Category: Latest News
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St. Tikhon's Bookstore to Host Book Signing for Published Seminarian Wives - 07/09/24

On Saturday, 03 August 2024 at 6:00 PM, St. Tikhon's Monastery Bookstore will host an official book signing to commemorate the release of Crowned: An Orthodox Christian Wedding Guide, written by Matushka Krista Fedorchak and Delaney Clodfelter through Ancient Faith Publishing earlier this year.

Crowned is a brief but eminently practical and thorough walk through the wedding planning process, accentuating various components unique to the Orthodox Faith. 

The first 150 tickets will include a signed copy of the book, and guests will be welcomed to enjoy food, wine, and a special presentation by the authors. In addition, all other books sold at St. Tikhon's Monastery Bookstore will be available at a 10% discount.

Guests may purchase their tickets HERE or use the QR code on the attached flyer.

St Tikhon's Seminary & OCPM Complete Inaugural Certificate Program in Prison Ministry - 06/24/24

This past week, the partnership between St. Tikhon's Seminary and the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM) came alive by hosting its inaugural Certificate Program in Prison Ministry during a week-long immersive residency here at St. Tikhon's. 

Participants in the program's first cohort spent focused time in the classroom with V.Rev. Stephen Powley and V.Rev. John Kowalczyk learning the theoretical foundations of prison ministry. This was followed by invaluable field experience at the State Correctional Institution (Waymart) located mere miles from the seminary campus. 

St. Tikhon's is overjoyed to share this partnering program with the OCPM, much needed as it is in service to the Orthodox Faith. 

Pictured herein are the participants we proudly present as the fruits of our first cohort. May the Lord bless and keep your many years of loving service to the souls you will reach by His grace.

Those interested in future offerings of the Certificate Program in Prison Ministry can visit the OCPM website HERE for more information and upcoming news.

St. Tikhon's Seminary Hosts "Peace of Mind" Mental Health First Aid for Continuing Education 2024 - 06/21/24

From 18-20 June 2024, a group of clergy from around the United States came together at St. Tikhon's Seminary for our annual Clergy Continuing Education Program. These annual events are intended to feature instruction in areas related to pastoral life and the skills needed to serve effectively in the Holy Priesthood of today and tomorrow.

This year, St. Tikhon's Seminary broke ground in an important area by focusing on mental health challenges in parish life, partnering with the Peace of Mind Mental Health First Aid training program developed for Orthodox bridging by the Assembly of Bishops. 

Peace of Mind is a composite of the Mental Health First Aid program augmented with theological insights for an Orthodox audience. This program provides an overview of mental health concepts and challenges, and examines non-clinical frontline interventions useful for clergy who may encounter these same challenges in the course of shepherding their beloved parishes. 

V.Rev. Paul Schellbach guided the 1.5-day training program, which ended Thursday with a roundtable-style reflection on issues discussed in the preceding sessions.

More information about the Peace of Mind Mental Health First Aid training program can be found HERE.

Sing to Your Soul - Parts 8 & 9 Now Available - 06/10/24

The quiet of summer begins, but there is always some wisdom to think on in the Faith. 

Dr. David Ford, Professor of Church History at St. Tikhon's Seminary, continues his series bringing the timeless insights of St. John Chrysostom to our audience on Ancient Faith Radio. 

Parts 8 & 9 of his series is now available HERE for those listening.

Other episodes offering a glimpse into the lives and thoughts of St. Tikhon's Seminary are also available our Ancient Faith Radio channel, The Spirit of St. Tikhon's.

Christ is Risen!

Seminary Opens Enrollment for Diaconal Formation Program, Philadelphia - 06/06/24

St. Tikhon’s Seminary is happy to announce that this September it will commence a Certificate Program in Diaconal Formation in collaboration with St. Stephen’s Orthodox Cathedral in Philadelphia, Pa.  This certificate program is designed to provide participants with structured theological education and liturgical formation geared towards service in the Holy Diaconate of the Orthodox Church.   A program cohort will meet on Saturdays over the course of two years from September to May at St. Stephen Orthodox Cathedral in North-East Philadelphia, PA.  A Saturday session will include the celebration of the Divine Liturgy followed by a morning class session, lunch, an afternoon class session, and will conclude with the celebration of Vespers or Vigil.  This blending of liturgical celebration and classroom instruction provides a solid foundation in conceptual and practical competencies necessary for laymen who would like to pursue ordination to the Holy Diaconate.

Speaking about the Certificate Program, its Director, Archpriest Victor Gorodenchuk, Ph.D., Cathedral Dean, commented: “St. Stephen’s Cathedral is blessed to partner with St. Tikhon’s to offer candidates from various Orthodox jurisdictions and dioceses who have interest of serving the Church through the Diaconate the opportunity to take part in this special program. The unique, in-person formative experience that is offered by the Certificate Program cannot be overlooked.   The ability for students to take part in a cohort that celebrates the services together, attends classes together, and spends time in fellowship is indispensable for future ministry of those students in parishes of our Church.”

The Seminary welcomes applicants of various jurisdictions and dioceses who have their hierarch’s blessing to apply by providing the necessary application materials which are delineated HERE.  The deadline for the submission of materials is August 1, 2024.  Questions and inquiries regarding the Diaconal Formation Program can be directed to Archpriest Victor Gorodenchuk (Phone: 215.756.2289; Email: 

St. Tikhon's Seminary 82nd Commencement Exercises - Congratulations Class of 2024! - 05/29/24

St. Tikhon’s Seminary is pleased to reflect on its 82nd Commencement Exercises held over two days this past weekend, 24-25 May 2024. 

The commencement address, held in the evening of Friday, 24 May, featured the esteemed Abbess of the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration in Ellwood City, Pennsylvania - Mother Christophora. The speech by Mother Christophora was at once both timely and timeless, and set the stage for the following morning and afternoon.

Saturday, 25 May began with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at St. Tikhon’s Monastery as the contemporaneous pilgrimage weekend was underway. Shortly thereafter, families and honored guests filled the Seminary’s Convocation Center, leaving standing room only for the exercise continuation in the early afternoon.

The Dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, V.Rev. John Parker, greeted the crowd with a reflection on the previous evening’s speech and reminders of the lingering joy of the Lord’s Resurrection as we celebrated this commencement mere weeks following Pascha and days prior to the Feast of Mid-Pentecost. 

Academic Dean, Rev. Paul Witek, then followed with an examination of this year’s unusual valedictory circumstances. Unlike most years, the Class of 2024 produced four graduating seminarians of exemplary academic excellence and servile commitment to their community. 

These four were each honored for their commendable efforts at St. Tikhon’s:

Rev. Jordan Kingery

Rev. Gregory Fedorchak

Rev. Phillip Dage

Mark Tiitinen

Ultimately, the four valedictory honors selected Fr. Jordan Kingery to deliver the farewell address. Rev. Jordan reflected intimately on spiritual lessons and practical wisdom garnered in the preceding three years, urging his graduating brethren to lean on the bonds formed here and to remember that holiness springs from the humble roots of normalcy in life.

V.Rev. Patrick Burns next awarded V.Rev. Joseph Woodill recognition as Alumnus of the Year, highlighting the latter’s humility and “no-frills” dedication to ministry. 

Graduating President of Student Government, Nicola Nunu, would then introduce Valedictorian Mark Tiitinen to present the graduating class icon to His Eminence, Archbishop Michael and V.Rev. John Parker. The icon of St. Nicholai Velimirovich was authored by Mark Tiitinen himself during the time of his studies, and uniquely represents the character of this year’s graduating class.

Seraphim-Brian Cardell, Director of the Saint Patriarch Tikhon Memorial Library, along with his beloved wife and the Registrar and Director of Institutional Assessment & Effectiveness of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, Katherine Cardell, jointly received the Father Alexander Atty Service Award for their exceptional contributions to St. Tikhon’s Seminary. We are filled with gratitude for their dedicated work toward our bright future.

Finally, the exercises culminated in nineteen Master of Divinity diplomas bestowed upon the graduating class with an additional two Certificates in Pastoral Formation. Seven graduates, including Rev. Caleb Lewis, Rev. John York, Dn. Timothy Paproski, Dn. Basali Mathew, Mark Tiitinen, Michael Pak, and Nicola Nunu, received honors for their student theses and senior projects.

In heartfelt recognition of her many contributions to the Orthodox Faith and St. Tikhon’s Seminary, the faculty also awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters to Mother Christophora at this year’s commencement ceremony.

By the Lord’s unsearchable grace we have celebrated another passing year and another memorable cohort entering the ranks of our alumni. We thank them for their years of service both past and future. May the Lord grant you many blessed years in your life’s work and ministries.

Seminarian Ordained to Diaconate in American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of North America - 04/26/24

Deacon Tim Paproski was ordained this past Sunday, 21 April 2024, in Phoenixville, PA at the hand of His Eminence, Metropolitan Gregory of Nyssa to serve in the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of North America.

Deacon Tim is a third-year seminarian slated to graduate next month with the Class of 2024. We are pleased to have shared these wonderful years of life with the Paproski family, and wish they joy and fruitful labor in their coming years of service to the Orthodox Church.

We ask you all to keep Deacon Tim and the Paproski family in your prayers as they endure a life of sacrifice for the Lord. May He grant you many, many blessed years!


Fr. Seraphim Chang Ordained to Holy Priesthood at St. Tikhon's Monastery - 04/23/24

On Saturday, 20 April 2024, St. Tikhon's Monastery served Divine Liturgy commemorating the 90th anniversary of the repose of His Eminence, Metropolitan Platon - the first Metropolitan of the American Church, a key figure present at the restoration of the Patriarchate of the Russian Church, who's body lies at rest at St. Tikhon's Monastery.

This day brings many reasons for gratitude and remembrance, as it also saw seminarian - Fr. Seraphim Chang - ordained to the Holy Priesthood by the hand of His Beautitude, Metropolitan Tikhon. 

We ask your prayers for Fr. Seraphim and Mat. Ruth as they enter a life of sacrifice, service, and ministry to the Lord and his Church. May the Lord bless them and keep them for many blessed years.

Please enjoy a few moments from this beautiful ordination and memorial liturgy.


St. Tikhon's Professor to Speak at Spring Retreat in Raleigh, NC - 04/23/24

All Saints Orthodox Church in Raleigh, NC will be hosting a Spring Retreat on Wednesday, 22 May 2024. The retreat will feature guest speakers representing the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry and their sanctifying work with the incarcerated in our communities. 

Vespers will be conducted at 6:00 PM on Wednesday evening, followed afterwards by a potluck meal with speakers Fr. Stephen Powley and St. Tikhon's very own Fr. John Kowalczyk.

There will be childcare provided for guests, and those attending are asked to bring a dish to share.

Please visit HERE to register for this retreat, and see the attached flier for full details!

Sing to Your Soul, Part 6 - Podcast Now Available! - 04/22/24

Dr. David Ford, St. Tikhon's Professor of Church History, continues his series bringing listeners into contact with the timeless works of our Father among the Saints, John Chrysostom.

Dr. Ford has edited and translated many works of one of the Church's greatest Gospel preachers. All faithful can benefit much from meditating on the words of St. John Chrysostom, who offers erudite wisdom on all aspects of the Christian life.

You can find this week's episode HERE, along with previous episodes and other content from The Spirit of St. Tikhon's on Ancient Faith Radio.

Beauty First Films Screens St. Amphilochios Documentary at St. Tikhon's Seminary - 04/15/24

On Sunday, 14 April 2024, we were blessed to host Dr. Timothy Patitsas and Thomaida Hudanish - the creative minds behind Beauty First Films - for a screening of their recently completed documentary on the life, works, and teaching of St. Amphilochios of Patmos. 

This documentary covers the legacy of a beloved 20th-century Saint during their inaugural feast day in 2019. 

Beauty First Films is a non-profit dedicated to bringing audiences to a place of awe, beauty, and holiness. Dr. Timothy serves as Interim Dean and Assistant Professor at Hellenic College Holy Cross. Thomaida has served over 17 years in Orthodox lay ministry and brings a diverse skillset to her work. 

We encourage you to check out their work HERE and catch a screening near you!

Two Seminarians Ordained at St. Tikhon's Monastery Church - 04/12/24

On Saturday, 06 April 2024, two of our seminarians were ordained under the hand of His Eminence, Archbishop Michael at St. Tikhons' Monastery Church.

Fr. Benjamin Garcia was ordained to the Holy Priesthood, and Dn. Davede Thompson to the Holy Diaconate.

These men are third- and second-year seminarians, respectively, at St. Tikhon's Seminary. Please keep them in your prayers as they shoulder the responsibilities of ordained life in service to the Orthodox Church. May the Lord bless them and keep them for many years of fruitful sacrifice and ministry.

Enjoy the moments captured below from their beautiful ordination service.


COMING SOON: Fr. John Kowalczyk on Everyday Orthodox Podcast (Ancient Faith Radio) - 04/10/24

On Sunday, 14 April 2024, Fr. John Kowalczyk will be the featured guest on the Everyday Orthodox Podcast airing on Ancient Faith Radio. The podcast shares a wide range of interviews with Orthodox Christians from all walks of life and from every corner of the Orthodox Church. Tune it at 7:00 PM to catch one of our beloved faculty share wisdom from his long service in the Holy Priesthood.

Fr. John Kowalczyk serves as chaplain at S.C.I. Waymart’s Forensic Treatment Center. He is an executive member of the board of Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM), and advocates for prison inmates in need of Christ and pastoral care. Fr. John is also Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology and Chairs the Department of Pastoral Theology at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, PA.

Available HERE on the Ancient Faith Ministries Facebook page.


HERE on the Everyday Orthodox YouTube channel.

Meet Dean Harbry of the Middle Way Institute - 04/10/24

The Middle Way Institute is an organization offering coaching and training in executive presence, and has worked with many clients both corporate and public to develop winning team dynamics and interpersonal skillsets. The organization's founder, Dean Harbry, is also a devout Orthodox Christian and has done tremendous work with St. Tikhon's Seminary to bring the expertise of the Middle Way Institute to a very important audience.

Our employees have benefited greatly from immersive workshops with Dean Harbry, who has helped shed light on refining the organizational culture of our historic institution. More importantly, Dean has brought these immense insights into the classrooms here by repeatedly imparting crucial professional development skills to our seminarians who will take these insights into their future ministries as active clergy.

Dean was kind enough to provide a brief interview, sharing a bit of his professional background and history with St. Tikhon's Seminary. We are very pleased to introduce Dean to our community and shine the spotlight on the invaluable work he is doing with us. Click the button below to read the full interview.

AFR: Interview with Fr. Paul Abernathy of the Neighborhood Resilience Project - 04/03/24

Amid the chaos of seminary, it can be difficult to stay focused on the ultimate goal of one’s efforts. Hearing from those who have graduated from St. Tikhon’s who do meaningful work in their churches and communities can be an excellent way to refocus on the meaning of it all.

For Father Paul Abernathy (St. Tikhon’s, 2010), that work certainly extends well beyond the walls of his parish, St. Moses the Black Orthodox Church in Pittsburgh, PA. As the founder and CEO of the Neighborhood Resilience Project, he uses Trauma Informed Community Development to bring healing and the light of Christ to the inner city.

On Thursday, March 28, Father Paul Abernathy interviewed with Father John Parker for Ancient Faith Radio. Together with his wife Khouria (Kristina), Fr. Paul has affected a tremendous transformation of some of the most crime- and trauma-riddled neighborhoods in Pittsburgh through the Gospel, coupled with social interventions. He describes an aspect of his approach as, “Ministry to the poor, through the ministry of the rich.”

“Fr. Paul shared some truly miraculous accounts of how the Lord works mightily with those who have a childlike faith,” Fr. John said after their conversation.

The Hill District, where Fr. Paul ministers, has a reputation as the area of Pittsburgh with the highest rate of gun crime in the city. Through the efforts of the Neighborhood Resilience Project, the Hill District has officially come off that list, and the ministry continues to move outward, block-by-block, reclaiming human lives and communities with the love of God.

In the summer of 2023, third-year St. Tikhon’s seminarian Father (then-Deacon) Micah Breland completed his summer internship under Fr. Paul, and was completely astounded by the effect of Fr. Paul’s efforts in an underprivileged area.

You can find out more about the Abernathys’ organization at

Listen to the full interview at Ancient Faith: 

Remembering St. Nicholai at St. Tikhon's Annual Lecture Series - 04/03/24

It’s not often that Orthodox Christians in America have the opportunity to meet a saint, but on Tuesday, 26 March 2024, the students, faculty, staff, and members of the surrounding community gathered in the St. Tikhon’s Seminary convocation hall to hear a talk delivered by Father Yaroslav Sudick, a student and personal typist for Saint Nikolai (Velimirovic).

Fr. Yaroslav’s reminiscences on the occasion of the 4th Annual St. Nikolai Lecture revealed a human aspect of our beloved saint rarely encountered in more formal hagiography. St. Nikolai’s catchphrase, “Yaro, Yaro—this, too, shall pass,” was woven throughout accounts of his kindness, gentleness, selflessness, and down-to-earth sense of humor.

As Bishop, St. Nikolai never wore his klobuk in church, and never vested in the center of the church— “I’m only here to serve the Lord,” he would say. Fr. Yaroslav remembered that he always helped everyone, and that he never criticized or corrected anyone in front of others, choosing instead to speak to them later in private. Such humility is striking in a man who knew seven languages fluently and corresponded with sitting United States Presidents!

In attendance were Archbishop Michael (Dahulich) and Bishop Irenej (Dobrijevic) of the Diocese of Eastern America in the Serbian Orthodox Church. Bp. Irenej gifted relics of St. Nikolai to St. Tikhon’s Seminary, which have been installed in the St. Nikolai shrine on the main hall of the seminary building.


St. Nikolai, pray for us all.

Sing to Your Soul, Parts 4 & 5 - Podcast Now Available! - 04/01/24

Glory to God for All Things!

Our beloved series presenting the teachings of Our Father among the Saints, St. John Chrysostom - Sing to Your Soul - continues on Ancient Faith Radio.

Dr. David Ford, Professor of Church History at St. Tikhon's Seminary, has been periodically partnering with our radio station, The Spirit of St. Tikhon's, to bring his esteemed Chyrsostom series to a listening audience. This series presents a great opportunity to become acquainted with one of our Faith's most cherished and venerated teachers. 

For sixteen centuries, St. John Chrysostom's words have been regarded as exemplary expositions of true religion. It is our joy to share them with you in partnership with Dr. Ford, an academic deeply acquainted with St. Chrysostom's life and thought.

You can find the podcast sessions HERE - along with previous episodes and material shared through The Spirit of St. Tikhon's.

Fr. John Kowalczyk Delivers MEOCCA & OCPM Retreat Homily in Minneapolis - 03/29/24

On Saturday, March 23 - March 24, Fr. John Kowalczyk Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and Director of Training and Spiritual Care for OCPM was invited by the Twin City's Clergy Association in Minneapolis and OCPM 
Minnesota as retreat speaker and homilist. 

On Saturday afternoon, Fr. John was the main retreat speaker for the OCPM Minnesota. Mark Santana, Church Programs Manager for OCPM, gave a slide presentation on the work of the agency.
On Sunday morning, 24 March, Fr. John concelebrated the Divine Liturgy at St. Mary's Greek Orthodox Church in Minneapolis and was the guest homilist. 

On Sunday afternoon, Fr. John was invited to be the guest Homilist for the Sunday of Orthodoxy service held at St. Mary's (OCA) Cathedral in Minneapolis. This year the Sunday of Orthodoxy fell on the Eve of the Feast of Annunciation, and Fr. John spoke on the the Feast of Annunciation as the beginning of our Salvation.

Despite the snow, hundreds of Orthodox faithful filled the Cathedral to capacity.


South Canaan, PA — Following a Comprehensive Site Visit by members of the Association of Theological
Schools in the United States and Canada (ATS) in October 2023, the most recent biannual meeting of the ATS
Board of Commissioners reaffirmed the accreditation of St. Tikhon’s Seminary for a period of 10 years. In their
letter to the Seminary’s Rector, His Eminence Archbishop Michael, the Commissioners praised the Seminary’s
“laser sharp clarity of identity and mission”, “strong community of formation”, and its “committed faculty,
talented leadership team, and dedicated students”. In addition to the extension of accreditation till Spring 2034,
the Commissioners reaffirmed its approval of the Seminary’s M.Div. degree. To add to the joyful news, Dr.
Barbara Mutch, Senior ATS Director of Accreditation, notified the Seminary that the community’s 2023
Self-Study Report would be added to the Association’s library of exemplary self-studies that would be shared at
workshops designed to help member schools begin the process of self-study under the recently updated 2020
Standards of Accreditation.

Regarding this wonderful announcement, Archbishop Michael noted: “To receive the maximum of 10 years of
accreditation is a monumental accomplishment for a seminary of our size. We are humbled that our Self-Study
will be a reference resource for others. Certainly, we are grateful to God for all His blessings, especially for all
those whose labors made this possible for us.” In relaying the news to the community, the Seminary’s Dean, Fr.
John Parker commented: “We give thanks to the Lord for all the good He is doing at St. Tikhon's - and we look
forward to the coming decade of growth and strength.” In his role as Director of Self-Study, the Seminary’s
Academic Dean, Fr. Paul Witek, noted that “the ten-year reaffirmation is an exceptional achievement for the
school and displays the unwavering commitment of so many to the embodied mission of St. Tikhon’s in
providing for the solid formation of future servants and leaders of Christ’s Church.” The Seminary extends its
thanks to all those who contributed to the Self-Study process and asks for the continued prayers and support of
the faithful throughout the Church for our theological school in fulfilling its unique vision for years to come.

Sing to Your Soul, Part 3 - Podcast Now Available! - 03/11/24

Dr. David Ford, professor of Church Hisotry at St. Tikhon's Seminary and a subject expert on Our Father among the Saints, John Chrysostom, continues his podcast series by sharing more readings from his published works on the "golden-mouthed" saint. 

Our channel, The Spirit of St. Tikhon's on Ancient Faith Radio, has been pleased to host Dr. Ford to share this crucial forebearer in the faith with our faithful audiences.

You can listen to the most recent episode HERE - and we hope you'll enjoy past episodes on Ancient Faith Radio in support of St. Tikhon's Seminary!

STS Kids' Theatre: The Ark, The Early Life of Mary - 03/08/24

A big “thank you” to the children of St. Tikhon’s Theological Seminary for their production of The Ark: The Early Life of Mary on Sunday, 03 March!

The play, written by Shawn Cunningham and directed by Sarah Schlafer and Mat. Casey Garcia, detailed key moments in the first fifteen years of the life of Theotokos, including the announcement of her birth to her parents Ss. Joachim and Anna and her entrance into the Temple at age three. Events portrayed were taken from the Protoevangelium of James, an Early Church document relating the extra-biblical biography of Mary, the Mother of God.

All roles were played by the children of St. Tikhon’s seminarians, and there were musical numbers scattered throughout based on Church hymnography.

Following the show there was a potluck meal, where the young thespians were rewarded with ice cream and many congratulations for their hard work in bringing the performance to fruition in just one month. Glory to God!

Sing To Your Soul, Part 2 - Podcast Now Available! - 02/26/24

Dr. David Ford, professor of Church History, is releasing episodes with the Spirit of St. Tikhon's podcast on Ancient Faith radio, introducing listeners to his works focused on St. John Chrysostom.

This is great opportunity to enjoy the words of the "golden-mouthed" saint through one of his foremost specialists and translators.

You can enjoy the newest episode HERE - and be sure to watch for the next episode coming soon!

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

Ordination of Fr. Mark Solomon & Dn. Nick Johnson - 02/14/24

On Saturday, February 10, Deacon Mark Solomon was ordained to the Holy Priesthood and Nicholas Johnson to the Holy Diaconate by His Eminence, Archbishop Michael of New York and New Jersey at the St. Tikhon's Monastery Church.

Father Mark is a third-year student at St. Tikhon's Seminary, and Father Deacon Nicholas is a second-year student. The St. Tikhon's community offers its sincere prayers for their ministries, and may God grant them many years!

Please enjoy this collection of moments from a memorable day in the lives of these two faithful men.

Sing To Your Soul Podcast Series with Dr. David Ford - 02/05/24

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

The Spirit of St. Tikhon's, our Seminary's live and recorded podcast channel on Ancient Faith Radio, is excited to welcome Dr. David Ford onboard for a new series. 

The series, centered around Dr. Ford's "Sing to Your Soul" book series, aired its first episode last Friday, 02 February. The podcast series, like the books, will focus on extracted wisdow from our Father among the Saints, St. John Chrysostom. Check out the first episode HERE!

The podcast series is expected to continue in coming weeks, so keep your eyes open for new episodes to be released! 


Local Diocesan Seminarian - Fr. Kirill Zawatski - Ordained - 01/30/24

St. Tikhon's Seminary joyfully announces an ordination for the diocese of our surrounding region.

Fr. Kirill Zawatski of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania was ordained this past Saturday, 27 January 2024 at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. His Eminence, Archbishop Mark of Philadephia and Eastern Pennsylvania celebrated Divine Liturgy with a filled nave in attendance to witness this previous moment. Fr. Kirill served the most holy Eucharist to his community for the first time during a service we will not soon forget.

The St. Tikhon's community offers its steadfast prayers to Fr. Kirill as he enters into a life of loving sacrifice for the life of the world. May the Lord bless you and keep you for many, many years.

Ordination of Father Micah Breland and Deacon Paisios Hamann - 01/24/24

This past Saturday, 20 January 2024, saw the elevation of two devoted seminarians here on the sacred grounds of St. Tikhon's.

His Eminence, Archbishop Michael celebrated the liturgy, ordaining Father Micah Breland to the Holy Priesthood and Deacon Paisios Hamann to the Holy Diaconate in a beautiful service amidst their beloved brothers, sisters, and loved ones.

St. Tikhon's Seminary cherishes the chance to share a few precious moments from this memorable day, and we pray tirelessly for God's grace to uphold the ministries of these young men. May the Lord bless you and keep you for many, many blessed years!

Ordination of Father Jordan Kingery to the Holy Priesthood - 01/19/24

With seminarians arriving back for classes, we are able to share more joyful news from the holiday season.

Father Jordan Kingery was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on the Leavetaking of Nativity several weeks ago under the auspices of His Eminence, Archbishop Daniel of Chicao and the Midwest at the beautiful Holy Trinity Cathedral in Chicago, IL. We hope to share a few of the moments captures from this memorable day.

The seminary welcomes him back for the home stretch of his studies, always praying for his spiritual strength during the years of sacrifice and shepherding ahead. May the Lord grant you many, many blessed years Father Jordan!

Theophany & Ordination of Fr. Phillip Dage - 01/10/24

As Nativity comes to a close, the Orthodox Church rejoices with the Feast of Theophany and our annual Blessing of the Waters. 

This blessed feast is made more so this year with the ordination of our seminarian, Fr. Phillip Dage, to the Holy Priesthood.

Fr. Phillip was ordained during the Divine Liturgy at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Chicago, IL celebrated by His Eminence, Archbishop Daniel of Chicago and the Midwest. 

The St. Tikhon's community is overjoyed to share a few precious moments from the ordination, and prays without ceasing for Fr. Phillip's future ministry. May your life be filled with all the joys and sacrifices of a worthy ministry, and may God grant you many blessed years!

New Year Welcomes Newly Ordained - Father Damian Kulp - 01/03/24

While the rest of the world says goodbye to another year, the Orthodox Church in America is celebrating the Leavetaking of Nativity - and this date is made more memorable this year by the ordination of our seminarian, Fr. Damian Kulp.

Fr. Kulp was ordained at St. Anne Orthodox Church in Corvallis, OR under the auspices of His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin.

Although Fr. Kulp traveled far home to the Diocese of the West for this memorable moment in life, St. Tikhon's was very much with him in spirit and prayer. We are overjoyed to share pictures of this day, and pray unceasingly for the Lord's grace throughout his many years of sacrificial ministry. 

Ordination of Father John York - 01/02/24

Several weeks ago, as the Advent season drew to a close, our seminarian Fr. John York was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in his home diocese.

The ordination was bestowed during Divine Liturgy on 20 December, 2023 at Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, Illinois and presided over by His Eminence, Archbishop Daniel.

It took some time to receive images of the ordination, but we are overjoyed to welcome in the new year by extending our heartfelt congratulations to Fr. John York. You have been an exemplary member of the St. Tikhon's community, and our prayers for you carry the hope of a long sacrificial ministry, full of the many joys and sorrows which mark the journey of the Church and her faithful into a bright future.

We are happy to present a few beautiful and memorable moments from Fr. York's ordination for the prayerful enjoyment of those who could not attend.

Nativity Season Closure - 12/21/23

St. Tikhon's Seminary would like to extend our warmest blessing to you this Nativity season.

In celebration of this blessed feast, Seminary offices will be closing at Noon on Friday, 22 December and remain closed through the week of Nativity.

Officer will re-open on Tuesday, 02 January 2024. Shortly thereafter, we will have another brief closure on Friday, 05 January 2024 for the Eve of Theophany.

Rejoice and be exceedingly glad in celebration of the God who is with us!

+Christ is Born!+

+Glorify Him!+

Nativity Season Continues with Ordination of Fr. Caleb Lewis - 12/20/23

St. Tikhon's Seminary is overjoyed to announce the next of several ordinations taking place in the coming weeks.

On Wednesday, 13 December, Caleb Lewis was elevated to the presbyterate by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon during a joyous Hierarchical Liturgy.

Fr. Caleb has been a commendable seminarian, and we wish him many blessed years of sacrifice toward an everlasting kingdom!

Please enjoy a few of the precious moments from this memorable event.

Joyous Feast! - Remembering This Year's St. Nicholas Day Party - 12/06/23

This past Monday, 04 December, our seminarian families concluded another beautiful Vespers service - joining together back at the seminary to kick off our annual St. Nicholas Day Party!

The annual celebration has become a mainstay of family life here at St. Tikhon's, and gives our seminarian parents and their children the opportunity to welcome in the holidays by celebrating the Blessed Feast Day of St. Nicholas with an evening of food and fun activities.

His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, seized the opportunity to spend some precious and memorable time with the kids who inspire their fathers and mothers through these challenging years of study. This year's party will be remembered as one of the best in memory, and was a welcome reminder of the joyful things just beneath the surface of all we work to accomplish.

The St. Tikhon's community wishes you all a blessed and joyful holiday - and many, many more! 

St. Tikhon's Seminary announces newly appointed Chair to Board of Trustees - 11/29/23

Following our recent accreditation visit in October 2023, the St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary held a Board of Trustees meeting. Following this meeting, we are pleased to publicly announce David Jarrett as the new Chair of the Board of Trustees, taking the place of longtime Chair, Michael Herzak.

Jarrett has served at length as the Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, and brings a deeply respected and capable skillset to the fore as he takes to this new role. 

The community at St. Tikhon’s Seminary is excited to work alongside Jarrett in the coming years to pave the way for future generations of our priesthood and scholars. We pray fervently for his continued success, and are indebted to those who make such sacrifices, not only for our institution, but for the Orthodox Church at large.

Father Gregory Fedorchak Ordained to the Holy Priesthood - 11/28/23

St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary is pleased to announce our first ordination to the Holy Priesthood during the 2023-24 Academic Year.

During the Divine Liturgy this past Saturday, 25 November, Fr. Gregory Fedorchak was welcomed into the presbyterate by The Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of New York and New York and New Jersey on the beautiful, sunlit grounds of St. Tikhon's Monastery. Under the Archbishop's blessing, Fr. Greg ministered the Eucharist to our grateful community with reverence and humility. 

The clergy and faithful of St. Tikhon's pray without ceasing for the long and fruitful ministry of Fr. Gregory, accompanied faithfully by Matushka Krista in your journey. May God grant you many blessed years!


Now Accepting Applications for AY 2024-25! - 11/27/23

The Admissions Committee at St. Tikhon's is now accepting applications for the 2024-25 academic year. Application materials may be found here: The deadline to submit application materials is June 1, 2024. Apply now!

Fr. John Kowalczyk Speaks at Annual Retreat to 160 Women at the Antiochian Village - 11/22/23

The Very Rev. John Kowalczyk, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology and The Director of Training and Spiritual Care for the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry was one of the Keynote Speakers at the Annual Ancient Faith Retreat held at the Antiochian Village on Friday, 10 November through Sunday, 12 November. Over 160 women from across the country representing all Orthodox jurisdictions participated in the retreat.

The theme of the presentation on Friday afternoon, November 10, was “The Myrrhbearing Women coming out of their Comfort Zone -And with the Fear of God and Faith drew near early in the morning, to the Tomb and discovered the Risen Christ” Mark Santana, Church Program Manager, for O.C.P.M. followed with a slide presentation on the work of O.C.P.M. and introduced a letter writing project to inmates held the next day.  

Fr. John concelebrated Great Vespers and on Sunday, November 12 the 9:30 a.m. Divine Liturgy.  Fr. John also heard confessions and held Proskomedia in view of the retreat participants. 

Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Certificate Program - 11/01/23

St Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry, creating a certificate program for clergy and laity alike.

This new and timelessly important program will last one full semester, and applications are currently being accepted for the Spring 2024 semester.

Click HERE to read the official press release for this program, or visit the OCPM Webpage for further details and contact information.

Public Announcement of Accreditation Visit - 08/15/23

St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary is hosting a comprehensive evaluation visit for reaffirmation of accreditation by the ATS Commission on Accrediting on October 16 - 19, 2023. The purpose of this visit is to verify that the school meets all applicable Commission Standards of Accreditation. Comments regarding how well the school meets those standards and/or generally demonstrates educational quality may be sent to at least two weeks before the visit. Comments may also or instead be sent in writing to Fr. Paul Witek, Director of Self-Study ( All comments will be shared with the onsite evaluation committee.

Tikhonaire Spring 2023 - 07/18/23

Read the latest edition of The Tikhonaire!

Archpriest John Kowalczyk Appointed Interim Chair of the Department of Pastoral Theology - 04/07/23

"An Evening with St. John Chrysostom" - 03/28/23

St. Nicholai Lecture and Banquet - 03/01/23

Dear Friends!

St. Tikhon's Seminary opens her doors to you and your parishioners for a joyful evening--Tuesday, March 14, 6-830p, at 178 St. Tikhon's Rd, Waymart, PA 18472.

A generous donor makes it possible for us to invite you as our guest to dinner and the 3rd Annual St. Nicholai (Velimirovich) Lecture. There is *no cost* to the dinner or lecture. BUT an RSVP is necessary, because we have only 100 seats available. The first 100 to reply are invited to join us for supper and the lecture. (The Lecture will also be live-streamed on our YouTube Channel.

To RSVP and reserve a ticket, please write

St. Nicholai was the Rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary in 1955; he fell asleep in the Lord here in 1956, having eaten his last meal in the Orphanage. A beautiful Shrine is being finished in his honor, in the very room in which he lived and reposed.

Our own local Fr. Daniel Geeza was a student of St Nicholai's. Fr. Daniel has agreed to come and share an evening of stories about the Saint, his professor.

If you have not been back to St. Tikhon's in a while, you might not believe all the good that God is doing here. If you have been back recently, still come enjoy the night!  

Please join us! Come and See! And enjoy!

Seminarians Ordained in Bethlehem - 01/30/23

On Friday, January 27, His Eminence Archbishop Mark ordained Dn. Nathan Clausson to the Holy Priesthood and Kirill Tyler Zawatski to the Holy Diaconate at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church in Bethlehem, PA. May God grant them many years of fruitful service to Christ's Holy Church! Axios!

Seminarians Ordained at the Monastery - 01/26/23

Fr. Solomon Longo was ordained to the Holy Priesthood, and Dn. Gregory Fedorchak was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by Archbishop Michael at St. Tikhon's Monastery on January 21, 2023. Axios!

Archbishop Michael Anniversary - 01/20/23

Fr. Gabriel Aldridge Ordained in Atlanta - 01/11/23

Fr. Gabriel Aldridge was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Archbishop Alexander at St. John the Wonderworker Orthodox Orthodox Church in Atlanta, GA on January 7, 2023. Spring term STOTS instructor Dean Harbry was also tonsured a reader and ordained a subdeacon. The concelebrating priests were Fr. Marcus Burch (DOS chancellor, rector St. John of the Ladder, Greenville, SC), Fr. Alexander Fecanin (dean of Atlanta deanery, rector St. Symeon the New Theologian, Birmingham, AL), Fr. Thomas Alessandroni (rector St. John the Wonderworker, Atlanta, GA), Fr. Daniel Hickman (rector St. Stephen the Protomartyr, Orlando, FL), Fr. Christopher Maciolek (rector St. Mary of Egypt, Norcross, GA), Fr. Theophan Buck (rector St. Innocent’s, Macon, GA), Fr. Seth Earl (priest-in-charge, St. Tikhon’s, Chattanooga, TN), Fr. David Galloway (third-year seminarian, St. Vladimir’s), Protodeacon Ephraim Rivers (St. Symeon the New Theologian, Birmingham, AL), and Pdn. Lazarus Muska (St. Mary of Egypt, Norcross, GA). Axios!

Photo credits: Kurtis M. Johnson. Enjoy more photos of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and Ordination: Kurtis M. Johnson Photography

Seminarians Ordained on Theophany - 01/10/23

Seminarians Fr. Joseph Whittaker and Dn. John York were ordained in Chicago on Theophany: Axios!

Fr. Herman Ordained to the Holy Priesthood - 01/04/23

STOTS Announces On-line Publication of Papers from Speaking the Truth in Love: Addressing Sexuality and the Human Being Conference - 11/14/22

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary,

South Canaan, Pennsylvania,

announces the bi-weekly posting on the Seminary’s web site of

papers presented at a conference held at St. Tikhon’s Seminary November 7 - 9, 2019:


Speaking the Truth in Love:

Addressing Sexuality

and the Human Being

Where will these papers be posted? 

Why did St. Tikhon’s Seminary hold this Conference on this theme?

          This conference was held at St. Tikhon’s on this theme, because we wished to reaffirm the glory, beauty, sanctity, wonder, and dignity of striving to live in purity of mind and body in Christ, with and in the grace of the Holy Spirit. 

          We believe that such a fresh proclamation is always necessary, especially in our own time in view of the current widespread, very harmful confusion in our society about human personhood and sexuality.  And now, this proclamation is even more necessary, since some members of our own Orthodox Church, including even some clergy and scholars, apparently are yielding, at least to some degree, to the prevailing spirit of our age that says there’s nothing wrong, harmful, sinful, or disruptive to spiritual life, about indulging in nearly any form of sexual relations outside traditional marriage.  And there are even a few within our Church who seem to be yielding to the contemporary fascination with gender fluidity and transgenderism, both of which encourage rejection of the basic, God-given reality embedded in humanity whereby every human being is clearly born either as male or female (except in extremely rare cases).

          We, the faculty, staff, and students at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, led by our beloved rector, Archbishop Michael, deeply believe that it’s our sacred, God-given responsibility to meet the challenge of the so-called Sexual Revolution, plus now the challenge of so-called gender fluidity, by proclaiming and explaining anew the life-giving teachings about what it truly means to be either a male or a female human being, made in the image of God. These teachings, which our Holy Church has always proclaimed and lived by, include, as we know, Christ’s holy, life-giving, grace-bearing commandments for us to live in sexual purity.  As St. Paul declares:

          For this is the will of GOD for you, even your sanctification; and hence, that you should abstain from fornication, that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honor—not in the lust of concupiscence, even as those who do not know GOD—and that no one should go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter. For the LORD is the avenger of all such people, as we also have forewarned you and testified to you.  For GOD has not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:3-7).

          With our LORD’s help, we aimed during this conference to bring forth many of the theological and practical reasons why sexual purity—meaning chastity/virginity before marriage and faithfulness to one’s spouse within marriage—is the healthiest and safest way to live, in addition to the fact that it alone is the God-pleasing way to express the gift of our sexuality with which Christ has graced every one of us.

          So for this conference, we gathered over a dozen excellent speakers, beginning with Archbishop Michael, who shared theological and practical wisdom  about various aspects of our Church’s life-giving teachings on human anthropology, especially regarding sexual purity. 

Why is St. Tikhon’s presenting these papers at this time through posting them on-line?

          Our hope and prayer are that the talks from this conference will reach the widest possible audience, which we believe will occur if they are made available on-line on the St. Tikhon’s Seminary web site.  Please, everyone, feel free to copy and send the link for any and all of the papers, as they are posted week by week.

          May these articles help us all grow even more closely together in a common vision for the glory of human personhood and sexual purity.  And further, through them may we gain a more thorough knowledge of very practical ways to help our people, especially our youth, to understand and live this rich and wholesome way of life—the way of living which is the most conducive to promoting our emotional, physical, and spiritual health through helping us grow closer to our beloved Creator and Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

          Our first posting is a general introduction to the papers, written by our beloved Dean of the Seminary, Fr. John Parker.  The "General Introduction" has been posted today, Monday, November 14, 2022. The next paper will be Dr. Harry Boosalis' "An Orthodox Understanding of the Human Body," on November 21.

Dr. David C. Ford, PhD, Coordinating Editor

Professor of Church History

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

South Canaan, PA

Holy Synod Meets at St. Tikhon's - 11/14/22

November 9 - 11, the Holy Synod met in Northeastern Pennsylvania, holding many of its sessions at St. Tikhon's. During its proceedings, the Synod decided unanimously to elevate His Grace Bishop Daniel of Chicago and the Diocese of the Midwest to the dignity of archbishop. 

St. Tikhon's Seminary Accepting 2023-2024 Applications - 11/11/22

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is presently accepting admissions applications for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Information concerning admission to the Seminary, including application materials, can be accessed digitally HERE.

Interested applicants should forward hard-copy materials by June 1, 2023 to the following address:

Seminary Admissions Committee

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

P.O. Box 130

South Canaan, PA 18459

Applicants wishing to present materials in digital form, may do so by emailing the Seminary at 

For those discerning applying to the Seminary, a recent presentation of the journey of one of our seminary families can be seen HERE.

OCPM Retreat in Missouri - 11/08/22

The Very Reverend John Kowalczyk, Director of Training and Spiritual Care, recently led a retreat at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in St. Louis, Missouri for the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry. Read more here:

OCPM web site:

STOTS Graduate Ordained to the Holy Priesthood in Texas - 10/18/22

The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost, October 2, 2022

Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Houston, TX

By the Grace of God and with the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH of the Antiochian Archdiocese, STOTS graduate (2022) Deacon Mark Makarios was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Grace, Bishop JOHN (Abdalah), on the Second Sunday of Luke, October 2, 2022, at Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church, in Houston, Texas.

Concelebrating with His Grace were Archpriest James Shadid, Pastor of Saint George Church, Priest George Dahdouh, Priest Symeon Kees (STOTS ’09) and Priest Athanasios Kombos (STOTS ’22).  Immediately following the ordination, Bishop JOHN called Khourie Marian forward to stand alongside her husband, Father Mark, before the congregation as His Grace delivered the Sunday homily, concluding with a personal address, 

“As you offer yourself to God and the Church offers you to this community, as you will witness and serve and love the people, sharing the altar with wonderful priests, you witness to your priority of love for each other.  The love that God gives us in marriage for each other comes from Him and brings us back to Him.”  

Joining the parish of Saint George in the great joy of the day were Father Mark’s in-laws, Mr. Adel and Mrs. Sanaa Saleh, travelling from Egypt, as well as many friends coming from far and near, including several current STOTS seminarians. 

A week of daily liturgies followed for Father Mark Makarios, the first of which on Monday was attended by His Grace Bishop JOHN, Archpriest James Shadid, Archpriest Joseph Huneycutt, Archpriest Joseph Jreije, Priest Symeon Kees, and Priest Adam Roberts. 

Together with them all, the Saint Tikhon community exclaims, 

He is worthy!  Mustaheq!  Axios!

Founder's Day Lecture: October 11, 2022 - 10/05/22

Visit of Malankara Catholicos - 10/04/22

Article by: Sdn. Renin Cherian, Malankara student, 3rd Year

On September 28th, St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary was blessed to have with us, His Holiness Moran Mor Baselios Marthoma Mathews III, the Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan – the Supreme Head of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. His Holiness was accompanied by His Grace Zachariah Mor Nicolovos, the Metropolitan of the North East American Diocese as well as other clergy. His Holiness was received by His Eminence Archbishop Michael, the Rector of our institution as well as the Dean of the Seminary, Very Rev. Fr. John Parker III and other faculty members.

His Holiness visit to St. Tikhon’s coincided with his first Apostolic Visit to North America following his installation as Catholicos. His Holiness greeted and addressed the entire student body. During his address, His Holiness reminded all those present of our vocation, the realities of working in the Lord’s vineyard in this current day, and how we are to serve God’s people. To celebrate the occasion of his visit, following the address, His Holiness was presented with a special gift by the Dean of the Seminary. In addition to the gift, was the inauguration of the ‘Moran Mor Baselios Marthoma Mathews III Scholarship Fund’ specially set aside for our current and future Malankara students. During his visit, His Holiness offered incense and intercessory prayers in St. John Chrysostom Malankara Chapel and toured our beautiful campus. His Holiness was delighted to visit the oldest Orthodox Christian monastery in America. He was warmly greeted by the Abbot of St. Tikhon’s Monastery, Archimandrite Sergius. His Holiness offered special intercessory prayers in the monastery Church to the patron saint, St. Tikhon and was able to venerate the relics of St. Alexis and the Miraculous Icon of St. Anna. Following the tour, His Holiness enjoyed tea and refreshments alongside the faculty and staff.

His Holiness’ visit marked the first time since 2006 that a Catholicos of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church has visited our hallowed grounds. Currently, we have with us eight students studying at St. Tikhon’s from the Malankara Orthodox jurisdiction representing the Dioceses of North East America, Diocese of South-West America, and the Diocese of Bombay.

Special thanks to all the individuals that were involved in the planning and preparations to ensure that His Holiness and all our guests had a wonderful stay!

Alumni Update: Fr. Joseph Lucas Receives Ph.D. - 10/03/22

On September 9, Fr. Joseph Lucas (STOTS 2010) received his Ph.D. in Theology from Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen in the Netherlands. He successfully defended his thesis titled "Offerer and Offering: Cyril of Alexandria on Jewish and Christian Sacrifice." His supervisors were Fr. Andrew Louth and Fr. John Behr, and his examination panel included Fr. John McGuckin and Lewis Ayres. Fr. Joseph is the rector of Christ the Saviour Orthodox Cathedral (OCA) in Miami Lakes, Florida. He is also a Senior Editor of Rule of Faith Journal.

STOTS Graduate Ordained to the Holy Priesthood - 07/03/22

On Sunday, June 20/July 3, 2022, His Grace, +Bishop ALEXEI served the hierarchical divine liturgy at Saint Innocent Russian Orthodox Cathedral where Reverend Deacon Peter Kamilos was ordained to the holy priesthood. AXIOS! 

More information on the ordination and Father Peter can be found at: peter-kalimos-ordained-to-the- holy-priesthood

Vladyka ALEXEI asks that you keep Father Peter, Matushka Michele, and their family in your prayers. 




Retired Librarian Ordained Subdeacon - 06/19/22

On Sunday, 19 June 2022,  the Seminary's retired Head Librarian and Registrar, Sergei D. Arhipov,  was ordained to the Subdiaconate by His Eminence, Archbishop Mark of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania.  The subdiaconal ordination took place preceding the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of All Saints at St. Mark's Orthodox Church, Wrightstown, PA.   The Seminary wishes Subdeacon Sergei many blessed years.  

OCPM Announced its New Director - 06/08/22

Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM), the national prison ministry of the Orthodox Church, is very pleased to announce the Very Rev. John Kowalczyk as its Director of Training and Spiritual Care.

Fr. John is the rector of St. Michael’s Church in Jermyn, PA, and the Director of Field Education and Senior Lecturer in Ethics at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (STOTS). As the contract chaplain at S.C.I. Waymart’s Forensic Treatment Center, Fr. John facilitates the prison ministry practicum for seminarians at STOTS.

Fr. John formerly served as the Executive Secretary of the Board of Directors of OCPM, where he gained greater insight into the budgetary needs of the organization, but now he sees his role differently as a member of OCPM’s staff. Among his plans for the future of the organization include holding OCPM retreats, attending more speaking engagements, and hosting ministry workshops wherever there is a need.

“Seeing the dedication of Fr. Duane Pederson [Founder of OCPM] and working with Zossima Daugherty [Director of Prison Correspondence] has inspired and prepared me in a unique way,” says Fr. John. “I feel positively about my new position, especially sharing this role with Fr. Stephen Powley who has been my inspiration and brother in Christ for so many years.”

Seminary Opens Search for Faculty Position - 06/06/22

St. Tikhon’s Seminary Announces Search for Faculty Position in Pastoral Arts and Praxis  

[South Canaan, PA] -  The Faculty of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that it is inviting candidates to submit applications for a full-time position at the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor of  Pastoral Arts and Praxis within the Seminary’s Master of Divinity (M.Div.) Program, with a starting date of 1 July 2023. 

In announcing the open position, the Seminary’s Dean, Father John Parker, noted: “Forming missionary minded pastors that have a love for serving the Church lies at the very center of what we do here at St. Tikhon’s Seminary.  In this search, we want to identify an individual that will play a central role in that formation of our students as they prepare for ministry in a complex world, providing them with the tools necessary to engage souls within that world and bring them to a vibrant life in Christ.”   

The full job description for open faculty position can be accessed at

Applications for this position must be received by 6 August 2022.  Interested candidates are asked to submit a cover letter of application, current curriculum vitae, and three letters of recommendation to the Search Committee at

St. Tikhon's Celebrates Class of 2022 Graduates - 06/03/22

St. Tikhon’s Holds Eightieth Annual Commencement Exercises

South Canaan, PA -  St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary held its Eightieth annual commencement exercises on 27-28 May 2022. During the exercises the Seminary graduated nine students from its Master of Divinity Program, and awarded one student a Certificate in Pastoral Studies.  

On Friday evening, the Seminary community gathered for a program that included:  remarks by the Dean of the Seminary, the V. Rev. John Parker III; the charge of the Rector, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael; the commencement address delivered  by His Grace, Bishop Thomas of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese; and a concluding address by the Seminary’s President, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon.  

Saturday’s festivities began with a festive Hierarchical Liturgy, at which a graduating third-year senior, Deacon Thanasis Kombos was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, Seminary Rector.  Following the Liturgy, the afternoon’s Commencement Ceremony was opened by Metropolitan Tikhon amidst a standing room gathering of family and friends in the Seminary’s Convocation Center. 

 In addition to the awarding of degrees and academic honors, the Seminary Alumni Association's presented its Alumnus of the Year award to two recipients.  The award was first given to the Mitered Archpriest Nicholas Molodyko-Harris,   and was presented posthumously to the Mitered Archpriest John Nehrebecki.  The students of the Class of 2022 presented the Alexander Atty Institutional Service Award to the Seminary’s Administrative Assistant, Mrs. Marina Hitchcock.  Following the commencement exercises all those gathered enjoyed a wine and cheese reception hosted by the Seminary. 

In reflecting on its commencement the Seminary wishes its heartfelt congratulations to its graduates: Subdeacon Ananias Ananievski, M.Div. ; Priest Maximus Gibson, M.Div.; Brad Given, M.Div.; Priest Paul Hamner, M.Div.; Priest Thanasis Kombos, M.Div.; Deacon Mark Makarios, M.Div.; Priest Ambrose Powell, (Cert.); Priest Anthony Saunders, M.Div.; Priest Ignatius Strange, M.Div.; and Sub-Deacon Joshua Varughese, M.Div.

