own: Archpriest Daniel Donlick, a faithful priest of the Orthodox Church for over fifty-five years, was led by Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, and Archpriest John Parker, Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, to stand before His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon. Father Daniel prostrated, arose, and bowed his head before the hierarch.
Current seminary students easily recognize Father Daniel from his role as the primary confessor at Sunday morning Liturgies and Presanctified Liturgies. Though COVID-19 has complicated things a bit, Father is nevertheless a familiar face. Walking into the Monastery Church before almost anyone else has arrived, the sound of his footsteps and his white cane--familiar signals of his presence--are almost as comforting as his joy-laden countenance and his greeting to everyone he encounters: “Glory to Jesus Christ!” Father Daniel has served as the spiritual father for a host of seminarians (past and present), but also for parishioners of the Monastery. They go to him knowing that, through his simple ministry, they will have a powerful experience of the Spirit. This is because they can see that Father Daniel has a genuine and pious soul, a soul that desires the Lord. By his counselling, Father conveys living hope to his spiritual children. He encourages each one of them lovingly. He speaks from the heart and he listens with a palpable concern and a focus that is unmistakable. Kneeling at the Panikhida table before the Gospel and the Cross, God’s healing presence and forgiveness are received--and Archpriest Daniel conveys it to each penitent with the prayer of absolution.
But Father Daniel’s ministry extends beyond this service to his spiritual sons and daughters. At the Little Entrance of the Christmas Liturgy, the Metropolitan took the opportunity to give a word of summary about Father Daniel’s contributions to the Church:
“It is my joy and honor to present to you this miter [...] in recognition of your fifty-five years of service as a priest, which you have offered--not only as a priest in the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, serving Olyphant and Jermyn, and being a significant contributor to the mission in Stroudsburg (which now is a thriving parish)--but above all to present this award to you here at the Monastery Church of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk in the midst of the communities that you have so faithfully served throughout your priesthood, especially as a professor, as the Registrar, and as the [Academic] Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, wherein you were instrumental in bringing the seminary to achieve [...] accreditation, both on the state level, and with the Association of Theological Schools. But above all, in whatever role you served, you were indeed a Father to those that you served, inspiring them to become good priests, deacons, and lay workers in the vineyard of our Lord. And since your retirement, you also continue that ministry as a confessor and spiritual father for many here in the Monastery Church, especially those who are here to serve as seminarians and are on the path to ordination. In all these things, Father Daniel, you have shown yourself to be full of Christ-like humility, of Christ-like love, and as Saint Paul instructs: you never gave milk, but you always gave solid food to those that [have] come to you for direction and guidance, including the Primate of the Orthodox Church of America, who is here because of your original encouragement to come to seminary and follow the Lord--and not to delay.”
His Beatitude was honored to present Father Daniel’s name to the rest of the Holy Synod as a potential recipient of the miter, the highest award for presbyters in the Orthodox Church in America. The Synod recognized Father’s worthiness and unanimously approved the bestowing of this dignity on Father Daniel. This priest, who has touched so many lives over the course of his vocation, is a 1965 graduate of the seminary he still ministers to as a beloved pastor, mentor, and friend. His myriad contributions continue, and the faithful ministry of the Mitered Archpriest Daniel Donlick, along with his wife, Matushka Dolores, will surely be felt for generations to come.
By Priest Peter Simko
SOUTH CANAAN, PA – Today, St. Tikhon’s Seminary proudly celebrates the 45th Anniversary of Archpriest John Kowalczyk’s Ordination to the Holy Priesthood. Father John is the longest-serving adjunct faculty member of our theological school, teaching in the Department of Pastoral Praxis since 1987, and serving as Director of Field Education.
Father John is a graduate of St. Tikhon’s Seminary (1975), Marywood University (M.S. in Religious Education in 1981), and the Moscow Theological Academy (Candidate of Science in Theology in 1996).
He received full privileges for group psychotherapy from Fairview Hospital and Medical Staff in 1994, and serves as contract chaplain at S.C.I. Waymart’s Forensic Treatment Center, where he has completed over 7,500 Preliminary Religious Assessments on forensic inmates for the Treatment Team since 1987. Through his efforts, St. Tikhon’s seminarians are able to pursue semester internships in prison ministry at the S.C.I. Center in nearby Waymart as part of their field education.
He was recently appointed executive member of the Board of Directors of Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry, having previously served as secretary of the organization for ten years. He has traveled extensively throughout the country on behalf of OCPM, advocating for prison inmates in need of Christ and pastoral care. He has addressed the All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, the National Convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, and the Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, on behalf of OCPM.
