St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary 60 Alumni Update: Dn. Joel Brady ordained to the Holy Priesthood Sun, 08 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">Dn. Joel Brady was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Sunday, January 8, 2017.&nbsp;&nbsp; He was married to Margaret (Meg) Ogden in August of 2016, and then ordained to the Holy Diaconate on Thanksgiving morning (2016) at St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Allison Park, PA, where he has been serving.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">His Eminence, the Most Reverend Melchisedek, Archbishop of Pittsburgh and the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania, celebrated the ordination for His Eminence, the Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, as weather did not permit Archbishop Michael to travel for the ordination.&nbsp; This ordination was also celebrated at St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.&nbsp; Archpriest Michael Senyo, parish rector, remarked how much he has enjoyed having Fr. Joel and Matushka Meg in the parish as they have begun their new life together, and looks forward to their further contribution, once assigned to a parish.&nbsp; Members of Fr. Joel&rsquo;s family were present for the ordination as well.&nbsp;</p> <p>Axios! &nbsp;May God grant Fr. Joel and Matushka Meg many blessed years as they await assignment toward the next chapter of their vocational journey!</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary In Memoriam: Paul Chernay, St. Tikhon's Trustee Emeritus-Updated Mon, 09 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">Paul Chernaskey &nbsp;Chernay, 90, member of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, in Bethlehem, PA, died on January 5<sup>th</sup>, 2017.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Paul was the son of the late Roman and Fiona (Orischak) Chernaskey. &nbsp;He was the loving husband of the late Betty Jo (Bussey) Chernay who died in 1998. They were married for 52 years.&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Paul was a veteran of WWII, serving with the Navy as an Aviation Electrician's Mate 2nd Class in Europe and North Africa. Paul was a gentleman of commanding presence, known by his friends and family to be fun loving and generous. His many pastimes included travel, boating, working on his "farm". &nbsp;Paul was a devout member of the St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Bethlehem. He also served on the board of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary.&nbsp; Paul was the owner of Chernay Printing, Inc., which he founded in 1966. His other businesses included PBC Guitars, Inc. and Paul's Cantina, formerly located in Center Valley. Paul also enjoyed success in his real estate ventures.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">A generous benefactor of both his Church and of the Seminary, Paul was honored to receive the St. Innocent of Alaska Silver Award. One of the highest awards given by the Orthodox Church in America, it was bestowed on Paul for his zealous support of St. Tikhon's Seminary and St. Nicholas Church, and especially for his love and generosity for his fellow man.&nbsp;&nbsp; On Saturday, May 25th, 2013, St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary was also pleased to honor the years of dedicated service of Trustee Emeritus Paul Chernay by awarding him the Doctor of Humane Letters Honoris Causa for his continual support of the St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Community and selfless dedication to the building up of the Orthodox Church.&nbsp; (The photo with this story reflects his receiving the honorary doctorate.)</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Though Paul was preceded in death by his most of his immediate family, his twin sister, Pauline Chernaskey Kasick;&nbsp;loving grandchildren: Lisa Ward Arnold and her husband Barri-Jami, Laura Ward, and Nicholas Chernay, together with many nieces and nephews were present at the funeral. Serving at the funeral service on Monday, January 9, 2017, at St. Nicholas Church in Bethlehem were:&nbsp; His Eminence, the Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and Seminary Rector; Archpriest James Weremedic (STOTS Class, 2001), parish priest; Archpriests Steven Voytovich and Dennis Swencki, Seminary Dean and CFO, respectively; Archpriest James Mason (STOTS Class of 1962); and Fr.&nbsp; Jason Vansuch, whose father, the late Archpriest Eugene Vansuch, also served at St. Nicholas Church as Paul&rsquo;s pastor.&nbsp; Archbishop Michael shared condolences from the Most Blessed Metropolitan Herman, St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary Rector for many years, and His Grace, the Right Reverend David, Bishop of Sitka and the Diocese of Alaska, who also served the parish.</p> <p>The family has designated that memorial contributions may be made to St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, 980 Bridle Path Road, Bethlehem, PA, and/or St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Orthodox Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 130 South Canaan, PA, 18459.&nbsp;</p> <p>Memory eternal to the newly departed servant of God, Paul.