By Fr. Paul Witek, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Registrar


Click HERE to watch the graduation ceremony on YouTube.

Continuing Education: Becoming Rich Towards God - 05/30/22

t is easy to argue that too many Orthodox Christians, too many Orthodox Parishes, too many Orthodox Dioceses, have looked to the “labor union” for funding–the lamentable “dues” systems. It likewise continues to be the case that, too many Orthodox Christians, too many Orthodox Parishes, too many Orthodox Dioceses, have looked to have others support the building and growth of their parishes and ministries through fundraisers, food sales, and ethnic festivals.

Dr Andrew Geleris, author of the new book, Money and Salvation: An Invitation to the Good Way (SVS Press, 2022), raises the question, “How much is our struggle with parish finances the result of our failure to teach what the gospel says about money?” Dr Geleris, a convert to Orthodoxy in 1996 and Neurologist, has had the good fortune to have had many wonderful teachers and role models concerning salvific giving. One of the most important things he has learned is that worshipping God through offerings, often very small offerings, is essential to becoming “fully human.”

Prompted by his internal quest, and a burning desire that our parishes, dioceses, and institutions would find their financial grounding in the incarnational importance of financial stewardship, Dr Geleris, along with well-known Orthodox Priest Fr Patrick O’Grady, offer a three day workshop: “Becoming Rich Towards God: A Workshop on Money and the Incarnation.”

A generous anonymous donor has made possible that this year there is no cost to attend in person. To encourage the *incarnational* importance of meeting, there is a premium put on online attendance ($100). [Note: online participation may be limited in number and in scope depending on enrollment. Please come in person!]

The Workshop hopes to be equally theological and practical, and will work through various chapters of Dr Geleris’ book. Part lecture, part discussion, the hope is to engage participants to help ground and/or strengthen Orthodox Christians, parishes, etc., with respect to money.

Topics will include:
Incarnational importance of money
Approaches to giving: ministry-centric vs. soul-centric
The providential gift of wealth
Tithing - a spiritual discipline for both wealthy and poor
Stewarding parish finances
Supporting our seminaries
Contentment and accepting God’s will
A Christian approach to fundraising
Anonymous Giving
Since this Workshop is St Tikhon’s Annual Continuing Education Conference for Clergy, Clergy of all Orthodox Jurisdictions are welcome to register and attend. Laypersons wishing to attend are welcome, especially online. Discussion groups in person and online will be divided (not mixed), to allow clergy to talk freely and openly about the concerns, approaches, needs, etc, that they face in the parish, and to allow layfolks the same freedoms.

Bright Week of Pentecost, beginning Tuesday, June 14, with Lunch, and ending Thursday, June 16, with Lunch.

Participants will be housed in the Seminary Dormitory. Pairs of Dorm Rooms share a central bathroom. There is not Air Conditioning in the Dorm, though there is in the various seminary classrooms and meeting spaces.

St Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary was founded in 1938, as an institution of the future Orthodox Church in America. The Seminary has a long-standing symbiotic relationship with America’s first Orthodox Monastery: The Holy Monastery of St Tikhon of Zadonsk, which is just across the street. Participants will be able to enjoy the daily service of the Monastery, as well as the verdure of the lush, green Northeastern Pennsylvania Mountains. These very same mountains are *the mountains* about which we sing in the various hymns for the service of All Saints of North America. St Tikhon’s Monastery enshrines St Alexis Toth, whose labors, especially here in NEPA, brought thousands upon thousands back to the Orthodox Faith. In addition to his canonization here at St Tikhon’s, St Raphael of Brooklyn was also canonized here.

St Tikhon’s is located about 30 minutes east of Scranton, PA, and is easily accessible from Interstate 81, as well as the Northeast Extension of the PA Turnpike. The closest airport is 35 minutes: AVP (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton). ABE (Allentown) is a short 1:15 drive; EWR (Newark) is two hours, door to door; JFK and LaGuardia are about the same distance.

Login credentials for the online conference will be sent after registration

Priest Ephraim Vest's Ordination - 05/29/22

The Sixth Sunday of Pascha, May 29, 2022

Saint Mary Orthodox Church, Wilkes-Barre, PA



By the Grace of God and with the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan JOSEPH of the Antiochian Archdiocese, our second-year seminarian Deacon Ephraim Vest was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Grace, Bishop Thomas, on the Sunday of the Blind Man, May 29, 2022, at Saint Mary Orthodox Church, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.


Concelebrating with His Grace were Archpriest George Alberts, Pastor of Saint Mary’s and Professor at Saint Tikhon’s, Archpriest John Parker, Dean of Saint Tikhon’s, Father Joseph Landino, Pastor of Saint Paul’s in Emmaus, PA, the newly ordained (and newly graduated) Father Athanasios Kombos, as well as second-year seminarian Deacon Michael Rehmet and Deacon Mark Makarios (also newly graduated).


At the special request of Bishop Thomas, Father Ephraim’s Ordination became a uniquely sweet and heartfelt family moment when his wife, Presvytera Erin, and their six daughters – Emmy, Mirabelle, Liliana, Magnolia, Miriam, and Jovie – lifted their angelic voices in singing the Ordination Troparia that accompanied him and his sponsors around the Holy Altar.


Joining them and the whole parish of Saint Mary’s in the great joy of the day were Father Ephraim’s parents, Larry and Rita Vest, Presvytera Erin’s parents, John and Judy Frazier, and many friends from Saint Michael’s in Louisville, KY, including Matushka Olga Atty, wife of former Seminary Dean, the Archpriest Alexander Atty of Blessed Memory, as well as seminary faculty and many fellow seminarians and their families.


Together with them all, the Saint Tikhon community exclaims,



By Karsten Boyer, Class of 2023


Deacon Athanasios Kombos Ordained a Priest - 05/28/22

Fifth Saturday of Pascha, May 28, 2022

A highlight among the many celebrations of this year’s Memorial Day Pilgrimage was the

ordination of Deacon Athanasios Kombos to the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence

Archbishop Michael of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey on behalf of His Beatitude

Metropolitan Tikhon of the Orthodox Church in America. Archbishop Michael presided at

the Liturgy with His Grace Bishop Thomas of the Diocese of Oakland, Charleston, and the

Mid-Atlantic of the Antiochian Archdiocese concelebrating. Other concelebrants included

Archimandrite Sergius of St. Tikhon’s Monastery; Archpriest John Parker, Dean of St.

Tikhon’s Seminary; and many of Priest Athanasios’ brother seminarians and classmates.

Priest Athanasios’ wife, Presbytera Gorgonia, and their three boys were joined by his

parents and sister to celebrate the grace-filled day. On the same day following his

ordination, Priest Athanasios graduated from St. Tikhon’s with honors in Church History.

Fr. Athanasios is assigned to St. John of Damascus Orthodox Church in Tyler, TX, under

the omophorion of His Eminence Archbishop Alexander of the Diocese of the South in the

Orthodox Church in America.

Many years to Fr. Athanasios, Presbytera Gorgonia, and their family!



By Priest Maximus Gibson, STOTS Class of 2022

Spring Fishing Derby - 05/21/22

The St. Tikhon's Seminary community was blessed by a local parishioner and benefactor, Dr. Bob and his wife, to enjoy a trout fishing derby on his private property. The Seminarians presented Dr. Bob with an Icon of Christ as a thank you for his hospitality. All in all around fifty trout were caught by the seminarians and their families.

Thank you very much and many years to Dr. Bob and family!

Dr. Paul Witek's Ordinations - 05/21/22

Saturday, May 21, 2022
Olyphant, PA

Our own Dr Paul Witek was ordained on consecutive weekends to the Holy Diaconate and the Holy Priesthood.  On Saturday, March 14, 2022, Dr Paul was ordained Deacon in the Monastery Church by His Eminence, Archbishop Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania.  A week later, at the parish where he and his family have served for a decade--All Saints, Olyphant, PA--Dn Paul was ordained to the Holy Priesthood, also by His Eminence, Archbishop Mark.

Both ordinations were beautiful in their own right; it was a joy that Fr Paul could be ordained in the two churches which have significantly formed him all these years.  It was a unique and special occasion that two of his own students, Dn Gabrial Aldridge (DOS) and Dn Solomon Longo (NY/NJ), could process him around the altar for his diaconal ordination.

For his priestly ordination, clergy from all geographical and chronological parts of Fr Paul's life were present and/or serving, including 9 at the Altar.

When asked about his ordinations, Fr Paul commented, "With all the need in the church for priests, especially here not only in my own diocese, but in my own parish, how could I, who have benefitted from seminary formation at St Tikhon's, not offer myself for further service?"  Fr John Parker, Dean of the Seminary, noted, "Fr Paul has been an academic shepherd of souls for quite a season.  It is fitting--and natural--that he now also serves as a shepherd of souls to those same students, as well as the faithful entrusted to his pastoral care."

Axios! Axios! Axios!


By Archpriest John Parker, Dean of the Seminary

Vladyka Michael Celebrates Episcopal Anniversary - 05/08/22

May God grant His Eminence the Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and beloved rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary, many years on the occasion of the 12th anniversary of his consecration to the episcopacy! 
Eis polla eti despota!!

Administrative Offices Closed Holy Wednesday Through Bright Wednesday - 04/19/22

In honor of the Commemoration of our Lord's Passion and Glorious Resurrection the St. Tikhon's Administrative Offices will be closed from Holy Wednesday (4/20) through Bright Wednesday (4/27). The Offices will reopen on Bright Thursday (4/28). 

Deacon Ambrose Powell Ordained a Priest - 04/10/22

On Sunday, April 10, His Beatitude, in his role as Locum Tenens of the Diocese, travelled to Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church in New Haven, CT to preside at the Hierarchical Liturgy and the ordination of Deacon Ambrose Powell to the Holy Priesthood.Concelebrating with His Beatitude were Archpriest John Kreta, Chancellor of the Diocese, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Rector, Priest Alessandro Margheritino, Secretary of the Orthodox Church in America, Priest John Mikitish, and Priest Moses Locke.

Summer Music Institute at St. Vladimir's Seminary - 04/04/22

Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) and the International Society for Orthodox Church Music (ISOCM) are pleased to present, by God's grace, the Summer Music Institute! You can join the program in person June 14–18, 2022 on the campus of St Vladimir's Seminary in Yonkers, NY  (*online audit option also available). 

More information and the registration link can be found HERE.

STOTS' Mission Choir On the Road Again - 04/01/22

The Saint Tikhon’s Mission Choir along with seminary dean, Fr. John Parker,  traveled to the Pittsburgh area April 1st through 3rd. Their first stop was at Trinity School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA. Trinity is an “Evangelical school for ministry in the Anglican tradition,” and they warmly accepted the Mission Choir as they sang a concert of Lenten music in the Russian and Greek traditions—all in English. His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek, was in attendance at the concert.
The choir then sang Vigil at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in McKees Rocks, PA, with Archpriest Thomas Soroka and Archbishop Melchisedek. The seminarians were blessed to travel with the miracle-working icon of St. Anna, so Fr. Thomas and the reverend clergy also served a moleben to St. Anna after the vigil service.
The final stop was at St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral with Fr. John Mikita, where the Mission Choir sang Divine Liturgy, and Fr. John Parker exhorted the faithful with his homily on “redeeming the time.”
The St. Tikhon’s community is especially grateful to Protodeacon Michael and Matushka Mary Wusylko, who coordinated the event and worked tirelessly with members of their community to make sure that Fr. John and the Mission Choir were cared for.

By Caleb Lewis, STOTS Class of 2024

Metropolitan Tikhon Makes Urgent Financial Appeal for Ukrainian Refugee Relief - 02/28/22

Dear beloved children in the Lord,

It is with profound pain and sorrow that we see the situation unfolding in Ukraine. The invasion of Russian troops has already caused death and destruction in many areas of the country and, as the battle progresses, the human cost continues to rise. It is heartbreaking to see the images of destroyed buildings, homes, and traffic jams as refugees flee the cities for their safety.

As Orthodox Christians we are expected to help those who are suffering and give comfort to the afflicted. The Apostle James asks us “If a brother or sister is ill-clad and in lack of daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, be warmed and filled,’ without giving them the things needed for the body, what does it profit?” (Jas. 2:16). We cannot turn a blind eye to the material needs of our suffering brothers and sisters in Christ.

Therefore, I am making a special appeal for donations from the individual parishioners of the Orthodox Church in America from February 28th through March 7th. These donations will be collected by the Orthodox Church in America and sent on to ELEOS, the humanitarian agency of the Polish Orthodox Church, and registered with the Polish government, who is dealing directly with the unfolding refugee crisis and needs support as soon as possible. Donations will go towards refugee relief, their housing, and meeting basic needs.

This collaboration is being done with the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Sawa of the Polish Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church in America and the Polish Orthodox Church have long historical ties and these ties have enabled this collaboration to come together so quickly. Donations can be made at

Furthermore, I again ask that fervent prayers be made for a swift end to this senseless violence. As we approach the beginning of Lent, we will soon hear the words of the Psalmist at the Presanctified Liturgy: “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity. It is like the precious oil upon the head running down upon the beard, the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes. It is like the dew of Hermon which falls on the mountains of Zion. For the Lord has commanded the blessing, life for evermore!” (Ps. 132).

I pray that we, and all Orthodox Christians around the world, aspire to live according to these words.

Sincerely yours in Christ,
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada

Donate today!

Please see the posting HERE!

Metropolitan Gregory Visits St. Tikhon's Seminary - 02/17/22

On Thursday February 17th, 2022, we were blessed to welcome His Eminence, Metropolitan Gregory of Nyssa for his first visit to St. Tikhon’s Seminary and Monastery! His Eminence is the Ruling Bishop of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA, and serves as the Secretary of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the USA. His Eminence was accompanied on his visit by Protopresbyter James Dutko, Rector of St. Michael’s Orthodox Church in Binghamton, NY, who was a seminary classmate of our Seminary Rector, Archbishop Michael. Dr. Paul Witek and Fr. Ignatius Gauvain received Metropolitan Gregory and Fr. James at the Seminary, where they discussed the history of the Seminary and its current programs, the demographics of the student body, and other matters of mutual interest, including the current state of American Orthodoxy, both in the local area and nationally. His Eminence and Fr. James then enjoyed a tour of the Seminary campus and the Monastery grounds, culminating in a visit to the Monastery Church. While praying in the Church, His Eminence, who had twice served as a missionary to Alaska, was delighted to venerate the relics of St. Herman, as well as those of St. Gregory Palamas, his patron saint, and the relics of St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre, a Saint greatly honored by the Carpatho-Russian people. 

His Eminence then gave an inspiring lunchtime talk to the Seminarians, encouraging us to apply our full energy and effort to both our studies and our future ministries, no matter what stage of our formation we are in. Speaking of his own journey to the Priesthood as a late vocation, His Eminence reminded us that no matter how or when our lives brought us here, or whether or not our plans after Seminary include Ordination, we have all been called by the Lord to serve the Church, and we should do so with vigor and love, always praying each Liturgy as if it is our last! Reminiscing on his own time at Seminary, His Eminence encouraged us to continue to strengthen our bonds with our classmates, and to maintain these relationships after graduation, using each other as a resource, a sounding board, and a support system in the difficult times of our ministry. Following lunch, His Eminence and Fr. James visited the Monastery bookstore, where they were greeted by our Abbot, Archimandrite Sergius, and presented with gifts to commemorate His Eminence’s first visit to St. Tikhon’s. All of us at St. Tikhon’s echo Fr. Sergius’s hope that His Eminence will come to visit us again soon, and pray that his travels and his continuing ministry may be blessed! Eis Polla Eti Despota!

-Rdr. Timothy Paproski, STOTS Class of 2024

Join Us for Second Annual St. Nicholai Lecture - 02/04/22


Saint Nicholai (Velimirovich)

Few people knew and worked with a now-canonized Saint.  Spend an evening hearing personal stories about life with St Nicholai, with Protinica Olga Sokich, whose husband, Fr Dragolyub, served as Secretary to St Nicholai in New York from 1950-56.  St Nicholai taught Theology and Homiletics at St Tikhon’s and served as Seminary Rector from 1955-56.

St Tikhon’s Seminary’s 2nd Annual St Nicholai Lecture

Tuesday, March 15, 2022      7-830p

Public Welcome

(Also live-streamed at

Seminary Hires New Dogmatics Professor - 02/03/22

South Canaan, Pennsylvania

After a successful search process, St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of the Reverend Demetrios Harper, Ph.D. as its new Associate Professor of Dogmatic Theology.  The appointment was made by the Seminary’s Board of Trustees during a special December 2021 meeting.  Fr. Demetrios will take up his position on 1 July 2022.

“We are delighted that Fr. Demetrios has accepted a position on our Faculty here at St. Tikhon’s”, said Father John Parker, Dean of the Seminary.  “We are adding to our community a world-class scholar in his field, a seasoned pastor, and an engaging teacher, who has proven himself in various positions and appointments.  With Fr. Demetrios joining our faculty, we at St Tikhon’s, seek to continue our mission to provide the very best pastoral formation to our students for generations to come.”

Fr. Demetrios Harper (born Reuben L. Harper) was raised and completed his primary education in Southwestern Virginia. In 1998, at the age of 20, he was received into the Holy Orthodox Church. After his marriage to his wife, Marina, in 2002, he would go on to complete a Bachelor’s degree in English literature and philosophy at East Tennessee State University, graduating magna cum laude and having completed the requirements of the Honors College for honors-in-discipline. In 2004, he and his wife relocated to Thessaloniki, Greece, where he spent the next several years studying the Greek language, theology, and theologically-related disciplines, both on a graduate and undergraduate level, at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and at the Higher Ecclesiastical Academy in Pylaia. His studies in Thessaloniki culminated in the successful completion of an M.A. from Aristotle University in Systematic Theology and Dogmatics. In early 2011, he was inducted into a doctoral program at the University of Winchester, U.K. After the successful defense of his doctoral thesis, Fr. Demetrios was awarded a Ph.D. in May of 2015. Prior to his coming to St. Tikhon’s, Fr. Demetrios served as an Early Career Research Fellow at the University of Winchester; a Post-doctoral Fellow in Byzantine Studies at the Medieval Institute, University of Notre Dame; and finally, as Associate Professor of Church History and Moral Theology at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, Jordanville, NY.   In addition to holding several faculty positions, since 2020 Father has served as the Director of Holy Trinity Seminary’s Master of Divinity Program.


In the realm of scholarship, academic works of Fr. Demetrios are substantial,  including:


· “Self-determination and the Question of Subjectivity: Moral Selfhood in Maximus the Confessor.” Studia Patristica, 2021.

· “Autonomy and Heteronomy in Eastern Christian Thought and Post-enlightenment Ethical Paradigms.” In the T&T Clark Companion to Christian Ethics, edited by Tobias Winright. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2021.

· “Understanding Self-determination and Moral Selfhood in the Sources of Late-antique and Byzantine Christian Thought.” In The Reception of Greek Ethics in Late Antiquity and Byzantium, edited by Sophia Xenophontos. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2021.

· The Analogy of Love: St. Maximus the Confessor and the Foundations of Ethics. Scholarly Monographs Series 3. Yonkers, NY: SVS Press, 2019.

· “The Kantian ‘Two Images Problem’, its Lesson for Eschatology, and the Path of Maximian Analogy.” In On Being and Time: At the Intersection of Ontology and History, edited by Andrew Kaethler. Lanham: Lexington/Fortress, 2019.

· Christos Yannaras: Philosophy, Theology, and Culture. Andreopoulos, Andreas and Demetrios Harper, eds. Abingdon: Routledge, 2018.

Looking towards the future, Fr. Demetrios is currently working on a project researching the Byzantine Christian understanding of self-determination (autexousion) and moral selfhood, which will culminate in a work of monograph length.


In broader service to the academic profession, Fr. Demetrios is co-founder of Analogia: The Pemptousia Journal for Theological Studies, having served as its Assistant Editor from 2015–2018.


Fr. Demetrios was ordained to the priesthood in 2008 at the hand of Metropolitan Hilarion of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), at the Convent of Novo-Diveevo. In addition to his academic activities, from 2010-2018 Fr. Demetrios served as a priest under the omophorion of Metropolitan Ioel of Edessa, Greece, and is presently a priest of the Antiochian Archdiocese. Fr. Demetrios also serves as a Chaplain in the United States Navy Reserves.


In addition to Fr. Demetrios, our community is glad to welcome Father’s wife, Marina, along with their daughter, Emilia. May God bless them and grant them many blessed years.

Blessing of the Waters - 02/02/22

The seminary community recently held the Blessing of the Waters out on the pond, and for the first time in a few years, we were on the pond instead of beside the pond. We had already completed the Blessing of the Waters which immediately follows the Theophany Liturgy, of course, but had decided to wait for everybody to return from the winter break before holding the blessing of the pond and seminary buildings with the whole community. What better day than a feast day? So, following liturgy for the Meeting of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Temple, the seminary community met for a brunch provided by our wonderful cook, Ginger Smith, before filing out to the pond for the Blessing of the Waters.Our beloved Father Ignatius Gauvain cut the cross in the ice for us. The ice blocks he pulled out were about a foot and a half thick. He fashioned a cross to the east so the sun's rays would have a chance to refract through the ice. With some leftover ice, he even set up a small ice altar for the priest to use during the blessing the next morning.

Our dean, Father John Parker, lead the service for us the next morning after the liturgy and the brunch. After blessing the water in the pond, our procession aimed toward the seminary buildings. Dozens of seminarians, wives, children, faculty, and staff wound through the halls, rooms, and even closets of the seminary, singing the festal troparion, before walking up the hill to the dorm, to bless its every crevice as well. And as that hymn says:

O Christ, our God, who hast revealed thyself and hast enlightened the world, glory to thee!

By Priest Ignatius Strange, STOTS Class 2022

Archbishop Michael Presides at a Double Ordination at St. Tikhon's - 01/29/22

On January 29, 2022, St. Tikhon's Seminary was able to celebrate a double ordination: Deacon Paul Hamner to the Holy Priesthood, and Solomon Longo to the Holy Diaconate.

Deacon Paul Hamner was ordained to the order of the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence Michael, Archbishop of New York. The ordination took place at the St. Tikhon’s Monastery Church on the commemoration of the translation of the relics of Hieromartyr Ignatius of Antioch.

Fr. Paul arrived at St. Tikhon’s from California nearly three years ago with his wife and children. Since coming to St. Tikhons, Fr. Paul has committed himself to learning the faith and particularly the writings of the Holy Fathers of the Church. He can often be found in the classroom after hours, discussing the fathers and guiding his peers in the same. This is not to say that Fr. Paul is not a devout family man. If he is not at school or the monastery church, he is at home with his wife, Mat. Sarah, and their four children Rowan, Molly, Sam, and Agnes. Fr. Paul is slated to return to the Diocese of the West after graduation and serve as a parish priest there. St. Tikhon’s expects great things from Fr. Paul and his family in the years to come, and blesses his future ministry. Axios, Fr. Paul!

In addition to the ordination of Fr. Paul, Solomon Longo was ordained the Holy Diaconate. Solomon, his wife Anna, and their five beautiful young boys are a blessing to have at St. Tikhons. Fr. Solomon is hard-working, thoughtful, and a crucial volunteer, having assisted in important renovation improvements at the seminary. His example of service outside of church will guide him well as he begins his diaconate inside the church. St. Tikhon’s looks forward to sharing another year with the Longo family and offers blessings to Father Deacon Solomon on the occasion of his ordination. Axios!


By Priest Ignatius Strange, STOTS Class of 2022

Justin Griffing's Ordination to the Holy Diaconate - 01/23/22

On Sunday, January 23, 2022 His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon presided at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at Holy Ghost Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in Bridgeport, CT in honor of Archpriest John Jillions, former Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America and rector of Holy Ghost Orthodox Church. During the Liturgy, His Beatitude ordained Justin Griffing to the Holy Diaconate. 

Memory Eternal to Archpriest John Bohush - 01/22/22

March for Life 2022 - 01/21/22

On Friday, January 21st, 2021, a group of 15 seminarians, family members, and faculty from St. Tikhon’s braved the cold temperatures to attend the March for Life in Washington, D.C. While St. Tikhon’s, historically, has sent delegations almost every year, this year carried extra significance, as last year’s March was forced to take place virtually. In addition to our delegation, the strong Orthodox presence at the March, coordinated by Orthodox Christians for Life, featured hierarchs and faithful from many different Orthodox Jurisdictions, as well as contingents from St. Vladimir’s Seminary and St. Sophia’s Seminary, and many STOTS alumni. Following the Moleben for an End to Abortion, celebrated by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, our Seminarians and families took an active role in the March, carrying banners and the processional icon of the Visitation of the Theotokos and Saint Elizabeth, and leading the assembled faithful in singing hymns. It was extraordinarily beautiful to see faithful of all ages and jurisdictions uniting together to advocate for the Pro-Life tenants of our Orthodox Faith, singing the hymns of different traditions with one voice and praying as one Church to our Lord and His Saints for an end to Abortion. Those who attended the March came away strengthened in our Faith, heartened by the response of the Orthodox Community to the sin of Abortion and encouraged by the unity of the Orthodox faithful and hierarchs in America. While we hope and pray that no more of these Marches would be necessary, we believe that our St. Tikhon’s seminarians will continue to be a part of this powerful event for as long as it exists, in the forefront of the fight for God’s children and their right to life.

By Rdr. Timothy Paproski, STOTS Class of 2024

Seminary Welcomes New Library Director - 01/19/22


South Canaan, Pennsylvania  

After a successful search process,  St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Brian Cardell as the new Director of the Saint Patriarch Tikhon Seminary Library.  The appointment was made by the Seminary’s Board of Trustees during its Fall meeting, with Mr. Cardell taking up his role as Director this week in preparation for the Spring 2022 semester. 

“From our search, we are very happy that Brian is going to be part of the St. Tikhon’s community””, said Father John Parker, Dean of the Seminary.  “His background and experience showed our search committee that Brian is a great lover of that comes with an enthusiasm that is palpable for doing great things for St. Tikhon’s.  We are confident that his love and enthusiasm will be directed towards writing a new chapter in the life of our Library.”

Mr. Cardell received his bachelor's degree in Languages from the University of Arizona in 1993, and His M.S.L.S. degree from Catholic University of America in 1997. His work in the field of Library Science has included serving as Librarian of Capuchin College Friary, Washington, D.C., as well as a Curation Librarian in Special Collections at Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C..  Before relocating to St. Tikhon’s, Brian and his wife Katherine were long standing members of Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church in Baltimore, Maryland, where he served as Choir Director for almost 20 years. 

In taking up this position, the entire St. Tikhon’s Seminary community wishes Brian all the very best in his new role as Library Director, and many blessed years. 

Subdeacon Melvin Mathai's Ordination - 01/15/22

His Grace Dr. Abraham Mar Seraphim, Metropolitan of the Diocese of Bangalore of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, has ordained Geevarghese Melvin Mathai to the Holy Order of Sub-Deacon (Yaupadiakono) as per the request of His Grace Dr. Zacharias Mar Aprem, Assistant Diocesan Metropolitan of the South-West Diocese of America. 

The Holy Ordination took place at St. Gregorios Orthodox Church of India, South Florida on January 15th, 2022.Deacon Melvin Mathai is the son of Mathai Varghese and Omana Mathai, originally from Thiruvalla, Kerala and their home parish is St. Gregorios Orthodox Church of India, South Florida.Deacon Melvin completed his theological education at St. Tikhons Orthodox Theological Seminary. South Cannan, Pennsylvania in 2021. 

For more information click HERE.

Deacon Joseph Whittaker's Ordination - 01/06/22

The great feast of Theophany was celebrated with joy on Thursday, January 6, at the Diocesan Cathedral, Holy Trinity Cathedral. Archbishop Paul of Chicago and the Midwest presided over services for the feast. His Eminence was joined by Priest Alexander Koranda, Cathedral Dean, Protodeacon Thomas Keith and Deacon Paul Garklvas.

Prior to the beginning of Divine Liturgy, His Eminence tonsured second year diocesan seminarian, Joseph Whittaker, as a Reader, and then ordained him to the Subdeaconate.

After the consecration of the Holy Gifts, the St. Tikhon Orthodox Theological Seminary student was led into the altar for ordination to the holy deaconate.

Following the Divine Liturgy, the Great Blessing of Water was held in the center of cathedral. At the conclusion of the blessing of the water, the entire temple, along with the faithful were blessed with the newly sanctified water. His Eminence presented gifts and addressed the newly ordained deacon and his family.

Axios! to Deacon Joseph Whittaker and his family.

In Memoriam: Archpriest Stavros Rousos - 01/03/22

(Stevens H. Rousos)
August 19, 1953    ~     January 3, 2022

The Very Rev. Archpriest Stavros Rousos, age 68, reposed in the Lord on (Monday) January 3, 2022. He was in retirement, while attached to St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Endicott, NY, where his son-in-law, Priest Matthew Smith is Rector. 
 Father Stavros, named at birth Stevens H. Rousos, was born in Miami, FL, on August 19, 1953, to Stevens James and Patricia Ann (née Young) Rousos. While an infant, young Stevens was baptized at St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church in Miami and received the name Stavros as his Christian name. He spent his teenage years in Paterson, NJ, graduating second in his class from John F. Kennedy High School in 1971. Upon graduation, Stevens received a Congressional Appointment to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. Cadet Rousos spent a year at the USAFA and received the Commandant’s Medal for military excellence. However, his strongest desire was to attend an Orthodox seminary and become an Orthodox priest. After receiving his Honorable Discharge from the Air Force in June 1972, Stevens began attending St. Tikhon Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Canaan, PA, in September 1972. During his five-year seminary program, he was tonsured as a Reader with his baptismal name of Stavros on the Feast of the Protection, October 14, 1975. He was also active in student life and served as secretary in the OISM (Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement) organization. 
During his seminary years, young Stavros met the “love of his life'' and on May 1, 1977, he married Deborah Yurchak, daughter of the late Nicholas Yurchak, Jr. and the late Dorothy (née Gurka) Yurchak. Three weeks later he graduated from seminary and continued his employment at All Saints Russian Orthodox Church, Olyphant, PA, as their choir director.
 The late Archbishop Kyprian of Philadelphia and Eastern PA ordained Reader Stavros to the Holy Diaconate on November 19, 1977, at Holy Ascension Church in Frackville, PA. On January 29, 1978, on the Feast of the Veneration of the Precious Chains of St. Peter, the Archbishop ordained Deacon Stavros to the Holy Priesthood in All Saints Russian Orthodox Church, Olyphant, PA.
 Father Stavros was sent to his first parish in Feb. 1978: the Orthodox Church of St. Herman of Alaska in Shillington, PA. During their time in his first parish, the young couple was blessed with their first child, Nika Theodora. After guiding the parish to build an iconostasis for their church, he received his first ‘clergy award’ [the Nabedrennik] in May 1980. Shortly thereafter, Father Stavros was reassigned to St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Stratford, CT where he would remain for nearly twenty years. In this new parish, they were blessed a second time with the birth of another daughter, Kyra Katerina in 1983. Father Stavros and Matushka Deborah were very active in the life of their parish. Sensing how the cultural background of their parish could prove to be beneficial, they encouraged the Sisterhood to change the “Plant Sale” to a “Plant & Bake Sale” and eventually added Russian and other ethnic foods to the menu. The success of adding an ‘ethnic’ flavor also encouraged the Church School to have a “Russian Day: an Ethnic Picnic” in September with an emphasis on Russian food, songs, and dances. The Yolka plays were another avenue where Father Stavros and his talent of encouragement were a great success. We are sure Father Stavros thanks the staff writers of the several plays performed by our young people. Under the guidance of Father Stavros, the parish had a project in 1988 to commemorate the 1,000 years of Orthodox Christianity in Rus’. New Icons for the Iconostasis were written in Jordanville which spiritually uplifted the community. In addition to the new icons, a very large cross and a stone monument in the church gardens memorialized this celebration of the Millenium. 
     Because of his dedication to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR), which the parish and Father Stavros joined in 1984, he received several ecclesiastical “awards” or elevations: the right to wear the purple Skuffiya, then the Kamilavka, the Gold Cross, the elevation to Archpriest, the right to wear the Palitza, the Jeweled Cross, and toward the end of his life: the Mitre. Father Stavros received all of the awards directly from our beloved bishop: His Eminence, the Most Reverend Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of ROCOR.
 During the 1990s, Archpriest Stavros wrote and printed two books: “An Altar Server’s Manual” and “A bilingual Divine Liturgy” booklet. Both books were widely welcomed and the project was deemed successful.
     From 2003 to 2006 Father Stavros served the St. Euphrosynia Belarusian Greek Orthodox Church, South River, New Jersey. This was a brief but wonderful assignment. Many parishioners grew to love and respect Father Stavros, especially the children. The parish sponsored two outstanding events to honor the priest. First, a surprise party for his 50th birthday, and second, a festive banquet honoring the 25th Anniversary of the Ordination of Father Stavros to the Holy Priesthood. The parish and its organizations were very generous to help sponsor Fr. Stavros to make a pilgrimage to Belarus. While there he became more acquainted with the language and costumes of the Belarusian people. He also made many new friends, among them the clergy of the Church of Belarus. A high point in his pilgrimage was an audience with the ecclesiastical head of the Belarusian Orthodox Church, His Eminence, Metropolitan Filaret (+2021).
     The last few years of Father’s life have been very difficult. He had a fall which caused considerable damage to his right leg. As a result, in the beginning, he needed a cane and then a walker in order to walk. With time the leg deteriorated and by 2015 he had become completely bedridden. He sadly missed going to Church. Thankfully several parishes broadcast their services live on Saturday evenings and Sunday mornings on the internet. 
     Father Stavros was blessed to officiate at the marriages of both of his daughters: Mrs. Nika Frey and Matushka Kyra Smith. They gave him six grandchildren for which he was very proud: (in order) Xenia and Aemilia Smith, Trinity Frey, Micah Smith, Reznor (John) Frey, and Livia Smith. He is also survived by two sons-in-law: the Rev. Priest Matthew Smith and Mark Frey.
     All services will take place in St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Endicott, NY with Priest Matthew Smith, Rector, officiating concelebrating with guest clergy. The Rite of the Burial of a Priest will take place on Tuesday, January 11 followed the next morning with the Divine Liturgy celebrated by Fr. Matthew and guest clergy. Interment will follow in Saint Michael Orthodox Cemetery in Jermyn, PA. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the family for the grandchildren’s education. The Barber Funeral Home is in charge of all arrangements.

By Courtesy of Kyra Smith (Rousos)

Deacon Anthony Saunders Ordained A Priest - 01/01/22

On Saturday, January 1, 2022, Deacon Anthony Saunders was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence Archbishop Paul, at Holy Ascension Orthodox Church, in Albion, Michigan. It was a great blessing for Fr. Anthony, Matushka Martha, and their daughters Anna and Emilia to be able to travel to Michigan to share the joy of this day with their home parish. Family members as well as friends from the St. Tikhon's community came to give their support. Concelebrating with His Eminence were Archpriest Joshua Frigerio, Protodeacon John Wesner, and Deacon Justin Jackson. A festive meal followed the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Fr. Anthony served Great Vespers that evening and Divine Liturgy the next morning at Holy Ascension. The Saunders family then returned to St. Tikhon's, where Fr. Anthony concelebrated at Theophany services in the St. Tikhon's Monastery Church. Fr. Anthony is a third year seminarian from the Diocese of the Midwest. 


By Courtesy of Priest Anthony Saunders (STOTS, Class of 2022)

Several Ordinations in Our Third-Year Class - 01/01/22

St. Tikhon's Seminary is excited to announce three ordinations last weekend, and one more this past weekend. All four of these men are in the third year of seminary at St. Tikhon's, and are looking forward to graduating this May and heading out to parishes in the West, South, and Midwest.

Here at the monastery, our beloved metropolitan celebrated a double ordination just the day after Nativity: Paul Hamner to the diaconate and Ignatius Strange to the priesthood. Both Deacon Paul and Priest Ignatius are from the Diocese of the West, and it is somewhat fitting that they be ordained together, since they will be serving together in the same diocese.

During that same Sunday service, but down in the cathedral in Dallas, Texas, their classmate, Maximus Gibson, was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Gerasim. Father Maximus is gathering wonderful experience serving daily liturgies in parishes in the North Texas area, including the parish from which he came, in Denton, Texas.

Then, only one week later, back in Michigan, another classmate, Anthony Saunders, was also ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Paul.

We are looking forward to seeing these new deacons and priests serving here at the monastery for a few months as they prepare for service to Christ's Church in local parishes across the country.


By Priest Ignatius Strange

Two Seminary Ordinations at St. Tikhon's Monastery - 12/26/21

Priest Maximus Gibson's Ordination - 12/26/21

On Friday, December 26, 2021, Deacon Maximus Gibson was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Grace Bishop Gerasim of the Diocese of Fort Worth at St. Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas, Texas. 

Father Maximus was accompanied by his wife, Matushka Michelle Gibson, and daughter Magdalena as well as extended family and friends from his home parish of St. Maximus the Confessor Orthodox Church in Denton, Texas. Father Maximus was led around the Holy Altar by his longtime Father Confessor, the Archpriest Justin (Frederick) of Denton, Texas. 

As a former parishioner of St. Maximus, Father Maximus faithfully helped his parish, serving on the Church Council and doing everything he could to advance the ministry of the Church. He involved himself intensively in the services of the Church, and fervently read the early morning Matins services during the week with Father Justin. 

Father Maximus was able to leverage his knowledge of the services at St. Tikhon’s, helping to guide and teach less experienced seminarians. He is known for his patience, depth of thought, and cardigan sweaters. 


By Dn. Michael Rehmet

Memory Eternal to Archpriest Michael Macura - 12/18/21

Very Rev. Edward Michael Macura, age 67, of Stratford, passed away on December 18, 2021, in St. Vincent's Medical Center, Bridgeport. Fr. Michael was born in Bridgeport on October 4, 1954, to the late John and Katherine (Bradac) Macura and was a longtime area resident. He was a graduate of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Seminary and Marywood University. Fr. Michael was a Major in the United States Army for 20 years and served as a Chaplain. He was deployed to Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield. Following his military service, he was the Rector of St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Silver Lane, Stratford, for 17 years.

In Memoriam: Archpriest Igor Soroka - 12/18/21

Archpriest Igor R. Soroka, 96, peacefully fell asleep in the Lord on December 18, 2021 in Monongahela, PA. He was born April 1, 1925 in McKees Rocks, a son of the late Archpriest Gregory and Matushka Anastasia Soroka.

After graduating from Charleroi High School, Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and Duquesne University, Father Igor served as a choir director at several Orthodox parishes before he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in Sept. 1959. He served his entire ministry as a parish priest at Saint Nicholas Church in Donora, PA, starting from December 1959 to his retirement in July 2017.

Seminary Accepting 2022-2023 Applications - 12/17/21

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is presently accepting admissions applications for the 2022-2023 academic year.

Information concerning admission to the Seminary, including application materials, can be accessed digitally HERE.

Interested applicants should forward hard-copy materials by June 1, 2022 to the following address:

Seminary Admissions Committee

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

P.O. Box 130

South Canaan, PA 18459

Applicants wishing to present materials in digital form, may do so by emailing the Seminary at

For those discerning applying to the Seminary, a recent presentation of the journey of one of our seminary families can be seen HERE.


Saint Nicholas Night with FOCA - 12/12/21

Every year, new seminarians look in amazement on the pile of gifts bought and delivered for them and their children. Upperclassmen, who already know of the incredible generosity and love poured out on seminarians, are equally humbled by the continued concern shown, especially for the children here at the seminary. The Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA), along with other individuals and parishes across the country, are especially generous in the Christmas season. This past Christmas is no different.

Attending seminary at St. Tikhon's is usually a "financially humbling" experience. When it was founded, the monastery was intentionally built in a relatively isolated location, meaning that the seminary is, still today, rather removed from most jobs, and that is on top of the difficulty of a seminarian or a spouse holding a job on top of tending to school and family needs. Life was simpler when most seminarians were young, single men, but now the majority are couples and families, meaning, it is that much harder to leave everything and come to seminary.

There are many generous gifts given to the seminary, gifts that help those families make it through seminary financially. These Christmas gifts given by FOCA and others, are a different kind of gift. With these gifts, seminarians and their families receive encouragement and emotional support; they receive love.

After collecting Christmas lists for the children, and many dozens of people spending their time to go out and shop, then the gifts were wrapped and personally delivered to the seminary. Normally, we have a big celebration on the eve of Saint Nicholas Day, but this year with a large number of the seminarians traveling with the seminary choir that same weekend, we moved the celebration to December 12th. It was a wonderful opportunity for seminarians and their families to come together, enjoy food together, get a Christmas stocking full of goodies from the seminary community, and to go home with more gifts than they ever could have imagined. The smiles on so many children's faces are the thanks that we have to give to all of you who gave your time, effort, and love to us.

A hearty, smiley-faced, thank you to FOCA and all the churches and individuals who help make Christmas such a wonderful time for our children.


By Priest Ignatius Strange

Nathanael Belt's Ordination to the Holy Diaconate - 12/09/21

St. Tikhon's is anxiously looking forward to this next month and the number of ordinations that are expected to take place. The first, and certainly the furthest from the grounds of St. Tikhon's, is of Nathan Belt, who was ordained to the diaconate on Kodiak Island, Alaska, in the chapel of St. Herman's Seminary there. He is a second-year seminarian here at St. Tikhon's, but is planning on serving in the Diocese of Alaska after graduation, and was thus ordained by the Locum Tenens of Alaska, Bishop Alexis.

Upon ordination, the newly-ordained returned to his original baptismal name, being ordained Deacon Herman. There could be no more fitting place to be given the name Herman than right there on Kodiak Island, and venerating the very relics of our beloved wonderworker, St. Herman of Alaska.

Also visiting at the same time was Archbishop Michael, our own seminary rector. One of Dn. Herman's first liturgies to serve was with Bishop Alexis and Archbishop Michael concelebrating, a beautiful picture of the communion between two opposite ends of the Orthodox Church in America and among its seminaries.

Axios, Dn. Herman!


St. Tikhon's Choir on the Road Again - 12/05/21

In just over a year since COVID, St. Tikhon’s Missionary Choir had its first choir mission trip at the beginning of December 2021.  The group was small, consisting of only five seminarians—a quintet.  Also traveling with the seminarians were the Dean of the Seminary and the miracle-working icon of St. Anna.  On a Friday, we left South Canaan from the northeastern part of Pennsylvania for Ellwood City, the western tip of the same state.  We made our first stop at the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, initially founded by the former Princess Ileana of Romania in the 1960s.  The nuns were very hospitable, “killing us” with their kindness and generosity.  We sang “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” which, in turn, they sang for us a few of their hymns. 

On Saturday morning, our next stop was the parish St. Innocent the Apostle in Olmsted Falls, Ohio.  The current rector for St. Innocent is a recent graduate of St. Tikhon’s, the Reverend Peter Simko.  The church was practically built, with a simple but beautiful wood interior.  At least 60 to 70 people were in attendance, robust for a Saturday morning.  We processed with the icon of St. Anna to the middle of the church and sang the Divine Liturgy for the parish.  Each of the seminarians was invited to talk about themselves and their experience being at St. Tikhon’s.  Again, like the nuns, the parish was very gracious and kind.

Our next stop was supposed to be to the church Ss. Peter and Paul in Lorain, Ohio, however, the rector tested positive for COVID.  This unexpected turn of events forced us to improvise.  Instead of singing Great Vespers and singing an evening concert at the Church in Lorain that Saturday night, we did a private Vespers for our house patrons and did an ad hoc live-stream concert afterward.

Because of the rector of Ss. Peter and Paul tested positive for COVID, our plans for singing the Divine Liturgy Sunday morning were canceled.  With the quick thinking of our Dean, we secured singing a Divine Liturgy at the Holy Ghost Church in Ambridge, Pennsylvania, presided by the rector, the Very Reverend Willam Evansky.  Fr. Bill, as the rector liked to be called, was incredibly gracious and accommodating for us.  The parishioners were very receptive and donated generously to the Seminary.

And thus concluded our first mission choir trip since the start of COVID.  It was a wonderful and instructive time.  The experience of “missionizing” through the beauty of singing for the sake of raising funds for the Seminary is a humbling one, in the positive sense.  The lengthy drive and the potential difficulties of a road trip provide time for bonding between us, strengthening our sense of brotherhood and community.  We are all looking forward to the next choir mission trip.

Metropolitan Hilarion Visits St. Tikhon's - 11/13/21

14 November 2021, South Canaan, PA - St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Monastery and Seminary were blessed to host His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion Alfeyev of Volokolamsk. Joining Metropolitan Hilarion in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in the monastery church was our own metropolitan, His Beatitude, Tikhon, Metropolitan of All America and Canada.

After the the liturgy, Metropolitan Tikhon presented Metropolitan Hilarion with an icon and relic of St. Nikolai of Zhicha, as well as relics of St. Hilarion the Great, St. Isaac the Syrian, and St. Tikhon of Zadonsk. Metropolitan Hilarion presented His Beatitude with a beautiful panagia to commemorate the occasion.

Later, Archimandrite Sergius was pleased to give Metropolitan Hilarion a tour of the monastery grounds, including a tour of the recently renovated Music and Arts Center.

The Dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, Archpriest John Parker made the following remarks on this historic occasion: “It was our sincere joy to welcome His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, to St Tikhon's for his first-ever visit to America's First Orthodox Monastery and St Tikhon's Seminary.  As we toured the seminary's administrative hall, he reflected on the many years of personal connections he has and has had to the primates and rectors of St Tikhon's.  It was indeed also a blessing to enjoy pastoral conversations with His Eminence, as we discussed matters of concern which cross all borders."

By Nathan Belt

An OCPM Visit to Pennsylvania - 11/09/21

St. Tikhon's Founder's Day Lecture, October 14 - 10/04/21

Dear All,

Please see the attached flyer, and please share it and post it.

Our Annual Founder's Day October Lecture will be held in the Convocation Hall on Thursday, October 14, at 7:00pm.  All students are expected in person, excepting those with a blessing in advance.

This matter, unfortunately, is not dying a quick death, and Dr Nash is a sane and competent voice.  The Board of Trustees will be joining us this year for the Lecture.

Families and other members of the Local Community are welcome to attend in person, subject to COVID concerns on that day.  The Lecture will be live-streamed and recorded.

Yours in Christ,
Fr John

The flyer for St. Tikhon's Founder's Day Lecture can be found HERE.

Priest Ignatius Gauvain Awarded the Kamilavka - 09/08/21

On September 8, 2021, the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon awarded the kamilavka to Fr. Ignatius Gauvain, Director of Student Life at St. Tikhon’s Seminary. 

The Liturgy was concelebrated by His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon and His Grace Bishop Alexis of Bethesda, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska. Serving with them were Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of St. Tikhon’s Monastery, and Fr. John Parker, Dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, along with other priests and deacons. In bestowing the award upon Fr. Ignatius, His Beatitude commended him for his years of service in the Holy Priesthood and for his tireless work and effort given to St. Tikhon’s Seminary. 

Congratulations and many years to Fr. Ignatius, who is truly worthy of this award. Thank you for your labors of love that help make possible the continuing formation of servant leaders in Christ’s Church. AXIOS!

Welcoming Our New Seminarians - 08/30/21

With the start of a new school year, it is our pleasure to welcome a new class of students onto the campus of St. Tikhon's Seminary. It is a larger class than we have seen in a while, and they come from a variety of backgrounds, regions, and sets of experience. Also, as we begin a somewhat normal school year, after the disruption of quarantining and online schooling, we look forward to continuing long-held traditions of St. Tikhon's, while taking this unique opportunity to adapt the school to our ever-changing world.

This year, we welcome:
Micah Breland and his wife Rachel,
MK Chang and his wife Doris,
Phillip Dage,
John Easo,
Gregory Fedorchak and his wife Christina,
BenjaminGarcia, his wife Casey, and their children,
Jordan Kingery, his wife Vanessa, and their children,Reader Damian Kulp, his wife Lilliana, and their child,
Caleb Lewis and his wife Tabitha,
Basali Mathew and his wife Shawny,
Nicola Nunu,
Michael Pak and his wife Carlyn,
Timothy Paproski and his wife Hailey,
Reader Kevin Pimpinelli,
Deacon Ambrose (Charles) Powell and his wife Margaret,
Reader Seraphim (Josh) Robertson, his wife Lena, and their children,
Mark Solomon and his wife Alana,
Mark Tiitinen,
Luke Wagner,
Jonathan York, his wife Korrine, and their children,
Jacob Zawatski and his wife Olivia.


By Deacon Ignatius Strange

Live from STOTS: COVID and Vaccines - 08/22/21

Tomorrow at 1:30 PM ET/12:30 PM CT, Fr. John Parker, Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary, hosts Dr. Ryan Sampson Nash, M.D., M.A. in a discusstion about COVID and the vaccines. Dr. Nash will discuss, from the bioethical perspective, as a faithful Orthodox Christian and Physician, the nuances of the vaccines and their relationship to medicine in general. Expect an hour packed with accurate medical information and clear explanation COVID, vaccinations, and the complexities involved in it all.  A limited number of questions will be taken live. 

Cody Vest's Ordination to the Holy Diaconate - 08/22/21

On August 22, 2021, at Saint Mary Orthodox Church, in Wilkes-Barre, PA, His Grace Bishop Thomas of the Antiochian Archdiocese ordained our second-year seminarian Subdeacon Kristopher (Cody) Vest to the Holy Diaconate, and gave him the name, Ephraim. 

Serving together with Bishop Thomas were Father George Alberts (pastor of Saint Mary’s), Father David Hester (former pastor of Saint Mary’s and former professor at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary), Father John Parker (Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary), and Father David Hyatt (assistant pastor of Saint John Chrysostom Orthodox Church, in York, PA).  Joining them in attendance were Deacon Ephraim’s wife Erin and their six daughters, his parents and in-laws, many of his classmates, and the whole parish of Saint Mary’s.

Parish assignments are an integral part of the Antiochian seminary formation.  For the past year, Deacon Ephrem has served under the guidance of Father George at the richly historical church of Saint Mary’s, which was established by one of the founders of Saint Tikhon’s – Saint Raphael of Brooklyn, the Patron Saint of the Antiochian Archdiocese in North America.  

The Saint Tikhon community shares in the joy of all the assembled witnesses, acclaiming, “He is Worthy!  Mustaheq!  Axios!”

In Memoriam: Archpriest Michael Koblosh - 08/18/21

The Mitred Archpriest Michael Koblosh, son of the late Michael and Mary Koblosh of Yonkers, NY, fell asleep in the Lord on the morning of August 18, 2021.

Archpriest Michael Koblosh was baptized in Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Church in Yonkers, NY and, from his earliest years, was an altar server who learned church Slavonic and liturgics from the Right Reverend Mitered Protopresbyter Joseph J. Pishtey, first Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, (formerly The Metropolia). Father Michael’s Orthodox worldview was shaped at Holy Trinity Church, where he was raised and which had been consecrated by Bishop Tikhon who later became Patriarch of Russia. 

