St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary are proud to announce that their very own music director, Benedict Sheehan, played key roles in two of the 2019 GRAMMY®-nominated projects for “Best Choral Performance” announced last Thursday.
The Clarion Choir’s recently-released disc “Kastalsky: Memory Eternal” was one of this year’s nominees. Sheehan worked closely with Clarion music director Steven Fox on every phase of this project from its inception in 2016 to its culmination in the premiere of the fully-orchestrated version of the work in the Washington National Cathedral this past October.
Clarion’s recording of Memory Eternal to the Fallen Heroes (1917), the a cappella version of the larger work, is the world premiere recording of Alexander Kastalsky’s masterful composition that commemorates the Allied slain of the First World War. Sheehan is credited as Associate Conductor on this release. He also helped finalize scores for recording and was primary music editor for one of the stand-alone pieces on the album, Kastalsky’s never-before-recorded From My Youth (1905).
PaTRAM Institute Male Choir’s disc “Teach Me Thy Statutes,” a recording of works by Russian composer Pavel Chesnokov, was another of this year’s nominees. The disc also received Music Web International’s prestigious award for “Recording of the Year.” Sheehan was a chorus member on this project, along with St. Tikhon’s Bookstore manager Fr. Mikel Hill, which was recorded in 2016 in Saratov, Russia, under the direction of Vladimir Gorbik. Sheehan is a co-founder of the PaTRAM Institute together with Maestro Gorbik and CEO Alexis Lukianov. He helped organize the choir’s debut concert tour and first series of masterclasses—many of which were hosted by St. Tikhon’s.
In 2019 Sheehan will conduct a combined choir of the Chamber Choir of St. Tikhon’s Monastery, the PaTRAM Institute Singers, and the St. Tikhon’s Festival Choir in the world premiere of his own Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (2018), a piece commissioned by the PaTRAM Institute. He will also conduct the mixed choir for PaTRAM’s Summer Academy in Lakewood, New Jersey.
Sheehan also has close ties to yet a third GRAMMY® nominee this year for “Best Choral Performance.” Boston-based Skylark Vocal Ensemble, led by conductor Matthew Guard, was nominated for their album “Seven Words from the Cross.” Sheehan is currently working with Skylark to compose music for their upcoming “Once Upon a Time” program, based on the Grimm Brothers’ Snow White and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. The project will be premiered and recorded by Skylark in June of 2019.
In Memoriam: Very Rev. Joseph Martin
Archpriest Joseph Martin (STOTS 1963), retired Dean of Holy Resurrection Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre, PA, fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, November 9, 2018 at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center after a brief illness.
Fr. Joseph was born in Frackville, PA on April 5, 1942, on Pascha Day itself. Two years after graduating from St. Tikhon’s Seminary, he married his Matushka, Gloria, on October 16, 1965. He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Archbishop Kiprian of Philadelphia on November 7 of the same year and served in parishes throughout Eastern Pennsylvania. In 1995, he was assigned Dean of Holy Resurrection Cathedral, where he served for 19 years.
In addition to serving the Diocese, Fr. Joseph also made his love for St. Tikhon’s Seminary manifest through his service. He was the longest continuously-serving member of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees, as well as an active member and Spiritual Advisor of the Century Association. Both organizations will miss his presence deeply.
Visitation will begin at Holy Resurrection Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre, PA at 4:00 p.m.on Friday, November 16. The Lions Club will gather at 4:30 p.m. The Funeral Service for a Priest will commence at 7:00 p.m. On Saturday, November 17, the Divine Liturgy and Panikhida will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m. at the Monastery Church of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk, South Canaan, PA. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon will preside at the services. Interment will follow in the monastery cemetery, where Father Joseph will take his rest near the Seminary he loved, until Christ comes again.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Very Rev. Joseph Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary , PO Box 130, South Canaan PA 18459.
May Fr. Joseph’s Memory be Eternal!