</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Ordination of Dn. John Kennerk to the Holy Priesthood Sun, 01 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p>On Sunday, January 1st, the Feastday of the Circumcision of our Lord and St. Basil the Great, Dn. John Kennerk was ordained to the Holy Priesthood. &nbsp;His ordination took place in his home parish of Christ the Savior Orthodox Church, Chicago, IL, with His Grace, the Right Reverend Paul, Bishop of Chicago and the Diocese of the Midwest as celebrant. &nbsp;</p> <p>Archpriest John Baker (STOTS Class of 2004), Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, Deacon Theophan Warren (STOTS Class of 2015), and Dn. Alexander Koranda (STOTS Class of 2014), all concelebrated with His Grace. &nbsp;A Molieben was celebrated for the new calendar year after the Divine Liturgy, and a festive community meal followed in the beautiful parish building. &nbsp;Many of Fr. John's family members were also present for the ordination and luncheon.</p> <p>Fr. Steven thanked the parish for their outreach in supporting seminarians who came from this parish and are currently studying at St. Tikhon's. &nbsp;He also thanked Fr. John Baker for his efforts to reach out to alumni in the greater Chicago area as Regional Alumni Coordinator, presenting him with a copy of St. Tikhon's Sermons. &nbsp;2017 will mark the 100th anniversary of his elevation as Patriarch of all Russia, and a number of the sermons were given for event occurring in the Chicago area.</p> <p>May God bless Fr. John, Mat. Michelle, Inez, and Anthony, as Fr. John completes his studies during the coming semester.</p> <p>Axios!</p> <p>(Photos by Bilyan Belchev, photographer in &nbsp;Christ the Savior Parish)&nbsp;</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Deacon Basil Ferguson Ordained to the Holy Priesthood Sat, 24 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">Dn. Basil Ferguson, a third-year seminarian at St. Tikhon's Seminary, &nbsp;was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at the Divine Liturgy on the Eve of the Feast of Our Lord's Nativity, at the monastery church. &nbsp;His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon was the celebrant. Archimandrite Sergius, Monastery Igumen, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, and Fr. Innocent Neal, St. Tikhon's Bookstore Manager, served with His Beatitude. &nbsp;Celebrating deacons included: &nbsp;Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak, Metropolitan Tikhon's Secretary, Hierodeacon Maximus from the Monstery Brotherhood, and Fr. Basil's classmates Dn. John Kennerk and Dn. Matthew Fuhrman.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">May God grant many blessed years to Fr. Basil, Matushka Marina, and their children Elijah, Ephrem, and Gregory. Elijah and Ephrem served in the altar, and as will be noted in the photos, paid very careful attention to their father's ordination!</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Photos by: Matushka Jessica Fuhrman, Fr. Steven, and Subdeacon Roman Ostash.</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Honoring the Pro-Life Legacy of Archpriest John Kowalczyk Thu, 19 Jan 2017 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p style="text-align: justify;">&ldquo;The steps of a man are guided aright by the Lord, and he shall desire His way&rdquo; (Psalm 36(37):23). These words of Scripture speak of the ministry of Archpriest John Kowalczyk, Director of Field Education at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary, and Rector of St. Michael&rsquo;s Orthodox Church in Jermyn, Pennsylvania (STOTS 1975). Fr. John has relentlessly sought to defend the unborn in articles, lectures, academic work, and in continued participation in the March for Life. On Wednesday, January 11, 2017, my wife and I had the pleasure to sit with Fr. John and his wife, Matushka Kathy, to discuss his spiritual journey leading him to participate in the March for Life.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">It all began in 1987. Fr. John was already involved in the Sanctity of Life movement prior to marching, as a member of &ldquo;Pennsylvanians for Human Life.&rdquo; Another member challenged him to not only &ldquo;talk the talk,&rdquo; but &ldquo;walk the walk&rdquo; by going to the March for Life, which had been a yearly event since 1974. Fr. John had previously written the widely-distributed book, &ldquo;An Orthodox View of Abortion&rdquo; (Light and Life Publishing, Mpls, MN, 2<sup>nd</sup> ed., 1989), but had not yet attended the March for Life.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fr. John was also encouraged to go by John and Valerie Protopappas and Fr. Edward Pehanich, of the organization &ldquo;Orthodox Christians for Life.&rdquo; Fr. John asked his bishop, Bishop Herman (now Metropolitan Herman), to go with him, and the two were joined by Martin Paluch, Bishop Herman&rsquo;s assistant. With such incredible support all around him, it was clear that Fr. John needed to march.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">However, that year there was a blizzard the day of the March, and only 30,000 of the typical 200,000 participants could bear the elements. Fr. John, Bishop Herman, and Martin had arrived in Washington, D.C. the day before, and were therefore fortunate to not have to drive through a foot of snow. Fr. John described this as a &ldquo;paralyzing snowstorm,&rdquo; and asserted that by the time the March began, a foot and a half of snow had already been dumped on the Capital.