Upon graduation from Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in 1964, Father Michael advanced his studies by pursuing and receiving a Master of Divinity Degree at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Father Michael took advanced Russian courses at New York University and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Philosophy from Iona College in New Rochelle, New York.  Father Michael was deeply influenced by the preaching and writings of Protopresbyter Father Alexander Schmemann. Father Michael taught Liturgical Theology at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, and also taught philosophy at the college level.  

Metropolitan Tikhon to discuss the 20th AAC - 07/26/21

On Wednesday, July 28, at 7:00 PM ET, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon will be hosted by Archpriest Thomas Soroka to discuss and formally announce the 20th All-American Council which will take place in Baltimore, MD on July 18-22, 2022.  His Beatitude will address various aspects of the All-American Council and will introduce the theme as approved by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America. His Beatitude will also entertain questions which can be submitted through the comments section.

Bishop Alexis Ordains Priests on Mount Athos - 07/25/21

His Grace Bishop Alexis, Bishop of Bethesda, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska and of the brotherhood of St Tikhon’s Monastery, was the first OCA bishop to ordain several fathers on the Holy Mountain of Athos to diaconal and priestly orders during the month of July 2021. The Holy Monastery of Karakallou.

Many Years to His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon! - 07/15/21

Today, Thursday, July 15, 2021, marks the 55th birthday of His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, STOTS Graduate 1993.

Eis polla eti, despota! May God grant you many years, Your Beatitude!


Memory Eternal to Protostavrophor Adam Yonitch - 07/13/21

Protostavrophor Adam Yonitch, Jr., Lt. Col. USAFR, 70, of Hempfield Township, died Sunday, July 11, 2021, in Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital, Greensburg.  He was born April 27, 1951, in Latrobe Hospital, a son of the late Adam Sr. and Irene (Bilky) Yonitch, grandson of the late Janko and Martha (Baltich) Yonitch.  He graduated from Franklin Regional Junior-Senior High School in 1970, and from St. Tikhon’s Russian Orthodox Seminary in South Cannan, PA in 1975.  He also received a Master of Science in religious studies from Marywood College in Dunmore, PA.  He married his wife, Roberta Lee Bazala, on May 8, 1976, at Holy Ascension of Our Lord Serbian Orthodox Church in Youngwood.  He was ordained Deaconate at St. Sava Cathedral in Parma, OH by Bishop Sava, ordained to the Holy priesthood at Holy Ascension of Our Lord Serbian Orthodox Church in Youngwood.  He then studied under Fr. Nenad Resonovich before being assigned to his first parish.  He was an Air Force veteran, accepted as equal to MS Divinity and commissioned as the first American-Serbian Orthodox Chaplain in the United States Air Force.  During his time in the Air Force, he had served at Andrews AFB, Washington, DC, Offutt AFB, Omaha, NE, Lackland AFB, San Antonio, TX, Ramstein AFB, Kaiserslautern, Germany, Wright Patterson, Dayton, OH, and FE Warren Cheyenne, Wyoming. Fr. Adam served the Serbian Orthodox community from his ordination in 1976 until his retirement in 2016, during which he served at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, Carmichaels, PA, Holy Ascension of Our Lord Serbian Orthodox Church, Youngwood, St. Nicholas Serbian Orthodox Church, Johnstown, Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Church, Lebanon, PA, as well as serving during active duty, the Moshannon Valley Corrections Prison Chaplain, and substituted for parishes when necessary.  Roberta and Adam enjoyed traveling to Disney and going to new places to eat.  In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister and brother-in-law, Joanne and James Keating.  He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Roberta Lee (Bazala) Yonitch; his son, SPC Damian Yonitch (Wendy), of Somerset; and his daughter, Mira Yonitch (Nelson), of Dawson.  He was Djedo to his four grandchildren, Mercedes, Zander, Zoey, and Reavyn Arianna, who were his entire world.  He is also survived by his brother-in-law, John J. Bazala (Rebecca), of Rillton; sister-in-law, Donna Madrashin, of Adamsburg; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins.  Friends will be received from 2 to 6 PM Tuesday at Holy Ascension of Our Lord Serbian Orthodox Church, 24 N. 3rd Street, Youngwood where a burial service will begin at 6 PM with His Grace Bishop Irinej officiating.  Liturgy and interment will begin at 10 AM Wednesday in Holy Ascension of Our Lord Serbian Orthodox Church, Youngwood with Fr. Rumen Stoychev and guest clergy officiating.  Interment will follow in Twin Valley Memorial Park, Delmont with Full Military Honors accorded by the American Legion, Post 981, South Greensburg Honor Guard.

Bishop Alexis Makes Visit to Mount Athos - 07/10/21

On Saturday, July 10, with the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, His Grace Bishop Alexis of Bethesda, locum tenens of the Diocese of Alaska, began an extended visit to his former monastery, the Sacred and Stavropegial Monastery of Karakallou on Mount Athos. His Grace is visiting with the blessing of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and at the invitation of Elder Philotheos, Abbot of the monastery.

Elder Philotheos and the brotherhood formally received His Grace and his entourage upon their arrival at the doors of the monastery and processed into the Catholikon where a Doxology was served.

His Grace Bishop Alexis made this visit chiefly so that he could preside at the liturgical celebrations for Saints Peter and Paul, the main feast of the monastery. The celebration of this feast followed the Athonite order for a panegyric service and began Sunday evening, July 11, and ended mid-morning on Monday, July 12, the day of the feast. After the festive meal, Bishop Alexis offered a sermon to the monastics, distinguished guests, and pilgrims who had gathered at the monastery for the feast.

Deacon Sergey Kakorin Ordained a Priest - 07/04/21

On July 4th, 2021, Deacon Sergey Kakorin was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Grace Bishop Alexis of Bethesda, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Sitka and all Alaska. Father Sergey graduated from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary with a Master’s in Divinity, class of 2021. Father Sergey’s family, including Matushka Irina, daughters Daria, Anastacia, Anna and son Matthew were present for the joyous occasion.


By Nathanael Belt

St. Tikhon's Launches a Residential Music Program - 07/01/21

July 1, 2021  [South Canaan, PA] — Saint Tikhon’s Monastery is pleased to announce the fall 2021 launch of a new residential Music Program. The Saint Tikhon’s Residency in Music provides comprehensive training for Orthdox church music leaders amidst the rich and demanding liturgical life of America’s oldest Orthodox monastery. Residents receive both classroom training and on-the-job experience under the expert guidance of the members of St. Tikhon’s Monastery music staff as well as nationally renown guest faculty.

The Music Program is a combination of monthly topical weekend workshop intensives and residency training. The weekend intensives are open to the public, starting Friday evenings and ending Sunday afternoons. Non-resident participants may choose to attend one, several, or all of the weekend intensives. Techniques and skills are presented and briefly coached in the weekend intensives. Residents are then given the opportunity to implement the techniques and skills presented in the intensives as leaders-in-training of services and ensembles at St. Tikhon’s Monastery. 

Weekend Intensive topics include: Conducting Technique, Music Theory & Score Analysis, Vocal & Ensemble Technique, How to Train Beginner Musicians, Choral Literature & Church Music History, Composing & Arranging, Ensemble Administration, and the Memorial Day Pilgrimage Festival Choir. 

Residency training includes: the 8 Tones, Order of Service, Ear Training, Keyboard Skills,  Spirituality, Finale! software, Composition class, Vocal Performance class, Conducting class, Service & Rehearsal Prep coaching, Sacred Music Seminar, and Spirituality.

Residents will also have the opportunity to contribute to the many exciting musical projects happening at St. Tikhon’s including the Grammy-nominated Saint Tikhon Choir, the St. Tikhon’s Music Resource online music catalogue, the arrangement of new settings of hymnography, and the publication of new music collections.

The program begins in October 2021 with the first weekend intensive. Entrance exam, auditions, and admissions interviews will occur during weekend intensives. To be put on the mailing list and be kept up to date on program news and registration information email the directors at



Deacon Jacob Ramsey Ordained a Priest - 07/01/21

On July 1, 2021, Deacon Jacob Ramsey was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence Archbishop Michael of New York and the Diocese of New York and Jersey and rector of our Seminary at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Endicott, NY. Co-serving with His Eminence were Mitred Archpriest Joseph Lickwar, Chancellor of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, Archpriest Alexey Karlgut, parish rector and Dean of New York State, Archpriest Wiaczeslaw Krawczuk, Dean of New York City, Archpriest Gary Breton, Dean of New Jersey, Archpriest David Cowan Vice-Chancellor of the Diocese and a multitude of clergy from the Diocese and various jurisdictions. A festive meal took place after the Liturgy.
Many years to the newly-ordained Priest Jacob, Matushka Anastasia, Stephen, Nicholas and John!


By Subdeacon Andrew Bohush

Photos: Subdeacon Matthew Ortiz

Livestream: Into All the World Teaching Them - 06/30/21

Dear Friends and Benefactors of St Tikhon's,

One hundred-fifty three begins with one.

I write to ask you to be that one.

I have the blessing to introduce you to some *very great* Orthodox leaders and teachers, on June 30, via Livestream on two channels:


You will meet:

His Eminence, Archbishop Makarios of Kenya, the head of the Makarios III Seminary in Nairobi, Kenya--and hear about his amazing journey, starting at 20 years old, with St Sophrony of Essex.

Fr MP George, a most humble and joy-filled priest of the Indian Orthodox Church, who teaches at the Seminary in India, as well as at St Tikhon’s.

Fr Paul Siladi, a delightful Romanian Orthodox priest, who teaches Missiology (Mission) on the Faculty of Theology at the University in Cluj, Romania.

Dr Jeffrey and Karen MacDonald--OCMC Missionaries in Albania.  Dr Jeff teaches Church HIstory at Shen Vlash, the seminary in Durres, Albania.

Fr John Chakos,  OCMC Missionary in Guatemala--with the most intriguing stories about the Orthodox Seminary in Guatemala, way, way out in the country.

Fr Teemu Toivonen, who teaches Pastoral Theology on the Orthodox Faculty in Joensuu, Finland.

Fr Bassam Nassif, Assistant Professor of Pastoral Theology, St John of Damascus Orthodox Institute at the University of Balamand, Lebanon.

Hear the beautiful stories of these dear Orthodox Christians.  Enrich your life by learning about the joys and struggles where they serve.  Experience the interconnectedness of Orthodoxy across the globe.

In a sentence:

Visit Seminaries around the world, 

and sustain the one in your backyard.


If you are already a Sustainer of St Tikhon's (giving an automated, monthly gift to St Tikhon's)--Thank you!

If you are not:

Please become one right now. It will not take more than a few minutes of your time. A few minutes to be one on whom we can count to help form priests for the Orthodox Churches!

153 starts with 1.


We are casting our net onto the other side of the boat, hoping to "catch" 153 additional sustainers, with the coming feast of the Holy Apostles, through whom Jesus is drawing the world into His net.

Please be the first one of 153 by clicking HERE.

Click HERE to ask me, "Why 153?"

More details soon.

HERE is the poster--share it if you will.

Sign up now, and I'll send you a download--a beautiful song written and recorded by our dear friend and award-winning actor and recording artist, Jonathan Jackson.

To all who are already generous donors and faithful Sustainers, thank you all!

Yours gratefully in Christ,

Fr John

PS we need your help TODAY to reach our goal this week.  Please do so HERE.

Deacon Jeremy McKemy Ordained a Priest - 06/29/21

On June 29, 2021, on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Dn. Jeremy McKemy was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at St. Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas, TX by the hand of newly consecrated Bishop Gerasim of Fort Worth. 

The Feast was characterized by true apostolic joy and brotherly love, with concelebration by brother hierarchs from across the Orthodox Church in America, as well as other hierarchs from the wider Orthodox world. The Liturgy was presided over by His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon with brother concelebrants His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of the Church of Georgia; His Eminence Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West; His Eminence Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania; His Eminence Archbishop Alexander of Dallas and the South; His Eminence Archbishop Paul of Chicago and the Midwest; His Grace Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa; His Grace Bishop James of Sonora of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia; and His Grace Bishop Andrei of Cleveland. In the Divine Liturgy, Archimandrite Gerasim (Eliel) was consecrated Bishop of Fort Worth, as an Auxiliary to His Eminence Archbishop Alexander of Dallas and the South. Dn. Jeremy was then ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Bishop Gerasim as the first ordination conferred through the grace of his episcopacy. It was a truly historic and unforgettable day which now marks the beginning of Priest Jeremy’s priestly ministry. 

The following day, Priest Jeremy concelebrated his first priestly liturgy for the Feast of the Synaxis of the Twelve Apostles at St. Barbara’s Orthodox Church in Fort Worth, in which Bishop Gerasim was enthroned as Bishop of Fort Worth. 

Many years to the newly ordained Priest Jeremy McKemy and his wife, Matushka Mei Lei. AXIOS!

Jacob Ramsey's Ordination to the Holy Diaconate - 06/10/21

On June 10, 2021, on the Great Feast of the Ascension of Our Lord, seminary graduate Jacob Ramsey was ordained by His Eminence Archbishop Michael of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey and Rector of our Seminary. The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and the diaconal ordination took place at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Endicott, NY. A festive meal took place after the Liturgy. 

Many years to the newly ordained Deacon Jacob, Matushka Anastasia, and to their sons Stephen, Nicholas and John! 

Deacon Sergey Kakorin's Ordination - 05/31/21

It is with great excitement that we announce the ordination of Sergey Kakorin to the holy diaconate. Sergey was ordained during the Memorial Day Liturgy (5/31/2021) by His Beatitude, Met. Tikhon.


Sergey just graduated from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary two days before his ordination. Rather than immediately returning home to the West Coast, Sergey, his wife, and his children will spend the summer near St. Tikhon’s Seminary and Monastery where he will receive further instruction and training as a deacon. God willing, later in the summer, he will be ordained to the holy priesthood.


Axios, Deacon Sergey!


By Deacon Jeremiah McKemy, STOTS Graduate 2021

Saint Tikhon’s Celebrates Class of 2021 Graduates - 05/29/21

On the evening of Friday, May 28, Saint Tikhon’s Seminary presented the beginning of its 2021 Commencement addresses online. With a prayer and welcome by the Dean, Father John Parker, and with a word of greeting from Michael Herzak, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, the presentation began. Viewers were treated to an octet beautifully performing the Paschal hymn by former seminary rector, Saint Nicholai of South Canaan: Christ God is Risen! Let us Rejoice! Then, from Ireland, the Commencement Address was presented by Jonathan Jackson, a celebrated actor, author, and singer. Jonathan spoke about Christ at work within the lives of priests and other ministers of the Church, focusing his talk around the works of Saint Patrick, the Enlightener of Ireland. Referencing modern elders and Holy Fathers, Jonathan went on to dramatically emphasize the martyrdom that our life is centered upon, as Christ emptied Himself as a martyr for all creation. Jonathan inspired viewers to transform their suffering into something glorified and ultimately bound to God. Quoting the Patron of Ireland, Jonathan concluded that “‘this is the way we repay God for correcting us and taking notice of us: We honor and praise His wonders before every nation under heaven.’” He then challenged the graduating class to do just this.

Following the announcement of those students who were graduating with honors, the seminary’s Rector, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, offered encouragement to the graduates; recognizing that the world is mired in sin, His Eminence explained that servanthood to all--including the Lord--is the secret to success as Christian leaders in the fallen world. His Eminence zealously charged the graduating class to “pray faithfully, serve humbly, teach uncompromisingly, preach boldly, evangelize tirelessly, celebrate joyously, and love sacrificially,” imitating the Saints who have been a part of the Saint Tikhon’s community. Father John, after introducing the new format of the Tikhonaire, introduced His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, who offered the Presidential Address. As President of the seminary, His Beatitude exhorted the graduates to reflect on their experience in seminary in order to see how they have been prepared for their vocations ahead: “In order to truly know Christ, one must know oneself.” Each of the speakers offered prayers for the graduates, and Father John concluded with a reminder that the Lord commands that those whom He sends out are to make disciples of all nations.

Beginning on the morning of Saturday, May 29, a Primatial Divine Liturgy was served in the Monastery Church with two hierarchs, eleven priests, three deacons, numerous servers, a full choir, and a multitude of believers. At the conclusion of the Liturgy, a wonderful brunch was offered to all present, followed by the procession of the graduating class and the dais party into the seminary’s Convocation Hall to the singing of the Paschal Troparion. The in-person ceremony began with a Molieben served by His Beatitude and the newly-ordained Deacon Athanasios Kombos. And after a brief word of introduction from Father John Parker, the class valedictorian was offered the opportunity to speak. Reflecting on how his class had once been described as “sober,” Father Peter Simko discussed the importance of joy in sharing the Orthodox Christian Faith, emphasizing its necessity in living the Life of Christ. The ceremony continued with a presentation by Father Patrick Burns, the Alumni Association President, who conferred the “Alumnus of the Year” awards to Father Yaroslav Sudick, and to the late Father Nicholas Timpko of blessed repose. Next, Father David Hester was honored by the seminary on the occasion of his retirement; he was presented with a newly painted icon of Saint Tikhon of Moscow alongside his patron, King David. The commencement ceremonies concluded with closing words from His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, and His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, as well as the presentation of the Class of 2021 icon of Christ the True Vine by Ryan Miller, the student body president, and the presentation of a large icon of the calling of Saints Andrew and Peter to the school by Mitch and Jan Vanduyn. Following the conferral of degrees and a gift from Dr. David Ford to each student, a closing prayer gave way to celebrations among everyone in attendance. Congratulations to the STOTS Class of 2021! Many years!


By Priest Peter Simko, STOTS Graduate 2021


The Program of 79th Commencement  Ceremony of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary can be found HERE.

The photos of 2021 Graduates can be seen HERE.



Continuing Education 2021 - 05/24/21

St Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary invites you to a 5-day interactive experience with the remarkably talented Anna Conomos, internationally renowned Storyteller and gifted communicator, to develop powerful communicat ion skills and learn to captivate your audience.
Learn the following:
The structure of a narrative  +  Creating atmosphere with effective use of props and space  +  Vocal dynamics and soundscapes  +  Powerful physicality and gesture
Methods for delivery to captivate young and old   +  The camera as audience and the screen as a stage  +  Audience interaction techniques  +  Story films

Click HERE to register.
Click HERE to see the flyer
In a world where true communication is being challenged, where many people have lost the art of listening and distractions abound, the need for effective and powerful communication and engagement is becoming ever more important. Being able to present, deliver, educate and perform in a way that is captivating, memorable and appealing to every age, background and ability is key to winning your audience, bringing your narrative or presentation to life and making it relevant in the here and now, speaking to heart of your listener, generating unity, inspiration and opportunities that you never imagined possible.
Anna’s practical, specialised training utilises powerful storytelling techniques and stimulating interactive exercises to develop virtual and in person performance skill sets that will allow you to engage and interact with the public, harness on-screen opportunities and overcome perceived limitations. 

Continuing Education 2021

From the Housetops, or the Laptops: 
The Power of Narrative to Proclaim the Gospel, or
An Intensive Course in Effective Communication in Our Digital Days
June 14-18, 2021 - $149
Daily, 900am-1130am EASTERN &
Daily, 900am-1130am PACIFIC
Two Daily Sessions, to relieve the vast time difference from coast to coast and from Greece, where our host will be.
In practically one day, nearly every Orthodox priest became a televangelist. 
Many teachers and professors needed to teach through a camera. 

Practically every Summer Camp was moved online. 
Our new situation requires Clergy, Professors and Teachers, Camp Directors, and others to learn an entirely new form of communication.

Before the Course:  Participants will send a simple, a five-minute version of your 'story' i.e: sermon, bible story, presentation, Sunday school workshop, performance so that Anna can tailor the course to suit your particular needs. The story can be written, audio recorded or (even better) filmed! Just a simple mobile phone camera will suffice. Participants can send more than one story, the more variety the better! Please submit as soon as possible and no later than the first week of June to anna@

Seminary Opens Search for Library Director - 05/18/21



St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary invites applicants for a full-time Director of the Saint Patriarch Tikhon Library. As a member of the Seminary Administration, the Director reports to the Dean of the Seminary, and Chairs the Seminary’s Library Committee. The Director also serves a member of other Committees as appointed by the Rector or Dean of the Seminary.  A review of applications for this position will begin on 1 August 2021, with the position open until filled.


The Director of the Saint Patriarch Tikhon Library oversees the overall functioning of the Library and Information Services, partners with the Seminary Faculty to support the development of graduate-level research practices in Seminary students, as well participates in curriculum development activities. As an integral member of the teaching and learning community, the Director plays a creative role in fostering a climate conducive to supporting the teaching, learning, and scholarship of members of the community. 

Individual responsibilities of the Director will include: 

Providing for the quality and integrity of on-going Library services, including:  acquisitions, cataloging, and circulation activities;
Advising the Dean on the resource needs of the Library in the preparation of the Seminary’s annual budget; 
Leading the design, implementation, and assessment of Library policies, services, and programs; 
Supervising the development of the Library’s collections and services commensurate with the academic, research, and information needs of the Seminary community, as well as the Library’s other user groups; 
Supervising and coordinating the maintenance and development of the Seminary’s institutional archives; 
Providing resources and services to patrons of the Library;
Promoting research services to faculty and students in support of the curriculum;
Receiving all gifts to the Library and supervising their cataloging and use;
Conserving the Library’s print and non-print media, equipment, and other information resources;  
Supervising and evaluating the quality and performance of voluntary library staff members and assigned student workers;
Holding primary responsibility for strategic planning and accreditation review activities related to the Saint Patriarch Tikhon Library; 
Encouraging inter-library cooperation, and representing the Library in maintaining cooperative resource-sharing arrangements and consortial agreements with other academic institutions and libraries; 
Bringing such matters to the attention of the Dean that are appropriate and necessary to keep him fully informed, and to enable him to meet his responsibilities; and  
Performing other duties as assigned which are within the scope and nature of the position. 


Due to the mission and purpose of the Seminary, the successful candidate must be a faithful member of the Eastern Orthodox Church and a regular and engaged participant in its sacramental life.  Candidates applying for the position must also agree to support and advance the established mission and purpose of the Seminary, which can be found HERE.  


Possession of an American Library Association (ALA) accredited Master’s degree either at the time of hire or within one academic year from the date of hire is required.    Academic background in Theology or a related area is preferred.

Given the nature of the Seminary’s mission and purpose, the possession of academic study at an Orthodox institution of higher education within a candidate’s background is preferred, however is not required for consideration.


Possession of 3 to 5 years of progressively responsible experience in an academic library is preferred.

As noted above, a review of applications for this position will begin on 1 August 2021, with the position open until filled.  Please submit a letter of application, current curriculum vitae, and a list of references to the Search Committee at

Position Status

Full-time administrative position, with health care and pension benefits.  Salary commensurate with academic credentials and experience, with details available on candidate request.  The Director may be eligible for concurrent appointment to the rank of Assistant or Associate Professor based upon academic qualifications and experience (i.e., the possession of an ALA approved Master’s degree as well as a second Master’s or Doctoral degree in Theology or a closely related area). 


St. Tikhon’s Seminary is a tightknit community of Orthodox Faith and Learning nestled in the beautiful surroundings of the Pocono region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.   Since its founding in 1938, St. Tikhon’s Seminary has dedicated itself to the spiritual, pastoral, liturgical, and academic formation of those who seek to serve the Orthodox Church in positions of either ordained ministry or lay leadership.   

The Patriarch Tikhon Library is an in-depth collection of primary and secondary resources dedicated to supporting the aims, objectives, and mission of the Seminary; the scope of content of its Master of Divinity curriculum; and the needs of its Faculty, students, staff,  and public research patrons.  The Library’s print, non-print, and digital media holdings consist of approximately 50,000 items in the form of monographs and periodical titles.   

Background Check

Any offer of employment will be contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background check, which will include a criminal history check. Please note that prior convictions, including felony convictions, will not necessarily bar an individual from employment, but each case will be examined separately. 

Seminary Opens Search for Faculty Position - 05/18/21



The Faculty of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary invites men and women candidates to submit applications for a full-time position at the rank of Assistant, Associate, or Professor of Dogmatic/Systematic Theology within the Seminary’s Master of Divinity (M.Div.) Program, with a starting date of 1 September 2022.  

The successful candidate will offer graduate level courses in several areas that include:  Foundations of Orthodox Dogmatic Theology; Cosmology; Christology and Anthropology; and Ecclesiology, Soteriology, and Eschatology. The successful candidate will also be responsible for the supervision and mentoring of students undertaking theses or senior honors projects in areas related to Dogmatic/Systematic Theology.  In addition to teaching responsibilities, it is expected that the successful candidate will engage in ongoing scholarly publication, will be actively involved in institutional service in such areas as curriculum design, programmatic assessment, and institutional self-study through participation in standing faculty committees and working groups of the Seminary. Finally, it is understood that the successful candidate will be an active participant in the broader life of the Seminary community, taking part in convocations and formal events called together by the President, Rector, and/or Dean of the Seminary.   

The Seminary seeks candidates who possess a broad knowledge of Orthodox Dogmatic / Systematic Theology, demonstrate sound teaching ability in engaging students within the classroom, as well as demonstrate the ability to conduct academic research within their discipline. As the Master of Divinity program is primarily aimed at forming individuals for pastoral ministry, the successful candidate must possess the ability to direct coverage of disciplinary subjects towards the goal of pastoral formation.   The successful candidate must be a faithful member and engaged participant in the sacramental life of the Eastern Orthodox Church, as well as agree to support, advance, and embody the established ethos of the Seminary as articulated in its formative mission and purpose, which can be found HERE.  


Academic Qualifications

Position Candidates must either already be in possession of a terminal research doctorate (e.g., Ph.D.,Th.D., D.Phil., S.T.D., etc.) during the application process or will be in possession of a research doctorate at the time of hire.  Given the nature of the Seminary’s mission and purpose, academic background from an Orthodox institution of higher education is desired, but not required for consideration.   

Applications for this position must be received by 1 August 2021.  Please submit a cover letter of application, current curriculum vitae, and three letters of recommendation to the Search Committee at  

Faculty Status

Assistant, Associate Professor, or Professor (Based upon previous professional experience and qualifications)

Full-time revolving three-year term appointment position, with health care and pension benefits.  Salary commensurate with Assistant, Associate, or Full Professor rank, with salary information available upon candidate request. 

About the Seminary

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is a tightknit community of Orthodox Faith and learning nestled in the beautiful surroundings of the Pocono region of Northeastern Pennsylvania.   Since its founding in 1938, St. Tikhon’s Seminary has dedicated itself to the spiritual, pastoral, liturgical, and academic formation of those who seek to serve the Orthodox Church in positions of either ordained ministry or lay  leadership.     

Background Check

Any offer of employment will be contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background check, which will include a criminal history check. Please note that prior convictions, including felony convictions, will not necessarily bar an individual from employment, but each case will be examined separately. 

In Memoriam of Archpriest Nilus Lerro - 05/06/21

Archpriest Nilus Lerro fell asleep in the Lord on Holy Wednesday afternoon, April 28, 2021, at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, NY.

Ordained a deacon in 1971 and a priest in 1972, Father Nilus converted to Holy Orthodoxy in 2006.  He served for a number of years as the Director of Student Life and Instructor at Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.

After his retirement from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, Father Nilus was attached to the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection, Manhattan, NY, where he was an assistant to Archimandrite Christopher (Calin) until his health limited his activities.  He continued on, however, as a father confessor to the parishioners of the Cathedral parish and several Orthodox clergy and faithful in the greater New York City area, until his recent move to an extended care facility.

Arvo Pärt’s New Choral Work at St. Nicholas' - 05/06/21

Arvo Pärt’s a cappella choral work, O Holy Saint Nicholas, will be premiered in New York City in the Fall of 2021.

The premiere will take place during the opening of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center Ground Zero site, performed by Schola Cantorum and guest conducted by Benedict Sheehan (Grammy Nominated). The work was commissioned specially for this occasion by the Schola Cantorum and its founder and artistic director Nektarios S. Antoniou, who serves also as Archdiocesan Director of Culture & Principal Cantor at the National Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York.

The new choral work (lasting ca. 15 minutes) is based on the English text of a prayer from the Orthodox liturgy, taken from the troparion of the feast day of Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker. Arvo Pärt has used this same text before – in the third part of his choral work Triodion and in Russian in Alleluia-Tropus, a work written for vocal ensemble.

Deacon Athanasios Kombos' Ordination - 04/25/21

Palm Sunday was all the more glorious this year. Not only were we celebrating the Entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem, but here at St. Tikhon's, we had the joy of witnessing the ordination of the seminarian Athanasios Kombos to the holy diaconate.

His father has visited several times during Nasi's time here at seminary, and was able to travel up and join in with an affirming "axios" for his son's ordination as well. The newly-ordained deacon's wife and boys were also present for this momentous next step for their family in the service of the Church, and we all pray they will enjoy many years of labors full of the grace and joy of Christ.

Dn. Athanasios and family are spending this summer down in his home diocese, the Diocese of the South, in an internship with Pr. Jason Foster at Nativity of Our Lord parish near Shreveport, Louisiana.


By Dn. Ignatius Strange


In Memoriam: Fr. Michael Joseph Doder - 04/12/21

Rest In Peace

STOTS alumnus Protopresbyter Michael (Mihajlo) Doder, and his wife Protinica Zorka both died of COVID only eight days apart in December.

Be mindful, O Lord, of all those who have fallen asleep in the hope of resurrection unto eternal life, especially Father Michael Doder and Matushka Protinica Zorka; pardon all their transgressions both voluntary and involuntary, whether in word, or deed or thought.  Shelter them in a place of brightness, a place of verdure, a place of repose, whence all sickness, sorrow and sighing have fled away, and where the sight of Thy countenance rejoiceth all the Saints from all ages.  Grant them Thy heavenly Kingdom, and portion of Thine ineffable blessings, and the enjoyment of Thine unending life.

In Memoriam of Fr. John Chupeck - 04/02/21

Archpriest John Chupeck, retired Rector of Saints Peter and Paul Church, Syracuse, NY, fell asleep in the Lord on February 10, 2021.

Father John was born on May 17, 1944 to John and Mary (Homisak) Chupeck in Simpson, PA. He is the middle of five children: two older sisters Pauline (Somple) and Dorothy (Kantor), younger brother (Archpriest Joseph), wife Ellen (Holowatch) and younger sister Irene (Govrusik).

Father John graduated from Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, PA in 1965. Metropolitan Ireney ordained him to the diaconate on December 19, 1966 and to the priesthood on December 25, 1966 at Protection of the Virgin Mary Cathedral, New York, NY. Father John was then assigned to Saint Michael’s Orthodox Church in Pueblo, CO. In 1969, he received a Bachelor of Arts from Colorado College. Later that year he was assigned to Saint Michael’s Orthodox Church in Old Forge, PA where he simultaneously served on the faculty at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary. In 1978 Father John served at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Herkimer, NY, then transferred to Syracuse, NY.

Upon arriving in Syracuse, Father John was the associate pastor at Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church for 23 years and served at Saint Michael’s Orthodox Church as needed. Father John was appointed rector of Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Syracuse in 2001 and retired in September of 2020.

Fr. John Presides over Divine Liturgy at SVOTS - 03/22/21

At the invitation of Fr. Chad Hatfield, President of St. Vladimir's Seminary, Fr. John Parker, Dean of St. Tikhon's presided and preached on the Sunday of Orthodoxy at St. Vladimir's Seminary's Three Hierarchs Chapel. 

Ordination of Subdeacon Shojil Abraham - 03/20/21

Ordination of Sub-deacon Shojil Abraham

"I thank Him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because He judged me faithful, appointing me to His service." (1Tim 1:12)

By the grace of God, third-year seminarian, Shojil Abraham was ordained to the Holy Order of the Sub-Diaconate on Saturday, March 20th, by the hands of HG Zachariah Mar Nicholovos (Metropolitan of the Northeast American Diocese) at St. Thomas Orthodox Church, Levittown, NY.

Guests included clergy from across the diocese, Very Rev. John Parker, Dean of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, and seminarians from both St. Vladimir and St. Tikhon seminaries.

The absence of Very Rev. Dr. Mathai Yohannan Sankarathil Chor Episcopos, Vicar of St. Thomas Orthodox, was truly felt but the newly ordained sub-deacon was able to visit with our beloved Valiya Achen prior to the ordination service and receive his blessing.  Achen was very much an integral part in the newly-ordained's upbringing and formation. While he wasn't able to join in person due to his health, we firmly believe his prayers were with Sdn. Abraham throughout the service and will be a fortress for him throughout his ministry.

Following the ordination service, was a public meeting under the leadership of HG Mar Nicholovos and Rev. Abey George, Assistant Vicar, St. Thomas Orthodox Church in Levittown, to congratulate and recognize the newly ordained Sub-Dn. Abraham. In their words of felicitation, both HG Mar Nicholovos and Fr. John reminded the newly ordained Sub-Deacon and all the faithful in attendance, on the importance of being a humble servant leader.

May God grant you many years! - AXIOS!

By Renin Cherian

Mark Makarios' Ordination to the Holy Diaconate - 03/14/21

St. Tikhon's Seminary recently witnessed the ordination of one of it's second-year seminarians to the diaconate. Mark Makarios comes to us from the Antiochian Archdiocese. He and our other Antiochian students have regularly graced our seminary chapel with beautiful Byzantine melodies and enlightened our classrooms with a slightly different perspective on topics that are not easily solved, all reminders that the Orthodox Church is more diverse than any one culture, language, or parish.

Bishop Thomas of the Antiochian Archdiocese ordained Mark to the diaconate at St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre on March 14th, 2021. Many of his classmates, our dean, Fr. John Parker, and Mark's wife, Marian, were able to join in the celebration of this newly-ordained deacon of the Orthodox Church, saying:



Ordination of Subdeacon Roby Antony - 03/13/21

"You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit." (John 15:16)

By the grace of God, third year seminarian, Antonios Roby Antony was ordained to the Holy Order of the Sub-diaconate on Saturday, March 13th by the hands of HG Zachariah Mar Nicholovos (Metropolitan of the Northeast American Diocese) at St. Gregorios Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (Floral Park).

Guests included clergy from across the diocese, Very Rev. John Parker, Dean of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, and seminarians from both St. Vladimir and St. Tikhon seminaries.

Following the ordination service, was a short public meeting under the leadership of HG Mar Nicholovos and Rev. Gregory Varghese (Vicar of St. Gregorios) to congratulate and recognize the newly ordained Sub-deacon Antony. In their words of felicitation, both HG Mar Nicholovos and Fr. John reminded the newly ordained Sub-deacon and all the faithful in attendance, on the importance of being diligent stewards in the Lord's vineyard and the task of ministering to the needs of the Church in this country.


By Renin Cherian

Deacon Maximus Gibson's Ordination - 03/10/21

It is with great excitement that we announce the ordination of Subdeacon Maximus Gibson to the diaconate. The newly-ordained Deacon Maximus was ordained this past Sunday on one of the preparatory Sundays for Great Lent. He was thrown straight into the deep end: his first service was a Vigil to the Holy Forty Martyrs of Sebaste, and the Vigil service is a liturgical challenge. He is well prepared and learning fast.

It was particularly poignant to watch Deacon Maximus and his godfather, Deacon Michael Rehmet, who was serving at the ordination, exchange looks from time to time during the service. Any ordination is full of meaning and importance, but this one seemed to have a little extra something.

Looking on, also, were Deacon Maximus's wife, Michelle, and daughter, Madeline. We all were blessed to be able to join in this significant next step in the lives of the Gibson family as they continue to prepare for a life of service to Christ's Church.

Deacon Maximus, axios!


By Dn. Ignatius Strange

Farewell to Dr. Boosalis, Professor of Theology - 03/09/21

On Tuesday, March 9, 2021, the seminary community was singing the Saint Tikhon’s blues

Whether they experienced him with or without the mustache, hundreds of seminary students have had the honor of studying theology under Dr. Harry Boosalis over the years, from Cosmology to Christology to Eschatology. While first-year seminarians might at first feel rather befuddled upon hearing Doctor Harry’s very first query (“Do you know Jesus?”), no student can walk away from his courses without a deeper appreciation for how precious man is in the sight of God, as well as a deeper appreciation for the professor himself.


Outside of class, Dr. Harry has always been ready to meet with students to discuss life in “NEPA,” a potential thesis idea, or their future pastoral ministries (“How are you gonna explain that to the yiayias in your parish one day?”). He has visited church communities to give clear and understandable presentations on Orthodox theology. And with his intimate connections to the monastic brotherhood of the Holy Monastery of Iveron, Dr. Harry has led a number of trips with both students and professors to Mount Athos (with pit stops in Thessaloniki to boot). Travelling alongside one of their favorite Greek professors, members of the Saint Tikhon’s community have had the opportunity to visit the Panayia’s Garden in preparation for ordination or other ecclesial vocations in the world. And even those students unable to visit Iveron—along with its cherished “Portaitissa” icon of the Theotokos—have nevertheless travelled a somewhat shorter distance with Dr. Harry to witness the streaming of the “Kardiotissa” icon of the Mother of God right here in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

“Should we take a break? Let’s take a break—  You know what? Let’s keep going…”

But Dr. Harry’s role in the community extends beyond his love for the Panayia and her Divine Child: he has been the headliner of countless extracurricular events in the community, starring as the bass guitarist for such bands as “the Clerical Errors” and “the Dogmatix.” The many children of Saint Tikhon’s have always been ready to get up and dance for the band’s renditions of classic Motown hits and Beatles tunes; likewise, the seminarians who have spent time playing or singing alongside Dr. Harry are usually quick to commit to reunion gigs, especially in order to promote the school to which Dr. Harry has devoted his many talents for decades.

“I don’t know… Is that what you believed in your former tradition?”

While those unforgettable one-on-one theology quizzes have certainly elicited fear and trembling for seminarians lax in note-taking, the familiar voice and gleeful laughter of Dr. Harry has always been a comforting sound (which is no doubt why some of his unique mannerisms have lovingly been emulated by portions of the student body throughout the ages...). Even in the various books authored by Dr. Harry, many of which have been published by the Monastery’s press, one can read his simple yet profound paragraphs—exploring the wisdom of modern Elders and the boldness of the Early Fathers—with his exact tone of voice in mind.

“You know what guys? Why don’t we save that for next semester? Is that okay?”

But, alas, the time has finally come for Dr. Harry to move on. Newly a citizen of Greece, the beloved professor leaves behind so many students and alumni, faculty and administration, friends and neighbors who will never forget how his efforts and his charm have enhanced their lives. The Saint Tikhon’s students celebrated him with a personalized concert dedicated to his love for music, and the graduating class even honored him with the prestigious Father Alexander Atty Service Award on Tuesday. He was also presented with heartfelt messages from all of his colleagues, not to mention a freshly composed icon of Saints Tikhon of Zadonsk and Tikhon of Moscow, alongside his own patron, the venerable Hieromartyr Haralambos. As Dr. Harry Boosalis steps down from his role at this school, we all wish him many blessed years and safe travels, and we sincerely pray that the Most Holy Lady might protect and shelter him all the days of his life.

Inaugural St. Nicholai Lecture at St. Tikhon's - 03/05/21

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I am pleased to announce our First Annual St. Nicholai Lecture, scheduled for Tuesday, March 23, 7:00-8:30PM.

The Lecture is the spring coefficient to the October St. Tikhon Lecture, and is to be scheduled each Spring, on or around March 18, the Feast of St. Nicholai.

Our inaugural lecture will be given by His Grace, The Rt. Rev. Irenej (Dobrijevic), Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern America of the Serbian Orthodox Church.  His Grace is an alumnus of St TIkhon's.  His Grace wrote his M.Div. Thesis on St. Nicholai, "Bishop Nicholai Velimirovich: A 1921 Mission to America."

The Lecture will be entitled, "St. Nicholai: His Last Years".  

Students are expected in person for the evening.  It will be livestreamed for the benefit of the wider world through our youtube and facebook pages.

Limited space is available for others.  Please ask me directly.

Please mark your calendars to be present for March 23, 7:00-8:30PM.

Glory to God for all things.

Your Servant in Christ, 

Fr. John Parker

Dr. Jeff Carpenter's Ordination to the Diaconate - 02/05/21

Virtual March for Life 2021 - 01/22/21

In Memoriam: The Mitred Archpriest Daniel Ressetar - 01/21/21

The Mitred Archpriest Daniel D Ressetar fell asleep in the Lord on the morning of January 20, 2021. He was born March 28, 1927 in Edwardsville, PA to Archpriest Dimitri and Matushka Margarita Ressetar. He married Theodora (Prislopsky) in 1958. A graduate of Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by Archbishop John (Garklavs) of Chicago and to the Holy Priesthood by Archbishop Dmitri (Magan) of Philadelphia in 1958. Father Daniel served parishes in Eastern Pennsylvania and as a United States Air Force Military Chaplain. Continuing in his family’s tradition, he was an accomplished church musician and singer. He was awarded the Saint Innocent Award (Silver Class) by the Holy Synod in 2003 and the Mitre in 2017. He retired in 2006 and remained active at Christ the Savior Church in Harrisburg, PA as pastor emeritus.

He is survived by his wife, Matushka Theodora, and his three sons, Nicholas, Gregory, and Alexander.

May Father Daniel’s memory be eternal!

Alumnus and Former Academic Dean Awarded Mitra - 01/20/21

On the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Lord, 2020, the faithful of Saint Tikhon’s gathered to celebrate the birth of Christ, as well as to honor one of their own: Archpriest Daniel Donlick, a faithful priest of the Orthodox Church for over fifty-five years, was led by Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, and Archpriest John Parker, Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, to stand before His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon. Father Daniel prostrated, arose, and bowed his head before the hierarch.

Current seminary students easily recognize Father Daniel from his role as the primary confessor at Sunday morning Liturgies and Presanctified Liturgies. Though COVID-19 has complicated things a bit, Father is nevertheless a familiar face.  Walking into the Monastery Church before almost anyone else has arrived, the sound of his footsteps and his white cane--familiar signals of his presence--are almost as comforting as his joy-laden countenance and his greeting to everyone he encounters: “Glory to Jesus Christ!” Father Daniel has served as the spiritual father for a host of seminarians (past and present), but also for parishioners of the Monastery. They go to him knowing that, through his simple ministry, they will have a powerful experience of the Spirit. This is because they can see that Father Daniel has a genuine and pious soul, a soul that desires the Lord. By his counselling, Father conveys living hope to his spiritual children. He encourages each one of them lovingly. He speaks from the heart and he listens with a palpable concern and a focus that is unmistakable. Kneeling at the Panikhida table before the Gospel and the Cross, God’s healing presence and forgiveness are received--and Archpriest Daniel conveys it to each penitent with the prayer of absolution.

But Father Daniel’s ministry extends beyond this service to his spiritual sons and daughters. At the Little Entrance of the Christmas Liturgy, the Metropolitan took the opportunity to give a word of summary about Father Daniel’s contributions to the Church:

“It is my joy and honor to present to you this miter [...] in recognition of your fifty-five years of service as a priest, which you have offered--not only as a priest in the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, serving Olyphant and Jermyn, and being a significant contributor to the mission in Stroudsburg (which now is a thriving parish)--but above all to present this award to you here at the Monastery Church of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk in the midst of the communities that you have so faithfully served throughout your priesthood, especially as a professor, as the Registrar, and as the [Academic] Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, wherein you were instrumental in bringing the seminary to achieve [...] accreditation, both on the state level, and with the Association of Theological Schools. But above all, in whatever role you served, you were indeed a Father to those that you served, inspiring them to become good priests, deacons, and lay workers in the vineyard of our Lord. And since your retirement, you also continue that ministry as a confessor and spiritual father for many here in the Monastery Church, especially those who are here to serve as seminarians and are on the path to ordination. In all these things, Father Daniel, you have shown yourself to be full of Christ-like humility, of Christ-like love, and as Saint Paul instructs: you never gave milk, but you always gave solid food to those that [have] come to you for direction and guidance, including the Primate of the Orthodox Church of America, who is here because of your original encouragement to come to seminary and follow the Lord--and not to delay.”

His Beatitude was honored to present Father Daniel’s name to the rest of the Holy Synod as a potential recipient of the miter, the highest award for presbyters in the Orthodox Church in America. The Synod recognized Father’s worthiness and unanimously approved the bestowing of this dignity on Father Daniel. This priest, who has touched so many lives over the course of his vocation, is a 1965 graduate of the seminary he still ministers to as a beloved pastor, mentor, and friend. His myriad contributions continue, and the faithful ministry of the Mitered Archpriest Daniel Donlick, along with his wife, Matushka Dolores, will surely be felt for generations to come.

By Priest Peter Simko

In Memoriam of Archpriest James Doyle - 01/16/21

Memory Eternal! Archpriest James (Iakovos) Doyle, who served as the STOTS professor of Patristics and Old Testament from 1975 until 1979, fell asleep in the Lord this week. Please keep Father James and his loved ones in your prayers. Christ is Risen!


Visitation and Funeral Services will be at:

Assumption Greek Orthodox Church 

13631 S Brainard Ave, Chicago, IL 60633


Monday, Jan. 18,  2;00 to 9:00PM


Tuesday, January 19,  8:00AM 

Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Hammond, IN

Due to Covid restrictions space is limited for funeral service on Tuesday, Jan 19th. Please contact 773-646-2999 by 5pm Sunday, Jan 17th to leave a message for a reservation and a member of the church counsel will call back to confirm.


Reader Anthony Saunders' Ordination to the Holy Diaconate - 01/14/21

At the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy for the feast of Holy Theophany (6 Jan. 2020), Reader Anthony Saunders was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by His Grace, Bishop Alexis of Bethesda, locum tenens of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery.


Deacon Anthony is from the Diocese of the Midwest under his Eminence, Archbishop Paul. His wife and his two daughters were in attendance for this joyous occasion.

By Nathanael Belt

Deacon Peter Simko Ordained a Priest - 01/08/21

On the joyous feast of the Entrance of the Holy Theotokos (Nov. 21, 2020), Deacon Peter Simko was elevated to the Holy Priesthood as Presbyter Panayiotis. Father Peter was ordained by His Grace, Bishop Alexis of Bethesda, locum tenens of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery. He was joined by his family and the local seminary and monastery communities. 

Father Peter is set to graduate in spring 2021 and plans to return to his home Diocese of the Midwest under His Eminence, Archbishop Paul.

By Deacon Jeremiah McKemy

Deacon Herman Garrison's Ordination to the Holy Priesthood - 01/05/21

Nativity is a time full of joy, but in such a trying year, it is wonderful to have the added joy of an ordination on Christmas. Recent St. Tikhon's graduate, Herman Garrison, was ordained to the priesthood on Nativity by Archbishop Alexander (Golitzin) in St. Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas. Also serving in the liturgy were Archimandrite Gerasim (Eliel), cathedral rector and Administrator of the Diocese of the South, Archpriest John Anderson (STOTS alumnus '95), Deacon Theophan Warren, and (a current seminarian of St. Tikhon's) Deacon Michael Rehmet.

Fr. Herman's family and some special guests were able to attend: his wife, Ruth, as well as his three daughters, Josephine, Catherine, and Anastasia, along with his parents Russell and Helen Garrison. Fr. Herman was sent to seminary by and will now be serving in St. Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church in Denison, whose long-time priest, Archpriest Michael Storozuk, reposed in 2018, while Fr. Herman was in seminary. Fr. Michael's wife, Matushka Patricia Storozuk, was also present, putting a beautiful and fitting "Axios" on Fr. Herman's ordination.

Fr. Herman says:
"There are so many I could thank for all their wonderful support while journeying through seminary and preparing for this calling. Just a small few to mention are my family, my home parish of St. Paul, the Holy Nativity parish in Shreveport, Archpriest Daniel Donlick, and all those who interceded for us with their prayers. I am forever indebted to the kindness shown to us by Archbishop Michael, Archpriest Dionysius, and all the administration at St. Tikhon's seminary who gave us such peace as we labored at seminary. I am also grateful for my professors, teachers, and classmates who challenged me, encouraged me, and endured my short-comings. St. Tikhon's seminary and monastery will forever hold a special place in my heart for their guidance and care. I give thanks to God for all things and I am humbled to serve in this new frontier of Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma."

Priest Herman is currently serving the parish of St. Paul in Denison, Texas and is involved in assisting Archpriest John Anderson in aiding missions in Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma.

"Axios", Fr. Herman!
 By Deacon Ignatuis Strange

Holy Synod of Bishops issues Encyclical of Hope - 12/31/20

On Thursday, December 31, 2020, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America has issued an encyclical entitled, “We Rejoice Even in Tribulation”: An Encyclical of Hope. The Holy Synod offers this work out of love and gratitude to its faithful at the end of this year. The Synod also intends for the encyclical to be seen as an encouragement for the year to come. In the encyclical, the Synod seeks to find meaning in the year that has past, which has been marked by a pandemic, political polarization, economic anxiety, and civil unrest, and calls the faithful to a renewed faith and hope in Jesus Christ, and service to one another.

Presently the encyclical is available as a PDF for download. In January 2021, printed copies will be mailed to all parishes, monasteries, and institutions of the Orthodox Church in America.

Fr. John Kowalczyk's Milestone Anniversaries - 12/14/20

SOUTH CANAAN, PA – Today, St. Tikhon’s Seminary proudly celebrates the 45th Anniversary of Archpriest John Kowalczyk’s Ordination to the Holy Priesthood. Father John is the longest-serving adjunct faculty member of our theological school, teaching in the Department of Pastoral Praxis since 1987, and serving as Director of Field Education. 

Father John is a graduate of St. Tikhon’s Seminary (1975), Marywood University (M.S. in Religious Education in 1981), and the Moscow Theological Academy (Candidate of Science in Theology in 1996). 


He received full privileges for group psychotherapy from Fairview Hospital and Medical Staff in 1994, and serves as contract chaplain at S.C.I. Waymart’s Forensic Treatment Center, where he has completed over 7,500 Preliminary Religious Assessments on forensic inmates for the Treatment Team since 1987. Through his efforts, St. Tikhon’s seminarians are able to pursue semester internships in prison ministry at the S.C.I. Center in nearby Waymart as part of their field education.


He was recently appointed executive member of the Board of Directors of Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry, having previously served as secretary of the organization for ten years.  He has traveled extensively throughout the country on behalf of OCPM, advocating for prison inmates in need of Christ and pastoral care.  He has addressed the All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, the National Convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, and the Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, on behalf of OCPM.


He has been a guest lecturer at Drexel University’s College of Medicine for the past three years, and most recently presented a workshop at the Annual Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference, entitled “Exploring the Spiritual Dynamic of Healing When Working through Bereavement, Especially When Dealing with the Trauma of Death Notification for the Mentally Ill Inmate.”  He has also guest lectured at Marquette University, Villanova University, and the University of Scranton.


He has written numerous articles on Prison Ministry and has been interviewed several times by Ancient Faith Radio regarding the work of prison ministry and the OCN. He has also produced numerous teaching videos on prison ministry, available on the official OCPM website.


The son of Walter, of blessed memory, and Zofia Kowalczyk, Fr. John was born in Dresdenko, Poland.  He immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1958 and grew up in Yonkers, NY.  He was married to the former Katherine Labick on October 12, 1975; she has worked together with him throughout his career, as Matushka in the parish, and bursar in the finance office at the Seminary.  They are the proud parents of two children, Sophia (married to Robert Wolf) and Nicholas.


Father Kowalczyk was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on December 14, 1975 by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Ireney, of blessed memory, at the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Yonkers, New York.  Over the next ten years, he served as an assistant priest at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Minneapolis, MN; rector of St. Mark’s Church in Wrightstown, PA; and rector of Assumption of the Holy Virgin Church in Philadelphia, PA.