A gala celebration was held for the 80th Anniversary of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, from Thursday to Saturday, October 11-13. Hundreds of members of the Seminary community worshipped, reminisced, and rejoiced together, giving thanks to God and to the Saints whose self-emptying labors and prayers have sanctified the grounds and sustained the mission of St. Tikhon’s Seminary for eight decades.
Following Vespers at St. Tikhon’s Monastery Church on Thursday, October 11, a reception in honor of the Seminary’s New Dean, Archpriest John Parker, was hosted at the Seminary’s Convocation Center – formerly the gymnasium, now being beautifully transformed. On Friday, October 12, following the Divine Liturgy and a breakfast hosted at the Seminary, a Symposium entitled “Where Saints Have Walked” was given at the Metropolitan Museum, in honor of the school’s anniversary. The Symposium featured presentations on the “History of St. Tikhon’s Through Liturgical Artifacts,” by Archpriest John Perich, and “Memories of St. Nicholai of Zhicha,” by Archpriests Daniel Ressetar, Eugene Pianovich, and Daniel Geeza, sharing their personal stories about the Saint who served as Seminary Rector in the 1950s until his repose in the Lord.
Father John Parker was formally installed as Dean of the Seminary on Friday afternoon, at a Molieben celebrated by His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON, President of the Seminary. The Metropolitan also presented Father John with the Dean’s Cross – a beautiful jeweled pectoral cross which belonged to the former Dean
Archpriest Basil Stroyen six decades ago, and has been handed down to the past three
On Friday evening, nearly 200 members of the St. Tikhon’s family gathered for a festive Banquet at the Hilton Hotel in Scranton, PA. Toastmaster Archpriest David Cowan, an alumnus of St. Tikhon’s, intoned prayers for the Seminary’s departed and living Trustees, administration, staff, faculty, benefactors, alumni, and students and their families.
In addition to greetings by Metropolitan Tikhon and His Eminence, Archbishop MICHAEL, the Seminary Rector, heartfelt remarks were offered at the Banquet by two other hierarchs. His Eminence, Archbishop ABEL of the Diocese of Lublin and Chelm, Orthodox Church of Poland, offered touching words about the spiritual inheritance he shares with St. Tikhon’s, serving in the same Diocese where St. Tikhon of Moscow served as a newly consecrated Bishop and where Archbishop KIPRIAN of blessed memory was born. His Grace, Bishop THOMAS of Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic (Antiochian Archdiocese), a Seminary Trustee, reflected on the profound joy he encounters when he visits St. Tikhon’s and witnesses the love and faithfulness with which the administration, staff, and students accomplish their labors and studies. A special presentation of flowers and an icon was given to His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN, with words of gratitude for his seven decades of prayerful, tireless service to the theological school.
Also offering remarks at the Banquet were Michael G. Herzak, Sr., Chair of the Seminary Board of Trustees; Hieromonk Herman, Dean of St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Faculty member of the Seminary; and Seminary Dean Archpriest John Parker. The members of the Board of Trustees were honored for their tireless dedication to the school, most recently expressed in the purchase of additional real property for the future of the Seminary. The president and officers of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA) were recognized and thanked for the incredible generosity and vision of FOCA in initiating the Seminary’s Married Student Housing project, and raising over $300,000 to fund the housing, the first phase of which is complete. Archbishop Michael was presented by FOCA’s president and officers with gifts of new icons to be placed in the Married Student Housing apartments in the former Orphanage building. The St. Tikhon’s Century Association was also recognized for their steadfast financial and spiritual support of the Seminary; and their president and officers presented Metropolitan Tikhon and Metropolitan Herman with Lifetime Century Association Memberships.
Entertainment for the Banquet was provided by the Seminary’s resident rock band, Harry and the Dogmatix, comprised of faculty, alumni, students, and friends of St. Tikhon’s. The Alumni Association officers present were introduced and thanked for their continuing love and support for their beloved alma mater. Hearty thanks were expressed to Matushka Mary Wusylko, Chair of the 80th Anniversary Celebration, who coordinated the festivities, with much assistance from Seminary Chef Zena Parker, former Seminary staff member Mary Sernak, and Century Association Vice President Rosalie Luster.
