On Sunday, December 16, Father Daniel Ressetar (STOTS 1948) was given the privilege of wearing the priestly “miter” – in honor of his six decades of faithful and yeoman service to the Orthodox Church in America. The award was presented to him by His Eminence, Archbishop MARK of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Christ the Savior Church in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Mitered Archpriest Daniel is among the most senior alumni of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, graduating only ten years after the Seminary’s establishment in 1938. He was assigned to Christ the Savior in Harrisburg in 1965, and served as rector there for 41 years, until his retirement in 2006. Father Ressetar still continues to serve divine services on weekends in Harrisburg area communities, substituting for clergy away from their parishes.
In addition to Father Daniel, serving with Archbishop MARK at the Hierarchical Liturgy were: Archpriest John Parker, St. Tikhon’s Seminary Dean; Archpriest Stephen Vernak (STOTS 2007), current rector of Christ the Savior Church; Archpriest Daniel Kovalak (STOTS 1974), pastor emeritus of Holy Cross Church in Williamsport, PA; and Deacon Moses Locke, a St. Tikhon’s seminarian in his final year of study. Hundreds of faithful were present at the divine services and the reception that followed, offering their personal congratulations to Father Ressetar.
The St. Tikhon's Seminary community joyfully joins with all those who love them in praying that God will grant Mitered Archpriest Daniel and Matushka Theodora “Many Years!”
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.