On February 1, 1985, Fr. Kowalczyk was transferred to St. Michael’s Church in Jermyn, where he has faithfully served the large parish family there for the past 35 years.  His pastorate in Jermyn has been marked by significant improvements of the church complex: an expansion of the temple, the addition of numerous beautiful icons, and the renovation of the parish hall, as well as monumental spiritual and numerical growth of the community.


Over these many years, he has shepherded diverse flocks of immigrants from overseas, native-born North Americans, and those who have chosen Holy Orthodoxy as the one, true Faith.  He has been personally committed to the growth of each one of his sheep, leading them in “The Way” of Christ, and to the growth of the parishes and dioceses he has served, as well as the entire Orthodox Church in America.    


During the past four decades of service in the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, he has served as Diocesan Chancellor to three hierarchs (Archbishop Herman, Archbishop Tikhon, and Archbishop Mark).  He also worked from 1987 to 2005 as the Editor of the Eastern PA publication, Your Diocese Alive in Christ.  During that time, he provided the “Interview with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church” and “Canonization of Fr. Alexis Toth by the Orthodox Church in America” in St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, and “The Millennium Pilgrimage” in The Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate.


Father John has been one of the earliest members and a long-time champion of Orthodox Christians for Life, the pro-life movement of our Church in this country.  He has appeared on the national stage for decades and walked with hierarchs, clergy and laypersons alike in the annual “March for Life” in our nation’s capital almost every year. He has authored An Orthodox View of Abortion, published in 1977 by Light and Life Publishing, Minneapolis, MN, and he has also written numerous articles on the Sanctity of Life.


Additionally, he has served as the Guest Speaker at the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black, and at the Annual Christianity Conference.   


On the world scene, he represented St. Tikhon’s Seminary at the SYNDESMOS International Theological Conference in Poland (1989), Moscow (1992), and Finland (1998).  He is the recipient of four prestigious awards:  the Order of St. Mary Magdalene, presented by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Vasily of Poland, of blessed memory; the Jeweled Cross and the Order of St. Innocent, awarded by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America; and the Jeweled Cross, presented by His Holiness, Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow, of blessed memory.


An exemplary priest, an outstanding professor, and a loving pastor, Father Kowalczyk is best known for his teaching on “the ministry of presence” – the need for those in ministry to be present, to “be there,” for those in difficulty – to listen with one’s heart as well as one’s ears – and to offer the empathy of Christ, the Good Shepherd Who loves us more than we love ourselves.


In congratulating Archpriest John on his 45th Anniversary, Archbishop Michael, Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, lauded his remarkable service:  “Your many and varied labors have not been for your own glory or personal gain, but that the Holy Church might be strengthened.  We give thanks to the Lord for all you have done in His Name with excellence over the past 45 years, together with Matushka Kathy, who has been the consummate help-mate and co-laborer in your ministry.


“On this milestone anniversary, it is my joy to join with all those who love you throughout our Church in wishing you good health, much happiness, and continued success in your every effort on behalf of our Lord.  May your work in the Vineyard of Christ continue to prosper, and may the Holy Spirit by whose grace you were ordained to the Priesthood continue to guide you for many blessed years to come.  Mnogaya Lyeta!

St. Tikhon’s Accepting 2021-2022 Applications - 12/07/20

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is presently accepting admissions applications for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Information concerning admission to the Seminary, including application materials, can be accessed digitally HERE.

Interested applicants should forward hard-copy materials to the following address:

Seminary Admissions Committee

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

P.O. Box 130

South Canaan, PA 18459

Applicants wishing to present materials in digital form, may do so by emailing the Seminary at

For those discerning applying to the Seminary, a recent presentation of the journey of one of our seminary families can be seen HERE.

Archbishop David of Alaska Reposes in the Lord - 11/28/20

His Eminence Archbishop David of Sitka and Alaska of the Orthodox Church in America fell asleep in the Lord today,  November 27, 2020, at the age of 68, following a short battle with aggressive renal cancer.

His Eminence had served as the bishop of Alaska since 2014.

May Archbishop David's Memory be Eternal! 

STOTS Announces a Virtual Celebration of St. Nicholas Day - 11/18/20

Abbot of Vatopedi talks to STOTS Students - 11/06/20

This past Friday afternoon (October 30, 2020), students, faculty, and alumni from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological seminary enjoyed the rare privilege of a one-on-one video dialogue with Elder Ephraim of Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos. This event marked the first time that an English speaking group was granted this amazing opportunity. After sharing some inspiring words of wisdom about the priesthood, the holy elder opened the floor to questions. 

Many of the attendees from St. Tikhon’s were chosen to speak with Elder Ephraim face-to-face, each receiving his full and loving attention. The questions ran the gamut from deeply personal to broadly societal, but regardless of their initial starting point, everyone in attendance walked away having received their own personal word from the Holy Mountain.

By Dn. Gabriel Aldridge 

Ordinations of Sbdn McKemy and Dn Mcdonald - 10/20/20

SUNDAY, 18 October, 2020 -- His Grace, the Right Reverend Alexis, on behalf of the Metropolitan of the OCA, ordained two students of Saint Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary to higher ranks by the Grace of the Holy Spirit.  In a joy-filled Monastery Church Liturgy that was live-streamed across the world, Matthew Mcdonald (STOTS 2021) was ordained to the Holy Priesthood, while Jeremiah McKemy (STOTS 2021) was ordained to the Diaconate in Christ.  Both of the newly elevated Fathers and their families were addressed by His Grace at the close of the Divine Liturgy; he emphasized to them that these offices and ministries are shared by the spouses.  Hearing the ordination troparia twice-over during the single service was a real treat for all those blessed to attend, sing, and serve.  AXIOS to Father Matthew and Father Deacon Jeremiah as they continue their learning at the seminary and their service to the whole Church!  And Many Years to their families!

Mind the Gap: Founder's Lecture by Fr. John Cox - 10/14/20

Minding the Gap between True Theology and Popular Online Theology

For St. Tikhon's Founder's Lecture, we had the pleasure of hearing Priest John Cox speak to the issues we face when attempting to enter theological dialogue on the internet. Fr. John is the rector of Holy Dormition Orthodox Church in Norfolk, Virginia, and is also the managing editor of the digital journal, Rule of Faith <>. So, he comes to this topic not only as a parish priest who has a practical, everyday sense for his own parishioners, but also as an editor of a journal aimed at taking part in online theological discussion.

The title of his talk, "Mind the Gap: First Principles and Popular Theology" hints toward his eventual point: it is fitting to engage online theological discussion, but keeping certain guidelines or emphases in mind. One of the more important principles he shared was to be careful to remain connected to the original sources, putting priority on the act of exegesis of the Scriptures and clearly referencing the Church Fathers, that is, instead of putting words in the Fathers' mouths to build our online argument.

Another point he made, which is all too important online when the desire to react, often negatively, is incredibly tempting, was to "check the negative, ugly, reactive impulse" and "instead respond from a  place that is life-giving and hopeful", and "a place of virtue".

When asked, after the talk to give a Twitter version of his talk, after some thought, he wisely said, "If you don't know where you've been, you might end up anywhere."

By Dn. Ignatius Strange

Students Returning to the New School Year - 09/09/20

Orientation week at St. Tikhon's was, in some ways, normal, but just like everyone around the country trying to figure out how to start school in light of the pandemic, there was plenty about this orientation week that required adjusting.

We started off the week with a Liturgy, but the setting of the Liturgy is telling of the times. We celebrated Liturgy in the "patriarchal pavilion", so-named for its original purpose to house the multitudes of pilgrims which coincided with the visit of Patriarch Alexei II back in the early 90s. Now, due to its immense floor space, we can easily distance seminarians and families. We will be able to alternate between the monastery church and the pavilion for services till restrictions lessen and allow a return to more "normal programming".

Incoming students experienced a somewhat normal orientation week...except that masks are in the picture. They spoke to Abp. Michael, acquainted themselves with the staff, were fitted into a choir group, and even received a tour of the monastery church by the monastic sacristan, as they begin to scratch the surface of the depth of history and beauty to be found at St. Tikhon's Monastery across the road.

Returning students do not usually return for the first three days of orientation, but this year, those three days became a rejuvenation of the school. Normally, immediately preceding the monastery's Memorial Day Pilgrimage, everybody takes part in a work week. This year, that work week never happened, and the school needed some help, more than what two or three folks could handle over the summer. It was incredibly helpful to the school: messy back rooms which had accumulated boxes of books and audio-visual equipment and photographs were cleaned out and organized, the old kitchen area was ripped, chipped, and mopped down the foundational concrete to be returned to a useful storage space, and the whole school was given a good, general cleaning.

After our Thursday molieben service, Abp. Michael, our rector, joined us for the blessing of cassocks. He and Apr. John Parker, our dean, not only blessed cassocks but gave some fitting and encouraging words about the importance of the cassock and how it is much more than just an antiquated piece of clerical clothing.

We wrapped up the orientation week with Metropolitan Tikhon. He shared on the diaconate and the life of service to which all Christian are called, and then on the priesthood. The highlights for all of us present were his examples: everything from a heart-wrenching lesson he learned about knowing when to put down a seemingly important task to take care of the people around us in an unexpected way, to an illustration of "a battle of the wits between a certain man in black and the Great Vizzini", a comical illustration that kept the room laughing and learning.

Now, it is time to begin the school year itself, some in-person classes, some online, and some hybrids of the two. As we prepare for this coming school year, our prayer, as it says in the monastery's prayer book, is this: "Lord Jesus Christ, open the eyes of my heart, that I may hear thy word and understand it and so fulfill thy will."

Vatopaidi Program for PhD Students - 09/07/20

I’ve been living in Thessaloniki for the past year now, acquiring proficiency in the language, and entering into the spiritual, liturgical, and pastoral life of the Church, both here and on Mount Athos. 

This is the second year of the St. Maximos the Greek Institute Program in Advanced Studies in Orthodox Theology and Spiritual Life which takes place at Vatopaidi Monastery and is under the spiritual direction of Geronta Ephraim, the monastery’s abbot. It is directed to young doctoral students or doctoral graduates of Orthodox Theology and focuses on the relationship between the contemporary saints and elders of Mount Athos and the Patristic tradition of ascetic experience. Eight of the applicants were selected to come to the Monastery this weekend for interviews with the board which included Mantzaridis, and a final interview with Geronta Ephraim, and all eight of us were accepted this year, four of which are young laymen, and four of which are clergy/monastics: Two Americans, two Serbians, two Syrians, one Romanian, and a Greek. We will become October 5th, and spend two months at Vatopaidi for a year (two months in the Monastery, two months off, two months on, etc.), engaging in intensive sessions taught by renown Orthodox theologians and fathers from Athos, Greece, and around the world. The program takes place in Modern Greek and will emphasize also Ancient and Patristic Greek and contemporary research on the new saints. We will complete and share six essays throughout the course of the year and in the end produce a 50+ page thesis. We will also take place in the daily liturgical life of the monastery and have access to the many resources of the monastery. The program will support us with a monthly scholarship allowance. 

I’m honored to be one of the two American Orthodox representatives in this program this year, and pray that this experience will help the new generation of Orthodox clergy and theologians contribute to the ongoing Patristic renewal of Orthodox Theology in the United States, and continue to encourage for all Orthodox Christians the spiritual relationship between the Orthodox ascetic inheritance of Greece and Mount Athos, with the United States. 

By Isaac Lampart

Happy Birthday to His Eminence Vladyka Michael! - 08/30/20

ИС ПОЛЛА ЭТИ ДЕСПОТА - На многая и благая лета, владыко!

Your Eminence, 

The Faculty, Administration, and seminarians of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Orthodox Theological Seminary filled with joy and happiness, offer our prayerful best wishes and greetings as you celebrate your seventieth birthday.  

You have been instrumental in the growth and formation of numerous clergy and lay leaders of our One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. Your genuine and pure love, dedication, respect, interest, and care has touched us all; and has shown us what it means to be a true follower of Christ. You have been the leading voice for unity of Orthodoxy in North America, rather than be limited to the artificial division based on jurisdictional lines. Time and time again, you show us that we must be united with each other in a true bond of communion, a bond renewed and strengthened as we stand together at the Lord's Altar and humbly give our lives for the well-being of the whole body of the Church. No one of us on our own can single-handedly accomplish Christ's mission in a satisfactory way, but together, we can manifest and fulfill the prayer of Christ that all might be one so that the world might believe and trust in Christ. 

We thank you for tireless labour in shaping, molding and forming the future leaders of our Church. You continue to motivate us, and show us the pathway and long journey towards holiness. As you celebrate your birthday, we join you in this celebration with prayers of thanksgiving for your ministry in our Lord's Holy Vineyard. God grant you Many Blessed years! 

By Rdr. Ananias Ananievski


Deacon Ambrose Ordained to the Holy Priesthood - 08/19/20

The seminary is excited to announce the ordination of our recent graduate, Deacon Ambrose Inlow, to the Holy Priesthood. Like the many other facets of our daily lives which have been altered due to the pandemic, ordinations, too, have proven particularly difficult. After several proposed plans for how and where to be ordained, we are thankful he was able to be ordained right across the street at St. Tikhon's Monastery by our beloved Bishop Alexis. Axios, Fr. Ambrose!

Many Years to St. Vlad's on their Patronal Feast! - 07/15/20

Many Blessed Years to St. Vladimir's, Our Sitster Seminary!

Since 1938, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary has trained more than 1,500 hierarchs, priests, deacons, church leaders, chaplains, and missionaries through their journeys of transformation.

Many Blessed Years to Archpriest Chad Hatfield, and the faculty, staff, students, and Board of our sister Seminary, St Vladimir's, on their Patronal Feast!


Many Years to His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon! - 07/15/20

Today—Wednesday, July 15, 2020—marks the 54th birthday of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon!

Many Years! To His Beatitude, the Most-blessed Metropolitan Tikhon, the President of our Seminary, on the occasion of his birthday!


St. Tikhon's Seminary Still Accepting Applications - 07/15/20

Due to the challenges brought about by the COVID Pandemic, St. Tikhon’s Seminary is presently still receiving applications for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Individuals interested in applying to the Seminary can access application materials HERE.  All application materials can be forwarded to the following address:

Admissions Committee

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary

P.O. Box 130

South Canaan, PA 18459.

The Seminary will also accept digital copies of application materials sent to

The Seminary would ask that all interested individuals submit their application by August 1st.

STOTS Graduate Fr. Khader Awarded the Holy Cross - 07/09/20

On July 2, 2020, Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos awarded the ministering Priest of Saint James the Brother of God’s Cathedral Fr. Khader Baramki (STOTS Graduate 2015) with the offikion of the Cross Bearer, in recognition of his studious priestly and pastoral ministry, in order to encourage him for its continuation.

The honoured Priest thanked His Beatitude saying that through the Sacred Cross he is strengthened to continue his ministry.

Ordination of Deacon Martin to the Holy Priesthood - 07/03/20

[I am humbled and grateful for the love and support of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. By the grace of God, I serve on the Board of Trustees with men and women committed to offering and building an institution that stands in the legacy of St. Tikhon who offered our Orthodox Christian faith to anyone in North America who would listen.
As I reflect on the service, I will offer for Christ and our Church, let us all be and remain inspired by St. Tikhon who preached: “True civilization consists in giving as many people as possible access to the benefits of life... Since all people originate from one man, all are children of one Heavenly Father; all were redeemed by the most pure blood of Christ, in Whom 'there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free.' All are brothers and must love one another--love one another not only in words, but in deeds as well." (From the sermon preached in San Francisco on June 10/23 1900).

With this legacy given to us, how can look to our world and our Church and do any less? May St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary continue to lead, teach, and train men and women to go out and share the light of Christ as Priests and Royal Priests to the world.]


God Bless You.


Fr. Martin Johnson, Jr

St. Anthony Orthodox Church

Butler, PA

Click HERE to watch Divine Liturgy for Saturday of Souls and Ordination to the Holy Priesthood.

Click here to be a Sustainer Today! - 06/30/20

Click HERE to be a sustainer today!

Save the Date! Tuesday, June 30: Streaming for Living Waters - 06/26/20

Tuesday, June 30
Streaming for Living Waters
A Friend- and Fund-raising Event for St Tikhon's Seminary.
All day long: interviews, lectures, talks, music, tours, fun!
Meet Seminarians, Professors--meet the Rector, Abp .Michael.
Take a live strolling tour of the Seminary and grounds.
Listen to Hank Hanegraaff, the Bible Answerman.
Listen to Jonathan Jackson, who recently played the role of Elder Joseph the Hesychast in a new film.
Meet Nikos Guraros, the head of Pemptousia, essentially the digital media arm of Vatopedi Monastery.
And a most-special guest.
St Tikhon's welcomes you to become a monthly sustainer--to help pave the path for future priests of the Orthodox Church.

To give, visit
Livestream on our facebook page:
And our Youtube Channel:

Share it around.  Tune in when you can.  Encourage all to give.  Even $5 a month helps us!

Graduation Blessings to Send Out Christ's Servants - 06/03/20

Like graduations across the country, St. Tikhon's had to greatly adjust how we conducted our commencement ceremonies. In so many ways, we are thankful to God that the seminary was able to hold any sort of graduation at all. Our sister school, St. Vladimir's, being right in the midst of America's hardest hit area, was not able to gather in any way, which is such a difficult situation for classmates who have spent these three years toiling together. Our prayers are with them: may this struggle through which they have walked be rewarded with that much more grace in their future ministries to the Church.

On Friday evening, May 29, we gathered the speakers into St. Nikolai's Chapel in the seminary. Some were physically present, but others were present in their pre-recorded video only. Our dean, Priest John Parker, started us off, but not without the technical assistance of Priest Ignatius Gauvain, who, among many other responsibilities at the school, not only has the experience to be able to connect a video stream from the campus out to the world, but also to seamlessly weave pre-recorded speeches into the mix avoiding technical distraction, if at all possible.

First, our 2020 co-valedictorian, Priest Silouan Burns (speaking on behalf of our other valedictorian, Mr. Ian Attila) spoke, followed by a special guest who joined us by video, after having to cancel a trip to the St. Tikhon's community earlier this year due to travel restrictions: Archimandrite Zacharias of Essex. We were delighted to hear his address to our community, made possible through these strange technological connections with which we have all become all too familiar.

Our beloved rector, Archbishop Michael, delighted everybody with a "what every priest needs to know about being a priest" speech, focusing graduates, and us all, on the essentials of a life of ministry in Christ's vineyard. Few of us expected to have Metropolitan Tikhon be able to join us in the flesh. Yes, during the pandemic, he returned back to his monastic home at St. Tikhon's Monastery, which is only across the street, but the monastery has needed to remain more cloistered than ever, for various reasons, but not least among them, the importance to all of us in the OCA that the monastery plays by unceasingly celebrating the Liturgy "on behalf of all and for all". None of us want to jeopardize that unique and essential role the monastery fills.

His Beatitude, Met. Tikhon not only shared his presence with us, via the live-streamed speeches on Friday evening, but also graced us with his presence on Saturday, joined by Archbishop Michael. In these days of difficult and awkward reopening, when it is hard to know when what course of action is acceptable, these two pastors of our Church, who carry such a burden on their shoulders and cannot afford to fall ill, were willing to do what they could to salvage this important rite of passage of the Church's future servants.

We give our thanks to you both, Your Beatitude and Your Eminence, for your presence. May the Lord continue to fill you with his grace as you guide our Church through these difficult times.

We are proud of our new graduates and look forward to see how our Lord uses their skills, talents, experience, and training to benefit the growth and strengthening of the Orthodox Church. Graduates of 2020, may the Lord grant you many years of grace-filled service.

Dcn. Ignatius Strange

Inviting you: St Tikhon's Summer Online Conference - 06/02/20

Dear and beloved Friends and Benefactors of St Tikhon's,

Christ is Risen!

Today, with the blessing of His Eminence Archbishop Michael, we are able to open our online Continuing Education to all those interested--clergy and laity alike.

St Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary's customary Continuing Education Conference is moved online this Summer. While we far prefer the incarnational gathering, it is our hope that this online way might allow a wider participation from alumni, other clergy, and lay leaders. This year's conference topic, related to mission and ministry, is suitable for both Clergy and Laity alike.

We are presently limited to 150 registrants.

The Title: 

Mission and Ministry: A Vision of the North American Saints in Action.
5 Dynamic Speakers
Mon-Fri, June 8-12, 1-330p (eastern)

Visit the website to read more and to register.
We will send login-credentials with registration.

Please join us and spread the word.

May the Lord watch over you and yours, navigating re-entry into the liturgical and parish life!

Yours in Christ,
Fr John

Saint Tikhon Seminary Announces Commencement 2020 Plans - 05/26/20

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary announced its 2020 Commencement plan today.  Having extended the Semester by one week while restructuring for the COVID-imposed move to online instruction, graduation exercises will take place on Friday and Saturday, May 29 and 30, 2020.

Friday evening, May 29, will feature the hybrid live-online portion of Commencement. The evening will feature various Commencement Speakers, including His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, President of the Seminary; His Eminence Archbishop Michael, Rector of St. Tikhon’s; in addition to this year’s commencement speaker, Archimandrite Zacharias from the Monastery of Saint John the Baptist, Essex, England. Archimandrite Zacharias is a disciple of recently-canonized Saint Sophrony and long-time friend of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary.  Further details of the broadcast will be forthcoming, both here and at the seminary’s website here.  A recording will also be made available through Ancient Faith Radio.

On Saturday, May 30, following all protocols and directives given by public health officials of Wayne County, PA, the seminary will proceed with commencement exercises in a very limited and private manner, honoring the graduating students and their families as able. Due to the fluid nature of the pandemic, a full plan is still being finalized.  Because of social distancing requirements, and other Wayne County directives, the commencement exercises on Saturday May 30 will be closed to those outside the immediate seminary community.

5.27.2020 Update from Fr. John Parker, the Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary:

We are working hard this week to finalize our Graduation ceremonies.  A reminder:  Friday evening, 6:30-7:45PM.  Live on our Facebook Page.  There will be a few other ways to login as well.  TBA.

5.28.2020 Update from Fr. John Parker: 

Dear All:

Please join us tomorrow evening.  Below is the announcement.

Yours in Christ,
Fr John

Friday Night!

Archimandrite Zacharias (Zacharou) of the Stavropegial Monastery of St John the Baptist, Essex, delivers the commencement address, “Now is the Judgment of this World,” for St Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary’s 78th Commencement Exercises tomorrow night: Friday, May 29.  The broadcast runs 6:30-7:45pm. 

St Tikhon’s congratulates our Co-valedictorians, Fr Silouan Burns and Mr Ian Attila.  In all we celebrate the dedicated labors of our 15 MDiv Graduates, four of whom finish with honors for their theses.

Ian Attila, Honors in Patristics for his thesis, “The Work of Christ in Baptism According to St. Mark the Monk.”  Mentor: Christopher Veniamin, D. Phil.,(Oxon.)

Deacon Ambrose Inlow, Honors in Patristics for his thesis, “The Rational and Noetic Soul According to St. John Damascene.”  Mentor: Christopher Veniamin, D. Phil., (Oxon.)

Priest Vjekoslav Jovicic, Honors in Church History for his thesis, “Many are Called, But Few are Chosen: An Orthodox Refutation of the Universalism of David Bentley Hart”.  Mentor: David C. Ford, Ph.D.

Priest Ephraim Tauck, Honors in Pastoral Arts and Praxis for his thesis, “Addiction: An Exploration of Treatment for Orthodox Clergy”.  Mentor: V. Rev. John Kowalczyk, Cand. Theology

St Tikhon’s welcomes and invites you to join our Live Stream Broadcast on the following channels.  We thank our broadcasting partners at St Tikhon’s Monastery and Ancient Faith Radio.


FRIDAY, MAY 29, 2020

St. Tikhon's Seminary YouTube 

St. Tikhon's Seminary Facebook

Ancient Faith Radio YouTube

St. Tikhon's Monastery YouTube

St. Tikhon's Monastery Facebook


Memory Eternal! + The Right Rev. Archimandrite Elias Bitar - 05/22/20

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2020

It is with faith in our Risen Lord that we inform you of the passing into eternal life of our beloved father, grandfather, brother, friend, and pastor, The Right Rev. Archimandrite Elias Bitar, in the afternoon of May 21, 2020.Father Bitar leaves behind a lifelong legacy as "the voice of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America." During his nearly forty years in the priesthood, he has been a Lecturer in Liturgical Music (with a specialty in Byzantine music) and Practical Theology at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary, Vicar General of the Archdiocese, and the residing priest for churches in California and New Jersey. Father Elias studied for his Master of Divinity degree at St. Vladimir's from 1972–1975, and subsequently earned a Doctor of Ministry from the Seminary in 2001.

Father Elias Bitar is survived by his children Katrina, Sr. Ignatia, Martha, Mikey, Antony, and Madeleine, as well as his grandchildren Zachary, Jacob, Samia, and another granddaughter on the way.

He is reunited in His heavenly kingdom with his wife Kh. Joanne,​ and his parents Sadallah and Zahwe Bitar.

In light of our current circumstances, we look forward to your visit at a later time. When arrangements are made, we will send the information to be a part of the live streamed funeral online with us.

In lieu of flowers, kindly send all donations to The Monastery of St. Nina​ in Union Bridge Maryland, where Fr. Bitar resided.

Christ is Risen, Truly He is Risen​!​

In Memoriam: The Mitred Archpriest Nicholas Timpko - 05/19/20

The Mitred Archpriest Nicholas Timpko, age 78, beloved husband of Matushka Anastasia Kowal Timpko fell asleep in the Lord on May 16, 2020, at Griffin Hospital with his family by his side.

The story was featured on our OCA website. Read the entire article HERE. Memory Eternal to Father Nicholas Timpko.

Many Years to Archbishop Michael! - 05/11/20

Christ is Risen!

Dear All,

Please join me in asking God to grant His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, many years on the occasion of his anniversary of consecration to the Episcopate.

May 8, 2010

Ten years today.

Many years, Vladyka!

Yours in Christ,
Fr John


Ceaseless Prayer Initiative - 05/05/20

Giving Tuesday - Power of Wee Mite - 05/05/20

In the Name of the Lord, I ask your blessing, Most Blessed Master!

Dear Beloved Faculty, Staff, Students, and Board of St Tikhon's,

Christ is Risen!

I am asking for one dollar.
And a share.
And 100% participation.

That's all.

Well, except I might ask you to share more than once today! 

Please share one dollar with your alma mater today.
And, of your charity, would you invite (by sharing this email or the links below) your parishioners to join YOU in sharing one dollar?  One wee mite?

In Bright Week, more than 20,000 people viewed our St Tikhon’s choir members singing a virtual version of Christ is Risen.  If each of you who viewed gave $1, the seminary would raise the funds needed to support our Seminarians for one month—approximately $20,000.
 We know times are tight for us all.  So we remember the widow who put in her two mites—all she had.  Behold the Power of MITE!
 We share another Paschal Video with you—one of my favorites (give it a minute--it has to go to outer space to open, and it is a large file).  A beautiful Paschal hymn written by our canonized Rector, St Nikolai Velimirovich.  And sung "Covid Style" by Professor, Students, and Alumni together!

We will send some other neat St Tikhon's living history from our archives throughout the day.  And maybe even an encouraging prize or two throughout the day.

Like, forward, share, and please support a seminarian with at least $1. 
 Show the power of WEE MITE. 
 With your wee mite, WE WILL meet our goal!
 20,000 views, $1 donation, $20,000, 1 day.
What is one of the first lessons your mother taught you when you were little?  Share! Share! Share!

Share on Facebook.

Or forward this email to your friends and email lists.

If you prefer not to give on Facebook, click HERE to give on St Tikhon's Website. 

Yours very gratefully, in the Risen Christ,

Fr John

PS Thanks for helping.  $1 from many friends helps 43 students train to serve in the Orhtodox Church, and perhaps to be your future pastor!  Click the photo below to donate.



Memory Eternal: + Matushka Nina Stroyen - 04/24/20

DEEPEST SYMPATHY is expressed to Archpriest John Bohush, his sons Reader Matthew and Deacon Mark, and all their family, on the falling asleep in the Lord of his beloved sister and their aunt, Matushka Nina Stroyen.


Matushka Nina was the wife of Archpriest Basil Stroyen, who served as the Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary, the first Orthodox chaplain in the history of the U.S. Air Force, and a parish priest. 


In her own right, Matushka Nina was the Editor of the beloved publication The Orthodox Herald, and a member of the Board of Trustees of St. Tikhon's Seminary until her passing.


A Personal Reflection: 


Matushka Nina was a woman of deep faith, strong conviction, and sincere love for the Lord and His Church.  She was a stalwart defender of Orthodox Tradition, a champion of education at all levels, and a defender of those in need.  She was known and loved throughout the country and all over the world by the readers of The Orthodox Herald ... and she will be missed by her friends, by the St. Tikhon's Seminary community, and by the clergy and faithful of our Church in America.   Eternal be her memory!


Grant rest eternal in blessed repose with the Saints, O Lord, to the soul of Thy newly-departed handmaiden, the ever-to-be-remembered + Matushka Nina, who has fallen asleep, and make her memory to be eternal!  Vechnaya pamyat!  -- Christ is Risen!


With love,

Vladyka Michael 


Seminary Deans Speak On Vocation - 04/10/20

Fr John Parker, Dean of the Seminary, hosted a live call-in show on Ancient Faith Radio, "Here I am: Send Me!", with Fr Chad Hatfield, President of St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary.  Listen HERE, to a recording of the hour-long program.  Attached at that link, also find an essay written by Fr John on Vocation, originally published in the 2019 Tikhonaire, and another by Mother Christophora, Abbess of Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Ellwood City.

Grants Available to Further the Mission of Orthodoxy - 04/02/20

Glory to Jesus Christ!

The Elsie Skvir Ganister Foundation Fund provides financial assistance for organizations and parishes with innovative approaches to advancing the mission of Orthodoxy in the United States. June 30 is the annual deadline for submitting grant applications, and recipients are announced in the fall of each year.

Founded in 2001, the Elsie Skvir Ganister Foundation Fund is a component fund of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, located in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The foundation takes its name from the village of Ganister in Central Pennsylvania, where immigrants drawn there by jobs in the limestone quarry founded St. Mary's Holy Assumption parish in 1916.

Favor is given to proposals that address priority needs of the Orthodox Church in America, especially those that do so in catalytic ways. The selection process also weighs leadership experience, clarity of goals, the presence of a stable funding base, and faithfulness to the teachings and ministry of the OCA. Applicants must articulate how their undertaking will have a positive impact on a specific priority need, without duplicating other programs or projects already serving the Church.

Grants are modest in size, generally ranging from $500 to $3,000. But, properly used, they have the potential to jump-start valuable initiatives that might not otherwise get off the ground. Examples of grants given over the years include:

Fund a guest speaker program to help seminarians develop their pastoral skills
Provide tutoring materials and sports equipment for a church-run after-school program for inner-city Latino children
Translate invaluable music textbooks from Russian to English
Purchase digital recorders to distribute Orthodox radio broadcasts world-wide
Develop a "mission starter" kit
Print materials regarding human services for aging Orthodox Christians
Support continuing education opportunities for clergy
Underwrite the Profiles of Ministry program to assess and counsel seminarians on their strengths and weaknesses
Applicants must be qualifying 501c(3) entities as described under IRS Section 509(a)(1). Grants will not be considered for endowments, ongoing operational support, annual campaigns or event sponsorships, debt reduction, research grants, or support of individuals.

To receive an application, contact the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania, 201 West Fourth Street, Williamsport, PA 17701, or visit the Foundation's website, Applications will be reviewed, and recommendations made by the Advisory Board of the Elsie Skvir Ganister Foundation Fund, a donor-advised component fund of the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.

STOTS Announcement amid the Coronavirus Crisis - 03/19/20

Dear All,

We are humbly asking for your prayers!

Considering the Coronavirus situation, the Seminary is not accepting visitors at this point. We appreciate your willingness to cooperate in this matter.

We are working hard to get our live-video virtual classrooms prepared for next week.  School is NOT closed.  As of now, we are planning our full coursework according to our routine schedule beginning again Monday online. 

Again, keep us in your prayers!

Dr. David Ford Shares Gems from St. John Chrysostom at the Wilkes-Barre Cathedral - 03/13/20

by Fr. Gregory White

On Tuesday, the 25th  of February, 2020, approximately twenty-five faithful people, consisting of clergy, seminarians, and catechumens from local parishes as well as from St. Tikhon’s Seminary, attended a presentation sponsored by Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre, PA, where the priest is Fr. Gregory White, an alumnus of St. Tikhon’s.  The event started as part of the parish’s weekly study group, and due to public interest it was offered to the surrounding community. 

The guest speaker, Dr. David C. Ford, Professor of Church History at St. Tikhon’s, presented on the theme, "Gems of Wisdom from St. John Chrysostom in Brand-New Translation.”  Everyone commented on Dr. David's ability to bring the writings of St. John to life, while also conveying to the audience a welcomed contemporary context through his own new translations from the original Greek. 

Multiple people remarked that they felt like St. John was actually present in the room with us.  One Matushka said she never had a relationship with St. John, and now she has experienced him in a personal way and will be asking for his prayers and intercessions in her prayer life. 

Many people felt the presentation served as a wonderful pre-Lenten kickoff, and are already looking forward to the addition of future events and guest speakers. The positive feedback was unanimous!  

Dr. David's zeal and love for God and His Church was evident to everyone present, and we all departed with a sense of God's love and care for us through His Saints.


Talk by Fr. Chrysostom Koutloumousianos - 03/05/20

By: Subdeacon Maximus Gibson

On Monday, February 24, 2020, Fr. Chrysostom Koutloumousianos, Ph.D., visited St. Tikhon’s Seminary and delivered a lecture to the seminary community entitled, “Seeking the True Self: Self-Knowledge and the Inner Kingdom,” followed by a brief question and answer session. Fr. Chrysostom is a hieromonk of Koutloumous Monastery, Mount Athos, and a research fellow of the Cambridge Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies.

Speaking in the seminary refectory, Fr. Chrysostom counselled that the more we know ourselves, the more we are able to repent; and the more we repent, the more the grace of God can work in us. “We must have a few minutes each day to visit our own hearts,” said Fr. Chrysostom. “A fixed time to cut off all connections, electronic or noetic, to be in the presence of God, not making our experience our object: to be as silent as God.” Fr. Chrysostom provided some practical advice for achieving these moments of silence, self-understanding, and waiting for the Lord, as well as describing the process of unearthing the inner kingdom through ascetic practice and prayer. The lecture was recorded and is available for listening here: The Spirit of St. Tikhon's Podcast.

The 2020 March for Life - 02/20/20

By: Subdeacon Maximus Gibson

On Friday, January 24, 2020, St. Tikhon’s Rector, Archbishop Michael (Dahulich) of New York and New Jersey; Dean, Archpriest John Parker; Board Member, Bishop Thomas (Joseph) of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic; Hieromonk Herman (Majkrzak) of St. Tikhon’s Monastery; and a large group of St. Tikhon’s faculty, staff, seminarians, and their families joined Metropolitan Tikhon and other Orthodox Bishops, clergy, and faithful from several jurisdictions across the United States, including faculty, staff, and seminarians from OCA sister seminary St. Vladimir’s, at the March for Life in Washington, DC.

This March for Life was particularly historic. For the first time since the March began in protest of Roe v. Wade in 1973, a sitting President of the United States expressed his support for life in the womb by addressing participants in person at the March. 

The day began with Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral in Washington, DC. All marchers then gathered on the National Mall, where His Grace Bishop Apostolos of Medeia led the opening prayer on the main stage for the pre-March rally.

Metropolitan Tikhon served a molieben on the National Mall before beginning the March, entreating the Lord in His mercy to end the scourge of abortion in our land. He addressed the Orthodox faithful: “Today, we march in solidarity with many others from across our nation to show our government leaders our commitment to life—to life that begins from the very moment of conception.” He also expressed the love and forgiveness Christ has for all mankind, in words characteristic of our Orthodox approach to supporting the cause of life: “We show our nation that we can allow no excuse for abortion. At the same time, we proclaim the love and forgiveness that Christ offers to all of us, and we extend our open arms in love and mercy to those who have participated in the sin of abortion.”

After Metropolitan Tikhon’s address, Orthodox marchers were led in hymns by Hieromonk Herman and St.Tikhon’s seminarians throughout the course of the March towards the U.S. Supreme Court. Many non-Orthodox marchers were noticeably touched by the hymns sung in love by the faithful, inquiring about the hymns, and marching close by in peace and solidarity. Escorted by clergy of the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Washington, DC, an icon and relics of The Holy Innocents accompanied the faithful on the March.

Annual STOTS Campus Blessing for Theophany - 02/17/20

By: Deacon Peter Simko

At the conclusion of classes on the first Wednesday back from winter break, faculty, administration, seminarians, and guests gathered on the shore of the pond adjacent Saint Tikhon’s Road.  The water was cold -- but not quite icey. Along with a small choir and a few servers and readers, seminary Dean, Father John Parker, served the Great Blessing of the Waters. At the conclusion of the service, a large processional cross was submerged into the pond in the form of a cross as all sang the festal troparion.

Thus began the procession to the seminary campus.  Carrying a veritable number of bottles of Holy Water, the group sang the troparion joyfully over and over as Father John blessed the Saint John the Divine Memorial Chapel, the garage, the Metropolitan Leonty Dorm, the swimming pool, and the Seminary building proper (including all of the rooms -- and personages --  inside each structure). The halls of the seminary were quickly filled with splashes of Holy Water, radiant voices, smiles, and the grace of God. The service and the procession, led by the cross, concluded in the Saint Nikolai Chapel, where Father John shared a word with those participating in the yearly blessing.

DOEPA Spring Women's Retreat at St. Tikhon's - 02/06/20

A Women’s Retreat, sponsored by the Department Curriculum and Education of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern PA, will be held on Saturday, February 22, 2020 in St. Tikhon’s Monastery Trapeza..
The topic for this year’s retreat is: “Preparing our Hearts for Great Lent”
The speaker will be Mother Gabriella, who serves as the Abbess of Dormition of the Mother of God Monastery in Rives Junction, Michigan.
The cost for the retreat is $10 which includes breakfast and lunch. It is open to all women.

The full information about Spring Women's retreat see HERE.

Fr. Alexander Schmemann Lecture at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary - 02/03/20

His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, Rector of St Tikhon's Orhtodox Theological Seminary delivered the 37th Annual Schmemann Lecture at St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary on Thursday, January 30, the altar feast of Three Hierarchs Chapel.  This year's theme, inaugurated at St Tikhon's during the 2019 October Lecture series, was Autocephaly: 50 Years.  Archbishop Michael's Keynote Lecture, "The Gift of Autocephaly" will be available at Ancient Faith Radio shortly.  St Tikhon's Dean, Archpriest John Parker, gave one of three workshop lectures earlier in the day. His lecture, "Autocephaly and Evangelism" will also be posted on AFR.  Many thanks to Seminary President, Archpriest Chad Hatfield, for the generous invitations to St Tikhon's leadership.  And we offer our congratulations to our Sister Seminary on their Patronal Feast, and for a successful and edifying day.

Theophany at 11,000 Feet - 01/29/20

From January 18-21, Fr. John Parker, Dean of St Tikhon's, visited various parishes in Colorado. Saturday morning, Fr. John gave a retreat on "Personal Evangelism" at Holy Transfiguration Cathedral, Denver, at the invitation of Fr. David Thatcher.  That evening, he gave an introductory talk about St. Tikhon's at St Herman's Orthodox Church in Littleton at the invitation of Fr. John Armstrong. Sunday, he concelebrated and preached at Holy Theophany, at the invitation of Fr. Anthony Karbo. 

On Monday, he joined eight priests (many of whom are St. Tikhon's alumni), a deacon, and hundreds of faithful, in the blessing of waters at the Continental Divide at Monarch Pass (elevation 11,312′). Two ice crosses were made for the occasion and each were implanted in the frozen waters on each side of the divide. As the ice melts in the late spring, it will feed the various river systems and eventually end up in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Fr. John reflected: 

"I was struck by this beautiful opportunity to witness such a unique Theophany blessing. It was amazing to see so many faithful assembled in one place. This simple gathering has such an immense impact on the continent. I was reminded of our seminary and the blessings that flow forth from this humble gathering place. Each year at graduation in the late spring, our students go forth to care for and nurture the parishes all across this continent."

Seminary Community Enjoys Chili and Fellowship - 01/29/20

The seminary community relishes opportunities to gather together and the chili cookoff is no exception. The excitement around this recent gathering was heightened as it was a battle between the West Coast and the South for the best chili. While the kids enjoyed a variety of games, the adults were hard at work campaigning for their choice of best chili. In the end, it was a Lone Star sweep, as the Texan students took the top three spots.

Second place winner (and last year’s champion), Deacon Herman Garrison (‘20), was happy to hand off the trophy to a fellow Texan. “It was a heated competition,” he said, “but I’m glad my brother next door took home the top spot. As I graduate, I’m confident Texas will continue its dynasty in the St. Tikhon’s chili cookoff and my Lone Star brothers and sisters will represent our wonderful state with pride.” All three winners, Thanasi Kombos, Dn. Herman Garrison, and Subdeacon Maximus Gibson all come from a 125 mile radius in Texas. 

The winner, Thanasi Kombos (‘22), was excited for his rookie win, "This is such a wonderful annual tradition. Coming from Texas, where chili is very popular, it is great to get together as a seminary community and enjoy a lot of great food and warm fellowship. I look forward to doing this again next year. And hopefully I can retain my title too!"

Fr. John Kowalczyk delivers workshop at Drexel Medical College - 01/22/20

For the third year in a row, Fr. John Kowalczyk gave a three-hour workshop at the Drexel Medical College 27th Forensic Conference, held on Wednesday, December 4th, 2019.


Fr. John Kowalczyk stated the following: “Working with mentally ill inmates who are in the Restricted Housing Unit (RHU) or Solitary Confinement, one will be confronted with inmates who have been isolated from the normal prison setting.” Fr. Kowalczyk stated, “One has to minister with compassion and unconditional positive regard with an open heart and become an instrument in restoring his humanity with kindness and dignity. This restoration will aid and help restore purpose, direction and meaning into his already broken life.” Fr. John has been involved in this “Out-of-Cell” program with inmates for the past five years in SCI Waymart.


During the workshop, Fr. John made the following five educational objectives:

1. Examine the trauma of the mentally ill inmate who finds himself in solitary confinement. 

2. Explore the impact of a chaplain with a caring heart as a necessary tool to work through this isolation of the RHU. 

3. Analyze the concept of guilt and feeling of helplessness from a spiritual dynamic when the mentally ill inmate finds himself isolated, broken and separated from his familiar mental health unit.

4. Recognize the importance of offering prayer when one appears out-of-control and the life of the inmate appears unmanageable. 

5. Integrate positive memories and family religious celebrations as a means of healing during this time of isolation and try to maintain this caring and pastoral relationship.

Holy Synod Issues Anniversary Proclamation - 01/20/20

On Wednesday, November 13, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America celebrated the Divine Liturgy for the feast of Saint John Chrysostom, and commemorated the seventh anniversary of the election of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon.

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy His Eminence, Archbishop Michael of New York and New Jersey, Secretary of the Holy Synod, read the following proclamation of the Holy Synod announcing the anniversary celebrations for the Canonization of Saint Herman of Alaska, and the reception of the Tomos of Autocephaly.

STOTS Students Blessed with FOCA Gifts at St. Nicholas Dinner - 12/15/19

The feast of St. Nicholas was a double blessing for many of the students and families at St. Tikhons. First, everyone was treated to a wonderful meal prepared by seminary cook Zena "YaYa" Parker. During the dinner, a special guest , St. Nicholas, arrived to tell the children about the Nativity season and the Incarnation of Christ. After a night of games and photos, the families received a myriad of gifts for the Nativity season. We wish to thank FOCA (Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America), the parishes, and all the individuals who made Christmas possible for so many families at St. Tikhons.

OCMC Board Meeting at St. Tikhon's Seminary - 11/26/19

Members of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) Board of Directors gathered for their annual Fall Meeting at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, November 18-20.

Through a live video link, OCMC Missionary Floyd Frantz shared with the Board the work he is doing in Alaska, based at St. Herman Seminary in Kodiak. After 18 years of service in Romania where he helped the Church establish a much-needed substance abuse counseling ministry, he is now helping the Church in Alaska do the same through a program called “Freedom Challenge.” The scope includes all forms of addiction, not only alcohol and drugs, but also the Internet and related distractions which affect many people in the state.

The Board also heard reports on OCMC’s work in various other locations throughout the world such as Guatemala, Korea, Albania, Kenya, and a potential new opportunity in Colombia.

This was the first meeting of the Board since it approved the organization’s innovative one-page strategic plan. OCMC Executive Director Fr. Martin Ritsi and OCMC Missionary Director Dn. James Nicholas were pleased to report progress on all aspects of the strategic plan, which is primarily focused on increasing the Mission Center’s capacity to do the important work of sharing the Orthodox Christian Faith around the world.

Board President John Colis led the members through an exercise aimed at better defining and applying OCMC’s core purpose as the agency begins development of the next iteration of the strategic plan early in 2020.

During a review of the organization’s financial performance this fiscal year, Fr. Martin was also able to share that the Mission Center received another clean audit of finances from its external independent auditors.

At Vespers on the evening of November 19 in the church of the adjacent St. Tikhon’s Monastery, Board Members, along with seminarians, their families, and the monks were able to venerate and be anointed with myrrh from a miraculous streaming icon of the Mother of God Kardiotissa (Tender Heart) that was brought from St. George Orthodox Church in nearby Taylor, PA. The Kardiotissa icon has been exuding great amounts of myrrh for seven years and is responsible for many healing miracles. Upon his return to the Mission Center, Fr. Martin blessed the OCMC staff with some of the myrrh as well.

That same evening, OCMC Board Member, and St. Tikhon’s Seminary Dean and Chief Operating Officer, Fr. John Parker hosted a dinner for board members at his home on campus. Joining the group at dinner was the Seminary Rector and long-time faculty member, His Eminence Archbishop Michael of New York and New Jersey of the Orthodox Church in America.

The Board welcomed five new members. His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, recently appointed liaison for OCMC to the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the Uniited States, addressed the meeting via a live video link. Two of the new members were present at the meeting: Dr. Henry C. Van Zanten of Hermitage, PA, from the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA and Dr. Kosta M. Zinis of Westminster, CO, from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Two others were also recently added: Mrs. Stellee S. Papadeas of Greenwood Village, CO, from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and Fr. John Anderson of Burke, VA, from the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.

The OCMC Board of Directors would like to thank Fr. John Parker and everyone at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and Monastery for their hospitality and Fr. Mark Leisure from St. George Church for sharing the miraculously streaming icon of the Mother of God Kardiotissa with all in attendance.

St. Tikhon’s Seminary Hosts Fruitful Symposium on Modern Ethical Issues - 11/20/19

By: Dn. Herman Garrison

St. Tikhon’s was recently the site for a thought-provoking conference, organized by STOTS professors Drs. David and Mary Ford that centered around today’s ethical and moral issues facing all the faithful in the Church. The “Speaking the Truth in Love” conference was a continuation of the conversation started at a similar conference held at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY this past March which the Fords also helped organize.  The Jordanville conference was described as more “theoretical in nature”; however, the focus for the St. Tikhon’s conference was to be more practical. Dr. David said, “[the purpose] is for inspiring and helping our youth, especially to live in Christ with the joy and peace of purity in mind, heart, and body. We also hope this conference will help to equip our clergy and laity with the pastoral and apologetic tools necessary to deal resourcefully and effectively with the current societal challenges relating to sexuality.”

The conference was opened with a keynote address entitled “Trusting our Tradition in Facing Modern Challenges”  from His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, rector of STOTS. The weekend continued with a collection of 15 speakers that encompassed STOTS faculty, STOTS alumni, monastics, medical professionals, bioethics experts, and more. The presentations ranged from the theological, apologetical, ethical, and medical. The diverse audience and presenters were able to interact during Q&A sessions where practical solutions were discussed concerning problems facing many Orthodox clergy, professionals, and young people. Attendees came from as far away as California and Idaho.

Co-organizer Dr. Mary Ford, summarizing the experience of the conference, stated, “There was a great sense of pastoral care and love expressed by all the speakers for those caught up in the moral confusion of our time – including those engaging in sexual behaviors contrary to the teachings of the Church. Many commented on what a great conference it was in terms of the balanced, caring approaches of the speakers, the large amount of helpful information given, and the excellent quality of the talks overall. We hope many people who could not come because of services for St. Michael's Day in their parishes, or distance, or other commitments will listen to the talks on AFR to be better informed, strengthened in their faith, and inspired!"

Audio recordings of the conference are available in the Special Events section on Ancient Faith Radio. It is also planned that books based on the talks given at both conferences will be published in the next year or two. The book from the Jordanville conference is scheduled to appear next spring from Holy Trinity Monastery Press.

STOTS Welcomes Serbian Missionary Taylor Hostetter - 11/15/19

By: Subdeacon Jeremiah McKemy


St. Tikhon’s welcomed Taylor Hostetter who informed us of an exciting opportunity for young adults in Serbia during the summer of 2020.  For decades, Mr. Hostetter has been a missionary overseas, and over the past several years, he has been overseeing mission teams in Serbia.

Communism spiritually decimated the traditionally Orthodox Serbian land.  However, after communism’s fall and the Balkan Civil War (1991-2001), many people began searching for spiritual answers that the atheistic, post-communist society could not fulfill.  While the Serbian Church has found success reaching adults over thirty years of age, there are few young adults and youth in the Church.

Mr. Hostetter has found great success with reaching the younger generation in Serbia through his program.  His “Summer in Serbia” brings Orthodox young adults (between the ages of 18-25) from all over the world to live in a community home and fellowship with young Serbians, conduct Bible studies, and evangelize their peers.  

Many of those who have gone on the trip have found it to be life-changing.  Some of the young Orthodox said the trip made the Orthodox faith - in which they grew up - their own for the first time. It was no longer just a cultural or family faith.

If you or a young person you know are interested in learning more, please contact Taylor and Sally Holstetter at 404-510-2905 or go to the The Navigators Missions site.

Alumnus Khader (George) Baramki Ordained to Priesthood at Golgotha - 11/13/19

On Friday, October 12/25, 2019, the ordination to Priest of Deacon George Baramki was held during the Divine Liturgy on Golgotha by the Most Reverend Archbishop Aristarchos of Constantina.

Fr. George Baramki has been ministering at St. James the Brother of God Cathedral as a Deacon of the Arab-speaking Orthodox Community of Jerusalem, while he is also working as a teacher at the Russian Orthodox Church School of Mount of Olives and Gethsemane in Bethany.

Before the ordination, the Archbishop admonished the ordained as follows, while the latter also read a speech, expressing his fear before the sacrament, but also his hope, that the Comforter will fortify him in his current high ministry.

Repose of + Martha Scigliano, Former STOTS Cook - 11/13/19

Dear Fathers and Beloved in the Lord,

Please remember in your prayers:

The newly-departed handmaiden of God + Martha Scigliano,
who reposed in the Lord today, Tuesday, November 12.
+ Martha served as the Cook at St. Tikhon's Seminary for many years.

Her funeral arrangements are as follows.

