St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary 60 Archbishop Alexander Visits St. Tikhon's Seminary Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">His Eminence, Alexander, Archbishop of Dallas and the Diocese of the South, briefly visited St. Tikhon's Seminary on Monday, November 13th, before joining members of the Holy Synod for their fall meeting.&nbsp; During his visit he met for dinner with students and family members from the Diocese of the South currently studying at St. Tikhon's.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Alumni Update: 40th Anniversary of Holy Cross Church, Williamsport, PA, with Archpriest Daniel Kovalak Sun, 12 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">Archpriest Daniel Kovalak (STOTS Class of 1974) welcomed His Eminence, the Most Reverend Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, and numerous clergy and faithful who gathered for the 40th anniversary celebration of Holy Cross Church in Williamsport, PA.&nbsp; This mission parish began by celebrating its first Divine Liturgy on November 6, 1977.&nbsp; By September of 1978, the newly ordained Fr. Daniel Kovalak moved from Miami, Florida with Mat. Myra and their daughter Daria to begin serving the mission.&nbsp; He has been there since, as a beautiful church and hall were built in the midst of the congregation that grew in faith, love, and ministry during all these steps.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, and Deacon Michael Shepherd, Seminarian, particpated in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.&nbsp; Archpriest Eugene Pianovich (STOTS Class of 1950), Matushka Myra's father, Archpriest Daniel Ressetar (STOTS Class of 1948), and Archpriest Barnabas Fravel (STOTS Class of&nbsp; 2003, son-in-law of the Kovalak's) were among the concelebrating clergy.&nbsp; The Women's Auxiliary was recognized with a Gramota.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Following the Divine Liturgy, an incredible banquet was held at the Williamsport Country Club, that opened specially on this day!&nbsp; Comments were offered by Archpriest David Shewczyk (STOTS Class of 1975), and Fr. Steven.&nbsp; Fr. Steven read portions of a letter forwarded by His Eminence, the Most Reverend Michael, Seminary Rector.&nbsp; In his letter, His Eminence extended his heartfelt congratulations and warm best wishes to all who were gathered.&nbsp; Later in his letter, Archbishop Michael offered his prayers that Archpriest Daniel and faithful would re-dedicated themselves to God's will as they continue their journey.&nbsp; Fr. Steven brought a seminary icon, recently commissioned, of the saints that have walked the grounds of the monastery and seminary to the Liturgy and banquet, in part to reference the many ways that Fr. Daniel and Mat. Myra have contributed to the greater Orthodox Church, reflected also by the faithful in their dedicated ministry.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Archbishop Mark presented Fr. Daniel and Mat. Myra with the Order of St. Innocent, Silver Class, in celebration of this day.&nbsp; They were also presented an icon of St. Herman by Council President Eric Affsprung to reflect the missionary spirit, inspired by the Kovalak's that remains so integral to the life of the parish.&nbsp; The parish also presented the seminary with a contribution of $5,000, and the diocese with a contribution of $1,500 for seminarian support!&nbsp; Holy Cross has welcomed the Mission Choir on many occasions, and Fr. Daniel has taught a class on missions at the seminary for many years, as well as contributing through his many talents.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">May God grant Archpriest Daniel, Matushka Myra, and the faithful of Holy Cross Church many blessed years!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">&nbsp;</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary St. Tikhon's Seminary Holds Vocations Retreat Sat, 11 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]&nbsp; St. Tikhon's Seminary held its annual vocations retreat on Friday, November 10, and Saturday, November 11th.&nbsp; Four participants heard presentations on Humility and Obedience in St. John Chrysostom, the theme of the retreat.&nbsp; In the course of their time together the group attended services, toured the seminary and monastery, and participated in presentations by Fr. Ignatius Gauvain, Director of Student Life, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean, and Archimandrite Sergius, Monastery Abbot.&nbsp; &nbsp;Seminarians participated in the retreat by sharing about their journey now as seminarians.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Mon, 06 Nov 2017 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p>On Monday evening, November 6th, St. Tikhon's Seminary hosted Bernard Wilson, of the OCA's Sexual Misconduct Policy Advisory Committee (SMPAC).&nbsp; He presented on the OCA Sexual Misconduct Policies, applicable to the seminary community.&nbsp; This presentation is especially important as more children are part of the seminary community at present.&nbsp; Wilson shared many vignettes to further highlight points being made.</p> <p>All seminary constitutencies were asked to attend the presentation, and to sign off on their knowledge of these policies.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary STOTS Administration, Seminarian, Participate at Patriarchal Liturgy Sun, 29 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">On Sunday, October 29, Administrative Assistant to the Dean Marshall Goodge (STOTS 2017) and Seminarian Colin Michael Barker, both members of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, attended a Patriarchal Liturgy at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York, presided over by His Beatitude John X, Patriarch of Antioch and all the East.