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Because of the blizzard, Fr. John and Metropolitan Herman were the only two religious leaders present. Nellie Gray, the co-founder and long-time President of the March for Life, therefore asked Fr. John to give the Invocation. Likewise, Bishop Herman spoke, the first Orthodox hierarch to address such a gathering. After the Benediction, Nellie Gray then expected that they would not march, as the religious leaders who opened the March with prayer did not march afterwards. She was surprised to hear that these three men were committed to marching&mdash;blizzard or no blizzard. This has inspired religious leaders since that time to more fully participate.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Since that year, the Orthodox Church has become &ldquo;relentless&rdquo; in their involvement, Fr. John was pleased to say. Many bishops and faithful of the Orthodox Church began to march, to publicly acknowledge the Orthodox position on abortion. &ldquo;Orthodox Christians have become a natural presence,&rdquo; he added, noting that from the first century all the way up to our time Orthodox Christians have defended unborn children and infants.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary started sending students to the March in 1988. Fr. John humbly said, &ldquo;St. Tikhon&rsquo;s talks the talk and walks the walk&mdash;and they invite others to join them.&rdquo; Since that time, St. Tikhon&rsquo;s has been sending students and faculty to the March nearly every year.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">One of the highlights for Fr. John in his ministry of defending the unborn was the opportunity to meet Mother Teresa at The University of Scranton in 1989. Fr. John remembers that Mother Teresa said to him, &ldquo;If the child in the womb is not safe, what hope is there for humanity?&rdquo; He recalled that during her talk, someone asked her, &ldquo;At the Judgment seat, Christ will judge us, and we will also question Him and say, &lsquo;Lord, why was there so much sickness in the world? Why did we have cancer?&rsquo;&rdquo; And Mother Teresa replied, &ldquo;Our Lord will answer, &lsquo;Every time I sent a cure into the world, you aborted the child.&rdquo; Fr. John continued on this thought: &ldquo;We don&rsquo;t know who we&rsquo;re aborting. We&rsquo;re aborting future leaders, scientists, musicians, doctors, etc.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fr. John received an icon of the greeting of Mary and Elizabeth (Luke 1:39-45) from an Orthodox iconographer who was inspired by the Orthodox presence at the March for Life. As a result, thousands of copies of the icon have been reprinted and distributed. This joyous icon would lead the procession of the Orthodox contingent during the Marches, and many Christians of other traditions would even venerate it.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fr. John is thankful for the support of his wife, Matushka Kathy, who would bring their children in a stroller on the March in the early years.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">In the years that followed his first March for Life, Fr. John developed a close working relationship with Nellie Gray, hailed as the &ldquo;<span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href=""><span style="color: #ff00ff;">Joan of Arc</span></a></span>&rdquo; of the Pro-Life movement. &nbsp;Up until her death in 2013, Nellie and Fr. John would regularly work together to discuss who would give which speeches at the next year&rsquo;s March. Her death signaled the end of an era. Since that time, Fr. John has continued to attend the March for Life, yet is pleased to see other Orthodox Christians take up and share the leadership capacity that he carried for so many years.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">What is the purpose of the March for Life? &ldquo;To become a visible <em>presence</em>.&rdquo; In Fr. John&rsquo;s work as Director of St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Field Education program, he stresses that seminarians&rsquo; visits to the local state prison are meant to engender experience in the &ldquo;ministry of presence&rdquo;&mdash;simply being with those who are suffering, much like Mary at the foot of the Cross. Likewise, attending the March is bearing witness to the Orthodox position on the tragedy of abortion. The March is not meant to be rancorous, but peaceful. &ldquo;Let us depart in peace,&rdquo; the priest says at the end of the Divine Liturgy. The March is a continuation of the Liturgy, Fr. John stressed. We carry that peace into the world, that we may bear witness to God&rsquo;s love for every single precious human life&mdash;those who have been aborted, and those who have aborted.</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fr. John sees the date of the March for Life, typically January 22<sup>nd</sup> (the date of the Roe V. Wade decision), as falling conveniently within the liturgical cycle of the Orthodox Church: the Nativity of Christ, Theophany, the March for Life, and the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple on February 2<sup>nd</sup>. &ldquo;In the Incarnation, Christ gave value and dignity to every human being,&rdquo; Fr. John asserted. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s been my passion as a priest&mdash;the sanctity of life&mdash;because Christ came into the world to give us life, to give us eternal life, and He became one of us, that we may love one another.