Viewing and services will take place at
Holy Trinity Orthodox Church
1236 Juniper Street
Pottstown, Pennsylvania 19464

Friday, Nov. 15th
10:30 to 11:30 AM Viewing
Panikhida Service to follow the Viewing
After the service there will be a repast meal in the parish hall.

Saturday, Nov. 16th
9:30 AM Funeral Service, Archbishop Michael serving
Interment in the parish cemetery follows the funeral

Grant rest eternal in blessed repose with the Saints, O Lord,
to the soul of Thy newly-departed handmaiden, the
ever-to-be-remembered + Martha, who has fallen asleep;
and make her memory to be eternal! "Vechnaya Pamyat!"


OCA Chancellor Rounds Out 2019 Fall Lecture Series - 11/05/19

By: Dn. Herman Garrison

OCA Chancellor Fr. Alexander Rentel’s discussion on the Tradition of autocephaly was a fitting end to the 2019 Fall Lecture Series. Fr. Alexander’s expertise in canon law and unique perspective were a wonderful capstone on this month’s theme of Autocephaly. 

“Thank you on behalf of the OCA,” Fr. Alexander began, “as this prepares all of us for the 50th anniversary. It is not a celebration marked by excess feasting focusing on what we have accomplished. However, this is a chance for renewal, reorientation, and repentance, to bring our mind back into conformity to the mind of Christ”. Fr. Alexander noted that our own journey in the Church begins with baptism and that “we are charged to go and carry the good news to every nook and cranny of the earth and baptize everyone in the name of the Holy Trinity into the Catholic Church”.

He underscores that it is important to understand what Autocephaly really means. “There really is no idea of independence in the Church”, he stated, “for the Church to be truly Catholic, it must speak to everyone in their own language and genius. Autocephaly is nothing more than underlining the Catholicity in a particular corner of the world”. He then drew attention to the fact that the term “autocephaly” doesn’t appear anywhere in the Church canons.

“What it can and should mean has to be understood in the corpus of canons, which is a body of concillary texts that date from the 4th to 9th centuries,'' he described. The particular canons discussed in the lecture were I Nicea 8 (commonly known as “one bishop, one city”), Antioch 9, Apostolic 34, and 1 Nicea 5. Fr. Alexander says that these canons are important in discussing authority “‘One Bishop, in one city’ represents Christ,” he noted, “ and this provides us with our first ‘shade of meaning’”. He continued, “what a bishop does has to be contemplentary with his neighboring districts and all of this work needs to be overseen by the bishop of the metropolis…all these must work together and fully in the name of the Holy Trinity...all in concord…”

Fr. Alexander argued that authority also must have accountability, “when one bishop makes a decision, he is obliged to make a case to his brothers. He is accountable to the Synod and that Synod is accountable to all Orthodoxy in the world. These bishops act in concert with all the bishops in the Orthodox world...the activity of the synod, are not just there to determine XYZ...what they’re arriving at is true and authentic so that an unblemished offering may be given to God. Autocephaly is only authentic and true when it serves the Catholicity of the Church”. 

Fr. Alexander posited that an autocephalous Church must meet three criteria: it has its own head or primate not elected or confirmed by another body, it has territorial integrity in a geographical area, and it confects its own chrism. The OCA has shown maturity in dealing with its own issues; however, Fr. Alexander highlighted that the Tomos of autocephaly contains a paradox within its mandates. “The Tomos mandates that we are to remain in communion with our sister Churches in North America; therefore, we do not meet the second criteria,” he noted, “however, I put forward that this is an imperfect concord but guarantees Catholicity. The Tomos admits to being a creative solution to the canonical irregularities of America”.

He concluded the lecture encouraging the faithful that this mandate is a mission toward unity; in fact, we already have a firm foundation upon which we can build. “Our Tomos gives us a mandate to work toward unity in America. It is a prophetic document that gives us a clear mission...that the Catholic Church will flourish here. There is one consistent message. We have been unwavering toward the promise of one, unified Church. Not backhanded or forced, but a true catholicity. We have a unity in Faith. We must hold on to that and build upon that”.

Check out  “Autocephaly with a Canonical Perspective” for the audio from this wonderful lecture. If you’d like to see more of these lectures in the future, please consider donating to St. Tikhon’s to continue these thought-provoking and enriching lectures. 

Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement Returns to STOTS - 11/05/19

Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement Returns to STOTS

By: Subdeacon Peter Simko

On the first weekend in November, over forty visiting guests from Orthodox seminaries across North America descended on South Canaan, Pennsylvania.  Representatives from Saint Herman’s, Saint Vladimir’s, Christ the Saviour, Holy Trinity, and Hellenic College Holy Cross gathered for the biannual Orthodox Inter-Seminary (OISM) Retreat, hosted by Saint Tikhon’s.

According to the group’s constitution, OISM exists “in order to create a closer fellowship among students enrolled in Orthodox Christian schools of theological education of all jurisdictions, to affirm our common traditions and gain an appreciation of other cultures and traditions, to promote understanding and unity among all Orthodox Christians, to build a network for future clerical and lay cooperation.”  The organization was first gathered over half a century ago, participating in what were usually called “Encounters” by the seminarians in those days.

OISM’s recent reinstitution was the fruit of the efforts of Archbishop — then Father — Michael (Dahulich).  In 2003, he invited students from each of the Orthodox seminary campuses to Saint Tikhon’s, and within a year, officer positions were filled and the students were taking the reins of the organization.

At the Spring 2019 Retreat at Saint Vladimir’s, OISM President Isaac Lampart (STOTS ‘19) passed on the torch to Paul Murray (HCHC ‘20), who worked with a host of school representatives, including OISM Treasurer Peter Simko (STOTS ‘21),  to organize the Fall Retreat with the theme, “Christ: Beauty Incarnate.” Over the next several months, the OISM Board--along with the help of several generous donors and dozens of STOTS students, faculty, and staff--labored to prepare a successful event, featuring three wonderful speakers in the Very Reverend Archimandrite Doctor Alexis (Trader), Doctor Timothy Patitsas, and Jonathan Pageau.

The Retreat kicked off on Friday, November 1st, with several OISM members arriving early to participate in a special festal Byzantine Liturgy held in the Monastery’s All Saints of North America Chapel, a fitting location for the start of the weekend.  The evening began the official schedule of activities with a pierogi supper, a Molieben service celebrated by STOTS Dean, the Very Reverend Archpriest John Parker, in the STOTS Saint Nikolai Chapel, and a talk by Father Alexis entitled: “A Jealous Love for the Beauty of God’s House.”  Father Alexis adamantly encouraged the attendees to desire and create beautiful Orthodox Churches and sacred spaces in the midst of an often ugly world.

On Saturday, a Hierarchical Liturgy was celebrated by STOTS Rector, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, including the ordination of Subdeacon Doctor Gregory Matlak (STOTS ‘20) to the Holy Diaconate.  OISM members from participating schools helped sing with the Mission Choir during each of the Saturday services hosted in the Monastery Church.  Students were blessed to be anointed with oil brought by His Eminence from a recent visit to Jerusalem and the site of Saint Stephen the Protomartyr’s stoning.  After a General Assembly Meeting for the group (which began with a blessing from His Eminence and a note on the importance of acting out our Orthodox unity), the Very Reverend Archpriest John Kowalczyk introduced the next speaker after sharing a reflection about his time as an officer in OISM in the 1970s.  Next up was Jonathan Pageau, who gave a presentation entitled, “Christ and the Deisis as an Ontological Hierarchy,” focusing on the “unfolding” of the famous Deisis configuration and symbolism in Orthodox iconography and design.

After lunch and an opportunity for students to visit the Monastery Bookstore and the Metropolitan Museum of Orthodox History in America, the next speaker, Doctor Timothy Patitsas, was introduced by Father John Parker, who encouraged the OISM membership in their obligation to preach to the non-Orthodox as they take on vocations across the continent.  Doctor Timothy then spoke on “the Beautiful Time,” explaining the important difference between chronos and kairos, and how our lives need to be organized according to the good and proper use of time, which seems to spiral in the life of the Church.  Each talk was recorded. The evening came to a close with the Resurrection Vigil at the Monastery Church, again sung by the Mission Choir, followed by a large dinner, a basketball game in the seminary’s new Gymnasium/Convocation Hall, and a campfire at the nearby residence of STOTS Faculty Benedict and Maria Sheehan.

The OISM Retreat concluded on Sunday after Divine Liturgy  and coffee hour. Students expressed their enjoyment of the food, the fellowship, and the genuine hospitality offered by the entire Saint Tikhon’s community through the course of one of the largest OISM Retreats in memory.  The next OISM Retreat is planned to be at Hellenic College Holy Cross in the spring.

St. Tikhon’s Monastery Site of Women’s Retreat November 16, 2019 - 10/29/19

St. Tikhon's Monastery will be the setting for the annual women’s retreat sponsored by the Department of Curriculum and Education of the OCA Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania on Saturday, November 16, 2019.

Fr Theodore Petrides serves Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Reading, PA, will speak on “We Are Pilgrims On This Earth." Fr Theodore has spoken at conferences and retreats on various subjects including spiritual direction and contemporary Spiritual Fathers.  Fr Theodore recently edited a book from the Holy Mountain entitled, Ascetics in the World which was published by St. Nikodemus the Hagiorite Publication Society and is for sale at St Tikhon's Seminary Bookstore & Press.  He also currently teaches Pastoral Care and Counseling at St Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary and, in November, is launching a daily podcast entitled, Signs in Our Times, on Ancient Faith Radio. 

Registration and continental breakfast will begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by the first session at 10:00 a.m.

The $10.00 registration fee includes lunch.  Deadline for registration is Saturday, November 9, 2019.

For additional information contact Matushka Emilia Shepherd at 910-988-3462 or

October Lecture Series Continues with Missions Theme - 10/25/19

By: Dn. Herman Garrison

The 2019 October Lecture Series continued this week by building on previous lectures given about the Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America. Archpriest Thomas Soroka of Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, was the night's speaker. His lecture was enlightening yet challenging, especially to the diverse audience of students, clergy, and laity in attendance. 

Saint Tikhon's was honored to have guests from its sister seminary, Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, including: Fr. Chad Hatfield (President), Dr. Ionut Alexandru Tudorie (Academic Dean), Mr. Alexandru Popovici (Academic and Recruitment Advisor), and Ms. Sarah Werner (Marketing Director, SVS Press).

During the talk, Fr. Thomas reflected on his own personal experience of what it was like to grow up Orthodox in America at the dawn of Autocephaly. He noted that there had been an outpouring of new educational material, books, and music as new parishes were being established. He remarked that it was "a vibrant Orthodox faith and there was a transition in the Church to help growth".

The prophetic words of Fr. John Meyendorff were brought to the fore, wherein he encouraged the new Church to recognize the goals ahead and be thoughtful in consideration of how to engage those goals. Fr. John reminded us of the words of St. Paul who said this mission work was for the "building of the Body of Christ", and he continued in his essay, stating, "we have to build churches, schools, and missions, but first of all, we must build an authentic and strong Orthodox consciousness in our clergy and that the true Orthodox witness may be a dynamic witness in American society..."

Fr. Thomas picked up on this theme to remind us that we must have a sense of urgency in fulfilling our mission. We cannot be a bastion for a chosen few, but we must bring the Kingdom of God to everyone in our land. This will mean that we must equip parishes, priests, and lay people to fulfill mission work through better communication and the sharing of resources.

A host of Orthodox missionaries were discussed; in particular, Fr. Thomas highlighted Saint Paul and the early North American missionaries. He underscored three traits of our missionary ancestors: faithful clarity, unquestioning certainty, and sacrificial urgency -- which was the keystone to all their efforts. He noted that they knew what God had called them to do and they spoke and acted with authority. It is important not to be distracted by naysayers or obstructionists.

Additionally, we must act with urgency. Others are doing the work, and we cannot be lethargic or apathetic. We also cannot wait for canonical anomalies to be solved.

Fr. Thomas stressed that the mission of the OCA has already been clearly stated, and it is up to us to act upon it.

OCA Archivist Shares Treasures from History - 10/18/19

By: Deacon Ignatius Strange ('22)

The OCA Archivist, Alexis Liberovsky, brought to St. Tikhon's the second talk in the Lecture Series. Following in the theme of autocephaly, he shared a wealth of information  – both from the vaults of the OCA's archives, as well as, from the treasures recorded in his own memory after years of researching our history. He recounted the process leading up to the council in which the autocephaly of the OCA was proclaimed, including the procession up to St. Tikhon's Monastery Church, where the tomos was read aloud. A beautiful aspect of the proceedings, for which we have a word-for-word transcript transcribed from a recording, was the void of geopolitical talk. Such discussion would have been an understandable concern in any talks between Russians and Americans in 1970. Rather, they solely focused on the high mission of attempting, in the words of the tomos itself, to "serve the good of the Orthodox Church in America and the glory of God."

Dr. Mary Ford speaks at St. Lawrence University and Cornell University within seven days - 10/14/19

On Saturday evening, October 5, at St. Lawrence University in far upstate New York, Dr. Mary Ford, Associate Professor of New Testament at St. Tikhon's Seminary, spoke on "Whom, or What, Do We Fear?  Insights from the Book of Revelation."  Her talk was sponsored by the Mission Parish of St. Olympia the Deaconess in nearby Potsdam, New York.  The next day Dr. Mary and Dr. David participated in the first-ever fully hierarchical liturgy ever celebrated in the St. Olympia Mission, celebrated by Archbishop Michael, OCA Archbishop of New York and New Jersey, and Rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary.

Only six days later, Dr. Mary spoke on the same topic at Cornell University, sponsored by the Cornell Chaplain's Office and the Cornell Orthodox Christian Fellowship, under the direction of Fr. Joel Brady, St. Tikhon's graduate, Class of 2015.  The next morning, Dr. David Ford, Professor of Church History at St. Tikhon's, spoke on Marriage at Fr. Joel's parish, Holy Apostles Orthodox Church, in Lansing, New York.  Dr. David presented on two themes: "Marriage in the Church Fathers through the Centuries," and "26 Suggested Patterns of Living to Strive for to Enhance the Glory of our Marriages."

The Drs. Ford were very grateful for the warm hospitality bestowed upon them by both parishes, and by the wonderful members of the Cornell OCF.

The first two photos are at St. Lawrence, and at the Potsdam Mission.

The next four photos are at Cornell, with the OCF there, and with Fr. Joel Brady and his family in his Holy Apostles Church in Lansing, New York.

Metropolitan Tikhon's Lecture on Primacy and Service - 10/11/19

On Tuesday, October 8, St Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary welcomed His Beatitude, the Most-blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of All-America and Canada, back to his alma mater for the 2019 Fall Lecture Series.  His Beatitude inaugurated the series, entitled Autocephaly, as a prelude to the OCA’s celebrations of 50 years of the granting of Autocephaly from the Russian Orthodox Church in 1970. 


His Beatitude spoke not only from an historical and liturgical perspective concerning Primacy, but also offered his audience many personal reflections.  For him, for example, the honor to consecrate Holy Chrism for Baptism is one aspect of his Primatial service which he most appreciates and enjoys.  His Beatitude reinforced through his lecture his view that Primacy is not a gift of power or position, but one of humble service and obedience to shepherd a flock.


Metropolitan Tikhon’s Lecture was entitled, “Primacy and Service” and will be available on St Tikhon’s Ancient Faith Radio podcast, “The Spirit of St Tikhon’s” shortly.  The next lecture will be offered by Alexis Liberovsky, Archivist of the Orthodox Church in America, on Tuesday, October 15, 730-9p, in the Convocation Hall.  All are welcome.

Tales of Miracles in Prison Ministry: OCPM Executive Director Visits STOTS - 10/04/19

STM Refectory


By: Subdeacon Peter Simko (‘21)

Saint Tikhon’s welcomed Father Stephen Powley, parish priest of Saint John’s Greek Orthodox Church in Pueblo, Colorado, and Executive Director of Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM).  He discussed the reality of incarceration in the United States compared to other places in the world, as well as his own story of becoming a chaplain. He explained the experience prisoners have with combating the “flames of hell” as they seek to ascend the ladder toward the embrace of the Lord.  The prisoners who seek Christ see His blood as extinguishing those flames.

Having been accepted as a chaplain, Fr. Stephen was told by a warden to “go do what chaplains do” (without much idea as to what that should be). The voice of Christ pushed him not to fear, but to engage the prisoners and embrace their personhood. Fr. Stephen explained that in ministering to those in prison, we are visiting and serving Jesus Himself.

Fr. Stephen noted, “the Orthodox Church has been on a collision course with people going into and coming out of prisons and jails.” He further explained how fallen men and women--terrible criminals, even--can and do become Saints. He used Saint Moses the Strong of Ethiopia as a prime example. Father spoke of the incredible transformations that he has experienced in his time working with prisoners--with both social and spiritual re-orientations. Fr. Stephen reminded the students that “a welcoming Church sees each individual as a person made in the image and likeness of God; it has unconditional love, trust, and realistic expectations.”

Fr. Stephen spoke about an encounter he had in the chapel of Hosios Loukas Monastery. While praying, Fr. Stephen had a vision of a man locked up in a supermax prison. He eventually found that man and told him about his experience. The man had never expressed interest in Orthodox Christianity before, but after being introduced to the Faith by Fr. Stephen, the prisoner embraced the Truth of the Church.

He told us about His Eminence, Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, tonsuring several life-sentence prisoners with developed spiritual lives into the monastic life. One prisoner, influenced by these new monks and their excitement for Great Lent, fasted for days and experienced a bright Woman as if in a dream, asking him to take her Baby. Father Stephen explained to the inmate that the Theotokos seemed to be asking the man to accept the Lord. Metropolitan Isaiah, after hearing the story, remained silent. He then turned to Fr. Stephen and said, “baptize him.”  The inmate also desired this, and he entered into the Holy Church.

Fr. Stephen showed the seminarians a photo of what a baptism looks like within a prison. The students asked Father about how a new priest can get involved in prison ministry.  He explained that the easiest way is to connect with a local incarcerated Orthodox Christian, but you can also connect with a local chaplain for a prison--and perhaps suggest teaching a course to inmates on Early Church history. Father reminded everyone that Saint Tikhon’s and OCPM have been working together for many years, and that Father John Kowalczyk is helping lead an exceptional program at the seminary. We are so grateful to the wonderful leaders who help lead the way for future clergy in ministering to those in prison.

For more information on the wonderful work of OCPM, check out: Stay tuned for a podcast featuring Fr. Stephen on a future episode of Spirit of St. Tikhon’s on Ancient Faith Radio.

Visit to Holy Dormition Orthodox Church, Cumberland, Rhode Island - 09/30/19

On the weekend of September 28-29, Archpriest John Parker, Dean of St. TIkhon's had the privilege to accompany the Wonderworking Icon of St. Anna to Holy Dormition Orthodox Church, Cumberland, Rhode Island, at the invitation of parish rector, Archpriest Vasily Lickwar.  Fr. John preached at the Divine Liturgy on Sunday.  In his homily, he exhorted the faithful that our response to the wonders and miracles attributed to the Grace of the Holy Spirit through St. Anna is, in fact, the Gospel appointed for the same Sunday (Luke 6:31-36).  Gratitude for the miraculous in our lives is best shown as love for one's enemies, lending  expecting nothing in return, and doing good as we are able.  This is especially true, preached Fr. John, since we, who are of the household of faith, were once enemies of God, who, despite our selfishness towards Him, have been given new life, forgiveness of sins, and countless visible and invisible acts of mercy towards us.

Holy Dormition was established in 1908 by St. Alexander Hotovitsky, one of the five saints who walked, and prayed, and served at St. Tikhon's.

St. Tikhon's Annual Vocations Retreat: November 15-17 - 09/27/19

"A Sower Went out to Sow..."

Nurturing the Good Seed

Vocation Encounter Fall 2019

Bell-ringing Seminar at St. Tikhon's Monastery - 09/26/19

The Ordination of Ambrose (Ryan) Inlow to the Holy Diaconate in Christ - 09/25/19

A Friday evening Primatial Vigil commemorating the Exaltation of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross featured a perhaps otherwise typical detail: Ambrose Inlow, a third-year seminarian at Saint Tikhon’s prayerfully read the Hexapsalmos, that is, the Six Psalms at the beginning of the order of Matins. A seminarian reading this is no surprise, but that Ambrose Inlow was doing so wove him into a simple and long-standing tradition at Saint Tikhon’s. For all those men chosen to be ordained to the Diaconate are first responsible for reading the Six Psalms the evening prior to their day of elevation.

Accompanied by the singing of the Saint Tikhon’s Mixed Choir--under the direction of Benedict Sheehan--and in the eyes of a myriad of faithful, Ambrose was tonsured and ordained to the rank of Reader. Having first been vested in the short phelonion, he was then given a selection to read from the Apostle. Demonstrating his capability, he was then vested in the sticharion, and likewise girt in an orarion. Now a Subdeacon, Ambrose washed the hands of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, and the Liturgy was begun.

The Divine Liturgy contained all the common traits of any Hierarchical service, but with the added joy of a Primate’s presence along with the awe of venerating the Wood of the Cross, a relic of which lay enshrouded with bright red carnations in the center of the nave. “Before Thy Cross, we bow down in worship, O Master…” was chanted by the clergy and choir as the faithful fell prostrate. The Diptychs were chanted festively by the Reverend Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak and mirrored by the choir. And crowning the entire service was the laying on of hands by His Beatitude upon Subdeacon Ambrose, who knelt with his forehead on the corner of the Holy Table.

After Father Deacon Ambrose took up the marks of his new office, concluding with the fan, the chanting of Axios resounded throughout the Monastery Church. At the close of the Liturgy, the concelebrating priests (including Archimandrite Sergius Bowyer--the Abbot of Saint Tikhon’s, Archimandrite Alexis Trader, Father John Parker--Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, Hieromonk Herman, Father Ignatius Gauvain, and Father Vjekoslav Jovicic) and deacons gathered for photos with the newly-ordained and his Matushka, Meghan (Juliana) Inlow, and their family. On behalf of the Saint Tikhon’s family, we congratulate the Inlow family and wish them many blessed years! Axios, Axios, Axios!

By: Subdeacon Peter Simko

2019 October Lecture Series, "Autocephaly" - 09/23/19

St Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary announces the 2019 October Lecture Series, "Autocephaly", celebrating the 50th Year of Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America.  The Lectures will begin Tuesday, October 8, and continue on each of the following Tuesdays in the month, Oct 15, 22, and 29.

Archpriest John Parker, Dean of St Tikhon's noted, "For the Orthodox Church in America, it is also momentous, in that the Lectures will be held in the newly-renovated Convocation Hall, the site of the first All-American Sobor in 1970.  It is a rich blessing not only for the Seminary, but also for the living history of the Orthodox Church in America, as we labor to fulfill the Great Commission in this land."

His Beatitude, the Most-blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All-America and Canada, will give the opening lecture, "Primacy and Service," on Tuesday, October 8, 730-9pm.  

In the following weeks, Autocephaly will be considered in the following lectures:

October 15: Mr Alexis Liberovsky, Archivist of the Orthodox Church in America, "Autocephaly:  Documents and Reflections".

October 22:  Archpriest Thomas Soroka, Pastor of St Nicholas Orthodox Church, McKees Rocks, PA, and long-time Ancient Faith Radio Podcaster:  "Autocephaly and Mission".

October 29:  Archpriest Alexander Rentel, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, "Autocephaly and the Canonical Tradition".

Lectures will run for forty-five minutes, with fifteen minutes to follow for questions and answers.  A light reception follows each lecture, finishing at 9pm.

All are welcome.

STOTS Attendance at Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry Board Meeting in Kansas - 09/19/19

Fr. John Kowlaczyk (STOTS Director of Field Education) attended a national board meeting of the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM) on August 8–10 in Wichita, KS. Travelling with him, as a guest, was Seminarian Gregory Matlak (‘20).


The evening before the meeting, a lovely dinner was held at the home of OCPM Treasurer Eric Namee. A presentation was given on a successful mentoring program designed to help inmates successfully transition back into regular society.


At the board meeting, Fr. John reported on his recent invitation to give a three hour workshop at the upcoming Pennsylvania Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference at Drexel Medical College, to be held on December 4-5. He also resigned as long-time Secretary of the OCPM board, yet renewed his commitment to the organization by reaffirming his role as a member of the executive staff and by accepting a new role as an executive board member.


Gregory was asked to offer a short presentation on his experience with prison ministry, during which he especially highlighted the excellent training he is receiving at St Tikhon’s as a part of field education classes.


It is an exciting time for the OCPM, as they recently approved a ground-breaking and ambitious new strategic plan. Both Fr. John and Gregory are involved in task forces addressing specific goals of this plan. The mission statement of the OCPM is: “To share the love of Christ and His Church with those who are incarcerated and their families so that lives are transformed and God is glorified.”


More information can be found at


Article written by Gregory Matlak

Come and See - Sunday, September 22 - 09/04/19

Speaking the Truth in Love Conference! Nov. 7-9 - 09/04/19

Dr. David Ford's Two-Stop Tour of Ohio - 08/12/19

On Friday evening, July 19, 2019, Dr. David spoke at Holy Assumption Orthodox Church (OCA) in Canton, Ohio, where St. Tikhon's Seminary graduate Fr. John Kennerk is the rector. Dr. David spoke on "Marriage in the Fathers through the Centuries", using an article in the book he helped to edit, called Glory and Honor: Orthodox Christian Resources on Marriage (St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2016). 

Then, the next evening, after a brief visit to the St. Gregory Palamas Orthodox Monastery in Hayesville, Ohio, he spoke at St. Gregory of Nyssa Orthodox Church (OCA) in Columbus, Ohio, where Fr. Stephen Frase, another St. Tikhon's graduate, is the rector. For this talk, Dr. David spoke on "Dealing with Despondency through the Letters of St. John Chrysostom to St. Olympia". Dr. David has translated, in a first-time full English translation, all 17 of these wise, powerful, and tremendously inspiring letters, all written by St. John to his best friend and confidante, St. Olympia the Deaconesse, as he was enduring his totally unjust exile. The translation also was published by St Vladimir's Seminary Press in 2016, as part of their Popular Patristics Series. 

Dr. David remarked, "It's always a greay joy to visit parishes where the priest is one of our St. Tikhon's graduates, to see them in action, to reconnect with them and their families, and to share with and get to know some of their parishioners. May all our alumni and their families and parishioners be flourishing wonderfully in our Lord Jesus!'

Alumni Update: An Ordination in India - 07/13/19

On Saturday, July 13, 2019 Dn. Rony John (STOTS 2018) was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at St. Thomas’ Orthodox Syrian Church in Pune, Maharashtra, India, by the hands of His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan of the Bombay Diocese of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church. The next morning he served his first Holy Qurbana, also at St. Thomas’ Church.

We wish Fr. Rony John and his wife Snehal many years!

Student and Alumni update: June and July Ordinations  - 07/11/19

St. Tikhon’s Seminary is pleased to receive word of the Ordinations to the Holy Priesthood of a recent graduate in June and a continuing student in July.

On June 22, 2019, Dn. John S. Parker (STOTS 2019) was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by the hands of His Eminence Archbishop Melchizedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. Fr. John is assigned Acting Rector St. Nicholas Church in Donora, PA. We wish him and Matushka Nadia many years!

On July 7, 2019, Dn. Jesse Robinson was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by the hands of His Grace Bishop Basil of Wichita and Mid-America of the Antiochian Archdiocese. It is expected that Fr. Jesse will graduate from St. Tikhon’s this coming May, after which he will go on to serve the Antiochian Archdiocese. We wish Fr. Jesse, Khouriyeh Xenia and their children many years!

St. Tikhon's Honors Fifteen Graduates of the 77th Graduating Class - 06/03/19

South Canaan, PA – On Saturday, May 25, 2019, Saint Tikhon’s Seminary held its 77th Annual Commencement Exercises, conferring Master of Divinity degrees on 13 graduates and Certificates in Pastoral Formation on 2 others. The joyful assembly began with a procession into the filled, newly-renovated Convocation Center, which housed the very first All American Council of the Orthodox Church in America in 1970.

Presiding over the festivities was His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America and President of the Seminary. His Eminence, Archbishop MICHAEL of New   York and the Rector of the theological school, presented the candidates to His Beatitude for the conferral of degrees. Other hierarchs present included His Eminence, Archbishop MELCHISEDEK of Pittsburgh; His Eminence, Archbishop DAVID of Sitka; and His Grace, Bishop THOMAS of Oakland, Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese.  Each of the hierarchs “hooded” the Seminary graduates from their respective Dioceses.

Very Rev. Archpriest John Parker, Dean of the Seminary, introduced the Class Valedictorian Benjamin Cabe.  In his address, Ben reminded those assembled:  “Often when we think of graduate degrees in theology, we imagine a classroom full of people discussing theological ideas, but this is not the thrust of our education here. God is not an idea; He is a person – and a person can only be truly known through personal contact.” 

Seven current graduates and one recent graduate received certification in Clinical Pastoral Education from Very Rev. Archpriest Steven Voytovich, former Dean and director of CPE for the Seminary.  Father John Parker announced those who had graduated with honors:  Benjamin Cabe, with distinction in Theology, and George Davis, with distinction in Church History.

The Commencement Address was delivered by His Eminence, the recently-elevated Archbishop David, a 1997 St. Tikhon’s alumnus.  The ruling hierarch of the Diocese of Alaska exhorted the graduating seminarians to be ever prepared to witness to inquirers, recognizing  the “God Tests” in their lives:

You will have lots of  "God tests" in life, and while you may be done with the classroom, you’re not done with the ‘Living’ room. Every time you are approached by someone with a question about a life subject, you need to be ready to answer the test question.  It may be that you find yourself in a checkout line [and] they may notice you’re a priest….  You’re going to get a God test.  Be ready, be confident, but most of all, be humble.

His Eminence also  fulfill the instruction of St. Herman of Alaska: “From this day, from this hour, from this minute, let us strive above all else to love God and to do His Holy Will” and to keep in mind the words of St. Innocent of Alaska:

It is indeed a holy endeavor, one equal to that of the apostles, to leave your homeland and go to places that are remote, wild, and devoid of many of the comforts of life in order to convert to the path of Truth people who are still wandering in the darkness of ignorance and to illumine with the light of the Gospel those who still have not seen this saving light.  Blessed is he whom the Lord chooses and places in such service!  But especially blessed is he who with all fervor, sincerity, and love struggles to convert and to enlighten, enduring the labors and sorrows met in the course of his service, for great is his reward in the heavens.

During the gathering, St. Tikhon’s Student Government outgoing president Fr. Joseph Sharman presented the “Fr. Alexander Atty Memorial Community Service Award” to retiring Chief Financial Officer Very Rev. Archpriest Dennis Swencki (STOTS 1974), a most beloved member of the St. Tikhon’s Community for many years.  Father Dennis offered a heartfelt and tearful response upon receiving the award, which was given with great love from the graduating class and the entire community he has served for so long.

The Commencement ceremony also included the presentation of the Distinguished Alumnus of the Year Award, as chosen by the members of the Seminary’s Alumni Association.  It was announced by Alumni Association President, Rev. Patrick Burns (STOTS 2009) that this year the award was being presented to two venerable elder priests:  Mitred Archpriest Daniel Ressetar (STOTS 1948) and Very Rev. Archpriest Eugene Pianovich (STOTS 1950), both of whom have been blessed with more than half-a-century of faithful service to Christ’s Church in America.  Two days later, at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of the Monastery Memorial Day Pilgrimage, Metropolitan Tikhon awarded Fr. Pianovich the privilege to wear the miter. 

On Saturday evening, following the Vigil service at the Monastery Church, some two hundred persons attended a banquet, held at the Anthracite Center in Carbondale, honoring the 15 graduates of the St. Tikhon’s Class of 2019.  The speaking program focused on reflections by the students of their time together, being spiritually formed and theologically educated at the Monastery and Seminary.

We wish the St. Tikhon’s Class of 2019 “Many Years!”

Administrative Offices Closed Holy Thursday through Bright Monday - 04/24/19

In honor of the Commemoration of our Lord's Passion and Glorious Resurrection the St. Tikhon's Administrative Offices will be closed from Holy Thursday (4/25) through Bright Monday (4/29). The Offices will reopen on Bright Tuesday (4/30). 

Save the Date: Continuing Education 2019 - 04/18/19

St. Tikhon's Seminary will be holding its Summer Clergy Continuing Education Program from June 18-20, 2019.  This year's program is titled "Roots: A Pastoral and Patristic Return to the Old Testament," and features such speakers as Archbishop Michael of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, Fr. Victor Gorodenchuck, Fr. Alexis Trader, and Dr. Justin Gohl. Cost of Registration is $200, including food and accommodations. A flyer may be found here and the registration form here. For more information, contact Administrative Assistant to the Dean Marshall Goodge at or by phone at (570) 561-1818 x101.

St. Tikhon's Hosts Annual St. Tikhon's-St. Vladimir's Basketball Game - 03/20/19

Students from St. Tikhon’s Seminary and St. Vladimir’s Seminary gathered together on the morning of February 23, 2019 at The Vineyard Center in Honesdale, PA to play an exhibition game of basketball. This fun tradition occurs every year between the sister seminaries, with each school taking its turn hosting. This year's game had to be relocated to a near-by gym, since the St. Tikhon's gymnasium is currently being renovated.

STOTS Dean Fr. John Parker was on hand to give the opening blessing and to cheer on the players. Several students and their families, as well as STOTS faculty, helped encourage our dedicated players to do their best. Professor Dr. David Ford was our jovial cheerleader and kept the crowd pumped up.

Although St. Tikhon’s lost, 47-32, we hope to come back strong and pull out a win next year. After the game, everyone enjoyed fellowship, with pizza and drinks provided by St. Tikhon’s Seminary. We wish to thank all those who came out from St. Vladimir's Seminary to make it an enjoyable day.

Article by Matushka Emilia Shepherd 

STOTS Visits St. Vladimir's for OISM Spring Conference - 03/11/19

On March 8-11, St. Tikhon’s Seminarians Subdeacon Peter Simko (‘21) and Isaac Lampart (‘19) gathered together with an endearing group of students and seminarians from Hellenic College-Holy Cross and St. Vladimir’s Seminary for the Spring 2019 Conference of the Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement (OISM), hosted this semester by St. Vladimir’s.

Founded in the 1960s and revived in 2003, the OISM fosters fellowship and cooperation among Orthodox seminary and theology students. St. Vladimir’s seminarians chose to frame this Spring’s weekend around “Orthodox Unity.”

On Friday evening, the seminarians gathered together for informal fellowship and conversation in the SVOTS refectory. Many seminarians present also attended last semester’s OISM weekend at Hellenic College Holy Cross, and were happily introduced to new faces and first-comers to an OISM event.

On Saturday, Archpriest Edward Hughes, the Vicar General of the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate, spoke and led discussions at the conference regarding the Western Rite and Orthodox unity. SVOTS Professor Dr. John Barnet also delivered a lecture on Christian unity in the New Testament. In the evening, STOTS and HCHC seminarians participated in the mixed and male choirs during vigil (it was neat to see familiar names like Hieromonk Herman written on the scores at St. Vladimir’s). The conference concluded with Sunday’s Divine Liturgy at Three Hierarchs Chapel.

New leadership was also elected during this weekend’s gathering, in accordance with the OISM Constitution. Paul Murray (Holy Cross ‘21) is the National President, Catherine Holder (Hellenic College ‘21) is the National Secretary, and Subdeacon Peter Simko (STOTS ‘21) is the National Treasurer and STOTS Representative.

While OISM tends to meet every year at one of North America’s Orthodox theological seminaries, seminarians are hopeful to organize a retreat every semester to encourage long-lasting friendships and foster support in pan-Orthodox ministry.

“During my three years at STOTS, through OISM, I was given the opportunity to make connections with seminarians at Holy Trinity, HCHC, St. Vladimir’s, and Christ the Saviour in Johnstown, which I know will remain with me wherever the Church’s ministry brings me,” Isaac commented. “I feel I can relate in a little way to all the seminaries, and coming to know their students personally through OISM events, I can begin to understand what ministry might look like for each one of us, given our unique formational journeys and predispositions, that we might best relate and serve the Church together across all jurisdictions.”  

Tentatively, the Fall 2019-2020 OISM Weekend will be hosted by St. Tikhon’s Seminary, which Subdeacon Peter will help organize.

“Our hope with the upcoming Saint Tikhon’s OISM retreat will be to convey the necessity of beauty in the Church and her ministries when facing a world whose, to be frank, ugliness is ever more apparent as the Lord is gradually forgotten by the wider culture,” Subdeacon Peter related. “Beauty is a sure foothold for Truth,” he continued, “so our retreat will portray how Orthodox Christianity makes Christ, Who is Truth Incarnate, present through the ministries of liturgical arts and beyond in a way that can be inspirational to all OISM participants, no matter what God is calling them to do.”

Article by Seminarian Isaac Lampart (‘19)

Photographs by St. Vladimir’s Seminarian Mitchell Morfas (‘21)

Many Years, Most Blessed Master! - 02/14/19

The Faculty, Staff, and Students of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, along with the entire St. Tikhon's community would like to wish many blessed years to our Father in Christ, the Most Blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, on the fifteenth anniversary of his Episcopal Consecration.

Eis polla eti, Despota!

Saint Tikhon’s Seminarians March for Life in Washington, DC - 01/30/19

On Friday, January 18th 2019, Saint Tikhon’s seminarians and community members gathered around His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, for the Annual March for Life in Washington DC. This year’s March marks 46 years since the Roe v. Wade decision, when the United States Supreme Court legalized abortion.

St. Tikhon's Seminary was well-represented during the March. Archbishop Michael, Seminary Rector, and Archpriest John Parker, Seminary Dean, were among those who stood stalwart behind His Beatitude as he offered a Panikhida for the holy infants slain by abortion.

Fr. Ignatius Gauvain, Director of Student Life, organized the arrival of over twenty-five St. Tikhon’s seminarians and community children. Hieromonk Herman (Majkrzak) and seminarian James Latimer (STOTS ‘20) led the seminarian choir during the prayer service. St. Vladimir’s seminarians and several local Orthodox clergy and parishioners were also among the Orthodox Christians who marched down Constitution Avenue chanting hymns and akathists for the life of the unborn, and their mothers and families. The Most Reverend Melchisedek, Archbishop of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, His Grace the Right Reverend Thomas of the Antiochian Diocese of Oakland, Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic, and The Right Reverend Daniel, Bishop of Santa Rosa, Auxiliary Bishop of the OCA Diocese of the West were among the Orthodox hierarchs present.

Seminarian Olivia Insignares (STOTS ‘21) professed the Orthodox Church’s presence at the March as a witness to Christ’s paschal victory over death.

“This is a public witness to the truth of our Faith: We are fundamentally against death of all kinds,” Olivia remarked. “Especially at Saint Tikhon’s, which is a place of formation for the priesthood, the priests which are trained to help people go towards life and the light, it makes sense that we would be here making a public witness of life to the world, Who is Jesus Christ.”

A seminarian wife of St. Vladimir’s Seminary considered her presence at the March for Life as a simple witness to Christ’s Commandments in a world which protects the slaying of infants who cannot protect themselves.   

“I need to do the right thing, to love God and love my neighbor. Love the babies, love the women, love the doctors, love the children, love the people.”   

Father Joseph Sharman (STOTS ‘19), Student Government President, believed the entire gathering of the Orthodox Church and seminarians at the March scattered hope in the wake of sorrow.

“We do not march only against something,” Father Joseph said. “The Orthodox Church promises paschal life and joy.”

St. Tikhon’s Seminary and Monastery continues to pray for the life of all, the unborn and the born, in the daily Divine Liturgy. Metropolitan Tikhon’s Archpastoral Message for Sanctity of Life Sunday (January 20, 2019) can be found here.

Article by Seminarian Isaac Lampart (STOTS ‘19).

Penn State OCF Visits STOTS Campus - 01/24/19

On Monday January 21, 2019 St. Tikhon’s Seminary and St. Tikhon’s Monastery played host to a group of visitors from Penn State University OCF, both Graduate and Undergraduate Students, for a pilgrimage/vocations visit. The group was led by Dn. Alex Cadman from Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in State College, which also sponsored the trip.

We welcome all OCF and young adult groups to similarly come and see! To schedule a visit to the seminary, please contact Administrative Assistant Marshall M. Goodge (

Ribbon Cutting and Annual Saint Tatiana's Day Luncheon: A Heartwarming and Blessed Event - 01/24/19

On Thursday, January 24, the Saint Tikhon’s Seminary community celebrated the opening of the new kitchen in conjunction with the Annual Saint Tatiana's Day Luncheon. This event was graciously hosted by the Saint Tikhon's Century Association.  Traditionally, Seminary Trustee and Century Association Spiritual Advisor, the Very Reverend Archpriest Joseph Martin, of blessed memory, cooked sausage and peppers for the yearly luncheon.  This year, his wife Matushka Gloria, a member of the St. Tikhon’s Century Association Executive Board, and their daughters, Mrs. Cathryn Haber, Mrs. Juliana Good, and Miss Marina Martin, prepared the sausage and peppers, which were thoroughly enjoyed.  The rest of the Executive Board of St. Tikhon’s Century Association baked an abundance of scrumptious desserts.  Mrs. Zena Parker, St. Tikhon’s Seminary Chef, provided the soup and side dishes.

The event was opened by Father John Parker, St. Tikhon’s Seminary Dean.  He welcomed the 100+ guests, seminarian families, and administration members.  He showed those in attendance a plaque from the former kitchen which was dated 1962.  It was fun to know we salvaged this jewel from “back in the day”!  Thank you to Holy Ghost Church, Ambridge, PA, for the first kitchen.  It certainly served us very well for many decades!

His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, blessed the people and delivered heartwarming thank-you’s for generous donations.  He thanked Mrs. Nancy Kohudic, a member of the St. Tikhon’s Seminary Board of Trustees, for spearheading the construction of the new kitchen project with her donations.  He thanked Mr. John Babiak, also, a member of the St. Tikhon’s Board of Trustees, for his donations toward the new kitchen.  And, he thanked Matushka Gloria for carrying on the tradition of her husband.  In remembrance of Father Joseph, Archbishop Michael delighted us with the story of the special way that Father Joe would express his love through preparing and serving food.  Archbishop Michael thanked Zena for her patience with the old kitchen and for having to traverse the “dungeon” to get to the dining room.  He wished her much success with the new facility.

Another benefactor of the new kitchen project, Matushka Dr. Christine Hoeplinger, was unfortunately unable to be with us that day, but was thanked for her generous donations.  Matushka Christine’s donations were made in memory of her grandfather and grandmother, Riste and Dosta Stefanovich, who were restaurant owners. Out of Christian love, they always made sure that homeless and poor persons were fed from their kitchen.

The new seminary kitchen was proudly ready for this special luncheon.  The recent – and enormous –  upgrade has been eagerly anticipated for many years.  The honor of cutting the ribbon at the new kitchen doors was given to Mrs. Kohudic.  Zena was very grateful for the new facility!  She and the seminary community quickly put the kitchen into full functionality and beautified it with icons and curtains.  The seminary community joyfully joins her in taking good care of this great gift.  We pray that the food that comes out of this kitchen will continue to nourish our seminarians and guests for many years!

We greatly thank Saint Tikhon's Century Association for hosting the luncheon and providing the delicious food!  We also express gratitude to the Association for its gift of $6,500 to the Seminary General Fund that day; the check was presented to Father John by the organization’s vice-president, Mrs. Rosalie Luster.

The Seminary community continues to pray for Saint Tikhon’s Century Association, all of our contributors and benefactors, and the soul of the dearly beloved Father Joe.  May his memory be eternal!

Article by Alexandra Zona

St. Tikhon's Adiministrative Office Closed December 22-December 27 - 12/21/18

The Administrative Office of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary will be closed from December 22-27, 2018, in recognition of the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ.

Alumni Update: Fr. Daniel Ressetar Awarded the Miter - 12/16/18

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!”  

Mission Choir, Fr. Patrick Burns Raise $19K With Christmas Concert - 12/13/18

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!

Prof. Benedict Sheehan, St. Tikhon’s Closely Involved in 2019 Grammy-Nominated Projects - 12/10/18

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 - 11/14/18

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!

St. Tikhon's Announces 2018 Vocations Retreat - 10/15/18

St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary will hold its annual Vocations Retreat on November 9-10, 2018. 

The title of the retreat is "Training Disciple-Makers: 'Am I Called to be a Priest?'"

Have you felt zeal at hearing the Great Commission, but wondered whether you had a true vocation to serve the Church in the Priesthood? Join a number of presenters as we explore vocational discernment and callings to serve the Holy Church.

The flyer for the retreat may be downloaded here.

To register, please contact Marshall M. Goodge, Administrative Assistant to the Dean, at, or by calling (570) 561-1818 x101. The schedule is as follows: 

Friday, November 9, 2018

6:00pm Registration at the Main Entrance; Meal in dining hall

7:00pm Evening Prayer Service followed by discussion with Fr. John Parker


Saturday, November 10, 2018

7:30am Hours and Divine Liturgy

10:30    Brunch in Seminary Dining Hall and address by 

Fr. Sergius (Abbot of the Monastery)

11:15    Bookstore Tour; Monastery Bookstore

12:00    1st Talk: Fr. Ignatius Gauvain (Dir. of Student Life)

1:00pm Tour of Seminary (with refreshments)

2:00      2nd Talk: Dr. David Ford (Professor of Church History)

3:00      Wrap up

4:00      Vigil; Monastery Church

6:00      Dinner in Seminary Dining Hall


Sunday, November 11, 2018

9:10am  Hours and Divine Liturgy – Monastery Church (optional)


St. Tikhon's Celebrates 80th Anniversary - 10/13/18

A gala celebration was held for the 80th Anniversary of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, from Thursday to Saturday, October 11-13. Hundreds of members of the Seminary community worshipped, reminisced, and rejoiced together, giving thanks to God and to the Saints whose self-emptying labors and prayers have sanctified the grounds and sustained the mission of St. Tikhon’s Seminary for eight decades.

Following Vespers at St. Tikhon’s Monastery Church on Thursday, October 11, a reception in honor of the Seminary’s New Dean, Archpriest John Parker, was hosted at the Seminary’s Convocation Center – formerly the gymnasium, now being beautifully transformed. On Friday, October 12, following the Divine Liturgy and a breakfast hosted at the Seminary, a Symposium entitled “Where Saints Have Walked” was given at the Metropolitan Museum, in honor of the school’s anniversary. The Symposium featured presentations on the “History of St. Tikhon’s Through Liturgical Artifacts,” by Archpriest John Perich, and “Memories of St. Nicholai of Zhicha,” by Archpriests Daniel Ressetar, Eugene Pianovich, and Daniel Geeza, sharing their personal stories about the Saint who served as Seminary Rector in the 1950s until his repose in the Lord.

Father John Parker was formally installed as Dean of the Seminary on Friday afternoon, at a Molieben celebrated by His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON, President of the Seminary. The Metropolitan also presented Father John with the Dean’s Cross – a beautiful jeweled pectoral cross which belonged to the former Dean
Archpriest Basil Stroyen six decades ago, and has been handed down to the past three
Seminary Deans.

On Friday evening, nearly 200 members of the St. Tikhon’s family gathered for a festive Banquet at the Hilton Hotel in Scranton, PA. Toastmaster Archpriest David Cowan, an alumnus of St. Tikhon’s, intoned prayers for the Seminary’s departed and living Trustees, administration, staff, faculty, benefactors, alumni, and students and their families.

In addition to greetings by Metropolitan Tikhon and His Eminence, Archbishop MICHAEL, the Seminary Rector, heartfelt remarks were offered at the Banquet by two other hierarchs. His Eminence, Archbishop ABEL of the Diocese of Lublin and Chelm, Orthodox Church of Poland, offered touching words about the spiritual inheritance he shares with St. Tikhon’s, serving in the same Diocese where St. Tikhon of Moscow served as a newly consecrated Bishop and where Archbishop KIPRIAN of blessed memory was born. His Grace, Bishop THOMAS of Charleston and the Mid-Atlantic (Antiochian Archdiocese), a Seminary Trustee, reflected on the profound joy he encounters when he visits St. Tikhon’s and witnesses the love and faithfulness with which the administration, staff, and students accomplish their labors and studies. A special presentation of flowers and an icon was given to His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN, with words of gratitude for his seven decades of prayerful, tireless service to the theological school.

Also offering remarks at the Banquet were Michael G. Herzak, Sr., Chair of the Seminary Board of Trustees; Hieromonk Herman, Dean of St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Faculty member of the Seminary; and Seminary Dean Archpriest John Parker. The members of the Board of Trustees were honored for their tireless dedication to the school, most recently expressed in the purchase of additional real property for the future of the Seminary. The president and officers of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA) were recognized and thanked for the incredible generosity and vision of FOCA in initiating the Seminary’s Married Student Housing project, and raising over $300,000 to fund the housing, the first phase of which is complete. Archbishop Michael was presented by FOCA’s president and officers with gifts of new icons to be placed in the Married Student Housing apartments in the former Orphanage building. The St. Tikhon’s Century Association was also recognized for their steadfast financial and spiritual support of the Seminary; and their president and officers presented Metropolitan Tikhon and Metropolitan Herman with Lifetime Century Association Memberships.

Entertainment for the Banquet was provided by the Seminary’s resident rock band, Harry and the Dogmatix, comprised of faculty, alumni, students, and friends of St. Tikhon’s. The Alumni Association officers present were introduced and thanked for their continuing love and support for their beloved alma mater. Hearty thanks were expressed to Matushka Mary Wusylko, Chair of the 80th Anniversary Celebration, who coordinated the festivities, with much assistance from Seminary Chef Zena Parker, former Seminary staff member Mary Sernak, and Century Association Vice President Rosalie Luster.

The 80th Anniversary Celebration culminated on Saturday morning, October 13, with the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, celebrated by Metropolitan Tikhon, at the St. Tikhon’s Monastery Church. His Beatitude awarded Father John Parker with the Kamilavka and elevated him to the dignity of Archpriest, the rank already bestowed upon him by the Holy Synod in honor of his many years of yeoman work in the Diocese of the South and as Chair of the OCA Department of Evangelization. Archbishop Michael offered the homily, and His Beatitude ordained seminarian Joseph Sharman to the Holy Diaconate. Seminary students, faculty, and alumni sang the responses. A celebratory luncheon followed the Liturgy, bringing the three-day event to a close.

A sense of deep joy and optimism permeated the festivities. Many generations of hierarchs, alumni, students, staff, and supporters of St. Tikhon’s Seminary were blessed with the opportunity to share old memories, forge new friendships, and rejoice together in all that St. Tikhon’s Seminary has meant in their spiritual journeys. May God grant that many, many more generations of faithful will make their spiritual home at this blessed place – where Saints have lived and walked and prayed and taught.

Photos by Seminarian Peter Kamilos. Additional Photos by Victor Lutes may be found here.

Newly Renovated "Dean's House" on Saint Tikhon's Road Welcomes Father John Parker and Matushka Jeanette - 09/27/18

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

St. Tikhon's Seminary Announces 2018 Fall Lecture Series - 09/17/18

St. Tikhon's Seminary announces its annual Fall Lecture Series.  This year's series is focused on the Orthodox understanding of Scripture.  The series will run on Tuesday evenings:  October 16, 13 and 30, and November 6, beginning at 7pm in the seminary refectory.  You can download a flyer to post here.