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Both were overjoyed to receive the Archpastoral blessings of their chief hierarch, who was visiting the United States to meet with leaders of the United Nations and US Government, as well as to speak at the &ldquo;In Defense of Christians&rdquo; summit in Washington D.C.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">After the Liturgy, a reception was held, with addresses both by His Beatitude Patriarch John and His Eminence and Beatitude Bechara Peter Cardinal Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch.</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary STOTS Holds Fall Board Meeting Fri, 27 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">STOTS Fall Board of Trustees Meeting was quite full, beginning with elections for the coming year. John Della Monica, President, and Popadija Katherine (Kitty) Vitko, Board Member, presented on the work of the Orthodox Church Capital Improvement Fund (OCCIF).</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">The board also welcomed Dean Harbry, a Professional Certified Coach, and Founder of Internal Innovations, LLC&mdash;an Atlanta-based executive coaching firm, established in 2003. He has worked with over 140 nonprofit boards on governance, compliance and organizational best practices. He was invited by Archpriest Steven Voytovich, seminary dean, to assist the board and seminary community to engage in further work together after the most recent reaccreditation review by the Association of Theological Schools.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Dean presented to the board on topics related to shared governance, and guided the whole seminary community through an exercise of working through several hypothetical scenarios designed to reinforce the use of seminary policies and procedures. These areas of emphasis are part of the seminary&rsquo;s follow-up after the November 2016 ATS site visit.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the afternoon the board welcomed audit firm representatives completing their audit of this past fiscal year&rsquo;s financial records.</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Alumni Update: In Memoriam Sun, 29 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">Archpriest Stephen Mack (STOTS, 1976), long-time pastor of St. Nicholas Church, Auburn, NY, fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, October 22<sup>nd</sup>. Please see the full story of his ministry and repose on our OCA website, <a href="">here</a>. Memory eternal to Fr. Stephen, and our prayers are with his family.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Matushka Marie Kreta fell asleep in the Lord on Monday, October 23<sup>rd</sup>. She was married to Archpriest Joseph Kreta (STOTS, 1952) who was directly involved in founding St. Herman&rsquo;s Seminary where they remained for thirty years. Burial will be on Monday, October 30, 11am, at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery. You can view the full write-up of her repose on the OCA website <a href="">here</a>. Memory eternal to Matushka Marie.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Also, memory eternal to Protodeacon Keith Russin, who fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday, October 26th..&nbsp; A graduate of St. Vladimir's Seminary, Protodeacon Keith was known as a deacon who often served with then Metropolitan Herman, and was a partner in a funeral home in Plains, PA, assisting in many burials.&nbsp; &nbsp;Funeral services will be celebrated at 7pm on Wedneday, Nov. 1st, at Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre, where he was serving.&nbsp;</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Dr. Jessica Suchy-Pilalis delivers Final Installment of the 2017 St. Tikhon’s Fall Lecture Series Tue, 31 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">On Tuesday, October 31<sup>st</sup>, Dr. Suchy-Pilalis&rsquo; presentation, &ldquo;Basics of Liturgical Music&rdquo;, focused primarily on the principles behind Orthodox liturgical music, with a particular emphasis on the chant tradition. Throughout her presentation, Dr. Suchy-Pilalis reminded the audience of the cosmological dimension of liturgical music, pointing out that even before Creation the angels voicelessly praised God in song. In particular Dr. Suchy-Pilalis drew attention to the textual focus of chant; good Orthodox chant focuses primarily on conveying a text and adapts the chant to best present that text, rather than forcing the text to fit the melody as is sometimes found in Western settings. Therefore, Orthodox chant can be said to be <em>logo-centric</em>, placing the listener&rsquo;s comprehension of the meaning of the text first and foremost.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Dr. Jessica Suchy-Pilalis is a specialist in the theory, history and practice of Byzantine music.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In 1984, she became what is thought to be the first salaried and officially-titled female protopsalti (chanter) of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America. In addition to degrees in music theory and performance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Eastman School of Music and Indiana University, she holds diplomas with highest honors in Byzantine music from two Greek conservatories, is certified by both the State and Church of Greece, and is a tonsured reader/chanter.