&rdquo;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">This year the March for Life in Washington, D.C. will take place on Friday, January 27<sup>th</sup> (the date has been moved because of the Inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump). More information can be found on the OCA page covering the <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href=""><span style="color: #ff00ff;">event</span></a></span>&nbsp; and the March for Life <span style="color: #ff00ff;"><a href=""><span style="color: #ff00ff;">website</span></a></span>. &nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: justify;">Fr. John insisted that &ldquo;No one person can take ownership of [the growth of] this movement&hellip;All priests should be involved in some way.&rdquo; However, it is clear that Fr. John&rsquo;s steps have been &ldquo;guided aright by the Lord,&rdquo; that he has been instrumental in opening up the Pro-Life movement to Orthodox Christians; it is clear that he has desired the Lord&rsquo;s way, so that those who are able will stand up for the most vulnerable: the silent unborn children.</p> <p>Seminarian Jonathan Lincoln</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary Dr. David Ford Helps Lead Winter Youth Camp in Colorado Tue, 27 Dec 2016 00:00:00 -0500 <div><img border="2" hspace="5" vspace="0" align="left" src=""><p><em>&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</em>From dinnertime on Tuesday, December 27, through lunchtime on Thursday, December 29, 2016, Dr. David Ford, Professor of Church History at St. Tikhon&rsquo;s Seminary, helped lead the annual Winter Youth Camp for about 65 Orthodox high school and college students, which was held at the Rocky Mountain Mennonite Camp on the western flanks of the famous Pike's Peak.&nbsp; He was invited by Fr. Anthony Karbo, priest of the OCA church in Colorado Springs (STOTS Class of 1995), who has been leading this youth group for over ten years, as they meet for Summer and Winter Camp every year.&nbsp; Also assisting in supervising the retreat were two other St. Tikhon&rsquo;s alumni: Fr. Benjamin Huggins, priest of the OCA church in Durango, Colorado (STOTS Class of 2013), and Fr. David Morrison, priest of the OCA church in Bozeman, Montana, (STOTS Class of 2013).&nbsp; Fr. Zachary Lynch, (STOTS Class of 2011) and priest of the OCA church in Pueblo, Colorado, came with his Matushka Natalia and their two younger children for the morning on that Wednesday &ndash; their three older children were participants during the entire event.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Over the three-day event, Dr. David led five one-hour sessions with the participants.&nbsp; Tuesday evening he shared about the life and wisdom of our beloved St. John Chrysostom, and for the next four sessions he basically led brainstorming sessions with the group &ndash; with a &ldquo;scribe&rdquo; recording our thoughts on newsprint on an easel &ndash; on such topics as &ldquo;Where Did You Come From?&rdquo;, &ldquo;Why Are You Here?&rdquo;,&ldquo;To Whom Do You Belong?&rdquo;, &ldquo;How Does God Speak to Us?&rdquo;, &ldquo;What Kind of Life Do You Want to Live?&rdquo;, &ldquo;What Are Some Characteristics of the Christian Life?&rdquo;, &ldquo;Why Should We Preserve Our Virginity until Marriage?&rdquo; &ldquo;What Should We Look For in a Spouse?&rdquo;, &ldquo;What Are Some Characteristics of a Good Marriage?&rdquo;, &ldquo;What Are Some Characteristics of a Godly Single Life?&rdquo;,&nbsp; &ldquo;What Are Some Characteristics of Godly Monastic Life?&rdquo;, and &ldquo;Where Will Opposition Come From?&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; In the final session, Dr. David presented some of the historical background of the origins and development of the Sexual Revolution over the last 150 years, to help explain the situation in which we find ourselves in contemporary America, in which two people of the same sex now have a legal &ldquo;right&rdquo; to get &ldquo;married&rdquo; anywhere in the U.S.&nbsp; And he suggested ways for us to &ldquo;speak the truth in love&rdquo; in the face of such developments in our society that run so counter to traditional Christian moral beliefs and practices.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; On the way from the airport in Denver on Tuesday, Fr. Karbo, Fr. Morrison, and Dr. David paid a visit to Fr. Kirill Williams, priest of the oldest Orthodox Church in Denver, who is another St. Tikhon's graduate (2008).</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Back in Colorado Springs after the Youth Camp, Dr. David spoke at Fr. Karbo's parish, after Vespers, on the topic of &ldquo;Key Passages on Marriage from the Orthodox Tradition through the Centuries,&rdquo; using the collection of passages given in the recently published <em>Glory and Honor: Orthodox Christian Resources on Marriage</em> (SVS Press, 2016), which Dr. David and his wife Dr. Mary Ford contributed to and co-edited.&nbsp; Much to Dr. David's surprise and delight, two more St. Tikhon's alumni came to this event &ndash; Fr. John Armstrong, with his Matushka Stacy and their son Andrew; and Fr. Alexander Vallens, with his Matushka Maria and their two children.&nbsp; Current St. Tikhon's Seminarian John Parker also attended.</p> <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; All in all it was a wonderful four days in the Rocky Mountain State. &nbsp;Dr. David, sharing about the retreat stated:&nbsp; &ldquo;I gained much from the experience with the youth, and through the renewed contact with so many of our beloved St. Tikhon's alumni.&rdquo;</p></div> St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary