Saturday, May 21, 2022
Our own Dr Paul Witek was ordained on consecutive weekends to the Holy Diaconate and the Holy Priesthood. On Saturday, March 14, 2022, Dr Paul was ordained Deacon in the Monastery Church by His Eminence, Archbishop Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania. A week later, at the parish where he and his family have served for a decade--All Saints, Olyphant, PA--Dn Paul was ordained to the Holy Priesthood, also by His Eminence, Archbishop Mark.
Both ordinations were beautiful in their own right; it was a joy that Fr Paul could be ordained in the two churches which have significantly formed him all these years. It was a unique and special occasion that two of his own students, Dn Gabrial Aldridge (DOS) and Dn Solomon Longo (NY/NJ), could process him around the altar for his diaconal ordination.
For his priestly ordination, clergy from all geographical and chronological parts of Fr Paul's life were present and/or serving, including 9 at the Altar.
When asked about his ordinations, Fr Paul commented, "With all the need in the church for priests, especially here not only in my own diocese, but in my own parish, how could I, who have benefitted from seminary formation at St Tikhon's, not offer myself for further service?" Fr John Parker, Dean of the Seminary, noted, "Fr Paul has been an academic shepherd of souls for quite a season. It is fitting--and natural--that he now also serves as a shepherd of souls to those same students, as well as the faithful entrusted to his pastoral care."
Axios! Axios! Axios!
By Archpriest John Parker, Dean of the Seminary
May God grant His Eminence the Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and beloved rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary, many years on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of his consecration to the episcopacy!
Eis polla eti despota!!
On Sunday, April 10, His Beatitude, in his role as Locum Tenens of the Diocese, travelled to Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church in New Haven, CT to preside at the Hierarchical Liturgy and the ordination of Deacon Ambrose Powell to the Holy Priesthood.Concelebrating with His Beatitude were Archpriest John Kreta, Chancellor of the Diocese, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Rector, Priest Alessandro Margheritino, Secretary of the Orthodox Church in America, Priest John Mikitish, and Priest Moses Locke.
Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) and the International Society for Orthodox Church Music (ISOCM) are pleased to present, by God's grace, the Summer Music Institute! You can join the program in person June 14–18, 2022 on the campus of St Vladimir's Seminary in Yonkers, NY (*online audit option also available).
More information and the registration link can be found HERE.
The Saint Tikhon’s Mission Choir along with seminary dean, Fr. John Parker, traveled to the Pittsburgh area April 1st through 3rd. Their first stop was at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA. Trinity is an “Evangelical school for ministry in the Anglican tradition,” and they warmly accepted the Mission Choir as they sang a concert of Lenten music in the Russian and Greek traditions—all in English. His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek, was in attendance at the concert.
The choir then sang Vigil at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in McKees Rocks, PA, with Archpriest Thomas Soroka and Archbishop Melchisedek. The seminarians were blessed to travel with the miracle-working icon of St. Anna, so Fr. Thomas and the reverend clergy also served a moleben to St. Anna after the vigil service.
The final stop was at St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral with Fr. John Mikita, where the Mission Choir sang Divine Liturgy, and Fr. John Parker exhorted the faithful with his homily on “redeeming the time.”
The St. Tikhon’s community is especially grateful to Protodeacon Michael and Matushka Mary Wusylko, who coordinated the event and worked tirelessly with members of their community to make sure that Fr. John and the Mission Choir were cared for.
By Caleb Lewis, STOTS Class of 2024
Dear beloved children in the Lord,
It is with profound pain and sorrow that we see the situation unfolding in Ukraine. The invasion of Russian troops has already caused death and destruction in many areas of the country and, as the battle progresses, the human cost continues to rise. It is heartbreaking to see the images of destroyed buildings, homes, and traffic jams as refugees flee the cities for their safety.
As Orthodox Christians we are expected to help those who are suffering and give comfort to the afflicted. The Apostle James asks us “If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?” (Jas. 2:16). We cannot turn a blind eye to the material needs of our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ.
Therefore, I am making a special appeal for donations from the individual parishioners of the Orthodox Church in America from February 28th through March 7th. These donations will be collected by the Orthodox Church in America and sent on to ELEOS, the humanitarian agency of the Polish Orthodox Church, and registered with the Polish government, who is dealing directly with the unfolding refugee crisis and needs support as soon as possible. Donations will go towards refugee relief, their housing, and meeting basic needs.
This collaboration is being done with the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of the Polish Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church in America and the Polish Orthodox Church have long historical ties and these ties have enabled this collaboration to come together so quickly. Donations can be made at oca.org/relief.
Furthermore, I again ask that fervent prayers be made for a swift end to this senseless violence. As we approach the beginning of Lent, we will soon hear the words of the Psalmist at the Presanctified Liturgy: “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity. It is like the precious oil upon the head running down upon the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon which falls on the mountains of Zion. For the Lord has commanded the blessing, life for evermore!” (Ps. 132).
I pray that we, and all Orthodox Christians around the world, aspire to live according to these words.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada
Please see the posting HERE!
St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is presently accepting admissions applications for the 2022-2023 academic year.
Information concerning admission to the Seminary, including application materials, can be accessed digitally HERE.
Interested applicants should forward hard-copy materials by June 1, 2022 to the following address:
Seminary Admissions Committee
St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary
P.O. Box 130
South Canaan, PA 18459
Applicants wishing to present materials in digital form, may do so by emailing the Seminary at email@example.com
For those discerning applying to the Seminary, a recent presentation of the journey of one of our seminary families can be seen HERE.