The St. Tikhon’s Community gathered on Thursday, October 10, 2013, to celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the founding of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. The event began in front of the Seminary Building with a solemn re-dedication of the flagpole. Directed by Archpriest Joseph J. Gallick (STOTS 1970), Archpriest Theodore Boback (STOTS 1972), and Archpriest James Jadick (STOTS 1976) a flag that had been flown over the U.S. Capitol building was raised on the newly re-dedicated pole and Memory Eternal was intoned for the community’s departed alumni, faculty, and administration. Presiding at the service were His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, His Grace Bishop Michael, and His Grace Bishop Nikon.
Following the dedication of the flagpole, the community processed, lead by the Holy Cross, to the Monastery Church, where they held a Panikhida for the departed members of the St. Tikhon’s Community as well as a Moliben for the health and continued success of the current members of the Board of Trustees, Seminary Administration, Faculty, and Staff. Immediately following the service, Archpriest Steven Voytovich was installed as Dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary. Fr. Steven was presented with the pectoral cross of former Dean, Archpriest Basil Stroyen by His Grace, Bishop Michael, the Seminary’s Rector.
The culmination of the anniversary celebration was a Grand Banquet held at Fiorelli’s in Peckville, PA. The banquet began with a musical performance by Harry and the Dogmatics. Matushka Nancy Gilbert, Co-Chair of the 75th Anniversary Committee gave a spirited introduction for the Toastmaster of the Evening, Archpriest George Alexson (STOTS 1969). After brief remarks by Fr. George, attendees enjoyed a beautiful choral performance of traditional Russian hymns and folk songs lead by director Gabriel Monforte.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman (Retired OCA) gave a moving and heartwarming speech recounting the rich history of the Seminary and the tireless effort of those who have worked for its care and advancement over the past 75 years.
The second speaker of the evening was Archimandrite Nathaniel (Symeonides) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Archimandrite Nathaniel expressed congratulations on behalf of His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios, who was unable to attend due to a prior engagement oversees. Further words were shared by His Grace Bishop Michael, Rector of St. Tikhon’s, who reminded the community that in this time of remembrance, we must always be mindful of the future, “pressing on to the next level, seeking after a greater goal, working toward the next accomplishment, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.’”
The next presenter, Igumen Sergius Abbot of the St. Tikhon’s Monastery Brotherhood expressed his thanks and congratulations to the Seminary on this most joyous occasion and asked for the continued prayers and support of everyone present for both the monastery and seminary community. The newly-installed Dean, Archpriest Steven Voytovich shared remarks thanking everyone once again for the honor of being able to serve as Dean of the St. Tikhon’s Seminary and for the warm welcome he has received from the community. “Though I have only been here for a short time, I still feel like a man who has come through a long journey to finally arrive at the place he knows to be home.”
His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon delivered closing remarks in which he stressed the importance of each person within the life of the community, regardless of their particular role. He explained that “...everyone’s life is a dash between two numbers.The story that is told of us at the end of our lives will be made up of many events that occur on this dash.” He added, “The story of St. Tikhon’s is similarly a rich collection of stories occurring on a dash between two numbers. The dash is a symbol that only begins to express our collective history and future. May we all strive to introduce as many prayer-filled and grace-filled moments as possible into our lives and the lives of those around us.”
The St. Tikhon’s Community wishes to express its deepest thanks to everyone who helped plan and organize the 75th Anniversary Celebration, especially those on the 75th Anniversary Committee: Co-Chairs Mat. Nancy Gilbert and Leda Dzwonczyk, His Grace Bishop Michael, The Very Reverend Archpriest Theodore Boback, and Christopher Patton. We would like to include a very special appreciation to the Banquet Chairman, the Very Reverend Vasily Gilbert (STOTS 1979).
St. Tikhon’s Seminary would also like to remember everyone who played a part in each of the 75th Anniversary events that occurred over this past year of celebration. May God continue to enliven and sustain the St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Community as it continues to fulfill its sacred charge of producing the future pastoral leaders of the Orthodox Church. May this offering to the people of God continue as it always has, quietly, in the remote stillness of South Canaan, PA. Where our common life continues to be offered “For the Life of the World and its Salvation.”