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Dr. Suchy-Pilalis believes it is most important to share those prayers of the church inherent in the rich musico-literary heritage which she does by chanting the "classical" repertoire, by teaching, and, most significantly, by reversing the analytical method developed in her thesis on Byzantine modal theory to set English translations of hymns in the manner of the Byzantine melodos (composer-hymnographer) while still maintaining the Byzantine style.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">She is a Professor of Music at The Crane School of Music, State University of New York at Potsdam where she teaches music theory, harp and Byzantine music. She has directed chant choirs, presented lectures, and has taught numerous seminars and workshops across the U.S. and Canada for just about every jurisdiction. In 2006, she was awarded the St. Romanos Medallion, the highest honor bestowed to a musician in the Greek archdiocese, for &ldquo;significant national contributions to church music&rdquo; by the National Forum of Greek Orthodox Church Musicians. Currently she chants at St. Olympia Orthodox Mission in Potsdam, NY, and Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.</p> <p>(Photos by Seminarian Robert West)</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Protopresbyter George Alexson, offers the third installment of St. Tikhon’s Evening Lecture Series Thu, 26 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">Fr. George&rsquo;s presentation, entitled &ldquo;Perfecting the Shepherd&rdquo;, contrasted the concept of &ldquo;leadership&rdquo; with pastoral ministry, demonstrating that a priest&rsquo;s purpose is to be a director, providing an example for his parishioners to emulate, rather than a legislator laying down laws and proscriptions. Fr. George demonstrated, from Scripture, Christ&rsquo;s role as shepherd, and how it ought to be emulated by those in pastoral ministry, to whom the Lord gave the command to &ldquo;feed My sheep.&rdquo; Fr. George also spoke on the necessity for a pastor to be immersed in liturgy and prayer, both for his own sake and the sake of his flock.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Protopresbyter George A. Alexson, a 1969 graduate of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s, has been a priest in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese for forty-eight years. He retired in 2010 from the Annunciation Cathedral, Atlanta, GA, and upon return to Northern Virginia, accepted an invitation to assist in developing a mission, Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church. Fr. George completed doctoral studies (ABD) at Catholic University in the Early Christian Studies Department, with an emphasis in Greek and Latin patristics, Church History, and monasticism. He resides in Ashburn, VA with his wife, Pres. Joanna, two children and five grandchildren.</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Benedict Sheehan, St. Tikhon’s Director of Music, was Guest Director October 20-22 Sun, 22 Oct 2017 00:00:00 -0400 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;"><strong>Benedict Sheehan</strong>&nbsp;is a composer, conductor, arranger, writer about, and teacher of, music. He is Director of Music at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Orthodox Theological Seminary and Monastery; and, since founding the group in 2015, he has served as Artistic Director of the Chamber Choir of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery, a professional vocal ensemble. He is also a frequent clinician and speaker in the field of Orthodox choral singing around the United States.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><br /> His musical education includes degrees from Westminster Choir College and Bard College Conservatory of Music, studying conducting under James Bagwell and composition under Kyle Gann. He also has a Master of Divinity Degree from St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><br /> As a conductor, Sheehan has made several recordings with the choirs at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s, including the debut album of Chamber Choir of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery,&nbsp;<em>Till Morn Eternal Breaks: Sacred Choral Music of Benedict Sheehan</em>. In 2014, he made his first conducting appearance at the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts with Dawn Upshaw and members of the Bard Graduate Vocal Arts Program. As a writer, Sheehan is a contributor to several online publications, including Orthodox Arts Journal and the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN). His personal blog on the Ancient Faith Ministries platform is called&nbsp;<em>The Music Stand</em>.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;"><br /> A number of his liturgical compositions are currently in print with Musica Russica. His most recent publication, an anthology entitled&nbsp;<em>A Common Book of Church Hymns: Divine Liturgy</em>&nbsp;(2016), is&nbsp;available from St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Monastery Press.</p> <p><br /> Upcoming appearances include a&nbsp;<a href="">Fall 2017 concerts series in Seattle and Portland, conducting noted early music ensemble Cappella Romana</a>; and a performance of one of his new works,&nbsp;<em>The Opening Psalm</em>, by the Kansas City Chorale, in the summer of 2018, conducted by Charles Bruffy. He and his wife Maria, together with their seven daughters, live in northeastern Pennsylvania.</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary