By: Deacon Ignatius Strange ('22)
The OCA Archivist, Alexis Liberovsky, brought to St. Tikhon's the second talk in the Lecture Series. Following in the theme of autocephaly, he shared a wealth of information – both from the vaults of the OCA's archives, as well as, from the treasures recorded in his own memory after years of researching our history. He recounted the process leading up to the council in which the autocephaly of the OCA was proclaimed, including the procession up to St. Tikhon's Monastery Church, where the tomos was read aloud. A beautiful aspect of the proceedings, for which we have a word-for-word transcript transcribed from a recording, was the void of geopolitical talk. Such discussion would have been an understandable concern in any talks between Russians and Americans in 1970. Rather, they solely focused on the high mission of attempting, in the words of the tomos itself, to "serve the good of the Orthodox Church in America and the glory of God."
On Saturday evening, October 5, at St. Lawrence University in far upstate New York, Dr. Mary Ford, Associate Professor of New Testament at St. Tikhon's Seminary, spoke on "Whom, or What, Do We Fear? Insights from the Book of Revelation." Her talk was sponsored by the Mission Parish of St. Olympia the Deaconess in nearby Potsdam, New York. The next day Dr. Mary and Dr. David participated in the first-ever fully hierarchical liturgy ever celebrated in the St. Olympia Mission, celebrated by Archbishop Michael, OCA Archbishop of New York and New Jersey, and Rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary.
Only six days later, Dr. Mary spoke on the same topic at Cornell University, sponsored by the Cornell Chaplain's Office and the Cornell Orthodox Christian Fellowship, under the direction of Fr. Joel Brady, St. Tikhon's graduate, Class of 2015. The next morning, Dr. David Ford, Professor of Church History at St. Tikhon's, spoke on Marriage at Fr. Joel's parish, Holy Apostles Orthodox Church, in Lansing, New York. Dr. David presented on two themes: "Marriage in the Church Fathers through the Centuries," and "26 Suggested Patterns of Living to Strive for to Enhance the Glory of our Marriages."
The Drs. Ford were very grateful for the warm hospitality bestowed upon them by both parishes, and by the wonderful members of the Cornell OCF.
The first two photos are at St. Lawrence, and at the Potsdam Mission.
The next four photos are at Cornell, with the OCF there, and with Fr. Joel Brady and his family in his Holy Apostles Church in Lansing, New York.
On Tuesday, October 8, St Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary welcomed His Beatitude, the Most-blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of All-America and Canada, back to his alma mater for the 2019 Fall Lecture Series. His Beatitude inaugurated the series, entitled Autocephaly, as a prelude to the OCA’s celebrations of 50 years of the granting of Autocephaly from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1970.
His Beatitude spoke not only from an historical and liturgical perspective concerning Primacy, but also offered his audience many personal reflections. For him, for example, the honor to consecrate Holy Chrism for Baptism is one aspect of his Primatial service which he most appreciates and enjoys. His Beatitude reinforced through his lecture his view that Primacy is not a gift of power or position, but one of humble service and obedience to shepherd a flock.
Metropolitan Tikhon’s Lecture was entitled, “Primacy and Service” and will be available on St Tikhon’s Ancient Faith Radio podcast, “The Spirit of St Tikhon’s” shortly. The next lecture will be offered by Alexis Liberovsky, Archivist of the Orthodox Church in America, on Tuesday, October 15, 730-9p, in the Convocation Hall. All are welcome.
By: Subdeacon Peter Simko (‘21)
Saint Tikhon’s welcomed Father Stephen Powley, parish priest of Saint John’s Greek Orthodox Church in Pueblo, Colorado, and Executive Director of Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM). He discussed the reality of incarceration in the United States compared to other places in the world, as well as his own story of becoming a chaplain. He explained the experience prisoners have with combating the “flames of hell” as they seek to ascend the ladder toward the embrace of the Lord. The prisoners who seek Christ see His blood as extinguishing those flames.
Having been accepted as a chaplain, Fr. Stephen was told by a warden to “go do what chaplains do” (without much idea as to what that should be). The voice of Christ pushed him not to fear, but to engage the prisoners and embrace their personhood. Fr. Stephen explained that in ministering to those in prison, we are visiting and serving Jesus Himself.