Speakers and Presentation titles are as follows: 

October 16 at 7 PM — Fr. Lawrence Farley: “Gender in Genesis”

October 23 at 7 PM — Fr. Victor Gorodenchuk: "Six Days of Creation: Scientific Inquiry and Biblical Text."

October 30 at 7 PM — Dr. Justin Gohl: “Christ in the Proverbs”

November 6 at 7 PM — Dr. Mary Ford: “The Soul’s Longing: An Orthodox Perspective on Biblical Interpretation”

To indicate your interest in attending, please contact Marshall M. Goodge, Administrative Assistant to the Dean at

St. Tikhon's Celebrates Feast of the Cross with Metropolitan Tikhon - 09/14/18

For the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, the community of St. Tikhon’s monastery and seminary was blessed by the visitation of His Beatitude Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of all America and Canada, who celebrated both Vigil and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the monastery Church. Monks, Seminary staff, and students all served with the Metropolitan, including Hierodeacons Mark and David, 3rd year seminarian Deacons Timothy Kolb, Moses Locke, and Augustine Lewton, 2nd year subdeacon Herman
Garrison, as well as Subdeacon Roman Ostash. Hymns and responses were sung by the St. Tikhon’s Community Mixed Choir, directed by Rdr. Benedict Sheehan.

In a pastoral homily, His beatitude reminded all present of both the cosmic and the personal levels of grace in the feast of the cross, saying that “The cross, which we celebrate and exalt on this day, is above all the sign of God’s mercy towards us...Together as members of
the human race, we all receive God’s mercy. We have eternal life open to us… But each of us here has also received mercy individually. By whatever individual and unique path, we have each been privileged to enter the life of the Church, and having received mercy it calls to us in turn to offer this to others who come to us and to the Church looking for that same mercy. We are all commended to be servants of Christ, whatever our weaknesses, flaws, and sins, both voluntary and involuntary. The message of the cross is an encouragement to us as Christ’s flawed servants, because it reminds all of us that our Church life depends not on eloquence or wisdom, but on the power of God."

His beatitude also specifically exhorted and challenged the seminarian community (and all Christians) at the commencement of a new academic year: “For seminarians the study of theology is meant to be a rigorous preparation for the challenges of being a witness of the Gospel in an era when you will be rigorously questioned about your faith, and what you believe and practice, and why. Still, with all your good and faithful attention to learning, what people will be looking for will be a demonstration of the 'spirit in power', and this is the power of God that can only emerge from your own sense of weakness, your own sense of needing God’s mercy, forgiveness, and strength. The cross is our trophy and invincible weapon of peace, but being a follower of the cross means being willing to be regarded as foolish in a world that praises rationality and wisdom. The cross puts before each of us some hard questions: Am I prepared to be misunderstood? Am I prepared for mockery? Am I prepared to suffer for the sake of Christ? Am I prepared to pour my life out for others? Am I prepared to be identified as a follower of Christ crucified? Am I prepared to voluntary take up the cross? As seminarians you all know that to be a servant of the crucified Christ is a difficult thing. But you also know that it brings a joy unavailable anywhere else. That’s why you’re here. And that calling is one that is extended to every Christian.” 

Article by Seminarian John S. Parker

St. Tikhon's Welcomes New and Returning Seminarians - 08/31/18

St Tikhons's welcomed 18 new students to be the future Class of 2021—one of the largest incoming classes in recent memory.  With the addition of our incoming class, our Seminary community has grown to encompass a total of 46 Full-time and 3 Part-time students working towards the completion of a Master of Divinity Degree. While continuing to grow participation in our programs, the Seminary is also continuing in its commitments to provide for diversity in its student body — serving 35 students from the various dioceses of the Orthodox Church in America, and 11 students from other Orthodox jurisdictions.  With 29 married couples on campus, this year we will have more than 75 children in our Seminary community.

Orientation was held all during last week; with the Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos, we complete our first week of class.  Orientation culminated in a two-day retreat offered to perhaps a hundred alumni and current students.  Alumnus Archpriest Andrew Stephen Damick offered the first talk on how to be an "Engager" with the wider culture, falling neither into pious sectarianism, on the one hand, or a false and un-Orthodox "ecumenism" on the other.

Fr John Parker, who begins his first year as the new Dean offered a presentation, "Radechism: A Radical Return to the Roots of Ancient Christian Catechism", highlighting the need to make "divinized students of the Master", and not simply "students of Masters of Divinity" in our parish catechetical programs for adults.

"As I mentioned at the All American Council, I, like many in the Orthodox Church of America, have had precious little contact with St Tikhon's in my life.  I have been overwhelmed with the sense of genuine community, the palpable grace, and the remarkable commitment of the Faculty and Staff of the Seminary, all nourished in the Sacraments and Services in America's first Monastery.  The zeal and talent of the students, both new and returning is inspiring.  St Tikhon's is teeming with life! Come and See!" invites Archpriest John Parker, whose formal installation as Dean will take place in conjunction with the 80th Anniversary celebrations on Oct 11 and 12.

Alumni Update: Ordination of Khader Baramki to the Diaconate at the Holy Sepulchre - 08/14/18

On August 14 (August 1 O.S.), 2018, at the beginning of the Old Calendar Dormition Fast, alumnus Khader Baramki (STOTS 2015) was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by the hands of His Eminence Aristarchus, Archbishop of Constantia. The ordination took place in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, the site where Our Lord was crucified, buried, and rose again. It is the hope of the Holy Synod of Jerusalem, according to the Patriarchate's website, to ordain Dn. Khader to the priesthood in the near future, to serve the Cathedral of St. James the Brother of the Lord. Dn. Khader is the first known St. Tikhon's alumnus to be ordained at the Tomb of Christ. 

Axios and many years to Dn. Khader!

(Photos provided by Dn. Khader Baramki)

St. Tikhon's Participates at 19th All-American Council - 08/09/18

A team of volunteer students from St. Tikhon’s Seminary attended the Orthodox Church in America’s 19th All American Council, held in conjunction with the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America’s 92nd Annual Convention, at the historic Union Station Hotel in St. Louis, MO from July 20 to 27. Several St. Tikhon's Seminarians,were joined by volunteers from St. Herman’s Seminary in Kodiak, AK, as well as volunteers from our sister seminary, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, located in Crestwood, NY. This assembled team of seminarian volunteers received various assigned tasks throughout the week, among which were, most importantly, assisting in setting up and taking down the full iconostas that was in place throughout the week in the hotel’s Grand Ballroom, assisting in the scanning of delegates’ and observers’ badges at the Council’s many Plenary Sessions (to ensure an accurate count of voting members), and assisting in various liturgical and ecclesial responsibilities throughout the week.

The 19th All American Council was full of highlights, including the celebration of the Divine Liturgy on the mornings of five of the seven days the Council was held. Of particular note was the awarding of scholarships that occurred during the first banquet of the week, on Sunday night - as part of the 92nd Annual FOCA Convention. Two seminarians who were both present at the banquet: Alex Norton, from St. Mark’s Orthodox Church in Bethesda, MD, and Robert West, hailing from Holy Apostles Mission Church in Lansing, NY, both received scholarship awards designated specifically for seminarians. This was a proud moment for St. Tikhon’s Seminary, and will serve to strengthen the already solid relationship St. Tikhon’s has with the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America.  

The schedule was full of activities to better serve the smooth operation of the Council, but the St. Tikhon’s volunteers still found time for fellowship and socializing during the brief windows of free time, as well as at the Alumni Reception Tuesday night (07/24) generously sponsored by the Alumni Association. It was a joy to hear from alumni young and old, about their current parish ministries, about how the Seminary has changed over the years, and any words of wisdom they had to share.

At the next day’s Plenary Session, another highlight of the entire week occured in the presentation on Monastic Life in the OCA, delivered by Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of St. Tikhon’s Monastery. Fr. Sergius invited all attendees at the Council to come and visit St. Tikhon’s, as it is a treasure in the life of the OCA as a whole. After his rousing presentation, the council was receptive to a new video on life at the Seminary, after which the Seminary’s new Dean, Fr. John Parker, spoke about his impressions of the Seminary, and what he hopes to bring to his role as Dean. It was inspiring and exciting to see such a great showing for St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary at the 19th All American Council, and hopefully the attendees will be inspired to make pilgrimage here, become supporters of the Monastery and Seminary.

The final highlights of the 19th AAC took place Friday, in the form of two different but related events. The first was a video presentation by the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., featuring interviews with Fr. Mark, a Hierodeacon at St. Tikhon’s Monastery, about the monastic vocation, and with Alex Norton, about the calling to attend Seminary. Later that morning, in the final Plenary Session of the Council, the Youth made a presentation to the AAC, led by St. Tikhon’s very own Miriam Sheehan, the daughter of Music Director Benedict Sheehan. Their speech, contributed to the spontaneous fundraising drive that marked this last day of the Council, leading to raising over $87,000 for the employment of a full time Director for the Department of Youth, Young Adult, and Campus Ministry.

It  was a joy to serve the needs of the OCA by volunteering at this blessed Council, and all the seminary volunteers thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to pray, work, and serve with their counterparts from the other OCA Seminaries in the United States, all to the glory of God and the building up of His Holy Church. We are already looking forward to the 20th All American Council in 2021!

(Write-Up by Seminarian Alex Norton. Photo Credit to Seminarian Herman Garrison)

Announcement: Appointment of New Seminary Dean - 07/06/18

Saint Tikhon’s Seminary Names 

Archpriest John Parker as New Dean


The Board of Trustees of Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, PA, has named the Very Rev. Archpriest John E. Parker III, D.Min., as the new Dean of the school.  The announcement was made on Thursday, July 5, by His Eminence, Archbishop Michael (Dahulich), Ph.D., Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and the Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary.

Father John is presently the Rector of Holy Ascension Church in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.  He succeeds the Very Rev. Archpriest Steven Voytovich, who has served as the Seminary’s Dean for the past five years.

Father Parker earned his Bachelor of Arts degree (major in Spanish Language and Literature and minor in German) at the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he met his wife, Jeanette in 1993.  After marrying in 1994, he taught Spanish for three years at the Shipley School in Bryn Mawr, PA, before doing full-time youth ministry at the Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan in Paoli, PA.  In 2001, Fr. John earned his Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry in Ambridge, PA, and served for a brief period as curate at Holy Cross Episcopal Church on Sullivan’s Island, SC.

During his last year at TESM and his time at Holy Cross, he and Jeanette, along with their two sons, discovered the Orthodox Faith.  On July 7, 2002, the Parkers were received into the Orthodox Church at Holy Ascension Mission, in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. The Parkers moved to St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, NY, in August 2002.  Fr. John was ordained deacon by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, in November 2002, and priest in April 2003, by His Eminence, the late Archbishop Dmitri, of Dallas and the South, of blessed memory.  Fr. John pursued a Master of Theology degree (with his thesis entitled, “The Sanctity of Chastity:   An Orthodox Approach to Homosexuality”), which he earned in 2004.

Since June 2003, Fr. John has served as the pastor of the very mission into which the Parkers were received.  There, fueled by the remarkable gifts, talents, and generosity of the local faithful, they built a parish family well-known for its warm, southern hospitality and a commitment to excellence in sacred music and arts.  This hospitality spills out into the 12 Step Addiction communities—hosting the weekly “We’ve Been Waiting for You” AA meeting, and the only Sexaholics Anonymous meeting in Charleston, especially devoted to freeing men from slavery to pornography.

From 2006-2008, the parish built and completed a remarkable Byzantine Temple, to honor the Lord’s Holy Ascension; there, music and arts festivals, workshops, and symposia are held, including a now-annual iconography workshop led by world-renowned iconographers.

Father John has written more than 170 essays on Orthodoxy for Charleston’s Post and Courier, the Carolina Compass, and the Moultrie News.  For the last decade, he has offered bi-annual lectures on Orthodox Christianity at the College of Charleston, and was active in Campus Ministry at the Citadel, where his two sons, Zachary (a math major, wishing to teach) and Sebastian (a mechanical engineering major, wishing to work in aviation), are rising juniors.

In 2011, Fr. Parker was appointed Chair of the Department of Evangelization of the Orthodox Church in America.  During his tenure as Chair, he has overseen the Church Planting Grant; he has worked to build bridges to the Orthodox Faith with Anglicans and Evangelicals; and he has hosted a regular podcast on Ancient Faith Radio, entitled, “Lord, Send Me.”  He has given talks and retreats on Missions and Evangelism in many of the dioceses of the OCA, in several Antiochian parishes, and internationally in Finland and Greece.  For five years he has served on the Board of the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (

In December 2017, he earned his Doctor of Ministry degree at St. Vladimir’s with a project entitled “Radechesis: A Radical Return to the Roots of Christian Catechism.” Father John and Matushka Jeanette—who earned her DNP in 2016 and serves with joy as a Nurse Practitioner—move to St. Tikhon’s with the beginning of the new academic year.

In accepting the position, Father John stated: “St. Tikhon’s has a remarkable and rich history; I am beyond humbled to be invited to serve where the Saints have walked, and where our new saints are being formed.

“I hope that my experience of a vision for heavenly beauty and the warmth of Christian hospitality at Holy Ascension, in love for and imitation of Jesus Christ, will encourage and inspire those near and far to see, encourage, and support such a vision in the mission and efforts of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.

“And I pray the Lord that my experience in missions and evangelism, as a son of the Diocese of the South, and as a priest shaped by the rich brotherhood of the Carolinas Deanery, will prove worthy and welcome gifts to share with the future clergy and lay leaders of the Orthodox Churches of our land, and perhaps beyond.”

St. Tikhon’s holds successful Clergy Continuing Education Program - 06/21/18

St. Tikhon’s Seminary hosted another successful continuing education symposium, on June 19-21.  Six sessions in all were held, in addition to opportunities for prayer and fellowship.

The program began with a presentation by Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of St. Tikhon’s Monastery.  His presentation focused on the prayer of the heart.  He referenced a number of patristic fathers and elders to reinforce a number of points that included dialogue versus monologue in the heart, prayers as actualization of personhood, and prayer as converse and union with God. 

On Tuesday evening, Melissa Wertman, Assistant Director of the Wayne County (PA) Drug and Alcohol Commission, presented on dynamics of addiction, as well as addressing specifics of addictions including the opioid epidemic.  She offered resources available in Wayne County that clergy could look to utilize in their respective communities.

On Wednesday, Dr. Paul Witek, Registrar and Director of Academic Affairs, introduced his wife, Donna Witek, who is Associate Professor and Information Literacy Coordinator for University of Scranton’s Weinberg Memorial Library.  Her presentation offered a very helpful, and relatively unbiased developmental approach to assessing where one spends time and energy on the web.   Her examples included several examples relative to our Orthodox Church’s “current events”. 

Later in the day on Wednesday, Dr. Albert Rossi, retired Associate Professor of Psychology from Pace University, who has also taught courses in pastoral theology at St. Vladimir’s Seminary over many years, presented on the realities of internet addiction.  Using lecture, video and other resources, he shared helpful insights and resources for clergy in assisting their faithful.  He also shared insights from his ongoing work with clergy and faithful to punctuate points related to internet addiction, as well as addition in general.

On Thursday morning, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean and Department Chair of Pastoral Arts and Praxis, reflected on numerous traumatic incidents he has been involved in, to share lessons learned relative to parish community involvement, and how clergy and their parish communities can offer support in the wake of traumas.  He also shared resources in how clergy can get training in crisis response to prepare them to offer meaningful support when called upon.

Thursday afternoon’s session offered an opportunity for open discussion on topics raised earlier in the week, and others of concern to participants.  To start off the afternoon, Fr. Matthew Fuhrman, a recent STS graduate and military chaplain, shared how clergy could most effectively minister to military veterans returning from active duty.   Fr. James Chuta, Spiritual Advisor for the OCF at Bucknell University, talked about supporting OCF ministry, including resources for pastors to connect parish graduates with colleges having active OCF’s.  Later on Archbishop Michael, Seminary Rector and Chair of the Scripture Department, responded to questions clergy posed relative to recent events in world Orthodoxy.

Participants were offered an opportunity to commented on the value of this continuing education program.  Thanks be to God for a meaningful week of pastoral engagement!

Seminarian Joseph Clark Ordained to the Holy Diaconate - 06/10/18

Sunday, June 10th, 2018

St. Mary’s Orthodox Church

Wilkes-Barre, PA

Seminarian Joseph Clark of Three Hierarchs Mission, Garden City, KS was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by the hand of His Grace, Bishop THOMAS (Joseph) of the Antiochian Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic. He currently serves at St. Mary’s Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre, PA under Archpriest George Alberts. Deacon Joseph is a third year seminarian at St. Tikhon’s and by God’s Grace desires to serve the Church by reaching out to communities that have not been exposed to the Orthodox Christian faith. Axios! Axios! Axios! 

114th Pilgrimage at St. Tikhon’s Monastery - 05/28/18

Hierarchs, clergy, and faithful gathered once again at St. Tikhon’s Monastery for the annual pilgrimage.  The day began with a procession to the Bell Tower Church, followed by the celebration of the Divine Liturgy led by Metropolitan Tikhon.  His Eminence, the Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and His Grace, the Right Reverend David, Bishop of Sitka and the Diocese of Sitka and the Diocese of Alaska joined the Metropolitan.

During the Liturgy, Subdeacon Moses Locke was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by Archbishop Michael.  As Liturgy concluded, Archimandrite Sergius, Monastery Abbot, celebrated the generosity of Archpriest Yaroslav and Matushak Valerie Sudick, in covering the cost of the new icon painted over the entrance to the Bell Tower Church, with the Award of St. Tikhon of Moscow.  May God grant the newly ordained Deacon Moses, and Fr. and Mat. Sudick many blessed years!  Liturgy responses were sung by seminary, monastery chamber choir, and choir program participants! 

Activities were based both on the monastery and seminary grounds through the course of the afternoon.  With gratitude to God, the weather was beautiful for the course of the day!

(Photographs by Seminarian Robert West)

Feast of Pentecost - 05/27/18

The Feast of Pentecost was especially moving at the Monastery Church, with Metropolitan Tikhon and His Grace, David, Bishop of Sitka and the Diocese of Alaska leading the celebration.  Many of the monastics were elevated during the course of the Liturgy.  At the Great Entrance, Hieromonk Herman (Majkrzak) was given the dignity of wearing the Gold Pectoral Cross in recognition of his new role as Monastery Dean.  Fr. Ignatius Gauvain, Director of Student Life for the seminary, was given the right to wear the Nabedrenik.  Hierodeacon Mark (Romanchank) was given the dignity of wearing the double orarion.  Riasaphor Monk David (Armstrong) was ordained to the Holy Diaconate after graduating from St. Tikhon’s Diaconal program on Saturday.  Axios, and may God grant all those elevated many years!  Kneeling Vespers was celebrated as the Liturgy concluded.

Also on the Feast of Pentecost, Seminarian Vjekoslav Jovičić was ordained to the Holy Diaconate at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church, Stroudsburg PA. His Eminence, the Most Reverend Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania was the celebrant.  Archpriest Nicholas Solak, parish rector, and Wilkes-Barred Dean, participated in the celebration along with Protodeacon Sergei Kapral.   Seminarian Silouan Burns was ordained a subdeacon before the Divine Liturgy.  After Liturgy all shared lunch together, at the church hall before returning to the church for Kneeling Vespers.

(Photos at the monastery were taken by Seminarian Robert West.) 

St. Tikhon’s Seminary celebrates 76th Graduation Exercises - 05/26/18

On Saturday, May 26, 2018 St. Tikhon’s Seminary celebrated its 76th graduation!  Hierarchs participating in graduation, and the preceding Divine Liturgy in the morning included: His Beatitude, our Most Blessed Metropolitan Tikhon, His Eminence, the Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey and Seminary Rector, His Grace David, Bishop of Sitka and the Diocese of Alaska, His Grace Thomas, Bishop of Charleston and Oakland of the Antiochian Christian Archdiocese of North America.   His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan of the Mumbai Diocese of the Malankara Church in India, was present for the Divine Liturgy in the morning, and later served as commencement speaker for graduation.

M.Div. Graduates included:  Fr. Tesfalem Beraki Mezenghy, of the Eritrean Church, Valedictorian, and Deacon Rony John, Malankara Church, Mumbai Diocese.  Hierosubdeacon David Armstrong from St. Tikhon's Monastery completed St. Tikhon’s Diaconal Formation Certificate, and was ordained the following day to the Holy Diaconate on the Feast of Pentecost.  Fr. John Segvich completed a one-year Certificate of Pastoral Formation. 

The commencement speaker was His Grace Metropolitan Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Deacon Rony John’s Bishop.  Please see below a brief biography for Metropolitan Coorilos.

Fr. Tesfalem had quite a representation from the Eritrean Church, including Fr. Athanasius Habtu Ghebre-Ab, Director of External Relations for the Canonical Eritrean Church in Diaspora.  It was Fr. Athanasius who first approached St. Tikhon’s about placing their students for theological studies several years ago.  The gathered Eritrean faithful broke into song following the conclusion of graduation exercises!

Seminarian Joseph Sharman, together with the graduates who made the selection, presented the Fr. Alexander Atty Award for Community Service to Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean.  The award was a beautiful icon of the Washing of the Feet.

Another dimension of graduation included ordinations occurring earlier that day.  Seminarian Deacon Michael Shepherd was ordained to the Holy Priesthood, and Seminarian Timothy Kolb to the Holy Diaconate.  Seminarian Moses Locke and Riasophor Monk David were ordained to the Subdeaconate.  To see more of this related story, click here.

All came together, after the vigil for the Feast of Pentecost, for a graduation dinner later in the day at the Scranton Hilton Hotel, with setup plans completed in part by Zena, (Hatez) Parker, Seminary Cook.  May God grant many blessed years to all our graduates!

His Grace Metropolitan Coorilos completed his Bachelor’s Degree from Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, and post-graduate diplomas in Pastoral Theology from Heythrop College London University and in Theology and Mission from Urban Theology Unit, Shefield, UK.

He was ordained a sub-deacon in 1970 and a deacon in 1974 by Catholicos HH Baselios Mathews I. Dn. George became a priest in 1975 and served as Vicar, St Gregorios Church, London. He is known for his works among students and thus was serving the MGOCSM as general secretary for almost a decade. This paved way for Fr. George to visit many foreign countries.

His Grace was elected to the Episcopal rank in 1989 and tonsured a monk in 1990.  He was subsequently ordained in 1991. Soon, he was appointed as the Assistant Metropolitan, Mumbai Dioceses, and worked steadfast with late Dr. Philipose Mar Theophilus for the progress of the Mumbai Diocese.  He has served as Metropolitan of the diocese since 2002.

His Grace has held many positions in the church and other Christian societies. He had attended many international conferences and interacted with many communities such as the National Council of Churches of India, Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action, Christian Medical Association of India, and the World Council of Churches.

(Photos, Seminarians Ben Cabe and Robert West)

St. Tikhon’s Graduation Day begins with Divine Liturgy - 05/26/18

On Saturday, May 26, 2018 St. Tikhon’s Seminary celebrated its 76th graduation!  Hierarchs participating in graduation, and the preceding Divine Liturgy in the morning included: His Beatitude, our Most Blessed Metropolitan Tikhon, His Eminence, the Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey and Seminary Rector, His Grace David, Bishop of Sitka and the Diocese of Alaska, His Grace Thomas, Bishop of Charleston and Oakland of the Antiochian Christian Archdiocese of North America.   His Grace Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan of the Mumbai Diocese of the Malankara Church in India, was present for the Divine Liturgy in the morning, and served as commencement speaker for graduation.

Before the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Tikhon ordained Riasophor Monk David (Armstrong) from St. Tikhon's Monastery and Seminarian Moses Locke to the Subdeaconate.  During the Liturgy, Metropolitan Tikhon ordained Deacon Michael Shepherd to the Holy Priesthood.  Bishop David ordained Subdeacon Timothy Kolb to the Holy Diaconate.

Axios to all the newly ordained servants of God:  Fr. Michael Shepherd, Deacon Timothy Kolb, Hierosubdeacon David (Armstrong) and Subdeacon Moses Locke!

(Photos by Seminarian Robert West)

Seminary Community Gathers for Annual Softball Game - 05/18/18

On Thursday, May 17, the St. Tikhon’s Seminary Community came together for the annual Community Softball Game and cookout. The long late-spring evening provided the perfect conditions for a friendly softball game and, despite some rain earlier in the week rendering the usual field unusable, the grassy field between the seminary building and the dorms proved a perfect alternative, as the players dashed across the grass and the spectators looked on from chairs set up in the dorm parking lot. Professors, Seminarians, Wives, and Children all enjoyed the evening of sport and grilled meats (and bean patties). The event was further privileged to be visited by Seminary Rector Archbishop MICHAEL of New York and New Jersey. In the end, there were no losers on the day, as the event was the perfect pleasant diversion after a week of papers and exams.

Mission Choir Visits Mechanicsburg and Harrisburg, PA - 05/13/18

On May 12th, the Mission Choir, together with Archpriest Steven Voytovich, seminary dean, visited Holy Apostles Church, Mechanicsburg, PA, now in their new church space!    After singing the responses for Great Vespers, the parish hosted a wonderful dinner for all present.  The new church space is quite beautiful.  Archpriest Timothy Hojnicki (STOTS 2005), parish pastor, reflected on being present as a subdeacon on May 8, 2004, when St. Alexis Church, in Clinton, CT, was consecrated, where Fr. Steven was then serving.  Fr. Steven in turn celebrated the wonderful steps now taken by Holy Apostles Church, and expressed his hope to attend consecration services one day!

On May 13th, the Sixth Sunday of Holy Pascha, the St. Tikhon Seminary Mission Choir visited the community of Christ the Saviour and sang the responses at the Divine Liturgy.  Archpriest Stephen Vernak (STOTS, 2007) shared that  it was a special joy to welcome back their former choir director, Rdr. James Latimer, and his growing family! Sunday was also Mother's Day, and the parish "O" Club sponsored gifts for all of the women attending church today. Glory to God for all things! Christ is Risen!  Archpriest Daniel Ressetar (STOTS, 1948), pastorl emeritus, concelebrated the Divine Liturgy!  Fr. Stephen wore a set of his grandfather's vestments, the Mitred Archpriest John Nehrebecki, as he asked for prayers for his 40th day of repose.

Several Photos at Christ the Savior Church, in Harrisburg, PA, Courtesy of PhotoJENNic Imagery

Alumni Update: Ordination of Joshua Coolman (STS 2010) to the Holy Priesthood - 05/12/18

Dn. Joshua Coolman was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Saturday, May 12, 2018, at St. John the forerunner Orthodox Church in Indianapolis, IN.   His Grace Paul, Bishop of Chicago and the Diocese of the Midwest, was the celebrating hierarch.  Fr. Joshua came to St. Tikhon’s for his week of serving training at St. Tikhon’s Monastery, during the continuing education program in progress at the seminary, attending some of the sessions between services.  Axios! May God grant Fr. Joshua Coolman many blessed years!

Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement (OISM) Gathers at St. Tikhon's - 05/12/18

On the weekend of May 11-13, St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary hosted this year’s Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement (OISM) event.  OISM is a Pan-Orthodox organization focused on building bridges between the different seminaries. This year's focus was Orthodox missions and talks were offered by three of the seminary’s faculty, Hieromonk Herman (Majkrzak) Lecturer in Liturgical Theology, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean and Chair of Department of Pastoral Arts and Praxis, and Dr. David Ford, Professor of Church History. In addition to stimulating and informative presentations, the seminarians where able to participate in services at St. Tikhon's Monastery, and spend time getting to know each other and build friendships. It is hoped that the seeds planted here will one day bear fruit for Christ’s Church.

Among the seminary's represented were:  Holy Cross Seminary, Brookline, MA, St. Vladimir's Seminary, Crestwood, NY, and Holy Trinity Seminary, Jordanville, NY.  Those attending this event had time to share in fellowship outside of the scheduled formal sessions, and attend services in the monastery church. 

Story by Seminarian Joseph Clark

St. Tikhon's Celebrates Field Education Graduation - 05/10/18

Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, and Archpriest John Kowalczyk, Director of Field Education, welcomed visitors from our institutional partners who came to honor seminarians completing field education during this past academic year.   Seminarians were honored by:  Michael Freund, Director of Long-Term Care, Donna Getts-Marich, Admissions, Social Services, from Wayne Woodlands Manor; Mary Burgio, Social Work Manager, together with The Rev. Ed Erb, The Rev. Maria McKiernan from Wayne Memorial Hospital; and Norm Demming, Deputy Superintendent for Centralized Services, from SCI Waymart, as shown in each respective group photo.  Archpriest Stephen Powely, Executive Director of Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry, also spent time with students during the course of the day and addressed the gathered group. 

Joseph Sharman, Student Government President, presented newly ordained priests John Segvich and Samuel Davis with wooden pectoral crosses on behalf of the student body.  This is a practice that has continued over the past several years.

Congratulations to all our seminarians completing field education, some participating in the regular field education program, and somecompleting additional hours of visitation and group time toward Clinical Pastoral Education credit.  Thank you to all our institutional partners who have contributed so much to our seminarians’ pastoral formation!

Hospitality a la Russe a Wonderful Success - 05/06/18

Many clergy and faithful gathered together at St. Michael's Center, in Jermyn, PA, for Hospitality a la Russe IX!  The main photo shows seminarians and their families, and seminary administrative team members who also participated in this wonderful event hosted by St. Tikhon's Seminary Century Association.  All those gathered were treated to wonderful music by the Kauriga Balalaika Orchestra during the course of the evening!

Subdeacon John Lasichak, President of the Century Association Board, led the program for the course of the evening.  Archpriest Joseph Martin, Spiritual Advisor, offered the invocation before the meal was served.  Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, welcomed all who attended, and invited the seminarians to look around the room to see all those gathered to support their commitment to complete their studies in pastoral formation.

Subdeacon John presented Fr. Steven with a commitment from the Century Association, including proceeds from this event, in the amount of $15,000!  Fr. Steven thanked those present, as did Archpriest Dennis Swencki, Seminary CFO.

May God grant many years to Subdeacon John and all the members of the Century Association for a wonderful evening together!  Thank you to Archpriest John Kowalczyk, Pastor of St. Michael's Church, for making the Center available for this event.

(Thank you to Barry Bretz, Parishioner of St. Nicholas Church in Bethlehem, PA, who took photos for the evening, featured for this story.)

St. Tikhon's Seminary Student Government Holds Elections - 05/04/18

Student Government met for elections on April 24th.  The 2018-19 Student Government Executive Board members are Joseph Sharman, President; Dn. Michael Shepherd, Vice President; Silouan Burns, Treasurer; Justin Griffing, Secretary; Robert West, Dormitory Representative; Ephraim Tauck, Off-Campus Representative.

The 2017-18 Executive Board members were Joseph Sharman, President; Robert West, Vice President; Augustine Lewton, Treasurer; Isaac Lampart, Secretary; Rony John, Dormitory Representative; Timothy Kolb, Off-Campus Representative.  Gratitude was expressed to those completing their term of office, for their service.

In addition to electing new officers, the spring 2018 Student Government General Assembly approved a number of updates and corrections to the bylaws, and it voted to sell 80th anniversary t-shirts and mugs at the 2018 St. Tikhon's Monastery Pilgrimage.

Student Government sponsors get-togethers for seminarians and families, such as a bowling night in the fall and a softball game in the spring.  Additionally, this year Student Government sponsored a gathering with seminarians and local OCF (Orthodox Christian Fellowship) college students, participated in the annual FOCA (Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America) conference, set up a a small recycling effort on-campus, encouraged students to raise funds from their home parishes for St. Tikhon's, and worked to build stronger lines of communication between the student body and the Board of Trustees.

Story by Seminarian Joseph Sharman, Student Government President

St. Tikhon’s Seminary welcomes Archpriest Moses Berry - 04/23/18

Archpriest Moses Berry, Priest of Theotokos “Unexpected Joy” Orthodox Church in Ash Grove, Missouri, visited St. Tikhon’s Seminary after having participated in the ordination of Dn. Samuel Davis to the Holy Priesthood on Saturday, April 21st.  He gave a talk to members of the seminary and monastery communities on Monday evening, April 23rd.  He is an inspiring presenter to listen to, both in recounting the realities of slavery that he and family members encountered and lived with, and sharing his hopes and dreams for the African-American community within the Orthodox Church.  He celebrated the newly ordained Fr. Samuel Davis as one of the next generation of African-American clergy, seminary trained, to lead his faithful forward!  He shared that currently excavations are occurring on his homestead property that once included a safe-house for slaves, and how those traveling through the area would know whether the way was clear for them to dwell there.

Archpriest Steven Voytovich thanked Fr. Moses for his presentation, and intoned many years for Archpriest Moses, his family and his flock, as well as the newly ordained Fr. Samuel, his family, and his flock.  Many who attended his talk remained to talk further with Fr. Moses, and Seminarian Ephraim Tauck, who knows Fr. Moses, assisted in getting him to seminary from New Jersey, and again back to the airport for his return trip.

Mission Choir Celebrates Historic Visit to Lorain Ohio - 04/22/18

The Mission Choir visited Sts. Peter and Paul Church, in Lorain, Ohio, on April 21-22.   The parish was celebrating its 105th anniversary!  Five years ago, the parish sought to celebrate their 100th anniversary, and Metropolitan Tikhon, who was to join Bishop Paul, was unable to come due to suffering from pneumonia.  Now five years later both Bishop Paul and Metropolitan Tikhon were scheduled to participate in the divine services together.  An “All-Star” version of the Mission Choir (including members who graduated in 2017 who attended Dn. Jonathan Lincoln’s ordination earlier in the day) sang Great Vespers. 

An interesting reunion took place between the Divine Liturgy on Saturday, and Vespers.   Kathy Jacob introduced Fr. Steven to her brother, John Slanta (STOTS 1979).  At Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Fr. Steven also met Archpriest Yves Claude Babich (STOTS 1980), Pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Lakewood Ohio.  In perceiving that they were likely classmates, Fr. Steven brought the two together, who then began sharing their shared seminary experiences!

After Vespers all traveled to St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church for a dinner and program prepared by Samuel Jacob, one of the newest members of the St. Tikhon’s Seminary Board of Trustees.  Protopresbyter Michael Gulgas, Parish Rector, was present for the evening’s events.  Fr. Andrew Bartek, Pastor of Holy Assumption Church in Marblehead, Ohio, closed his parish so he and faithful could participate in the weekend’s events.  A small ensemble of parish parishioners provided music during dinner.

Parishioner Samuel Koukios was emcee for the evening.  Metropolitan Tikhon, Bishop Paul, Michael Herzak (Seminary Board of Trustees Chair), and Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, all offered comments.  The Mission Choir also sang a short program of liturgical music celebrating the Paschal Feast.

In the morning, Metropolitan Tikhon and Bishop Paul concelebrated the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, with Fr. Joseph McCartney, Pairsh Rector, Archpriest Basil Stoyka, and Fr. Andrew Bartek.  Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak served with Protodeacon Edward Kolenda.   The church was packed, well in advance of greeting the hierarchs.  Fr. Joseph presented Fr. Steven with contributions to the seminary that would total nearly $10,000.  The whole parish with celebrants took a parish photo on the front steps of the church!

After the Divine Liturgy, the Mission Choir joined Metropolitan Tikhon in traveling to Ridge Hill Memoral Cemetery.  John Lachowyn responded to a challenge during the Mission Choir’s visit in 2017, committing $1,000 to have the Mission Choir visit his home during this year’s visit, to sing a short program.  John passed away in January, so the Mission Choir sang the responses as Metropolitan Tikhon served a Litya at his graveside, with his wife Rosyln and many family members present.

Later that afternoon all participating in the Divine Liturgy were invited to the home of Sam and Kathy Jacob for an afternoon of more food that they prepared, fellowship, and another short program of liturgical music.

Fr. Steven commented on how moving it was to visit Sts. Peter and Paul Church, feeling their supportive embrace these past few years!    May God grant Fr. Joseph, Archpriest Basil, and parish faithful many blessed years as they look ahead to the next 105 years!

(Photos by Seminarian George Davis)

Alumni Update: Ordination of Dn. Jonathan Lincoln to the Holy Priesthood - 04/21/18

Dn. Jonathan Lincoln (STOTS 2017) was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Saturday, April 21st, at St. Innocent Orthodox Church in Olmsted Falls, Ohio. He was ordained by His Grace, Paul, Bishop of Chicago and the Diocese of the Midwest.  Among the celebrants was Archpriest John Zdinak, Diocesan Chancellor. Fr. Jonathan will be assigned to St. Joseph Orthodox Church in Wheaton, Illinois, as 2nd priest.  Matushka Megan (STOTS 2017) is finishing up a residency CPE year, and the Lincolns are expecting their first child.  Axios to Fr. Jonathan and Mat. Megan! 

It was also incredible to see how many classmates came to be with Fr. Jonathan and Mat. Megan on this special day, captured in one of the photos.  Frs. Mikel Hill, John Kennerk, and Andrew Nelko concelebrated, and Marshall Goodge, Assistant to the Seminary Dean, was also among the faithful.

(Photos by Seminarian George Davis)

Ordination of Dn. Samuel Davis to the Holy Priesthood - 04/21/18

Dn. Samuel Davis, who enrolled in a one-year program of studies this fall, and quickly upon enrollment decided to complete the whole degree program, was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence Michael, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey.  He was ordained in what has been a mission parish in the diocese, St. Simon of Cyrene Mission in New Brunswick, NJ.  Among the concelebrants was Archpriest Moses Berry.  The mission anticipates reaching out to the African-American and Hispanic communities in the local area, and Fr. Samuel’s ordination will allow this mission to work toward a more complete liturgical life even while Fr. Samuel completes his studies.  Axios!  May God grant Fr. Samuel, Matushka Julitssa, and their children Isaac, Morgan, Ava, and Alexander, many years!

(Photos by Seminarian Vjekoslav Jovičić)

St. Tikhon's Celebrates Holy Week and Pascha - 04/09/18

Christ is Risen!

St. Tikhon's Seminary and Monastery communities came together to celebrate Holy Week and Pascha. This is not only the high point of the liturgical year for Orthodox Christians, it is the high point for the academic year!  

Please take a few minutes to look at the two photo galleries, the first representing excerpts from Holy Week, and the second from Paschal Services, with gratitude to Seminarian Robert West who faithfully took photos in the course of all the services.  Archimandrite Philip Mugadizi, Deputy Dean of the Patriarchal Seminary in Nairobi Kenya, was present for the whole of the Great Lenten journey, and is among those captured in the photo from the Paschal Procession.

Indeed He is Risen!

In Memoriam: Mitred Archpriest John Nehrebecki: Updated - 04/07/18

Archpriest John Nehrebecki (STOTS 1950), reposed in the Lord on Holy Saturday.  He was known to especially anticipate the Divine Liturgy celebrated on this day.  Please see the full obituary for Fr. John on the OCA website here.  Fr. John was father-in-law to the ever-memorable Archpriest Alexander Atty who served at St. Tikhon’s as Dean from 2010-2013, and grandfather to Archpriest Stephen Vernak (STOTS 2007) among their children and grandchildren.

Fr. John was a participant in the Metropolitan Leonty Symposium held at St. Tikhon’s Seminary in May of 2015, as one of three members of the delegation receiving the OCA’s Tomos of Autocephaly.   Their collective recollections helped to bring this formative time for our OCA alive for yet another generation! 

2017 was a year including many celebrations for the Nehrebecki family!  Fr. John was granted the dignity of wearing the Miter by His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, Bishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey.  He and Mat. Eugenia celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary on May 22nd, 2017.   Earlier that spring, the Mission Choir visited Christ the Savior Church in Paramus (photo for this story), celebrating the ministry of Fr. Leonid Schmidt (STOTS, 2010) as current pastor, and Fr. John’s legacy in having served the OCA with distinction in faith and in love. 

On Tuesday, April 10, 2018, visitation will be from 12:00 to 7:00 p.m. with a Paschal Funeral service beginning at 7:00 p.m. On Wednesday, April 11, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy will be celebrated. The interment will follow at 4:00 p.m. at St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Cemetery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Father John’s memory to Christ the Saviour Orthodox Church, 365 Paramus Road, Paramus, New Jersey 07652

Memory Eternal to the newly reposed Mitred Archpriest John.

Mission Choir Visits Ohio - 03/25/18

The Mission Choir visited several churches over the weekend of March 24th & 25th. They sang the responses for a full vigil for the feast of the Annunciation at Holy Assumption Orthodox Church in Canton Ohio, and were led by recent graduate and St. Tikhon's alumnus Fr. John Kennerk (STOTS 2017), who gave a wonderful and pastoral explanation of the vigil beforehand to his parishioners who are fairly new to vigil services. Following the service Fr. Mikel (classmate of Fr. John) and Matushka Rachel Hill hosted the Mission choir, as well as the Kennerks and several parish families, for a lovely home-cooked meal at their house. 

On Sunday Morning the Mission Choir sang the responses for the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Annunciation at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Mogadore, Ohio, led by St. Tikhon's Alumnus Father Nicholas Wyslutsky (STOTS, 1989, currently serving as Alumni Treasurer). Each Seminarian, as well as Monastery Director of Music Benedict Sheehan, gave a brief talk at a fish fry following liturgy.  St. Nicholas Church is celebrating its centennial this year!

Finally, the Choir sang a concert with diverse repertoire at St. George's Serbian Orthodox Church in North Canton, Ohio, joined by Alumni Fr. Mikel Hill and Deacon Jonathan Lincoln (STOTS 2017), as well as Joachim Wyslutsky. The concert was well attended and there was a light reception afterwards. The concert itself and the music selection were organized by Fr. Mikel Hill, in conjunction with Benedict Sheehan.

May God grant Fr. Nicholas Wyslutsky, Fr. John Kennerk, Fr. Mikel Hill, Dcn. Jonathan Lincoln, their families and their parish faithful many blessed years!

(Story by Seminarian John Parker, photos by Seminarian George Davis)

Mission Choir Visits Chicago - 03/18/18

St. Tikhon’s Mission Choir traveled all the way to Chicago the weekend of March 17-18!  The choir visited Holy Trinity Church, where Fr. Alexander Koranda (STOTS 2014) is the pastor.  Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, brought St. Tikhon’s Icon of the saints who have walked on the seminary and monastery grounds.  The choir sang vigil on Saturday, and Divine Liturgy on Sunday.

Archpriest David Fox visited with Fr. Alexander earlier in the day on Saturday, and preached on Sunday.  Fr. Alexander asked Fr. Steven to preside at the Divine Liturgy.  Fr. Steven shared at the conclusion of the Liturgy his have related to a number of the previous diocesan archpastors over his lifetime, and celebrated the repose of St. Nicholai of Zhicha, commemorated on March 18th, also the birthday of the late Archbishop Job.  He added that someone encouraged each of their vocations, as a reference to seminarians singing with the choir.

It was also a blessing for Fr. Steven to see John Sutko, Choir Director, and grandfather of Fr. Alexander, after many years, and many other friends over many years.  Fr. Alexander was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on May 6, 2017, and he and Mat. Carly very recently welcomed their first child, Magdalena, into their family.

May God grant Fr. Alexander, his family, and Holy Trinity Parish Faithful many blessed years!

St. Tikhon’s Board of Trustees Holds Spring Meeting - 03/16/18

St. Tikhon’s Board of Trustees met March 15 and 16 at the seminary.  Board committees met on Thursday, bringing together all seminary constituencies with board members, and the full board met all day Friday.  Among the agenda items was the acceptance of three new Board of Trustees Members! 

Dr. Jeffrey Carpenter is Chief of Surgery and Vice President for Surgical Services, Cooper University Hospital and Cooper Health System, serving as a teaching Vascular Surgeon.  Dr. Jeff has held numerous faculty teaching roles.  He holds numerous degrees:  B.A. Degree from Amherst College, majoring in Chemistry, minor in Greek (1981); M.Div. and M.D. Degrees, Yale Divinity School (1986).  He is married and has a son and daughter.  Dr. Carpenter has been recognized on numerous occasions for his surgical expertise as a top doctor at the state level in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and a leading doctor in the nation!

Samuel Jacob is a life-long member of Sts. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Lorain, Ohio.  He has served in multiple roles in the parish (President, Vice President, and Chairman of Finance Committee) and the Diocese of the Midwest. Samuel has served as Superintendent for Water Plants in Lorain and Elyria, Ohio for more than twenty years.  Samuel holds the following degrees:  AS Degree in Chemical Technology from Lorain County Community College, and B.S. in Management (1994) and MBA (2004)  from David Myers University in Cleveland.

Attorney Anthony Frederick Chapekis is a Founding Partner of the Chapekis, Chapekis, Kardas, and Schmidt Law Group in Chicago.  He is licensed for multiple state, appeal, and supreme courts, as well as multiple levels of the federal court system. Attorney Chapekis has been highly involved in the Greek Orthodox community in the Chicago area, serving as Chief Legal Counsel for the Chicago Metropolis.  He has a keen interest in both Orthodox monasticism and theological education.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics from Indiana University (1974), and a Juris Doctor Degree from Chicago-Kent School of Law (1977).

May God grant our new board members many blessed years!

Seminary Mission Choir Visits Allison Park - 03/10/18

St. Tikhon’s Seminary Mission Choir, led by Assistant Director Paul Kappanadze, visited St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Allison Park, on Saturday and Sunday, March 10 and 11.  They sang the responses for the Vigil for the Sunday of the Most Precious Cross, and the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.  Mission Choir members, parishioners, and invited guests enjoyed a wonderful dinner at the home of Protodeacon Dr. Michael and Mat. Mary Wusylko on Saturday night.  Many gathered together also for a luncheon on Sunday following Divine Services.  The parish raised over $13,000 for the seminary!

Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, was asked to lead a parish retreat at the cathedral on Saturday, March 10th.  The retreat theme was: “Let us Draw Near in Faith and Love, and Become Communicants of Life Eternal”.

Fr. Steven shared how uplifting the love and hospitality of the cathedral community was for all visiting the parish during this weekend!

St. Tikhon’s Mission Choir Visits St. Andrew Church in Baltimore, MD - 03/04/18

The Mission Choir visited St. Andrew Church in Baltimore over the weekend of March 3rd and 4th.  They sang the responses for Great Vespers on Saturday evening, followed by a wonderful supper with parishioners.  In the morning the choir sang the responses for the Divine Liturgy, led by Archpriest Theodore Boback, parish rector, Military Chaplain Endorser, and former Alumni President for St. Tikhon’s Seminary.  Each seminarian introduced himself during the luncheon that followed.  The seminary is thankful for the parish’s generosity, raising $5,000 during the weekend, in addition to ongoing monthly seminarian scholarship support. 

May God grant Archpriest Theodore, Dn. James, and parish faithful many blessed years!

St. Tikhon’s Celebrates the Sunday of Orthodoxy - 02/25/18

On Sunday, February 25, the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the children of St. Tikhon’s celebrated the triumphal return of the icons at St. Tikhon's Monastery Church.   Immediately following the Divine Liturgy, the children of the seminarians and parishioners held icons for the congregation to venerate right after the veneration of the Cross.  With so many children presently attending services from the community and the seminary, this celebration was especially meaningful.

A special thanks to all the parents who helped out, and to Seminarian Robert West for taking photos!

Metropolitan Tikhon Leads Clean Week Services at St. Tikhon’s - 02/23/18

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon visited St. Tikhon’s during the first week of Great Lent.  During his visit he led the reading of the Canon of St. Andrew during Great Compline, celebrated the Presanctified Liturgy, and actively participated in other services.  His presence was truly an inspiration to the St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary communities as they came together to celebrate the full cycle of services throughout this first week of Great Lent! 

Eis polla eti Despota!

Marriage celebrated at St. Tikhon’s - 02/11/18

On Sunday, February 11th, Walter Robert Vladimir Parker, Jr., and Zena Hatez were joined in the Sacrament of Marriage.  This followed their being received into the Holy Orthodox Church the day before.  Subdeacon Timothy and Beth Kolb served as sponsors on both Saturday and Sunday.

Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, was the celebrant for the Marriage.  Concelebrating with him were:  Igumen Gabriel (Nicholas), and Priest Matthew Fuhrman (STOTS 2017) preparing for military chaplaincy.  Many of the seminary children were asked to stand with Zena and Bobby during the betrothal. 

In true form with her experience as a pastry chef, Zena prepared their wedding cake, and the meal that all were invited to at the Jefferson County Lions Club hall!  The whole community came together to celebrate with Zena and Bobby as they begin their new life as Orthodox Christians! 

St. Tikhon’s Seminary celebrates Reception of Seminary Cook - 02/10/18

In August of 2016, days before the start of the fall semester, Zena Hatez visited the seminary bookstore to look for a gift for a friend’s wedding.  She was sent across the street to find Fr. Steven Voytovich, asking him:  “Who cooks for you?”  Fr. Steven was overwhelmed by this question as the seminary did not yet have a cook for the fall.  Zena jumped in to prepare meals for a Board of Trustees Meeting before the students returned.  

Zena has not just served as Seminary Cook, she has been preparing to enter the Holy Orthodox Church together with her fiancé, Walter Robert Parker, Jr.   On Saturday, February 10, both Zena Marie and Walter Robert Vladimir were received by Baptism and Chrismation, celebrated by Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean.  Subdeacon Timothy and Elizabeth Kolb served as sponsors on both Saturday and Sunday, as they had been journeying with Zena and Bobby through the last 1.5 years.

During the Homily Fr. Steven reminded all about the above conversation.  He in turn asked a question of Zena and Bobby:  “Who prays for you?” while asking them to turn to see the monastery church full of faithful!

The couple received communion at the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.  Please see related story of their marriage, celebrated on the afternoon of Sunday, February 11th.

May God grant many years to Zena Marie and Walter Robert Vladimir!

St. Tikhon’s Mission Choir Visits Broadview Heights - 01/28/18

On the weekend of January 27-28 St. Tikhon’s Mission Choir visited Archangel Michael Church, in Broadview Heights, Ohio.   Archpriest John Memorich, Parish Rector, welcomed the group.

Archpriest David Fox, St. Tikhon’s Director of Mission Advancement, joined the group for this visitation.   Mr. Michael Herzak, St. Tikhon’s Board Chair, also leads the parish council.

The choir sang Vespers and the Divine Liturgy at Archangel Michael.   Fr. David said the following in the context of the visit:  “Your hospitality, brotherly and sisterly love in Christ really overwhelmed us.” 

May God grant Fr. John and parish faithful many blessed years!

Archpriest David Shewczyk Celebrates Retirement - 01/28/18

On Sunday, January 28th, Holy Trinity Church in Wilkes-Barre celebrated the retirement of their pastor, Archpriest David Shewczyk, after twenty-two years.  His Eminence, Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Eastern Pensylvania, led the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, together with His Grace, David, Bishop of Sitka and the Diocese of Alaska, who surprised Fr. David.  Concelebrating were Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, and Archpriest Joseph Martin, St. Tikhon’s Board Member and retired pastor of Holy Resurrection Church, also in Wilkes-Barre.  Frs. David and Joseph began serving their respective parishes in Wilkes-Barre only months apart from one another.  Protodeacon Sergei Kapral also served from Holy Resurrection Church in Wilkes-Barre.