The 80th Anniversary Celebration culminated on Saturday morning, October 13, with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, celebrated by Metropolitan Tikhon, at the St. Tikhon’s Monastery Church. His Beatitude awarded Father John Parker with the Kamilavka and elevated him to the dignity of Archpriest, the rank already bestowed upon him by the Holy Synod in honor of his many years of yeoman work in the Diocese of the South and as Chair of the OCA Department of Evangelization. Archbishop Michael offered the homily, and His Beatitude ordained seminarian Joseph Sharman to the Holy Diaconate. Seminary students, faculty, and alumni sang the responses. A celebratory luncheon followed the Liturgy, bringing the three-day event to a close.
A sense of deep joy and optimism permeated the festivities. Many generations of hierarchs, alumni, students, staff, and supporters of St. Tikhon’s Seminary were blessed with the opportunity to share old memories, forge new friendships, and rejoice together in all that St. Tikhon’s Seminary has meant in their spiritual journeys. May God grant that many, many more generations of faithful will make their spiritual home at this blessed place – where Saints have lived and walked and prayed and taught.
Photos by Seminarian Peter Kamilos. Additional Photos by Victor Lutes may be found here.
As the trees of South Canaan surrender their summer boasting, the seed of 49 seminarians are humbled once again beneath the till of the Spirit for a new season of formation. “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” And while the same community of seed sleep and wake in the weekly cycle, and the seed sprouts and grows, Matt Remak and his humble crew of workers tirelessly cause “the earth [to] bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.”
For eleven consecutive days, Matt and his team had been working to renovate the newly purchased Diocesan Center on 144 Saint Tikhon’s Road (also known as the ‘blue house’) in preparation for the homecoming of STOTS Dean Father John Parker, and his Matushka Jeanette on Monday, September 24th. Matt and his crew had been laboring to ensure that the ‘blue house,’ which will now function as the Dean’s House, would become a most beautiful and suitable family home for years to come, “a place worthy to receive guests and special guests of the seminary,” Father John anticipates. “The Parkers are very grateful to the Board of Trustees who in their generosity purchased the blue house for the benefit of the seminary.”
Renovations on the 6,500 square foot Dean’s House are extensive. A team of eight workers ripped out all of the carpets, and installed top-grade, high-traffic, scratch resistant laminate, while preserving all of the home’s tile flooring. Following Father John and Matushka’s request, the home’s walls, cabinets, doors, and closets were painted a beautiful aqua and gray by a group of nine workers, including Matt’s wife, son, and daughter.
In addition to the Dean's House, Matt Remak is also laboring diligently on a nearly complete renovation of the Orphanage building, which will function as four individual married student apartments, each with its kitchen, bathroom, shower and bath, and laundry room with washer and dryer. The walls are gutted and the space is emptied out in preparation to receive and send off incoming and future families for decades to come. As the seminarian families of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary may testify, uprooting from one place to another in response to God’s call carries with it the birth-pangs of change. After laying up their blessed Carolinian lives of ministry in moving trucks over the span of two days, Father John and Matushka Jeanette are blessed to experience the same labor of faith which each and every seminary family who are carried to Saint Tikhon's in humble obedience to God's invitation must undergo, an experience from which they will draw in their ministry to Saint Tikhon's seminaries from every walk of life. “The details of leaving 15+ years of ministry are complex, and sad, but filled also with joy, excitement, and anticipation,” Father John shared. “We remain grateful for everyone’s generosity and prayers to help us unpack and get settled. When we arrive, we will thank Matt and all of his workers who are working around the clock for eleven days in renovations. The joy is in the arriving– Matushka and I are eager to be with you."
Article by Seminarian Isaac Lampart