On December 9, St. Tikhon’s Mission Choir sang the Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in New Britain, Connecticut. Later that day the students joined the Sheehan Family Singers in performing a program of hymns and carols for the Christmas season in front of an enthusiastic audience at Three Saints Orthodox Church in Ansonia, Connecticut.
Following the concert, Priest Patrick Burns, President of the St. Tikhon’s Alumni Association, presented Music Director Benedict Sheehan and Development Director Fr. David Fox with donations to the Seminary totalling almost $19,000. In his words of thanks to the assembled crowd, Fr. David Fox noted that supporters of the Seminary are helping “build a future for the Church in America.” Fr. Patrick Burns added further that the first time he visited Three Saints Orthodox Church—the parish of which he is now the rector—was as a member of the St. Tikhon’s Mission Choir, and that supporting the Seminary today may literally mean supporting your own future parish priest.
St. Tikhon’s Seminary wishes to extend a heartfelt “thank you” to all who helped make this concert and fundraising campaign such a success. May God grant each and every one of you a blessed Christmas season!
St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary are proud to announce that their very own music director, Benedict Sheehan, played key roles in two of the 2019 GRAMMY®-nominated projects for “Best Choral Performance” announced last Thursday.
The Clarion Choir’s recently-released disc “Kastalsky: Memory Eternal” was one of this year’s nominees. Sheehan worked closely with Clarion music director Steven Fox on every phase of this project from its inception in 2016 to its culmination in the premiere of the fully-orchestrated version of the work in the Washington National Cathedral this past October.
Clarion’s recording of Memory Eternal to the Fallen Heroes (1917), the a cappella version of the larger work, is the world premiere recording of Alexander Kastalsky’s masterful composition that commemorates the Allied slain of the First World War. Sheehan is credited as Associate Conductor on this release. He also helped finalize scores for recording and was primary music editor for one of the stand-alone pieces on the album, Kastalsky’s never-before-recorded From My Youth (1905).
PaTRAM Institute Male Choir’s disc “Teach Me Thy Statutes,” a recording of works by Russian composer Pavel Chesnokov, was another of this year’s nominees. The disc also received Music Web International’s prestigious award for “Recording of the Year.” Sheehan was a chorus member on this project, along with St. Tikhon’s Bookstore manager Fr. Mikel Hill, which was recorded in 2016 in Saratov, Russia, under the direction of Vladimir Gorbik. Sheehan is a co-founder of the PaTRAM Institute together with Maestro Gorbik and CEO Alexis Lukianov. He helped organize the choir’s debut concert tour and first series of masterclasses—many of which were hosted by St. Tikhon’s.
In 2019 Sheehan will conduct a combined choir of the Chamber Choir of St. Tikhon’s Monastery, the PaTRAM Institute Singers, and the St. Tikhon’s Festival Choir in the world premiere of his own Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (2018), a piece commissioned by the PaTRAM Institute. He will also conduct the mixed choir for PaTRAM’s Summer Academy in Lakewood, New Jersey.
Sheehan also has close ties to yet a third GRAMMY® nominee this year for “Best Choral Performance.” Boston-based Skylark Vocal Ensemble, led by conductor Matthew Guard, was nominated for their album “Seven Words from the Cross.” Sheehan is currently working with Skylark to compose music for their upcoming “Once Upon a Time” program, based on the Grimm Brothers’ Snow White and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. The project will be premiered and recorded by Skylark in June of 2019.
In Memoriam: Very Rev. Joseph Martin
Archpriest Joseph Martin (STOTS 1963), retired Dean of Holy Resurrection Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre, PA, fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, November 9, 2018 at the Penn Presbyterian Medical Center after a brief illness.
Fr. Joseph was born in Frackville, PA on April 5, 1942, on Pascha Day itself. Two years after graduating from St. Tikhon’s Seminary, he married his Matushka, Gloria, on October 16, 1965. He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Archbishop Kiprian of Philadelphia on November 7 of the same year and served in parishes throughout Eastern Pennsylvania. In 1995, he was assigned Dean of Holy Resurrection Cathedral, where he served for 19 years.
In addition to serving the Diocese, Fr. Joseph also made his love for St. Tikhon’s Seminary manifest through his service. He was the longest continuously-serving member of the Seminary’s Board of Trustees, as well as an active member and Spiritual Advisor of the Century Association. Both organizations will miss his presence deeply.
Visitation will begin at Holy Resurrection Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre, PA at 4:00 p.m.on Friday, November 16. The Lions Club will gather at 4:30 p.m. The Funeral Service for a Priest will commence at 7:00 p.m. On Saturday, November 17, the Divine Liturgy and Panikhida will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m. at the Monastery Church of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk, South Canaan, PA. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon will preside at the services. Interment will follow in the monastery cemetery, where Father Joseph will take his rest near the Seminary he loved, until Christ comes again.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Very Rev. Joseph Martin Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary , PO Box 130, South Canaan PA 18459.
May Fr. Joseph’s Memory be Eternal!
As the trees of South Canaan surrender their summer boasting, the seed of 49 seminarians are humbled once again beneath the till of the Spirit for a new season of formation. “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” And while the same community of seed sleep and wake in the weekly cycle, and the seed sprouts and grows, Matt Remak and his humble crew of workers tirelessly cause “the earth [to] bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.”
For eleven consecutive days, Matt and his team had been working to renovate the newly purchased Diocesan Center on 144 Saint Tikhon’s Road (also known as the ‘blue house’) in preparation for the homecoming of STOTS Dean Father John Parker, and his Matushka Jeanette on Monday, September 24th. Matt and his crew had been laboring to ensure that the ‘blue house,’ which will now function as the Dean’s House, would become a most beautiful and suitable family home for years to come, “a place worthy to receive guests and special guests of the seminary,” Father John anticipates. “The Parkers are very grateful to the Board of Trustees who in their generosity purchased the blue house for the benefit of the seminary.”
Renovations on the 6,500 square foot Dean’s House are extensive. A team of eight workers ripped out all of the carpets, and installed top-grade, high-traffic, scratch resistant laminate, while preserving all of the home’s tile flooring. Following Father John and Matushka’s request, the home’s walls, cabinets, doors, and closets were painted a beautiful aqua and gray by a group of nine workers, including Matt’s wife, son, and daughter.
In addition to the Dean's House, Matt Remak is also laboring diligently on a nearly complete renovation of the Orphanage building, which will function as four individual married student apartments, each with its kitchen, bathroom, shower and bath, and laundry room with washer and dryer. The walls are gutted and the space is emptied out in preparation to receive and send off incoming and future families for decades to come. As the seminarian families of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary may testify, uprooting from one place to another in response to God’s call carries with it the birth-pangs of change. After laying up their blessed Carolinian lives of ministry in moving trucks over the span of two days, Father John and Matushka Jeanette are blessed to experience the same labor of faith which each and every seminary family who are carried to Saint Tikhon's in humble obedience to God's invitation must undergo, an experience from which they will draw in their ministry to Saint Tikhon's seminaries from every walk of life. “The details of leaving 15+ years of ministry are complex, and sad, but filled also with joy, excitement, and anticipation,” Father John shared. “We remain grateful for everyone’s generosity and prayers to help us unpack and get settled. When we arrive, we will thank Matt and all of his workers who are working around the clock for eleven days in renovations. The joy is in the arriving– Matushka and I are eager to be with you."
Article by Seminarian Isaac Lampart