He has been a guest lecturer at Drexel University’s College of Medicine for the past three years, and most recently presented a workshop at the Annual Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference, entitled “Exploring the Spiritual Dynamic of Healing When Working through Bereavement, Especially When Dealing with the Trauma of Death Notification for the Mentally Ill Inmate.” He has also guest lectured at Marquette University, Villanova University, and the University of Scranton.
He has written numerous articles on Prison Ministry and has been interviewed several times by Ancient Faith Radio regarding the work of prison ministry and the OCN. He has also produced numerous teaching videos on prison ministry, available on the official OCPM website.
The son of Walter, of blessed memory, and Zofia Kowalczyk, Fr. John was born in Dresdenko, Poland. He immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1958 and grew up in Yonkers, NY. He was married to the former Katherine Labick on October 12, 1975; she has worked together with him throughout his career, as Matushka in the parish, and bursar in the finance office at the Seminary. They are the proud parents of two children, Sophia (married to Robert Wolf) and Nicholas.
Father Kowalczyk was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on December 14, 1975 by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Ireney, of blessed memory, at the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Yonkers, New York. Over the next ten years, he served as an assistant priest at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Minneapolis, MN; rector of St. Mark’s Church in Wrightstown, PA; and rector of Assumption of the Holy Virgin Church in Philadelphia, PA.
On February 1, 1985, Fr. Kowalczyk was transferred to St. Michael’s Church in Jermyn, where he has faithfully served the large parish family there for the past 35 years. His pastorate in Jermyn has been marked by significant improvements of the church complex: an expansion of the temple, the addition of numerous beautiful icons, and the renovation of the parish hall, as well as monumental spiritual and numerical growth of the community.
Over these many years, he has shepherded diverse flocks of immigrants from overseas, native-born North Americans, and those who have chosen Holy Orthodoxy as the one, true Faith. He has been personally committed to the growth of each one of his sheep, leading them in “The Way” of Christ, and to the growth of the parishes and dioceses he has served, as well as the entire Orthodox Church in America.
During the past four decades of service in the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, he has served as Diocesan Chancellor to three hierarchs (Archbishop Herman, Archbishop Tikhon, and Archbishop Mark). He also worked from 1987 to 2005 as the Editor of the Eastern PA publication, Your Diocese Alive in Christ. During that time, he provided the “Interview with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church” and “Canonization of Fr. Alexis Toth by the Orthodox Church in America” in St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, and “The Millennium Pilgrimage” in The Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Father John has been one of the earliest members and a long-time champion of Orthodox Christians for Life, the pro-life movement of our Church in this country. He has appeared on the national stage for decades and walked with hierarchs, clergy and laypersons alike in the annual “March for Life” in our nation’s capital almost every year. He has authored An Orthodox View of Abortion, published in 1977 by Light and Life Publishing, Minneapolis, MN, and he has also written numerous articles on the Sanctity of Life.
Additionally, he has served as the Guest Speaker at the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black, and at the Annual Christianity Conference.
On the world scene, he represented St. Tikhon’s Seminary at the SYNDESMOS International Theological Conference in Poland (1989), Moscow (1992), and Finland (1998). He is the recipient of four prestigious awards: the Order of St. Mary Magdalene, presented by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Vasily of Poland, of blessed memory; the Jeweled Cross and the Order of St. Innocent, awarded by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America; and the Jeweled Cross, presented by His Holiness, Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow, of blessed memory.
An exemplary priest, an outstanding professor, and a loving pastor, Father Kowalczyk is best known for his teaching on “the ministry of presence” – the need for those in ministry to be present, to “be there,” for those in difficulty – to listen with one’s heart as well as one’s ears – and to offer the empathy of Christ, the Good Shepherd Who loves us more than we love ourselves.
In congratulating Archpriest John on his 45th Anniversary, Archbishop Michael, Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, lauded his remarkable service: “Your many and varied labors have not been for your own glory or personal gain, but that the Holy Church might be strengthened. We give thanks to the Lord for all you have done in His Name with excellence over the past 45 years, together with Matushka Kathy, who has been the consummate help-mate and co-laborer in your ministry.
“On this milestone anniversary, it is my joy to join with all those who love you throughout our Church in wishing you good health, much happiness, and continued success in your every effort on behalf of our Lord. May your work in the Vineyard of Christ continue to prosper, and may the Holy Spirit by whose grace you were ordained to the Priesthood continue to guide you for many blessed years to come. Mnogaya Lyeta!”