Fr. Stephen noted, “the Orthodox Church has been on a collision course with people going into and coming out of prisons and jails.” He further explained how fallen men and women--terrible criminals, even--can and do become Saints. He used Saint Moses the Strong of Ethiopia as a prime example. Father spoke of the incredible transformations that he has experienced in his time working with prisoners--with both social and spiritual re-orientations. Fr. Stephen reminded the students that “a welcoming Church sees each individual as a person made in the image and likeness of God; it has unconditional love, trust, and realistic expectations.”
Fr. Stephen spoke about an encounter he had in the chapel of Hosios Loukas Monastery. While praying, Fr. Stephen had a vision of a man locked up in a supermax prison. He eventually found that man and told him about his experience. The man had never expressed interest in Orthodox Christianity before, but after being introduced to the Faith by Fr. Stephen, the prisoner embraced the Truth of the Church.
He told us about His Eminence, Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, tonsuring several life-sentence prisoners with developed spiritual lives into the monastic life. One prisoner, influenced by these new monks and their excitement for Great Lent, fasted for days and experienced a bright Woman as if in a dream, asking him to take her Baby. Father Stephen explained to the inmate that the Theotokos seemed to be asking the man to accept the Lord. Metropolitan Isaiah, after hearing the story, remained silent. He then turned to Fr. Stephen and said, “baptize him.” The inmate also desired this, and he entered into the Holy Church.
Fr. Stephen showed the seminarians a photo of what a baptism looks like within a prison. The students asked Father about how a new priest can get involved in prison ministry. He explained that the easiest way is to connect with a local incarcerated Orthodox Christian, but you can also connect with a local chaplain for a prison--and perhaps suggest teaching a course to inmates on Early Church history. Father reminded everyone that Saint Tikhon’s and OCPM have been working together for many years, and that Father John Kowalczyk is helping lead an exceptional program at the seminary. We are so grateful to the wonderful leaders who help lead the way for future clergy in ministering to those in prison.
For more information on the wonderful work of OCPM, check out: https://theocpm.org/. Stay tuned for a podcast featuring Fr. Stephen on a future episode of Spirit of St. Tikhon’s on Ancient Faith Radio.
On the weekend of September 28-29, Archpriest John Parker, Dean of St. TIkhon's had the privilege to accompany the Wonderworking Icon of St. Anna to Holy Dormition Orthodox Church, Cumberland, Rhode Island, at the invitation of parish rector, Archpriest Vasily Lickwar. Fr. John preached at the Divine Liturgy on Sunday. In his homily, he exhorted the faithful that our response to the wonders and miracles attributed to the Grace of the Holy Spirit through St. Anna is, in fact, the Gospel appointed for the same Sunday (Luke 6:31-36). Gratitude for the miraculous in our lives is best shown as love for one's enemies, lending expecting nothing in return, and doing good as we are able. This is especially true, preached Fr. John, since we, who are of the household of faith, were once enemies of God, who, despite our selfishness towards Him, have been given new life, forgiveness of sins, and countless visible and invisible acts of mercy towards us.
Holy Dormition was established in 1908 by St. Alexander Hotovitsky, one of the five saints who walked, and prayed, and served at St. Tikhon's.
"A Sower Went out to Sow..."
Nurturing the Good Seed
Vocation Encounter Fall 2019
A Friday evening Primatial Vigil commemorating the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross featured a perhaps otherwise typical detail: Ambrose Inlow, a third-year seminarian at Saint Tikhon’s prayerfully read the Hexapsalmos, that is, the Six Psalms at the beginning of the order of Matins. A seminarian reading this is no surprise, but that Ambrose Inlow was doing so wove him into a simple and long-standing tradition at Saint Tikhon’s. For all those men chosen to be ordained to the Diaconate are first responsible for reading the Six Psalms the evening prior to their day of elevation.