Later the parish treated Fr. David to a testimonial dinner!  Many came together to join in this celebration.  Gregory Polk, parish Choir Director, served as Toastmaster.  Both Fr. David and Matushka Sharon were remembered with love.  Fr. David was asked to join the choir in singing the Great Prokeimenon, as his tenor voice is as strong as ever.  Matushka Sharon was also recognized with a bouquet of flowers for her active role in parish life in addition to her service as a nurse.  Their sons Nicholas and Timothy were also part of the celebration.

Fr. David served as Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Theology at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, since 1989.  He is a graduate of St. Tikhon’s (1975), also holding degrees from: Siena College (Bachelor of Arts in Psychology), and Marywood University (Master of Arts in Counseling).  Fr. David has served as Assistant Director of Field Education, serving as seminary liaison to both Wayne Memorial Hospital and Wayne Woodlands Manor where students carry out visits.  He has also co-led the Integrative Seminar each year.

St. Tikhon’s celebrated Fr. David’s retirement with a dinner including faculty and administrative team members on Monday, January 15th.  He was presented with a jeweled cross from the seminary that he wore during the above Liturgy and testimonial dinner.  He has impacted on the lives of many students over the years and will certainly be missed. 

Fr. David has sung in a number of choirs over the years:  Bicentennial Choir, Podoben Male Chorus, and Wyoming Valley Orthodox Choir.  He joined alumni, led by Archpriest Daniel Kovalak, in singing at the Molieben to the Theotokos and Anointing of pilgrimage participants at the Memorial Day celebration at St. Tikhon’s.

He and Matushka Sharon will reside in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  May God grant them many years in celebration of all they have collectively offered in service to the Orthodox Church in America!

Century Association Celebrates St. Tatiana Luncheon with Seminary Students - 01/25/18

The Century Association, led by President Subdeacon John Lasichak, hosted the annual St. Tatiana’s Luncheon on Thursday, January 25th.   Seminarians were treated to a wonderful lunch and awesome deserts prepared by association members who were also present.

Century Association members contribute at least $100 each year in support of the seminary.  Subdeacon John presented Fr. Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, with a check for $6,000, representing contributions by many members! 

St. Tatiana is a second-century martyr, the patron saint of students.  This identification occurred in the context of the Empress Elizabeth founding the Moscow University on her feast day in 1755.  St. Tatiana Chapel remains an integral part of that university today.

You too can support the work of the Century Association by becoming a member.  Please click here for more information.  Please also place the date of May 6, 2018 on your calendar, to join Association members and many others to celebrate Hospitality a la Russe IX, at St. Michael’s Center, in Jermyn, PA!

May God grant many years to all those who support the work of the seminary through the Century Association!

St. Tikhon's Seminary Well Represented at March for Life - 01/19/18

This year's March for Life recognizes the 45th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the US.  Please click here to see Metropolitan Tikhon's address for the Sanctity of Life Sunday (Jan. 21).  Metropolitan Tikhon offered the opening prayer this year!

St. Tikhon's Seminary was well-represented during the March.  Archbishop Michael, Seminary Rector, and Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, were among those who stood behind His Beatitude as he offered the opening prayer.   Fr. Ignatius Gauvain, Director of Student Life, came with many seminarians to participate in the march.  Hieromonk Herman (Majkrzak) led the choir during the prayer service led by His Beatitude.  Later, he led those gathered, including many from St. Vladimir's Seminary, in singing while the Orthodox group participated in the March.  

The March for Life is one time during the year when our Orthodox Christian community comes together to literally "walk the walk" in witnessing the sanctity of human life!

Ordination of Dn. John Segvich to the Holy Priesthood - 01/14/18

On Sunday, January 14, 2018, Dn. John Segvich was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in his home parish of St. Luke the Evangelist Orthodox Church in Palos Hills, Ill.

His Grace, the Right Reverend Paul, Bishop of Chicago and the Diocese of the Midwest concelebrated the liturgy with Archpriest Paul Jannakos, Archpriest Andrew Harrison, Priest Danial Doss (STOTS 2010), Protodeacon Andrew Werbiansky, and Dn. John.

After the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, a celebratory banquet was held in the parish fellowship hall. Many members of Fr. John's family were present.

Axios!  May God bless Fr. John, Mat. Wendy and their family as Fr. John completes his pastoral formation this year at St. Tikhon's Seminary.

St. Tikhon's Seminary now accepting applications for Fall 2018 - 01/12/18

St. Tikhon's Seminary is now accepting applications for the upcoming 2018-2019 academic year.  Many ask about application deadlines.  We prefer having materials by early June, as it takes time to contact your references and to conduct a background check.  Please know also that you do not need to wait to submit a completed packet.  Sending in the application form is a good start, and we will work with you as you forward other materials.

To assist you in the application process, please note the following resources here on the seminary website:

Our admissions page, here, offers general information for those applying.  The application page, here, offers all the essential information necessary for assembling application materials.  

The Seminary Bulletin for 2018-2020 is now available on the seminary website.  View this document, here.  

Please feel free to contact the Admissions Committee either by e-mail: or for general questions, call the seminary at 570.561.1818.  It is most helpful if you also send application materials in to the applicants e-mail address above.

St. Tikhon's Seminary Website Updates - 01/11/18

Please take a moment to review updated material on the seminary's website.  For each item, a link is included to take you to the specific page.  

Thank you to all who have contributed to these materials being completed.

Academic Bulletin for 2018-2020, link here.

Audit for 2017 fiscal year, link here.

In Christ,

Fr. Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean

In Memoriam: Julie Voytovich, mother of Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean - 12/15/17

Julie Voytovich, Fr. Steven’s mother, fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, December 16, 2017. The story was featured on our OCA website that you can access here. Fr. Steven and his sister Anne drafted an obituary that you can access here. Memory eternal to the newly departed servant of God, Julie. Funeral services will be held on Friday and Saturday of this week.

Mission Choir offers Concert at Three Saints Church in Ansonia, CT - 12/10/17

St. Tikhon’s Seminary Mission Choir visited Three Saints Church to offer a concert on Sunday afternoon of December 10th.   The program was entitled “God With Us: Chants of the East and West for the Coming of Christ”, and featured the Mission Choir, plus members of the Chamber Choir of St. Tikhon’s Monastery, and was led by Benedict Sheehan, Director of Music.

The parish welcomed the Mission Choir with a wonderful luncheon served by Matushka Cindy Voytovich and parish faithful. Dress rehearsal followed, with the concert beginning at 4pm. Well over 100 people attended the concert, standing at the end to express their gratitude! Fr. Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, thanked all those attending for taking time out of the busy holiday season to come and listen to liturgical and para-liturgical music, keeping the focus of the coming of Christ during this holy season of preparation.

Following the concert was a reception, at which time Fr. Patrick Burns, Parish Priest and St. Tikhon’s Seminary Alumni President, announced that the parish had raised $10,000 for a seminarian scholarship! This action was inspired also in part by conversations that parishioners had with Fr. Steven, Seminary Dean, about the sacrifices that students make in coming to seminary. Steven Zavednak championed contributions by parishioners.

In addition, Fr. Patrick announced that over $4,000 was raised for the concert.! This came in part by generous contributions from sponsors: Wakelee Funeral Home, G.L. Capasso, Inc., Ralph Hull, Riverview, and Edward Adzima Funeral Homes, and Dr. Arnold Rivera. The Mission Choir wishes to thank parishioners assisting in preparing for this concert: Fr. Patrick and Mat. Mara Burns, Mat. Cindy Voytovich, Kathy Gruttadaria, Nancy Dudchik, Andrew and Lynn Hvizd, Nina Kosowsky, Council President, Subdeacon Paul Juzwishen, and others.

Mission Choir Visits Holy Trinity Church in New Britain, CT - 12/10/17

On December 10th the St. Tikhon’s Seminary Mission Choir visited Holy Trinity Church. This visit was even more meaningful in that snow the previous day caused other local parishes to close, bringing more to New Britain! Seminarian John Parker preached the homily, his first as a second-year seminarian. Benedict Sheehan, Director of Music, led the Mission Choir.

Following the Divine Liturgy, the seminarians witnessed the visitation of St. Nicholas to the parish youth. The Mission Choir is grateful to Archpriest David Koles and faithful of Holy Trinity Church!

Special Visitation at St. Tikhon’s - 12/10/17

On Sunday, December 10, Coffee Hour at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery was visited by a special guest. After Divine Liturgy at the Monastery Church the parish community made their way to the Trapeza, where everyone was given the words to the old Saint Nicholas’ Day song “O Kto Kto”. As the community children began to sing, with the adults joining in on the second verse, Seminarian Timothy Kolb, acting as a representative for Saint Nicholas and dressed for the part, made his way up the center isle of the Trapeza and sat in the midst of the children. He told the children stories from the life of Saint Nicholas, and, on behalf of the saint, gave each child a small gift.

Holy Saint Nicholas pray unto God for us!

In Memoriam: Ann Dahulich, Mother of Archbishop Michael - 12/07/17

Ann (Rosics) Dahulich, 91, of Binghamton, NY, fell asleep in the Lord on Wednesday, December 6, 2017.  She was predeceased by her parents, Michael & Anna Rosics; her husband, Peter Dahulich; 2 brothers, Andrew & Michael Rosics; and her sister, Marie Dancho.  She is survived by two sons and a daughter: His Eminence, Michael, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and St. Tikhon's Seminary Rector, George Dahulich (Ret. Capt. USAF), of Centreville, VA., and Barbara Knighton, of Binghamton; 3 grandchildren, Georgia Wimberly (Randall), Shanise Kent (Kyle Wolf) and Jaron Knighton; 5 great-grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Ann was a lifelong member and former secretary of the parish Ladies Guild of St. Michael's Orthodox Church.  She was a retired employee of the City of Binghamton and the Greenman Senior Center. 

A Divine Liturgy with Funeral Service will be celebrated at 10:00 AM on Tuesday at St. Michael's Orthodox Church, 296 Clinton St., Binghamton, NY, with Protopresbyter James S. Dutko, Pastor, and area and visiting clergy officiating.  Burial will be in St. Michael's Cemetery.  Family will receive friends from 4:00-7:00 PM on Monday and on Tuesday from 9:00-10:00 AM at St. Michael's Orthodox Church.  Parastas will be celebrated at 7:00 PM on Monday.  In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to St. Tikhon's Seminary, Box 130, South Canaan, PA. 18459, or to St. Michael's Church, 296 Clinton St., Binghamton, NY  13905, or to Lourdes Hospice Program, 169 Riverside Dr., Binghamton, NY  13905.  

The schedule of services for + Ann Dahulich, Archbishop Michael's mother, is as follows:

Monday, December 11

at St Michael's Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church, 
296 Clinton St., Binghamton, NY  13905

4:00 PM - 7:00 PM Viewing

7:00 PM  Parastas (Panikhida) 

Clergy are invited to serve; wear white vestments.

A light meal will be offered after the Parastas. 

Tuesday, December 12

at St Michael's Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church, 
296 Clinton St., Binghamton, NY  13905

9:00 AM - 10:00 AM Viewing

10:00 AM Divine Liturgy with Funeral Service

Clergy are invited to serve; wear white vestments.

Burial will follow at St. Michael's Cemetery.

A lenten luncheon will follow the burial.  

Memory eternal to the newly reposed servant of God Ann.

Website Updates - 12/06/17

Please see two updates recently completed on the STOTS website.  

First, the 2017 Tikhonaire has been loaded onto the Tikhonaire page.  You can find it by clicking here.  Each of the past year editions are available on the same page.  This issue of the Tikhonaire was dedicated to liturgical music, and we anticipate the release of a live recording of the Divine Liturgy early in 2018.

Second, The Institutional Effectiveness Statement has been revised.  This statement reveals how the seminary is fulfilling its mission.  You can see the revised statement here.  

Thanks be to God for these developments, and for the assistance of all those who have made them possible.

In Christ,

Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean

Archbishop Alexander Visits St. Tikhon's Seminary - 11/13/17

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.  During his visit he met for dinner with students and family members from the Diocese of the South currently studying at St. Tikhon's.  


Alumni Update: 40th Anniversary of Holy Cross Church, Williamsport, PA, with Archpriest Daniel Kovalak - 11/12/17

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.  This mission parish began by celebrating its first Divine Liturgy on November 6, 1977.  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.  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.  

Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, and Deacon Michael Shepherd, Seminarian, particpated in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.  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  2003, son-in-law of the Kovalak's) were among the concelebrating clergy.  The Women's Auxiliary was recognized with a Gramota.

Following the Divine Liturgy, an incredible banquet was held at the Williamsport Country Club, that opened specially on this day!  Comments were offered by Archpriest David Shewczyk (STOTS Class of 1975), and Fr. Steven.  Fr. Steven read portions of a letter forwarded by His Eminence, the Most Reverend Michael, Seminary Rector.  In his letter, His Eminence extended his heartfelt congratulations and warm best wishes to all who were gathered.  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.  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.

Archbishop Mark presented Fr. Daniel and Mat. Myra with the Order of St. Innocent, Silver Class, in celebration of this day.  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.  The parish also presented the seminary with a contribution of $5,000, and the diocese with a contribution of $1,500 for seminarian support!  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.

May God grant Archpriest Daniel, Matushka Myra, and the faithful of Holy Cross Church many blessed years!



St. Tikhon's Seminary Holds Vocations Retreat - 11/11/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  St. Tikhon's Seminary held its annual vocations retreat on Friday, November 10, and Saturday, November 11th.  Four participants heard presentations on Humility and Obedience in St. John Chrysostom, the theme of the retreat.  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.   Seminarians participated in the retreat by sharing about their journey now as seminarians.  

Seminary Hosts Presentation on OCA Sexual Misconduct Guidelines - 11/06/17

On Monday evening, November 6th, St. Tikhon's Seminary hosted Bernard Wilson, of the OCA's Sexual Misconduct Policy Advisory Committee (SMPAC).  He presented on the OCA Sexual Misconduct Policies, applicable to the seminary community.  This presentation is especially important as more children are part of the seminary community at present.  Wilson shared many vignettes to further highlight points being made.

All seminary constitutencies were asked to attend the presentation, and to sign off on their knowledge of these policies.  


STOTS Administration, Seminarian, Participate at Patriarchal Liturgy - 10/29/17

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.

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 “In Defense of Christians” summit in Washington D.C.

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.

Alumni Update: In Memoriam - 10/29/17

Archpriest Stephen Mack (STOTS, 1976), long-time pastor of St. Nicholas Church, Auburn, NY, fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, October 22nd. Please see the full story of his ministry and repose on our OCA website, here. Memory eternal to Fr. Stephen, and our prayers are with his family.

Matushka Marie Kreta fell asleep in the Lord on Monday, October 23rd. She was married to Archpriest Joseph Kreta (STOTS, 1952) who was directly involved in founding St. Herman’s Seminary where they remained for thirty years. Burial will be on Monday, October 30, 11am, at St. Tikhon’s Monastery. You can view the full write-up of her repose on the OCA website here. Memory eternal to Matushka Marie.

Also, memory eternal to Protodeacon Keith Russin, who fell asleep in the Lord on Thursday, October 26th..  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.   Funeral services will be celebrated at 7pm on Wedneday, Nov. 1st, at Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre, where he was serving. 

STOTS Holds Fall Board Meeting - 10/27/17

The STOTS Fall Board of Trustees Meeting was quite full, beginning with elections for the coming year.  All current board leadership roles are continuing:  Michael Herzak, Chair, Mitch VanDuyn, Vice Chair, Mat. Nancy Gilbert, Secretary, and David Jarrett, Treasurer.

Several presentations were made to the board as well.  John Della Monica, President, and Popadija Katherine (Kitty) Vitko, Board Member, presented on the work of the Orthodox Church Capital Improvement Fund (OCCIF).

The board also welcomed Dean Harbry, a Professional Certified Coach, and Founder of Internal Innovations, LLC—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.

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’s follow-up after the November 2016 ATS site visit.

In the afternoon the board welcomed audit firm representatives completing their audit of this past fiscal year’s financial records.

St. Tikon’s Seminary Students Meet together with Local OCF Leadership - 10/14/17

After several email correspondences over the past few years between the St. Tikhon’s Student Government and local OCF chapters, on Saturday, October 14th, St. Tikhon’s Seminary received the blessing of hosting five Orthodox Christian college students of the local Orthodox Christian Fellowship to gather for a day of fellowship and pilgrimage. Scranton University senior and OCF area president Alaina N. Dimitriou and Wilkes University senior and OCF area secretary Eleni Moustardas were joined by Orthodox college students Gregory Yannes, Andrea Boosalis, and Alexandra P.

The sunny Fall day began at Ritter’s Cider Mill. Dimitriou, Moustardas, Boosalis, and Yannes were joined by St. Tikhon’s second-year Isaac Lampart and first-year Ephraim Tauck, the latter of whom was accompanied by his wife Athanasia Tauck, and their little Lucia and baby Nikolai. The friends shared Ritter’s fresh cider donuts and enjoyed petting the farm animals with Lucia, after which all took part in a hayride through the farm and forest, crowning the morning with cold apple cider.

The students and seminarians convened at the Monastery Bookstore for coffee, where they were joined by Father Timothy Cremeens of Holy Resurrection Cathedral in Wilkes-Barre, PA, who accompanied the group to the Seminary Dining Hall for a generous brunch specially prepared by STOTS cook, Zena Hatez. During lunch, Director of Student Affairs Father Ignatius Gauvain welcomed the OCF students to St. Tikhon’s Seminary, and offered a pointed word on the seminary’s unique role in the formation of servant leaders of the Orthodox Church in America, after which second-year Subdeacon Timothy Kolb of Wasilla, AK offered a thought-provoking and poignant thirty-minute presentation on his personal experiences of Orthodox Christianity in Alaska.

After lunch, Subdeacon Timothy Kolband and Seminarian Isaac Lampart escorted the students to the Monastery Refectory. St. Tikhon’s Monastery Abbot, Father Sergius, offered a word on the life of the monastery for the Church, and lovingly encouraged the OCF students to endure in the Orthodox Christian life, even in college.  Fr. Sergius stated: "Never be afraid to be an Orthodox Christian. You will never regret it.”

Following Father Sergius’ presentation, Monastery Igumen Father Gabriel kindly conveyed the group into St. Theodosios’ Chapel to venerate the Miracle Working Icon of St. Anna. Afterwards, Father Gabriel offered a tour of the Monastery Museum, accompanied the group on a walk to the Monastery’s fresh-water spring, and invited all into the Monastery Church to venerate the holy icons and relics of the saints of St. Tikhon’s and North America.

The students departed with smiles and thanksgiving. “Thank you very much for hosting us, St. Tikhon's!” remarked Moustardas. “It was such a blessing to receive your warm welcome and tour of the Monastery grounds.”

St. Tikhon’s Seminary Student Government looks joyfully forward to continued friendships with the local OCF chapter over the years to come.

(Story and photos by Seminarian Isaac lampart)

St. Tikhon's Seminary Century Association Holds Annual Meeting - 10/08/17

On Founder's Day, October 8th, following a festive luncheon hosted by the seminary, the St. Tikhon's Seminary Century Association held their annual meeting.  Subdeacon John Lasichak, President, led the meeting, calling upon association leadership to report on successful fundraising activities through the course of the year.  Archpriest Dennis Swencki, Chief Financial Officer, shared heartfelt gratitude, on behalf of the seminary, for all the efforts of the Century Association to support the seminary, including the wonderful annual event they host, Hospitality a la Russe!  

Subdeacon John presented a check, on behalf of the Century Association, to Seminary Dean, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, totaling $7,000 as the meeting concluded.  All shared in enjoying fellowship and deserts following the meeting.  Century Association members support the seminary with annual gifts of at least $100.  You can find out more about the Century Association here.

St. Tikhon's Community Celebrates Founder's Day - 10/08/17

On Sunday, October 8th, St. Tikhon's Community gathered together to celebrate Founder's Day.  This is the Sunday closest to the Feast of the Glorification of St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow, who founded the monastery.  The day began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.  Monastery Abbot, Archimandrite Sergius was the celebrant, together with Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, and clergy from the seminary and monastery. 

Archimandrite Sergius appealed to all gathered, during the homily, to continue pursuing the vision of St. Tikhon, with continual prayerful support of the mission of Orthodoxy in North America, modeled by the daily prayers of the monastery community.  This year is a special year in that we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of St. Tikhon's elevation to the Patriarchate!

Following the Liturgy, the seminary invited all to come and participate in a festive luncheon.  Fr. Steven thanked all of the members of the Fellowship of St. Tikhon and St. Nikolai for their support of the seminary.  He then thanked the members of the Century Association, inviting Subdeacon John Lasichak to address those gathered for the luncheon.

The Century Association later held their annual meeting.  To see this related story, please click here.

(Photos by Seminarian Robert West)

St. Tikhon's Seminary Wives Gather Together - 10/03/17

On Tuesday, Oct. 3, the St. Tikhon's Wives Group had a very inspiring "Meet the Matushka" event via Skype with Mat. Kristen Smith in Florida. Mat. Kristen shared helpful advice she'd been given, spoke about her own experiences, and answered the thoughtful questions that many of those who attended had.. Altogether 13 wives attended and were able to enjoy a time of fellowship, as well as benefit from shared wisdom.

(Photo and story submitted by Dr. Mary Ford)

Alumni Updates: Archpriest Nicholas Molodyko-Harris and Archpriest Theophan Buck - 09/30/17

On Sunday, September 17, 2017, at the 50th Anniversary of the founding of St. Innocent Bicentennial Cathedral in Anchorage, Alaska, St. Tikhon’s Seminary Alumnus, the Very Rev. Archpriest Nicholas Molodyko-Harris (STOTS ‘61) was honored by His Grace, Bishop David of Alaska, with the right to wear the Miter. Father Nicholas and Matushka Anastasia had labored for more than three decades in the building of St. Innocent’s Cathedral, making the honor bestowed upon him there at the celebration of the parish in Anchorage all the more appropriate. Many years to the newly Mitered Archpriest Nicholas & Mat. Anastasia!  

(Story and photo received from Archpriest Timothy Hojnicki (STOTS, 2005), Fr. Nicholas’ son-in-law)

The Rev. Theophan Buck (STOTS, 2010), Matushka Elena, and their daughter Eliza were miraculously saved from harm as a 100-year-old tree nearly destroyed their home in the midst of Hurrican Irma’s onslaught. They have moved into a rental home as work is undertaken to repair their home. Fr. Theophan is pastor of St. Innocent Orthodox Church, Macon, GA. Please keep them in your prayers.

St. Tikhon's Seminary Participates in Chancery's Patronal Feast Day - 09/23/17

On Saturday, September 23rd, clergy and seminarians from St. Tikhon's Seminary traveled to our OCA Chancery in Syosset to participate in the annual celebration of the patronal feast day of the St. Sergius of Radonezh Chapel.  Clergy and seminarians from St. Vladimir's Seminary particpated as well. 

You can see the write-up offered on the OCA website here that includes the concelebrating hieararchs, and view some of our photos taken below.  

St. Tikhon's Seminary Announces Fall Lecture Series - 09/19/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] St. Tikhon's Seminary announces its annual Fall Lecture Series.  This year's series is focused on "Back to Basics".  The series will run on Tuesday evenings:  October 10, 17, 24, and 31, beginning at 7pm in the seminary refectory.  You can download a flyer to post here.

Marshall Goodge — “The Panagia: Our Mother and our Model”

Marshall Goodge (STOTS 2017) is serving as the Assistant to the Dean upon graduation from seminary with his M.Div. Degree. Marshall received Honors in Theology for his Thesis: “O Virgin Pure”: The Roman Catholic Doctrine of the Immaculate Conception and the Sinlessness of the Virgin Mary, East and West.”

 Archbishop Michael, Ph.D. — “What is the Bible? An Orthodox Understanding”

His Eminence is the Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary. He is Professor of New Testament and Pastoral Theology and Department Chair of Scripture at the seminary, and holds a Ph.D. Degree from Duquesne University.

Protopresbyter George Alexson “Perfecting the Shepherd”

Fr. George (STOTS 1969) has been a priest in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese for forty-eight years. He retired in 2010 from the Annunciation Cathedral, Atlanta, GA. Upon returning to Northern Virginia, he accepted an invitation to assist in developing Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church, in Loudon County.

Jessica Suchy-Pilalis, Ph.D. — “Basics of Liturgical Music”

Dr. Jessica teaches at the Crane School of Music, Potsdam University, Potsdam, NY. She is currently on sabbatical and has recently returned from Greece. She is also an accomplished harpist in addition to her work in liturgical music.

To indicate your interest in attending, please contact the seminary: 

Alumni Update: Dn. Timothy Winegar Ordained to the Holy Priesthood - 09/14/17

Dn. Timothy Winegar (STOTS Class of 2016) was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on the Feat of the Elevation of the Holy Cross, September 14th.  His Eminence, Benjamin, Archbishop of San Francisco and the Diocese of the West was the celebrant, and the ordination took place at Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Sacramento, CA.  May God grant Fr. Timothy and Matushka Joni many blessed years as they begin this newest chapter of their vocational journey.

St. Tikhon's Seminary Announces new Director of Mission Advancement - 09/05/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  The St. Tikhon's Seminary community is pleased to have the Very Reverend Dr. David R. Fox join our staff as the new Director of Mission Advancement. Father David is the Rector of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Randolph, NJ (OCA), and Director of Development at Bonnie Brae, a nationally recognized therapeutic residential school for at-risk youth in Liberty Corner, Bound Brook, New Brunswick, and Bridgewater, NJ. 

Previously, Fr. David served as Vice President of Development for Covenant House International, the world’s largest non-profit shelter program for homeless youth, and Director of Development for Covenant House New Jersey. Father David is credited with building two vibrant university model major gift development departments, at Covenant House New Jersey and at Bonnie Brae, and for overseeing successful capital campaigns at Holy Trinity and St. Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Churches. A graduate of Wake Forest (B.A.) and Drew Universities (M.Phil., Ph.D.), and Princeton (M.Div.) and St. Vladimir’s Orthodox (Th.M.) Theological Seminaries, Fr. David has taught World Religions, Introduction to Religion, Introduction to Philosophy, and Humanities courses variously at Seton Hall, Fairleigh Dickinson, and Montclair Universities. 

Father David was the first Pastoral Minister for Covenant House New Jersey in Newark, where he coordinated residential programs with social workers, attorneys and physicians and served staff and homeless youth as a street outreach worker, chaplain and educator. He is thankful to bring his pastoral, development and educational experience to his new role serving St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, and asks for the help of all those dedicated to the Seminary’s important mission. Father David will be reaching out to St. Tikhon’s alumni, benefactors and Orthodox parishes in order to deepen the Seminary’s partnership with them.  He may be reached at  or at (570) 561-1818, extension 104.

St. Tikhon's Seminary Community Gathers for Labor Day Picnic - 09/04/17

St. Tikhon's Seminary community, students and families, administrative team members, and faculty members gathered together on Monday, September 4th, for an annual picnic as the new school year got underway.   As is evident from the photos, all who came together enjoyed the day, including a sumptuous feast that included pot luch dishes brought by those attending!  As this year's incoming class includes mostly married students, the day was filled with children making friends even as seminarians met one another.

Photos by Seminarian Robert West

St. Tikhon's Students Attend FOCA Convention - 09/03/17

As orientation for incoming and returning students came to an end on Friday, September 1, three second-year St. Tikhon’s seminarians made their way to the Harrisburg/Hershey Sheraton Hotel for the 91st Annual Convention of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA). Accompanied by His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, Seminary Rector, from Friday evening until Monday morning, Alexander Norton, Student Government Vice President, Bob West, Secretary, and FOCA Representative Isaac Lampart (FOCA Chapter 121), enjoyed three days of prayer, fellowship, and plenary sessions surrounded by friends familiar and new.

The Convention commenced on Friday evening with a reception.  After the reception Alexander, Bob, and Isaac helped Deacon Peter Ilchuk construct the portable iconostasis for the weekend’s services, which had been stored at the seminary.

The next day, FOCA’s National Spiritual Advisor, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, encouraged those gathered to take a deep look at the underlying questions facing us today as Orthodox Christians, and how FOCA may respond and contribute as an organization with a history and a heritage. Archbishop Michael followed His Beatitude by offering a heartfelt talk on married student housing, thanking FOCA for all of their generous work over the years to move this project, and described with great love the faithful student families of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, and their children, whom FOCA would assist in housing. According to His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon: “We are closer to the end goal than we have been.”

On Saturday evening, seminarians were happy to reconnect with St. Tikhon’s Alumnus, Father Steven Vernak (STOTS 2007) and the parishioners of Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Harrisburg, PA, who visited the hotel for Great Vespers. Afterwards, alongside Archbishop Michael and Bishop David of Alaska, Alexander, Bob, and Isaac enjoyed the Euro-Slavic music and dance performance by Duquesne University’s “Tamburitzans.” On Sunday morning, a Hierarchical Liturgy was officiated by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, followed by an evening dinner banquet and dance.    

“Whenever we represent our seminary, whether at the Century Association or on Mission Choir trips, I always return to South Canaan with a full heart,” remarked FOCA Representative Isaac Lampart. “All the prayerful generosity which FOCA has offered to this school and its students over the years, and continues to offer, was made personally manifest by the joy with which we were greeted by FOCA at the conference this weekend. I believe I speak for all of us when I say we are humbly inspired by FOCA’s generosity to St. Tikhon’s future leaders of the Church. We are grateful! We hope that our seminary’s relationship with FOCA might deepen as the years go on, both for those currently enrolled here, and for alumni who have already graduated, now serving in their own parishes.”

Story by Seminaran Isaac Lampart, photos by Seminarian Robert West.

Alumni Update: St. Tikhon’s Seminary Alumni Gather at the Seminary - 08/31/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]

While the seminary was engaged in orientation for new and returning students, St. Tikhon’s Alumni came together for a series of events from Wednesday, August 30th through Friday September 1st.   Alumni Association leadership planned for an impromptu golf outing on Wednesday, followed by dinner.

On Thursday, alumni came together for lunch to meet new students. The Alumni Retreat then followed, with presentations by Drs. Ford.  Thursday’s seminar with Dr. Mary Ford, was focused on The Eternality of Marriage and A Case Study of Biblical Exegesis. Friday’s seminar with Dr. David Ford was titled:Sing to Your Soul” - A Festival of Wisdom on the Christian Life in the Writings of St. John Chrysostom. With special emphasis on dealing with despondency: the Letters of St. John Chrysostom to the Deaconess St. Olympia. A small group discussion followed the presentations, and all gathered at the Monastery Church to celebrate the beginning of the new liturgical year.

This is the second year that alumni have chosen to gather with returning students during orientation week. Among the highlights of this time together, the alumni hosted a barbecue on Thursday evening with opportunities for fellowship and sharing a meal together.

Fr. Patrick Burns, Alumni President said: We are grateful for our alumni returning home, both to celebrate their ongoing relationship to the seminary and monastery, and to assist new students in building this relationship as they begin their studies!”   May God bless the ministry of our seminary alumni who are serving around the world!

St. Tikhon’s Seminary begins new Academic Year - 08/29/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]

The new school year got underway on August 28 with orientation for new students. A total of sixteen new M.Div. students began orientation on Monday, along with two one-year special study students for a total of 18 new students! Members of the new class include 17 men and one woman, all but one of whom are married! Thirteen of our new students come from OCA parishes, two from the Antiochian Archdiocese, and one each: Bulgarian Patriarchate, ROCOR, and Serbian.   Several other applicants are delayed in arriving due to immigration-related concerns. All were heartily welcomed by the St. Tikhon’s community!

Orientation week included presentations from and opportunities to meet members of the administrative team and faculty.   Returning students joined the new students on Thursday for student-body orientation sessions. In addition, alumni came to the campus on Thursday and Friday for continuing education, an alumni barbecue, and to develop relationships with new and returning students. (See alumni retreat story here).

Of the photos accompanying this story, the first shows the new students upon arrival, and the second following their receiving a blessing to wear their cassocks following the Divine Liturgy on Thursday morning. His Eminence, Michael, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and St. Tikhon’s Seminary Rector, was present through most of the week to welcome and meet with new students, and joined Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, in congratulating new seminarians on Thursday morning, indicating his encouragement that seminarians perceive the wearing of their cassocks as constant prayer.

The whole St. Tikhon’s community will gather for a Labor Day picnic before beginning classes on Tuesday, September 5th.   May God grant our new and returning seminarians a fruitful journey through this new academic year!

Alumni Update: Archimandrite Athanasius (Nos) Elected Bishop of Poznan, Poland - 08/28/17

Then Miroslav Nos came to St. Tikhon’s Seminary from Elevation of the Holy Cross Church, Jalovka, Poland. He was at St. Tikhon’s during the canonization of St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre, and graduated with his M.Div. Degree in May, 1995.  

Archimandrite Athanasius (Nos) currently has two obediences in the Church: he is the abbot of the famous monastery of St. Onuphrius in Jabłeczna, and the dean of all Orthodox monasteries in Poland. You can see an interview with Archimandrite Athanasius about his ministry here, dated in 2011.

Archimandrite Athanasius’ consecration is set for September 24, 2017. May God grant Archimandrite Athanasius many blessed years!

St. Tikhon’s Seminary Holds Successful 20th Annual Alumni Golf Tournament - 08/19/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  On Saturday, August 19th, a wonderful field of golfers came together for the 20th annual Alumni Golf Tournament, held at the Jack Frost National Golf Course in Lake Harmony, PA! The weather was perfect for the day. We are also grateful for all our sponsors this year, who together raised nearly $10,000! We are grateful for our long-standing Planning Committee members appearing in the photo, from left to right: Bernie Golubiewski , Archpriest John Kowalczyk, Archpriest David Shewczyk, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, Peter Rezanka, and Ted Sovyrda. Thank you also to Marshall Goodge and Spencer Printing for the beautiful program book that was put together.

As this was the 20th anniversary, two reflections were offered by two of our long-standing planning committee members, and Alumni of the Seminary (1975):

From Fr. John Kowalczyk:

           I recall 20 years ago hearing of Bernie Golubiewski  and his love for the game of golf, and we were brainstorming in the Seminary on how to get more people involved in supporting our school. I remember placing the call and speaking with Bernie and asking him if he would be interested in helping me organize a “Golf Tournament” for the benefit of the Seminary, and without hesitation he said it sounded like a great idea and he enlisted Teddy Sovyrda to help and the rest is history.

From  Fr. David Shewczyk:

It’s hard to believe that we are into our 20th tournament. I remember the early conversations when it was said that the tournament would take on a life of its own. I am grateful to our supporters and participants throughout the years, several of whom have been with us for most, if not all, of the tournaments! I look forward to seeing everyone again this year.

Next year’s golf tournament is scheduled for Saturday, August 18, 2018!!!

(Those captured in the golfing photos include:  Dr. Paul Witek, Director of Academic Affairs, Matushka Cindy Voytovich, and Nancy Dudchik.)

St. Tikhon’s Seminary Board of Trustees Holds Early Fall Meeting - 08/18/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  St. Tikhon’s Board of Trustees gathered together at the seminary on August 17-18.   A highlight of this meeting was the opportunity to interact with Michael Crofton, from Philadelphia Trust, who oversees the investments related to the seminary’s endowment.   The seminary is indeed grateful for incredible good stewardship that Michael Crofton continues to actively manifest in managing our investment portfolio!

(Photos, Marshall Goodge, Assistant to the Dean)

St. Tikhon's to Hold Joint 2nd Annual Retreat for Alumni and Seminarians - 08/08/17

South Canaan, Pa. — The Alumni Association of St. Tikhon's Seminary is holding a 24-hour retreat on August 31 – September 1. 

All alumni are welcome to attend at no cost, and there will be an opportunity for those who live far away to register for an online broadcast of the seminars and annual meeting.

Featured speakers include Drs. David and Mary Ford; participants in the full retreat will earn five continuing education credits.

“As with last year’s hugely successful retreat, we are once again hoping alumni will take advantage of this opportunity to earn continuing education credits, catch up with fellow alumni, participate in the Monastery services, and spend time with current and incoming seminarians,” said Fr. Patrick Burns, president of the association, said. “This year we will be having an informal round of golf prior to the start of events at the seminary, all in the hopes of bolstering more alumni fellowship.”

Thursday’s session with Dr. Mary Ford will be:  “The Eternality of Marriage and a Case Study of Biblical Exegesis”.  Friday’s session with Dr. David will be:  “Sing to Your Soul - A Festival of Wisdom on the Christian Life in the Writings of St. John Chrysostom, with special emphasis on dealing with despondency: the Letters of St. John Chrysostom to the Deaconess St. Olympia”.  In addition to the seminars, there will be a small group discussion session, and prayer in the monastery church.

A flyer which includes the retreat's schedule is available for download and printing here.

"We hope this retreat, developed from a suggestion by our alumni, is now on its way to becoming a new tradition, fostering deeper relationships among alumni and current seminarians over time," Archpriest Steven Voytovich, STOTS Dean, said. 

To inquire about the retreat or to register, contact Marshall Goodge at 570.561.1818, ext. 101 or by e-mail: 

Donations to support this new initiative are also welcome.

"The Alumni Association plans to cover the cost of holding this event, including food, instruction, and the online component," Fr. Burns said. "To do so we need your support."

Please send checks payable to "St. Tikhon's Seminary" to Fr. Patrick Burns at 59 Clifton Ave
Ansonia, CT 06401-2203, or contact him with questions at

St. Tikhon'sSeminary Celebrates Staffing Changes - 08/06/17

St. Tikhon's Seminary is pleased to announce the following staff changes:

Marshall Goodge (STOTS Class of 2017) is beginning his new role as Administrative Assistant to the Dean.

Dr. Paul Witek, (STOTS Class of 2000) who had been Assistant to the Dean for Academic Affairs, has been promoted to Director of Academic Affairs, including the role of Registrar.

Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, stated: "I am excited about these changes that are already making a difference in the life of the Seminary!"

We also offer prayerful best wishes to those who are leaving their positions at the seminary:

Sergei Arhipov retired after graduation in May.  Though he will no longer be Registrar, he will continue on a part-time basis as Librarian.

Teresa Vaux Michel moved across the street to begin her duties at St. Tikhon's Monastery Bookstore.

Seraphim Danckaert left the seminary in July to become the Executive Director of FOCUS.

May God grant many years to the servants of God Paul and Marshall, and Godspeed to Sergei, Teresa, and Seraphim toward their next endeavors.

Alumni Update: Archpriest Nicholas Timpko Elevated to the Dignity of Mitred Archpriest - 07/23/17

His Eminence, Nikon, Archbishop of Boston, New England, and the Albanian Archdiocese gathered together with clergy and faithful from the CT Deanery, and New England Diocese to witness Archpriest Nicholas Timpko (STOTS 1962) receive a mitre, on Sunday afternoon, July 23rd.  Archpriest John Kreta, Chancellor, and Archpriest John Hopko, Deanery Dean, along with current Rector of Three Saints Church, in Ansonia, where Fr. Nicholas served for 27 years, Priest Patrick Burns, led the celebration with many diocesan priests, deacons, and faithful.  Many extended members of the Timpko family were present as well.

In bestowing the dignity of wearing the mitre to Archpriest Nicholas, Archbishop Nikon observed that he played a significant role in building the current spiritually vibrant nature of the CT Deanery, both as Deanery Dean, and Chancellor when Archbishop Nikon first came to the New England Diocese.  In recognition of Matushka Anastasia's role alongside her husband, a tiarra was given to her.

Archpriest Steven Voytovich, St. Tikhon's Seminary Dean shared a homily connecting the core of Fr. Nicholas' ministry as linked to that of the first saints of Rus, celebrated on this day, Sts. Boris and Gleb.  The saints suffered and died at the hands of their politically motivated brother, dying as innocent and voluntary victims in conscious imitation of Christ.  Fr. Nicholas endured many struggles personally and in his priestly ministry, and sought to spiritually transform, through God's grace, these experiences into further depth of ministry with those in need.  He also addressed all gathered, sharing in turn the gifts of ministry he experienced from Archbishop Nikon as he came to the Diocese of New England.

It was incredible to witness the whole deanery coming together for this celebration!  Archpriest Nicholas said that this award was not for him personally, but for all.  After the Vespers service was completed, all present gathered for festive dinner together in the church hall.  Nina Kosowsky, Parish Council President, shared greetings on behalf of the parish, and in her leadership role recognized Fr. Nicholas' role in establishing the Fellowship of Orthodox Churches of CT (FORCC).

Axios to Archpriest Nicholas Timpko, and many years to Matushka Anastasia and all the members of their family!

Photos by Subdeacon Nektary Lukianov

St. Tikhon’s Summer Camp - 07/03/17

During the week of Summer Camp, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, welcomed those attending the camp on Sunday.  His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, Seminary Rector, shared with several groups of campers during the course of the week.  The focus this year was on the Mother of God.  Thanks be to God the weather was beautiful for the many outdoor activities that are part of the camp week. 

While daily prayers are offered in the pavilion during the week, all came together for Vespers on Friday at the monastery church, and Divine Liturgy on Saturday.   May those participating in the Summer Camp be renewed through this experience of fellowship, learning, and fun!

(Photos, Seminarian Robert West)

In Memoriam, Protodeacon Gregory Hatrak - Updated - 07/02/17

St. Tikhon’s Seminary received word early on Sunday, July 2nd, that Protodeacon Gregory Hatrak (STOTS, 1994) reposed in the Lord on the evening of July 1st. He was only 46 years old.

Dn. Gregory came to seminary from Sts. Peter and Paul Church, Minersville, PA, and graduated during the same Memorial Day weekend that St. Alexis was canonized. 

Dn. Gregory served as Bookstore Manager for St. Tikhon’s Seminary/Monastery for many years.  More recently he has served as Director of Marketing and Operations for St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press and Bookstore.

He married his wife Robyn (Alexander) on October 19, 2008.  Gregory was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by then Bishop Tikhon, on Sunday, September 26, 2010, at his home parish of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Minersville, PA during the parish’s 100th anniversary celebration. (See photo)

Matushka Robyn began serving in 2016 as Director of Hospitality and Alumni Relations at St. Vladimir’s Seminary. Most recently Deacon Gregory was elevated to Protodeacon on May 23, 2017.  Protodeacon Gregory leaves behind his wife, Matushka Robyn, his parents, Archpriest Michael and Matushka Valeria Hatrak, his brother Matthew and Lori (sister-in-law) Hatrak, and sister, Natalie Hatrak.

Memory eternal to the newly departed servant of God, Protodeacon Gregory.  

Funeral Service Schedule:

Wednesday, 5 July (St. Vladimir’s Seminary, Crestwood, NY)

On Wednesday morning, July 5, at 10:00 a.m., a Panikhida for Pdn. Gregory will be served at St. Vladimir’s Seminary’s Three Hierarchs Chapel. Prior to the Panikhida, at 9 a.m., a viewing will be held. Immediately following the Panikhida, a repast will be held in the Seminary’s Germack Building.

Wednesday, 5 July (St. Tikhon’s, South Canaan, PA)

There will be an opportunity for viewing in the monastery church when Protodeacon Gregory’s relics reach the monastery grounds.  Regular daily services will occur in the monastery church, beginning at 4:30pm.

7:30 PM — Funeral

Thursday, 6 July

9:30 AM — Divine Liturgy, followed by Last Kiss and Burial here in our cemetery.  The repast will be at St. Michael's Center, 403 Delaware Street, Jermyn, PA  18433. 

For those wishing to make a contribution in Protodeacon Gregory’s memory, a Memorial Fund has been established for the benefit of Matushka Robyn. 

Continuing Education Program at St. Tikhon’s Seminary Concludes - 06/22/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan]  This year’s continuing education program was focused on the theme:  “With the Saints Give Rest, O Christ, to the Soul of Thy Servant”.  The program ran from Tuesday-Thursday, June 20-22.

Presentations were offered from various vantage points related to this theme.  Fr. Ian Pac Urar, Director of the OCA’s Department of Continuing Education, presented an interactive focus on ending one’s pastorate, including preparation for and entering into retirement.  Exercises with participants were helpful to highlight some of the points Fr. Ian offered.

Excerpts from Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann’s course (tape recorded) on The Liturgy of Death, provided a theological foundation for the program.  At that time, Fr. Alexander shared that he could find no research having been done on the services related to the Liturgy of Death that he then proceeded to outline.  Clergy now a generation or two away from Fr. Alexander’s time heard his review of the services, and his effort to untangle seeming contradictions in the instructions within the services as rendered in the Hapgood Service book. 

Wednesday’s portion of the program focused on preparation for burial.  Dr. Irene Kacandes, who was preparing for a trip to Europe and was still open to participating in this program, pre-recorded both a presentation reflecting the ongoing work of her parish, and again a demonstration of preparing someone for burial.  Then, via Skype, the group had the opportunity to interact with her directly in following up from those presentations.   In the afternoon, Archpriest Michael Senyo presented on preparing clergy for burial, in having served in this capacity on numerous occasions. 

On Thursday the participants had the opportunity to hear from Joseph Scotchlas, a local Funeral Director, after he also sat through most of the previous sessions.  Joseph was quite engaging and reflective not only on the work of the funeral director, but clarifying how our Orthodox community can still be engaged with local funeral homes even in the process of preparing the newly departed for burial.  He also shared some information on pre-planning, and clarified the law related to dimension of the burial process.

Archpriest Steven Voytovich offered the final presentation that sought to weave a tapestry covering patristic and other resources in reflecting on the ministry of those who suffer, a review of the early church’s effort to redirect Christian burial from pagan practices that were in place including cremation, advance care planning, divorce as a type of death less recognized in the life of the church, and a brief reflection on the services related to the funeral in light of the Fr. Alexander’s research. 

Participants of the program related that this year’s program was more focused and practical, and that for the registration fee of $100 was a bargain to complete most of the required annual continuing education.   Thank you to all our presenters, and to Zena for the wonderful meals (within the realm of the fast!) that were also very well received.  We are also grateful for Silouan and Gloria Burns for assisting in many ways during the course of these days as Silouan prepares to enter seminary here this fall!  Finally, we are grateful for the opportunity for participants to participate in daily services at the monastery church during the course of the program.

Hospitality A La Russe VIII -- a Wonderful Success! - 06/07/17

Members of St. Tikhon’s Seminary Century Association, clergy, matushki, seminarians, and friends enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of food and fellowship at Hospitality ala Russe VIII on Sunday, May 7, at St. Nicholas Church Center, in Bethlehem, PA.  Archbishop Michael, Seminary Rector, was able to join those gathered to share in the afternoon's program, along with Archpriest Dennis Swencki, Chief Finanial Officer, and Seraphim Danckaert, Director of Mission Advancement.  The South River Balalaika Orchestra, directed by Dimitri Kauriga provided the afternoon's incredible entertainment!

Many seminarians were also present to witness the Century Association community and those invited coming together to support them in their pastoral formation.  All enjoyed a wonderful meal and program through the course of the afternoon.On behalf of the Association members and friends, Subdeacon John Lasichak, President, presented Archbishop Michael with a check for $20,000 for the Seminary.  

Many thanks to the Century Association leadership and all those who worked to prepare for and celebrate this joyous event, and again to the St. Nicholas Parish community for hosting.  God grant you many blessed years!

Alumni Update: Several STS Graduates to receive Mitres - 06/04/17

[STOTS Communication, South Canaan, PA]  The Holy Synod restored the awarding of mitres during their Spring 2017 meeting.  Several STOTS graduates are slated to receive mitres:

Archpriest John Nehrebecki (STOTS class of 1950, celebrated his 65th anniversary of marriage on May 21, 2017, with an archpastoral visit of His Eminence, Michael, Archbishop of New York, and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. Archbishop Michael, also the Rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary, blessed Fr. John with the right to wear the mitre during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.

Archpriest Igor Soroka, (STOTS Class of 1946) was granted the right to wear the mitre on Pentecost Sunday (see photos).  He was recently recognized for 58 years of ministry in his one and only parish, as well as serving as a church musician.  See that story here.  His Eminence, Melchisedek, Archbishop of Pittsburgh and the Diocese of Western PA awarded him this right.

Archpriest Nicholas Timpko, (STOTS Class of 1962) has also been identified to receive the right to wear the mitre by His Eminence, Nikon, Archbishop of Boston, New England, and the Albanian Archdiocese, though this event has not yet occurred.  

May God grant many years to the faithful servants of God, Archpriests John, Igor, and Nicholas!

Dn. Stephan Gresh Ordained to the Holy Priesthood - 06/03/17

Dn. Stephan Gresh, who returned to seminary this year after attending classes thirty years ago (1985-1987), was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at Holy Resurrection Church, in Belle Vernon, PA.  His Eminence, Melchisedek, Archbishop of Pittsburgh and the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania was the ordaining hierarch.  Fr. Stephan will be assigned to this parish in the fall upon the retirement of Archpriest Samuel Smolcic, current rector.

Concelebrating at the Liturgy were:  Archpriest William Evansky, Diocesean Chancellor, Archpriest Samuel Smolcic, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, St. Tikhon's Seminary Dean, Archpriest Andrew Nelko, Archpriest Emilian Hutnyan, Fr. Andrew Nelko, and Deacon Peter Ilchuk.  Many of Fr. Stephan's classmates (from 30 years ago, and now!) were present for the oridnation.

At the dinner following the Divine Liturgy, Fr. Stephan was presented a handcross from the parish, and a wooden pectoral cross from Fr. Andrew Nelko, newly graduated Student Government President.  This was likely his last act in this role, and Student Government has sought to present each seminarian ordained to the Holy Priesthood a wooden pectoral cross from their classmates.  Fr. Stephan is the seventh ordained priest among seminarians finishing their studies this year, in addition to an ordained deacon, all going forth into the Orthodox Church in America.

May God grant Fr. Stephan and Matushka Denise many blessed years!

(Photos by Seminarian Joseph Clark)

Memorial Day Pilgrimage - 05/29/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  The 113th Memorial Day Pilgrimage began with the early Divine Liturgy at 7:30am, in the Monastery Church.  This is traditionally the Liturgy at which the graduating class gathers together to sing and serve.  This year, with all the ordained senior seminarians, this Liturgy was quite full.  Seminarians served with Hieromonk Herman, served in the altar, and assisted in singing the responses for this Liturgy.  The graduating class gathered together at the conclusion of the Liturgy for one more photo together.  May God grant them many years of fruitful service in our Lord's vineyard!

The main Liturgy began with a procession to the Bell Tower Church for 10am.  His Beatitude led the concelebrating hierarchs, clergy, and faithful in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.  As on Sunday, St. Tikhon's Choir and the PaTram Choir sang the responses.  Please see the full story on the day's events on our OCA website, here.  

The second photo is of Archimandrite Pimen of the Diocese of Khust and Vinohradova of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who traveled to the United States for the pilgrimage to venerate Saint Alexis’ relics.  Metropolitan Tikhon presented relics of St. Alexis for him to take back to Metropolitan Mark, and remarked how wonderful it is that visitors come here to venerate the relics of Saints here in America!

Archimandrite Sergius, Monastery Igumen, shared his reflections during the Divine Liturgy, that in the midst of the rain coming down, those present surely were not "fair weather Christians!"  Those gathered participated in events throughout the course of the day.  

Thanks be to God for a most successful and meaningful weekend of St. Tikhon's Seminary's 75th graduation, and the 113th Monastery Pilgrimage!

Benedict Sheehan Tonsured Reader during Pilgrimage Weekend - 05/28/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  During the Hours before Divine Liturgy on Sunday, May 28th, Benedict Sheehan, Director of Music for St. Tikhon's Seminary, and Director of the Monastery Choir, was tonsured a reader by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, who led the services of the Pilgrimage weekend.