Accompanied by the singing of the Saint Tikhon’s Mixed Choir--under the direction of Benedict Sheehan--and in the eyes of a myriad of faithful, Ambrose was tonsured and ordained to the rank of Reader. Having first been vested in the short phelonion, he was then given a selection to read from the Apostle. Demonstrating his capability, he was then vested in the sticharion, and likewise girt in an orarion. Now a Subdeacon, Ambrose washed the hands of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, and the Liturgy was begun.
The Divine Liturgy contained all the common traits of any Hierarchical service, but with the added joy of a Primate’s presence along with the awe of venerating the Wood of the Cross, a relic of which lay enshrouded with bright red carnations in the center of the nave. “Before Thy Cross, we bow down in worship, O Master…” was chanted by the clergy and choir as the faithful fell prostrate. The Diptychs were chanted festively by the Reverend Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak and mirrored by the choir. And crowning the entire service was the laying on of hands by His Beatitude upon Subdeacon Ambrose, who knelt with his forehead on the corner of the Holy Table.
After Father Deacon Ambrose took up the marks of his new office, concluding with the fan, the chanting of Axios resounded throughout the Monastery Church. At the close of the Liturgy, the concelebrating priests (including Archimandrite Sergius Bowyer--the Abbot of Saint Tikhon’s, Archimandrite Alexis Trader, Father John Parker--Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, Hieromonk Herman, Father Ignatius Gauvain, and Father Vjekoslav Jovicic) and deacons gathered for photos with the newly-ordained and his Matushka, Meghan (Juliana) Inlow, and their family. On behalf of the Saint Tikhon’s family, we congratulate the Inlow family and wish them many blessed years! Axios, Axios, Axios!
By: Subdeacon Peter Simko
St Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary announces the 2019 October Lecture Series, "Autocephaly", celebrating the 50th Year of Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America. The Lectures will begin Tuesday, October 8, and continue on each of the following Tuesdays in the month, Oct 15, 22, and 29.
Archpriest John Parker, Dean of St Tikhon's noted, "For the Orthodox Church in America, it is also momentous, in that the Lectures will be held in the newly-renovated Convocation Hall, the site of the first All-American Sobor in 1970. It is a rich blessing not only for the Seminary, but also for the living history of the Orthodox Church in America, as we labor to fulfill the Great Commission in this land."
His Beatitude, the Most-blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All-America and Canada, will give the opening lecture, "Primacy and Service," on Tuesday, October 8, 730-9pm.
In the following weeks, Autocephaly will be considered in the following lectures:
October 15: Mr Alexis Liberovsky, Archivist of the Orthodox Church in America, "Autocephaly: Documents and Reflections".
October 22: Archpriest Thomas Soroka, Pastor of St Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKees Rocks, PA, and long-time Ancient Faith Radio Podcaster: "Autocephaly and Mission".
October 29: Archpriest Alexander Rentel, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, "Autocephaly and the Canonical Tradition".
Lectures will run for forty-five minutes, with fifteen minutes to follow for questions and answers. A light reception follows each lecture, finishing at 9pm.
All are welcome.
Fr. John Kowlaczyk (STOTS Director of Field Education) attended a national board meeting of the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM) on August 8–10 in Wichita, KS. Travelling with him, as a guest, was Seminarian Gregory Matlak (‘20).
The evening before the meeting, a lovely dinner was held at the home of OCPM Treasurer Eric Namee. A presentation was given on a successful mentoring program designed to help inmates successfully transition back into regular society.
At the board meeting, Fr. John reported on his recent invitation to give a three hour workshop at the upcoming Pennsylvania Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference at Drexel Medical College, to be held on December 4-5. He also resigned as long-time Secretary of the OCPM board, yet renewed his commitment to the organization by reaffirming his role as a member of the executive staff and by accepting a new role as an executive board member.
Gregory was asked to offer a short presentation on his experience with prison ministry, during which he especially highlighted the excellent training he is receiving at St Tikhon’s as a part of field education classes.
It is an exciting time for the OCPM, as they recently approved a ground-breaking and ambitious new strategic plan. Both Fr. John and Gregory are involved in task forces addressing specific goals of this plan. The mission statement of the OCPM is: “To share the love of Christ and His Church with those who are incarcerated and their families so that lives are transformed and God is glorified.”
More information can be found at https://theocpm.org/.
Article written by Gregory Matlak