The responses for the Divine Liturgy on Sunday and Monday were sung by St. Tikhon's Choirs and participants in the PaTram Choir Conductor and Singer Workshop, led Maestro Dr. Peter Jermihov.  He and other faculty worked with these participants through the course of the weekend that included particpation in these divine services.  Particicpants also attended the St. Tikhon's Chamber Choir concert Sunday evening.

(Photos, Seminarian Bob West, and Reader Andrew Bohush)

St. Tikhon's Seminary Celebrates its 75th Commencement Exercises - 05/27/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  On May 27th, following the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, St. Tikhon's Seminary celebrated its 75th Annual Commencement Exercises!

In his introductory remarks, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, Seminary Rector, shared again the good news of the seminary's positive reaccreditation review with the Association of Theological Schools, and thanked all those who offered time and talent toward this goal.

Graduates recognized during graduation included those completing the M.Div. Degree Program, Diaconal Certificate Program, and one completing a one-year Certificate of Pastoral Studies.  

Dn. Stephan Gresh completed the Certificate of Pastoral Studies.  

Scott Anderson, Lawrence Barlow, Ivan Bazárov, Gleb Ivanóv, Stephan Karlgut, Steven Orr, Hierodeacon Maximus (Romanchak), Michael Speck, and Scott Staller, all completed the Diaconate Certificate Program.

Those graduating with their Master of Divinity Degree included:  Reader Andrew Bohush, Priest Basil Ferguson, Priest Matthew Fuhrman, Subdeacon Marshall Goodge, Megan Haak Lincoln,  Priest Michael Hill, Priest Matthew Joyner, Reader Paul Kappanadze, Priest John Kennerk, Deacon Jonathan Lincoln, Nazar Lukashóv, Priest Andrew Nelko, and Veljko Pejović.  

Later in the commencement program, Metropolitan Tikhon made special mention that four graduates:  Stephan Karlgut, Andrew Bohush, Paul Kappanadze, and Fr. Andrew Nelko were all sons of clergy currently serving the church.  Their fathers and family were all present for this graduation!

Of those completing M.Div. studies, eight graduated "with honors" by completing a thesis or project:  Andrew Bohush, Priest Matthew Fuhrman, Marshall Goodge, Priest Matthew Joyner, Paul Kappanadze, Deacon Jonathan Lincoln, andVeljko Pejović, who was also recognized for his thesis by the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry (OCPM).  Priest Mikel Hill, who was among the honors graduates, also was the class Valedictorian and addressed those gathered.

Fr. Andrew Nelko, Outgoing President of the Student Government, presented the Fr. Alexander Atty Memorial Award for Community Service, to Archimandrite Sergius, for the many ways he has supported the seminarians and their family members. He was presented an icon, painted on stone, of Jesus washing the feet of His Disciples.  Archimandrite Sergius expressed gratitude for this recognition.

Fr. Patrick Burns, Alumni President, addressed the graduates, and also initiated an annual "Alumni of the Year" Award.  Archpriest Joseph Martin was the inaugural recipient after decades of service to the seminary and greater church, including being the longest serving member of the board of trustees.  Fr. Joseph was quite moved by this award.

Archbishop Michael presented His Grace, Thomas, Bishop of Charleston, Oakland, and the Midatlantic Diocese of the Antiochian Archdiocese, both through his own reflections and reading the Citation by which he would be awarded the Doctor of Divinity Degree, Honoris Causa.  Bishop Thomas, after Metropolitan Tikhon placed his doctoral hood, gave the Commencement Address.  You can read the text here.  

Early in the Commencement Program in his comments, Archpriest StevenVoytovich, Seminary Dean, shared that Sergei Arhipov was retiring from his service as Librarian and Registrar, after decades of service to the seminary, the national church, and beyond. Metropolitan Tikhon, in the midst of his closing comments, presented Sergei with a Primatial Gramota.  Sergei was likwise moved to receive this recognition.  This is especially true as Sergei later recalled being at the seminary when His Beatitude first arrived as a new seminarian and monastic, as one of those full circle moments!

Before ending this brief account of graduation, it is important to draw attention to this particular class of M.Div. graduates.  They were identified by those addressing them as being as shining examples of graduates to go out into the Church, and not just individually, but as a class forming deep bonds with one another.  

May God grant many blessed years of ministry in our Lord's Vineyard to all this year's St. Tikhon's Seminary graduates!

Photos, Seminarian Moses Cabe, and others.

Graduation Day Divine Liturgy - 05/27/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  St. Tikhon's 75th seminary annual commencement day began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, led by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon.  Metropolitan Tikhon was joined by Archbishop Michael and Bishop Thomas, who were also present for the beginning of the pilgrimage on Friday afternoon.  Seminary clergy, ordained seminarians, alumni, board members, monastery brotherhood members, and others came together for this Divine Liturgy celebrated during the Feast of Ascension.  His Eminence, Archbishop Michael, was the homilist.  

Following the Divine Liturgy, Archimandrite Sergius provided a generous luncheon for all attending, before graduation exercises got underway at 1pm.  Please see separate write-up on graduation.

Photos by Reader Andrew Bohush, and Seminarian Bob West.

113th St. Tikhon's Monastery Pilgrimage begins - 05/26/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  On Friday afternoon, May 26th, the St. Tikhon's Monastery and Seminary community gathered together to begin the 113th Monastery Pilgrimage.  The Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Most Holy Mother of God Icon, held by Archimandrite Sergius, Monastery Igumen, upon its arrival, was greeted by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, His Grace, Bishop Thomas of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic Diocese of the Antiochian Archdiocese, and His Eminence, Michael, Archbishop of New York City, the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and Seminary Rector.  All present then processed to the Monastery Church for a Molieben to the Most Holy Mother of God, and were anointed with myrrh streaming from the wonder-working icon.  

The Iveron wonderworking Icon of the Mother of God will be present for all the services during the course of the pilgrimage and seminary graduation.


Photos, Reader Andrew Bohush


St. Tikhon's Board Meets In Advance of Graduation - 05/26/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  St. Tikhon's Board of Trustees met at the seminary on Thursday afternoon and Friday, May 25-26.  Several committees met after the Ascension Feast Divine Liturgy, and the full board met on Friday.  

The board passed the resolutions related to those graduating, as recommended by the faculty.  In addition, a new board member was affirmed:  Dn. John (Russell) Komline.  All present posed for a photo before returning to further work.  

May God grant Dn. John and St. Tikhon's Board members many blessed years!

Archbishop Michael Hosts Graduation Dinner - 05/22/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  His Eminence, Michael, Archbishop of New York City and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, Rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary, hosted a dinner for those preparing for graduation on Monday, May 22nd. Faculty, Administrative Team Members, and seminary family members came together to celebrate those preparing for graduation! The dinner was held at Cafe Rinaldi, in Old Forge, PA.  Many shared comments exhorting the many accomplishments of these seminarians!

(Photos, Fr. Ignatius Gauvain)

St. Tikhon's Community Gathers for Softball Game - 05/18/17

On Thursday, May 18th, the St. Tikhon's Community came together to play a softball game.  This has become an annual event before the focus turns to work week and graduation.   The game is played by participants of all ages at the nearby high school ballfield, and is followed by a cookout.  

Photos, Seminarian Bob West

STS and SVS Meet for Basketball Game - 05/13/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  On Saturday, May 13th, students from St. Vladimir's and St. Tikhon's Seminary gathered together for their annual basketball game.  Though St. Vladimir's has won this match in a number of recent years, this year St. Tikhon's Seminary won with a score of 51-43!  

May God bless all those who came out for this fellowship and sportsmanship opportunity!  After the game, played at the Vineyard Center in Honesdale, PA, all came together for pizza!  Enjoy the many photos showing skills on the part of players of both teams!

St. Tikhon’s Community Celebrates Successful ATS Site Visit - 05/11/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  The St. Tikhon’s Seminary Community gathered together for dinner at Café Rinaldi in Old Forge, on May 11th, to celebrate the strong re-accreditation report from the Association of Theological Schools.   St. Tikhon’s was given a seven-year re-accreditation interval, with no notations.

The host of the evening's celebratory dinner was Archbishop Michael.  Students, faculty, administrative team members, alumni, and family members spent the evening together.   Thanks be to God for the wonderful review outcome, and for this opportunity to celebrate together!

Archbishop Michael was also recognized in celebrating the seventh anniversary of his elevation to the episcopate, with a cake during the dinner.  May God grant our Seminary Rector many blessed years!

Mission Choir Members’ Recognized for Their Ministry - 05/09/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] On Tuesday, May 9th, all the members of the Mission Choir were invited for dinner in celebration of their service!  Archbishop Michael hosted the dinner to give thanks for the time, energy, and outreach that these Mission Choir members offered during the course of the academic year over and above their coursework and community service.  Contributions from mission choir outings are applied to scholarship those who make this very meaningful sacrifice.

This celebration was especially important for the majority of Mission Choir members that are now senior seminarians.  These seminarians traveled as far as California and Florida. In addition, they sing many of the services of the early portion of Holy Week each year, and participated in the recent recording, as well!

May God grant our Mission Choir members many years of fruitful service in our Lord’s Vineyard!

Mission Choir Visits Lorain, Ohio - 04/30/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] St. Tikhon’s Seminary Mission Choir visited Sts. Peter and Paul Church, in Lorain, Ohio.  His Grace, Paul, Bishop of Chicago and the Diocese of the Midwest made a pastoral visit to the parish the same weekend.  The mission choir sang the responses for Vespers. After Vespers a fundraising dinner was held.  The Mission Choir sang a brief program of music, led by Benedict Sheehan, Director of Music, as part of the dinner.

The following morning Fr. Joseph McCartney (STOTS Class of 2010), Parish Rector, was awarded the Gold Cross by Bishop Paul.  After Divine Liturgy Sam and Kathy Jacob hosted a wonderful luncheon for the choir members.  May God grant Fr. Joseph, Protodeacon Edward, and parish faithful many blessed years!

St. Tikhon’s Records Live Celebration of the Divine Liturgy - 04/28/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] On Friday, April 28, 2017, an ambitious recording project was undertaken. Benedict Sheehan, St. Tikhon’s Seminary Director of Music, brought together members of the Monastery Church Choir, the Seminary Choir, along with several members of the Monastery Chamber Choir, to record a live celebration of the Divine Liturgy.  The recording was completed at St. John the Baptist Cathedral, in Mayfield, PA, with gratitude to Mitred Archpriest John Sorochka for his hospitality and assistance!

Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, was the celebrant, together with Fr. Ignatius Gauvain, Director of Student Life, and Deacon Jonathan Lincoln, Senior Seminarian. Following the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, all remained throughout the afternoon for patch sessions, under the direction of Producer Elias Dubelsten.  It is hoped that the recording will be available some time in the fall.

Alumni Update: Archpriest Igor Soroka celebrates 58 years at St. Nicholas Church! - 04/17/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] Archpriest Igor Soroka (STOTS Class of 1946) was recently featured in a news story focusing on his 58 years of ministry at St. Nicholas Church, Donora, Pennsylvania!  You can see the story here, including this photo (by Nate Guidry) from the story, written by Peter Smith, of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette. 

Fr. Igor was one of four sons born to the Very Reverend Mitred Gregory and Matushka Anastasia Soroka.  Fr. Gregory originally came to this country as a choir director! Two of Fr. Igor’s brothers were also ordained priests:  Archpriest Vladimir and Leonid.  Though his two brothers have passed away, the Soroka family members were prolific in setting Orthodox services into English chant settings that for generations were used broadly across the Orthodox Church in America!  One of the photos accompanying this story is that of the cover of the “Red Soroka Vespers book” in print for many years!

Fr. Igor entered seminary, graduating from St. Tikhon’s Seminary in 1946.  Following his graduation he continued serving as a choir director, where he met his wife Irene. They were married, had four children, and Matushka Irene passed away in 2004.  Fr. Igor and Mat. Irene began serving at St. Nicholas Church, Donora, Pennsylvania, on December 1, 1959.  This was his first, and only, parish assignment!  Now at age 91 he is thinking about retirement.

Even though continuing his service to the St. Nicholas parish, Fr. Igor continued his service as a church musician, as did a number of clergy who had musical talent.  He was the director of the Cathedral Choir of the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania. He retired as director after 50 years of service in 2013.  (See this story here, including the story and photo by Emma Jene Lelik.)

Archpriest Steven Voytovich, seminary dean, recalled encountering the Soroka family and many other church musicians while participating in the annual choir conferences at St.Vladimir’s Camp in Farmdale, Ohio: “These choir conferences were an inspiration to me in the 1980’s as a young church musician, encouraged by my parish priest and choir director to attend!”

In honor of Fr. Igor's many years of service to our Orthodox Church in America, he was one of the inaugural recipients of the St. Romanos Award in 2014.  Fr. Igor’s service (and that of his family) to our Orthodox Church in America is exemplary! May his service and dedication inspire many more young men to step forward to serve our church.

May God grant many blessed years to Archpriest Igor Soroka!

St. Tikhon's Monastery and Seminary Celebrate Holy Week and Pascha - 04/16/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  Following the conclusion of the preparation of Holy Chrism at the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of Holy Thursday, services of the later part of Holy Week were celebrated.  His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon remained at the Monastery Church to lead the celebration of Matins of Great and Holy Friday with the reading of the Twelve Gospels.  We were also blessed to have Archimandrite Philip Mugadizi, from Nairobi Kenya, remain with us through Holy Week and Paschal services.

Please see the slideshows from the services of:  Matins of Holy Friday, Vespers of Holy Friday, Matins of Holy Saturday, the Vesperal Divine Liturgy of Holy Saturday, the Most Blessed Sabbath, and finally photos from the services of Great and Holy Pascha.  The St. Tikhon's community shares the joy of the Risen Lord:  "Christ is Risen!  Indeed He is Risen!

Photos taken by Reader Andrew Bohush and Seminarian Robert West.

St. Tikhon's Mission Choir Visits St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral - 04/15/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] On the Feast of the Holy Cross in Great Lent, St. Tikhon's Seminary Mission Choir visited St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Allison Park, PA, singing the responses for the Vigil on Saturday night and at the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. Seraphim Danckaert, Director of Mission Advancement, was one of the presenters at a retreat held at the cathedral earlier in the day on Saturday.  (You can view this story here.)

Archpriest Michael Senyo, Dean of the Cathedral, welcomed the choir, and His Eminence, Melchisedek, Archbishop of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, attended the Vigil on Saturday night. Following the Vigil, clergy and members of the cathedral community joined the Mission Choir members for an evening of fellowship at the home of Protodeacon Michael Wusylko, a long-time member of the Board of Trustees of St. Tikhon's Seminary, and Matushka Mary Wusylko.

"We are grateful to the clergy and faithful of the cathedral for their long-standing love, hospitality, and support of the seminarians at St. Tikhon's," Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary, said. "It was a great blessing to visit with them again, to spend time together in prayer, and to enjoy fellowship."

May God grant Archpriest Michael, Protodeacon Michael, and cathedral faithful many blessed years!

Holy Chrism Prepared by Primate of the Orthodox Church in America - 04/14/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] This Holy Week, during the 100th anniversary of St. Tikhon being elected Patriarch of Moscow, was most special at St. Tikhon’s as His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon led the whole church in preparing Holy Chrism at the Monastery Church.   Holy Chrism is used to receive those who are newly baptized, and those being received into the Holy Orthodox Faith in the Orthodox Church in America (OCA).  This is one of the actions of an autocephalous church.

According to Fr. John Erickson’s 1971 article in the SVS Quarterly, a church is termed “autocephalous” if it has the right to resolve its own internal problems on its own authority (following Holy Tradition of course), independent of other churches, and is self governing, appointing its own bishops, including the first among them, without expression of dependence on another church. (SVS Quarterly, Vol. 15, 1971, pp. 28-29) The right to prepare Holy Chrism is given to the primate of an autocephalous Orthodox Church (see brief write-up on this from our OCA website by clicking here). Our Tomos of Autocephaly, given by the Russian Orthodox Church on April 10, 1970, specifically includes the preparation of Chrism as point 2 (d).   This is an especially important action for the OCA in fulfilling its mandate of ministering to the needs of God’s children here in North America.

In glimpsing God’s hand present in the preparation of Holy Chrism, a most significant group of witnesses and participants were present.   Our first Orthodox Christians in the new land, the native Alaskans, were represented by Archpriest Peter Chris, from St. Innocent Church in Anchorage, and Fr. Vasily Fisher, from St. James Church, Napaskiak, Alaska, respectively.   Among those stirring included descendants from Orthodox immigrants to America and converts to the Orthodox Faith.  Finally, we were blessed by the presence of Archimandrite Philip Mugadizi, Deputy Dean of the Patriarchal Seminary in Nairobi Kenya, from the ancient see of Alexandria.  He came to observe and participate in the preparation of Holy Chrism.

Archpriest Joseph Martin has led the work of preparing Holy Chrism, under the Metropolitan’s oversight, since at least 1999.  He shared that over 50 clergy came to assist in the preparation of the Holy Chrism.   Among them were clergy from St. Tikhon’s Monastery, St. Vladimir’s and St. Tikhon’s Seminaries, and OCA hierarchs, and clergy from across the church. As is evident from the photos, one priest reads the Gospels continuously while the other stirs the mixture of olive oil, wine, and many oils and essences that is heated over a burner.  During services one priest continually stirs the mixture. When the essences and oils were added, the church was filled with the fragrance of the Holy Chrism!

The preparation began on Monday morning with Metropolitan Tikhon blessing the ingredients before preparation and Holy Week services got underway.   Fr. Basil Ferguson, a third-year St. Tikhon’s seminarian, assisted Archpriest Joseph during the course of the days of preparation.  Additions were made periodically as the preparation continued to cook. Wednesday afternoon, the cooking concluded and the mixture was allowed to rest. Later on Wednesday evening, the Holy Chrism was poured into a number of jars. 

The process of preparation was completed during the Vesperal Liturgy of Holy Thursday, with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, and His Eminence, Michael, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, who was also present on Monday morning. Archimandrite Philip, Archpriest Eric Tosi, OCA Secretary, and Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak, Secretary to the Metropolitan, were among the concelebrating clergy.  (To see story and photos of the celebration of the Liturgy, click here.) At the Great Entrance, clergy carried all the jars of the newly prepared Holy Chrism, led by Archpriest Joseph Martin who carried a historic jar of Holy Chrism, given by the Russian Orthodox Church when autocephaly was conferred. The jars were then placed on the altar.

Later on in the Liturgy, the lids were removed from the jars. Before the Litany preceding the Lord’s Prayer, Metropolitan Tikhon blessed the contents of each jar three times. Then at the end of the Liturgy, the process was completed.  A few drops of the historic Holy Chrism were placed in each jar of the new Holy Chrism. Then a few drops from each of the jars were likewise replaced in the historic jar.  Now all the Holy Chrism is mixed between that which was newly prepared, and the historic Holy Chrism received! 

This Holy Chrism will be used to receive all those being baptized into the Orthodox Faith in the Orthodox Church in America in the coming years, along with those being received in like manner into the Orthodox Faith. This Holy Chrism has been lovingly and prayerfully prepared by the hands of many in our Church under the direction of Metropolitan Tikhon. Thank you to all who assisted in this most holy action of our Orthodox Church in America, and thank God for the blessing of being able to participate in this essential effort during Holy Week.

Archpriest Steven Voytovich, St. Tikhon’s Seminary Dean

(Photos meticulously captured during the course of the week by Reader Andrew Bohush!)

Vesperal Divine Liturgy includes completion of Holy Chrism preparation - 04/13/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  The Vesperal Divine Liturgy celebrated at St. Tikhon's was much more full both as His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, led the celebration that included the final steps of the preparation of Holy Chrism.  (To see more about the preparation of Holy Chrism and related photos, please click here to see article devoted to this holy work during Holy Week.)

His Eminence, Michael, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and Rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary, was present for the beginning blessing of the ingredients of Holy Chrism on Monday morning, and joined His Beatitude for the celebration of the Vesperal Divine Liturgy.  Archpriest Eric Tosi, OCA Secretary, and Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak joined celebrants of St. Tikhon's Monastery and Seminary, and Archpriest Joseph Martin, who oversaw the preparation of the Holy Chrism all through the week, at the celebration of the Vesperal Divine Liturgy.  We were also blessed with the presence of Archimandrite Philip Mugadizi, Deputy Dean at the Patriarchal Seminary in Nairobi, Kenya, who present with us at St. Tikhon's through the course of Holy Week.

It is during this Vesperal Divine Liturgy, commemorating the celebration of the Last Supper by our Lord Jesus Christ, that Holy Communion is prepared for communing the sick during the course of the year.  Metropolitan Tikhon, in his comments at the end of the Liturgy, indicated that this Liturgy is a present day celebration of the Passover from the Judaic Tradition, instituted by our Lord as the Last Supper, and the preparation of Holy Chrism also represents an ancient tradition (pouring on oil and wine for healing).  Together they represent two ancient traditions carried forward at the present time.  

What a truly memorable celebration of this special Holy Week service!  Blessed Pascha to all in and beyond the St. Tikhon's community!

(Photos by Seminarians Reader Andrew Bohush, and Bob West)

St. Tikhon's Mission Choir Visits St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church, Souderton, PA - 04/02/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  St. Tikhon's Seminary Mission Choir visited St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church, in Souderton, PA.  Archpriest Noah Bushelli is the parish pastor.  Including the members of the Mission Choir, St. Tikhon's Antiochian Seminarians Marshall Goodge and Yazen Fakhouri were blessed to make this trip instead of traveling to their parish assignments.  This was especially meaningful for Marshall who has often traveled with the Mission Choir, and then driven to his parish assignment.

Marshall shared his experience of seminary with the congregation at the end of the Divine Liturgy.  Fr. Steven also addressed the congregation to share recent events at the seminary.  The parish was very generous with contributions benefitting the mission choir members' tuition.

May God grant Fr. Noah, Fr. James, and parish faithful many blessed years!

St. Tikhon's Mission Choir Visits Brick and Princeton, NJ - 03/25/17

[STOTS Communication, South Canaan, PA] The Mission Choir of St. Tikhon's Seminary visited two parishes in New Jersey over the weekend: Annunciation Church in Brick, NJ for Divine Liturgy on the community's patronal feast day on Saturday morning, March 25; and Mother of God Church in Princeton, NJ for Vespers and then Divine Liturgy on Sunday, March 26.

His Eminence, The Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of New York and New Jersey, and Rector St. Tikhon's Seminary, celebrated the Divine Liturgy on the feast day of the Annunciation, along with Archpriest Gary Breton, rector, and several clergy from the area. A festal luncheon took place after the Liturgy in the parish rectory, and seminarians were able to spend time in fellowship with the community.

After lunch, the Mission Choir left for Princeton and managed to squeeze in a one-hour, world-wind tour of parts of the campuses of Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton University, and the historic borough of Princeton, including Revolutionary War sites, the home of Albert Einstein, the home of renowned Orthodox theologian Fr. Georges Florovsky, and the lobby of the art museum.

"We had to leave for Vespers, but we stopped in the art museum's lobby very briefly, because I remembered there is a large mosaic from the floor of a fourth century Byzantine church hanging right there," said Seraphim Danckaert, Director of Mission Advancement. "I had forgotten, and we were amused to discover, that the mosaic's massive inscription proclaimed who had donated this section of the church floor -- even in the time of St. Basil the Great!"

The choir then sang Vespers at the Mother of God, Joy of All Who Sorrow Mission, where Archpriest Peter Baktis is rector and Dn. Russell Komline, a recent graduate of St. Tikhon's Diaconal Formation Program in Philadelphia, serves. After Vespers, everyone enjoyed a wonderful meal with parishioners, during which each seminarian stood to share a little about their background, reason for coming to St. Tikhon's, and sense of how God was working in their lives and what kind of ministry they were being called to embrace.

Many thanks to the priests and faithful of both parishes for their hospitality and generous financial support of the seminarians.

Dn. Andrew Nelko Ordained to the Holy Priesthood - 03/25/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  Dn. Andrew Nelko was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on the Annunciation Feast, March 25th.  Fr. Andrew is the son of Archpriest Andrew Nelko (STOTS Class of 1981), Rector of St. John the Baptist Church, Campbell, Ohio. The ordination took place at St. Nicholas Church in Weirton, West Virigina.  His Eminence, Melchisedek, Archbishop of Pittsburgh and the Diocese of Western Pennsylvaniak was the celebrant.  Concelebrating priests included:  Archpriest William Evansky, Diocesan Chancellor, Archpriest Samuel Smolcic (STOTS Class of 1979), Dean of the local deanery, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary dean, Archpriest Nicholas Wyslutsky (STOTS Class of 1989), Archpriest Emilian Hutnyan (STOTS Class of 1992), and Priest Gabriel Bilas (STOTS Class of 2014). Dn. Peter Ilchuk also served.  Dr. John Schultz, former STOTS Board member served as subdeacon.  Professor David Drillock, retired Provost of St. Vladimir's Seminary, directed the choir that included Fr. Andrew's family members.

Fr. Andrew is a third-year seminarian, and Mat. Kaila has been assisting in the bookstore.  It is anticipated that upon graduation, Fr. Andrew will serve at St. Nicholas Church.  May God grant Fr. Andrew and Mat. Kaila many blessed years!

(Photos by Nathanel Nelko)

Mission Choir Visits St. Michael's Church in Jermyn, PA - 03/22/17

[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]  St. Tikhon's Seminary Mission Choir visited St. Michael's Orthodox Church in Jermyn, PA on Wednesday, March 22nd.  Archpriest John Kowalczyk, Parish Rector, and Director of Field Education at St. Tikhon's, celebrated the Presanctified Liturgy.  Concelebrating with him was Archpriest Dennis Swencki, who also offered the homily.  The parish offered a lenten meal after the Liturgy.  It was a wonderful evening of prayer and fellowship!

St. Tikhon’s Hosts Jesse Brandow, Guatemalan Missionary - 03/17/17

[South Canaan, PA, STOTS Communications]  On Friday, March 17, St. Tikhon's Seminary hosted Jesse Brandow, a missionary to Guatemala through OCMC (Orthodox Christian Mission Center), for a lunch-time talk. Jesse was in Guatemala from April 2015 through January 2017, and is currently in the United States on furlough raising support to return to Guatemala for another 2-year term. 

Jesse shared with the gathered students, families, and staff members a brief history of the Orthodox Church in Guatemala, the growth that is taking place, and the needs of the Guatemalan Church. Highlights of his own work include: setting up a print shop to produce Orthodox materials in Spanish, compiling and translating a daily Spanish liturgical guide, mentoring the seminarians and pre-seminarians, teaching the lay catechists from the villages, and supporting the Guatemalan priests in their ministry.  Jesse encouraged those gathered to answer Christ's command to "Go and make disciples of all nations" (Matt. 28:19-20) by engaging in missions themselves, supporting missionaries who are working in other countries, and praying consistently for the Church around the world.

St. Tikhon's student body supported Jesse during his last 2-year term, and has pledged to renew their support for the next 2 years.  Student Government officers hope to strengthen the connection between St. Tikhon's students and the Guatemalan Church, especially the seminarians Jesse has been working with, in the year to come.

(Article by Megan Lincoln, Student Government Secretary, and Photo, by Dn. Andrew Nelko, Student Government President)

St. Tikhon’s Seminary Student Government Holds Elections - 03/16/17

[South Canaan, PA, STOTS Communications]  On Thursday, March 16th, St. Tikhon’s Seminarians gathered to hold elections for the coming academic year’s officers.  According to Megan Lincoln, current Student Government Secretary: “We sought to hold elections earlier this year so that the new officers will have more time to shadow current officers to learn their respective roles before we graduate.”

The new officers include (from Left to Right):  Joseph Sharmin, President, Robert West, Vice President, Rony John, On-Campus Representative, Isaac  Lampart, Secretary, Augustine Lewton, Treasurer,  and Reader Timothy Kolb, Off-Campus Representative.   May God grant our new Student Government Officers many years!

Dn. Matthew Fuhrman Ordained to the Holy Priesthood - 03/12/17

[South Canaan, PA, STOTS Communications]

On Sunday, March 12th Dn. Matthew Fuhrman was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery Church. Metropolitan Tikhon celebrated the ordination.   Concelebrants joining him included Archmindrite Sergius, Monastery Igumen, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, who worked with Matushka Jessica's family as former OCA Chancellor, Archpriest Dennis Swencki, Seminary CFO, and Archpriest Theodore Boback, former STOTS Alumni President, and Military Endorser.  Many classmates also served, including Priests Matthew Joyner, Basil Ferguson, John Kennerk.  Serving with Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak (Metropolitan Tikhon's Secretary) and Hierodeacon Maximus were more classmates, Deacons Andrew Nelko and Jonathan Lincoln.  All concelebrating classmates are senior seminarians as is Fr. Matthew.

Fr. Matthew Fuhrman is actively preparing for service as a military chaplain.  Fr. Steven shared that his thesis is part of his effort to prepare for this role.  As all endorsements are processed through Metropolitan Tikhon's Office, it was most meaningful that he was able to be the celebrant for this ordination.  Many family members were present for the ordination as well.

Photos, Robert West and Mat. Jessica Fuhrman (who has assisted with photography for many ordinations occurring at the monastery church).

Mission Choir Visits Mechanicsburg and Harrisburg PA: Updated - 03/11/17

[South Canaan, PA, STOTS Communications]

St. Tikhon's Seminary Mission Choir visited Mechanicsburg and Harrisburg, PA.  This was the first visit the Mission Choir made to Holy Apostles Mission since the completion of the first of their new permanent buildings.  The first photo album below are from the visit for Vespers on Saturday evening, with Archpriest Timothy Hojnicki.  The choir then traveled to Harrisburg to celebrate the Divine Liturgy at Christ the Savior Church in Harrisburg, with Archpriest Stephen Vernak, Rector, and Archpriest Daniel Ressetar, now retired former pastor.

Thank you to both parishes for your active support of the seminary!

St. Tikhon's Seminary Board of Trustees Holds Spring Meeting - 03/10/17

[South Canaan, PA:  STOTS Communications]

St. Tikhon's Board of Trustees gathered at the seminary for their spring meeting.  Board Committees met during the course of the day on Thursday involving a broad spectrum of representatives from seminary constituencies, followed by a full day's meeting of Trustees on Friday.  Among the items discussed was the recent ATS reaccreditation review.   The photo shows Director of Mission Advancement, Seraphim Danckaert, addressing board members.

Alumni Update: Joseph Frangipani Ordained to the Subdiaconate - 03/08/17

[South Canaan, PA, STOTS Communications]

Joseph Frangipani, (STOTS Class of 2016) was ordained to the Subdiaconate by Metropolitan Joseph, head of the Antiochian Christian Archdiocese in North America on Sunday, February 12th, at By His Eminence, Joseph, Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America of the Antiochian Archdiocese.  The ordination took place at St Andrews Orthodox Church, Arlington,Wa.

Spring Appeal Letter - 03/06/17

The children at St. Tikhon’s gather under the flowering trees after Divine Liturgy. Your Lenten gift helps these families prepare for ministry in the Orthodox Church. Thank you so much for your support!

Beloved in the Lord,

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

When you think about Lent, what comes to mind? For many of us, we might think immediately about the serious ascetic tasks of increasing our prayer life, more rigorous fasting, and attending more services.

But Fr. Thomas Hopko paints a very different picture in his famous book The Lenten Spring. He begins by saying:

”The Church welcomes the Lenten spring with a spirit of exultation…with the enthusiasm of a child… The tone of the church services is one of brightness and light.”

Here at St. Tikhon’s, we are so blessed to be reminded of the “enthusiasm of a child” during our Lenten journey, precisely because we are surrounded by children in every service. Right now, there are over 40 children in our seminary community, with another 5 on the way this year!

It’s only because of your generosity that these families are able to attend St. Tihkon’s and prepare to become leaders of the Church.

Your past donations have helped cover tuition for these families, and even helped them cover emergency costs like medical expenses and car repairs. St. Tikhon’s is a faithful steward of your investment, and we do everything possible to help seminarians and their families when they need it. Thank you for making that generosity possible!

During Lent, will you consider a new gift of $100, $250, or more to help the seminarians at St. Tikhon’s?

Your generosity makes such a difference to the seminarians here —and to their families.

The children have watched their parents leave extended family and careers behind, come to a new place, and sacrifice so much to follow God’s calling to serve the Church.

Yet these same children also get to experience your generosity and love. They see that Orthodox Christians like you around North America care enough about the future of the Church to support their parents during seminary. What an amazing gift you provide!

Seeing Your Gift Make a Difference

Thanks to your support, we have celebrated 7 ordinations since December. And I’m so happy to share with you that the Seminary's accreditation has been reaffirmed by the Association of Theological Schools for seven years with no notations! 

This amazing accomplishment is a tremendous validation of St. Tikhon’s effectiveness. Our sole focus is practical preparation for ministry, rooted in the spiritual and liturgical life of the Church. Thank you for standing with us in this sacred mission! 

How We Say Thank You 

Will you consider a new gift of $100, $250, or more to help the seminarians at St. Tikhon’s during Lent?

By sending a new gift, you are re-committing to a special community of prayer and faith. We look forward to sending you pictures of the young families you are helping, and would like to remember you and your family by name in prayer during our daily Divine Liturgy.

Please use the enclosed reply envelope to send your prayer list and your contribution today. Thank you so much for your support, and may God bless you!

Wishing you a blessed Lenten journey,

Archpriest Steven Voytovich

Dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary

P.S. Your generous support in the past has made St. Tihkon’s what it is today. Please join us once again this Lent by sending in your Lenten gift today.  Click here to go to our online donation page.  Thank you so much!

Mission Choir Visits Ohio - 03/05/17

SOUTH CANAAN, PA [STOTS Communications]

After celebrating the fullness of services of Clean Week, St. Tikhon's Seminary Mission Choir visited Ohio during the first weekend of Great Lent.   Please visit the three photo slideshows chronicling the weekend's events.

On Saturday evening, the choir, with Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, visited St. Nicholas Orthodox Chruch in Mogadore, Ohio.  Archpriest Nicholas Wyslutsky, parish rector, serves as a member of the Seminary's Alumni Association.   After singing the responses for Great Vespers, the congregation and mission choir together enjoyed an evening meal in the church hall.  The choir offered a brief program of liturgical music during the dinner.  Fr. Steven thanked Fr. Nicholas for his hospitality, and his continued service with the Alumni Association.

On Sunday morning the mission choir visited St. Andrew Church, in Maple Heights.  Archpriest Emilian Hutnyan serves as a member of the Seminary's Board of Trustees.  Fr. Steven preached the homily and again thanked the parish for their many years of financial support of the seminary.  Paul Kappanadze directed the mission choir for the Divine Liturgy.

Sunday afternoon the choir visited Presentation of our Lord Orthodox Church (Romanian Episcopate) in Fairlawn, Ohio, for Sunday of Orthodoxy Vespers.  Clergy and faithful came together from many neighboring parishes.  Fr. Silviu Bunta, a member of the faculty of the University of Dayton offered the homily.  Proceeds from the collection was targeted to St. Tikhon's Seminary.  Fr. Steven spoke of the pastoral formation ongoing at the seminary as Vespers ended.  An evening lenten meal was served for all attending Vespers.

May God bless all those who made contributions during the course of the weekend to support the work of pastoral formation at the seminary!

St. Tikon’s Seminary Re-Accredited by ATS - 02/20/17

South Canaan, PA –  St. Tikhon’s Seminary received word from the Board of Commissioners of the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) regarding the final disposition of our periodic re-accreditation review site visit that occurred on November 20-23, 2016. In a letter dated February 15th, the Board of Commissioners indicated that St. Tikhon’s Seminary is re-accredited for seven years, with no notations!

This is great news for the seminary, following several years of consistent and intensive preparation, and gratitude is expressed toward all who assisted in this effort!  The Self-Study Leadership Team was chaired by Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean, directed by Dr. Paul Witek, Assistant to the Dean for Academic Affairs, and Dr. David Ford, Professor of Church History, served as self-study editor. Archbishop Michael, Seminary Rector, served as chair of the Self-Study Steering Committee Chair, and Professor Sergei Arhipov served as committee secretary as well as respondent on behalf of the library.  Michael Skor is one of several seminarians engaged in the self-study process (including those serving as Student Government chairs during the past few years) that continued to be integrally involved in developing the final draft of the self-study well after his graduation.

Fr. Steven shared words of gratitude for the seminary community: “our goal for this review was for all dimensions of the seminary community to be engaged in and able to speak to the self study process with the site visit team.  Thanks be to God, it is wonderful to see such a strong outcome following our collaborative effort.”  The seminary is also grateful to our new Accreditation Liaison, Dr. Barbara Mutch and the site visit team that worked together to conduct the review.

Photo features Dr. Barbara Mutch, ATS Accreditation Liaison for St. Tikhon's, addressing those attending the Opening Reception.

Jonathan Lincoln Ordained to the Holy Diaconate - 02/19/17

South Canaan, PA  – On Sunday, February 19th, Jonathon Lincoln was ordained to the Holy Diaconate at St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery Church.  His Grace, the Right Reverend Paul, Bishop of Chicago and Diocese of the Midwest, celebrated the ordination.  Concelebrating with him were:  Archpriest Steven Voytovich, seminary dean, Archpriest Dennis Swencki, seminary CFO, Hieromonk Innokenty (Chmerko), and seminarian priests Basil Ferguson and John Kennerk.

Jonathan and Megan Haak, also a seminary student, were married in the monastery church in October.  Bishop Paul indicated his hope that upon graduation, the Lincoln’s will settle and become engaged in the Diocese of the Midwest.

Axios and many years to Deacon Jonathan and Matushka Megan!

Photos, Seminarian Robert West

St. Tikhon's Mission Choir Visits Paramus, NJ - 02/05/17

St. Tikhon's Mission Choir visited Christ the Savior Church, in Paramus, NJ, on Sunday, February 5th.  This was a wonderful visit on multiple levels.  Fr. Leonid Schmidt, (STOTS Class of 2010) began as pastor there early in 2015.  His move there meant in part leaving his teaching responsibilities here at St. Tikhon's Seminary.   Seminarians had the opportunity to sit in on Fr. Leonid's adult education session before the Divine Liturgy.

It was also meaningful to make this visitation in order that our current seminarians could have the opportunity to interact with Archpriest John Nehrebecki (STOTS Class of 1950).  Fr. John participated in the Symposium on Metropolitan Leonty, held in May of 2015, and before that was a member of the delegation traveling to Russia to receive the Tomos of Autocephaly in 1970.  Fr. John also initiated a number of mission parishes in the area.  He and Matushka Eugenia remain actively involved in the parish.

Fr. Mikel Hill, senior seminarian, was the homilist at the Liturgy, and has had a meaningful relationship with Christ the Savior Parish during his course of studies at the seminary.   The Mission Choir was treated to a sumptuous luncheon, after which a short concert of liturgical music was shared. 

May God bless Christ the Savior parish, with gratitude for their very real support of the seminary through donations, and through their support of Fr. Mikel.

St. Tikhon's Community celebrates the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord in the Temple - 02/02/17

on February 1-2, St. Tikhon's celebrated the Feast of the Meetin of the Lord in the Temple.  Most all of the recently ordained seminarians participated in celebrating the Feast, that included the blessing of candles following the Divine Liturgy.  Classes are cancelled on major feast days so seminarians can fully particiapte in festal services.

Those seminarians who have been recently ordained have, as part of their formation supported by the St. Tikhon's Monastery community, celebrate all the services in the course of the week:  Vespers and Matins or vigil in the afternoon, and Midnight Office and Divine Liturgy early in the morning (6am), unless feast days occur, where they serve Proskemedia and then concelebrate with clergy gatheirng for the feast.  

St. Tikhon's Seminary is grateful to the monastery community for their continued active support of seminarians ordained while at seminary. 

Blessed Feast Day!

St. Tikhon's Seminary Establishes an Institutional Review Board - 02/01/17

South Canaan, PA – St. Tikhon's Seminary responded to two seminarians desiring to include research in their theses by establishing an Institutional Review Board (IRB).  The IRB met for the first time on Wednesday, February 1st to complete a  brief orientation and consider the two protocols.  As a part of the review process, the IRB met with each of the researchers.

One of the two submissions included research with incarcerated persons.  This proposal, with the IRB approval, was then forwarded to the State of Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.  The proposal was approved within days.  This represents another of a series of steps the seminary has taken to support seminarians in elevating the level of engagement possible in the course of their studies.

Alumni Update: STOTS Graduates and Students in the News - 01/28/17

Several STOTS graduates were in the news recently.  Two students have reposed in the Lord:  Fr. Ignatius Crockett, and Leon Volkoff.  One of our graduates Archpriest Joseph Woodill retired, and was recognized well for his many years of service.

Fr. Ignatius Crockett fell asleep in the Lord on January 12, 2017.  You can view the write-up on here.  He was a student at St. Tikhon's Seminary from 1988-1991.  

Archpriest Joseph Woodill (STOTS Class of 1981) was celebrated well at his retirement.  He most recently taught Ethics here at St. Tikhon's Seminary.  You can read the write-up of his retirement celebration here

Most recently, Leon Volkoff (STOTS Class of 1954) fell asleep in the Lord on January 14th.  Leon, born in Poland on January 14, 1930, moved with his family to Germany  during WWII.  In Salgau, St. Michael Church was formed.  This parish of Russian Immigrants relocated to Paterson, NJ in 1951.  Leon went on from seminary to complete a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1961, and was employed at Picatinny Arsenal as a project manager for 32 years.   He was predeceased by his wife Lydia.   Leon was a friend of our Librarian and Registrar, Sergei Arhipov, visiting the seminary on occasion.  

Memory eternal to Fr. Ignatius and Leon.  May God grant Archpriest Joseph and Matushka Charlotte many blessed years!

Ordination of Dn. Mikel Hill to the Holy Priesthood - 01/28/17

Alliance, Ohio. [STOTS Communications]  Dn. Mikel Hill was ordained to the Holy Priesthood at St. Nikolai of Zhicha Church on Saturday, January 28th.  His Grace, the Right Reverend Alexander, Bishop of Dallas, the South, and the Bulgarian Diocese celebrated the ordination.  Concelebrating with him were:  Archpriest Don Freude, Chancellor of the Bulgarian Diocese, Archimandrite Joseph (Morris), Abbot of St. Gregory Palamas Monastery, Hayesville, Ohio, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, St. Tikhon's Seminary Dean, Fr. John Boddecker, Rector of Sts. Theodore Orthodox Church, Buffalo, NY, and Fr. John Kennerk, seminary classmate.  Protodeacon James Gresh has been administering the parish, and led Dn. Mikel as the ordination began.  

Fr. Mikel is to be assigned to St. Nikolai Parish upon graduation, so many parish faithful attended the ordination, along with preparing a festive luncheon afterward.  Many seminarians came from St. Tikhon's to participate in services, some staying over to witness Fr. Mikel's first Divine Liturgy at the parish on Sunday.  It is also remarkable that St. Nikolai Mission only began in 2013, and has enjoyed robust growth and development.  

Axios!  May God bless Fr. Mikel, Matushka Rachel, and their children as he prepares to undertake parish ministry upon graduating from the seminary in May!

Photos by Dn. Andrew Nelko

St. Tikhon's Seminary Participates in March for Life: Updated - 01/27/17

Washington, D.C. [STOTS Communication]  St. Tikhon's Seminary participated in the March for Life on Friday, January 27th.  To see the story posted on our OCA website, click here.  

Metropolitan Tikhon concelebrated with OCA Hierarchs: His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek, His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel, His Eminence, Arcbishop Michael, St. Tikhon's Seminary Rector, and His Grace, Bishop Dimitrios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago, His Grace, Bishop John of Brooklyn of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, and His Eminence Mor Titus Yeldho. Archbishop of the Syrian Orthodox Church in North America and Canada in chanting a Service of Prayer for the Victims of Abortion before the march stepped off. Archpriest Chad Hatfield, President of St. Vladimir's Seminary, and Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary, were also present. According to Hierodeacon Herman (Majkrzak):  "over thirty seminarians and faculty from four Orthodox seminaries: St. Vladimir’s and St. Tikhon’s, as well as Holy Trinity Seminary, Jordanville, New York, and Christ the Savior Seminary, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, participated in the March."

Later all the seminarians gathered at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington D.C. for a dinner hosted by the parish.  Thank you to Hieromonk Herman for coordinating the seminarians participation in the services and the march, and to all who came together to witness to our Orthodox Faith in support of the right to life!

Photos by Seminarian Robert West.

St. Tikhon’s Century Association Leads Seminary St. Tatiana Day Celebration - 01/19/17

The leadership and membership of St. Tikhon’s Seminary Century Association provided lunch and sumptuous deserts for the seminarians as part of the St. Tatiana Day celebration. This is an annual celebration as St. Tatiana is the Patroness of Students.

Fr. Steven welcomed the newly elected President of the Century Association, Subdeacon John Lasichak, who is a parishioner of St. Michael Orthodox Church in Jermyn, PA. Subdeacon John shared the story of the Martyr Tatiana of Rome. He went on to share how Empress Elizabeth founded the Moscow University on her feast day in 1755.  St. Tatiana Chapel remains an integral part of that university today. (Photo above by A. Savin) You can read the life of St. Tatiana here, and either read or hear the story of how St. Tatiana became the patroness of students here.

On this auspicious occasion, the Century Association presented the seminary with a check for $6,000!  The Icon of St. Tatiana is behind those gathered for the photo. Fr. Steven thanked the Century Association members present, including immediate Past President Sarah Jubinski for her many years of dedicated service to the seminary.   Century Association members give at least $100 annually to support the pastoral formation of seminary students.

If you would like to become a Century Association member, you can find an application here. For more information, please contact Subdeacon John Lasichak .    O Holy Martyr Tatiana, pray unto God for us!

Photos by Dn. Andrew Nelko, and Andrew Bohush

Blessing of St. Tikhon’s Seminary Building - 01/18/17

In the spirit of the Feast of Theophany, and with seminary students back once again to begin the spring semester, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, blessed the offices, classrooms, library, and guest rooms of St. Tikhon’s Seminary main building on Wednesday, January 18th. His Eminence, the Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, Seminary Rector, blessed each of the students in the seminary chapel at the conclusion of the service.

Through the prayers of our Most Blessed Master, O Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on us.

In Memoriam: Paul Chernay, St. Tikhon's Trustee Emeritus-Updated - 01/09/17

Paul Chernaskey  Chernay, 90, member of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, in Bethlehem, PA, died on January 5th, 2017.    Paul was the son of the late Roman and Fiona (Orischak) Chernaskey.  He was the loving husband of the late Betty Jo (Bussey) Chernay who died in 1998. They were married for 52 years. 

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".  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.  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.

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.   On Saturday, May 25th, 2013, St. Tikhon’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’s Community and selfless dedication to the building up of the Orthodox Church.  (The photo with this story reflects his receiving the honorary doctorate.)

Though Paul was preceded in death by his most of his immediate family, his twin sister, Pauline Chernaskey Kasick; 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:  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.  Jason Vansuch, whose father, the late Archpriest Eugene Vansuch, also served at St. Nicholas Church as Paul’s pastor.  Archbishop Michael shared condolences from the Most Blessed Metropolitan Herman, St. Tikhon’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.

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’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, P.O. Box 130 South Canaan, PA, 18459. 

Memory eternal to the newly departed servant of God, Paul.

Alumni Update: Dn. Joel Brady ordained to the Holy Priesthood - 01/08/17

Dn. Joel Brady was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Sunday, January 8, 2017.   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.

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.  This ordination was also celebrated at St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral.  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.  Members of Fr. Joel’s family were present for the ordination as well. 

Axios!  May God grant Fr. Joel and Matushka Meg many blessed years as they await assignment toward the next chapter of their vocational journey!

Ordination of Dn. John Kennerk to the Holy Priesthood - 01/01/17

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.  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.  

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.  A Molieben was celebrated for the new calendar year after the Divine Liturgy, and a festive community meal followed in the beautiful parish building.  Many of Fr. John's family members were also present for the ordination and luncheon.

Fr. Steven thanked the parish for their outreach in supporting seminarians who came from this parish and are currently studying at St. Tikhon's.  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.  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.

May God bless Fr. John, Mat. Michelle, Inez, and Anthony, as Fr. John completes his studies during the coming semester.


(Photos by Bilyan Belchev, photographer in  Christ the Savior Parish) 

Deacon Basil Ferguson Ordained to the Holy Priesthood - 12/24/16

Dn. Basil Ferguson, a third-year seminarian at St. Tikhon's Seminary,  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.  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.  Celebrating deacons included:  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.

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!

Photos by: Matushka Jessica Fuhrman, Fr. Steven, and Subdeacon Roman Ostash.

Hierodeacon Herman (Majkrzak) Ordained to the Holy Priesthood - 12/13/16

On the Feast of the Repose of St. Herman of Alaska, Hierodeacon Herman (Majkrzak) was ordained to the Holy Priesthood.   His Beatitude, the Most Blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of All America and Canada, led the celebration of the Vigil and the Divine Liturgy with ordination.  Many clergy came together with His Beatitude to celebrate the feast, including His Eminence, The Most Reverend Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, and His Eminence, The Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of New York City, the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and Rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary.  Archpriest Chad Hatfield, President of St. Vladimir's Seminary, joined Archimandrite Sergius (Bowyer), St. Tikhon's Monastery Abbot, and Archpriest Steven Voytovich, St. Tikhon's Seminary Dean, in concelebrating at the Divine Liturgy.  Many other clergy joined in the celebration including a number of Hieromonk Herman's classmates.

Hieromonk Herman is a graduate of St. Tikhon's Seminary (Class of 2005).  Fr. Chad, during his homily at the Divine Liturgy, shared his own childhood memory of being called to serve God, and in turn shared his recollection of calling then Philip Majkrzak to also consider a vocation to ordained ministry.  They both served in the Diocese of Alaska for a time.  More recently Hierodeacon Herman served as Chapel Music Director and Lecturer in Liturgical Music at Saint Vladimir's Seminary.  He recieved the St. Macrina award for excellence in teaching there.  Returning to St. Tikhon's Monastery community this fall, he has been assisting in training those serving in the monastery church, and taught a liturgics practicum at the seminary.  Hieromonk Herman has been involved with many projects related to liturgical music in the greater Orthodox Church.

Hieromonk Herman's parents were present for the ordination.  His father is an Anglican priest.

Please click here to the see the festal celebration and ordination post on our OCA Website.

Axios to Hieromonk Herman on his ordination, and may God grant him many years!

St. Nicholas Day at St. Tikhon’s Seminary - 12/06/16

The St. Tikhon’s community came together to celebrate St. Nicholas Feast Day with a special celebration late in the day of December 6th. Zena Hatez, Seminary Cook, prepared a wonderful dinner, and among the activities of the evening was a visit from St. Nicholas!  This was a wonderful opportunity for the community to come together before entering into final’s week.  Thank you to all who assisted in the preparations for this wonderful evening!

FOCA National Executive Board Members Visit St. Tikhon’s Seminary - 12/06/16

On December 6th, members of the National Executive Board of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA) visited St. Tikhon’s Seminary.  Archpriest Theodore Boback, Spiritual Director, Marge Kovach, President (to his left), and Allison Steffaro, Vice President, shared about FOCA’s mission, current work, and future plans. 

Archbishop Michael, Seminary Rector, thanked FOCA again for completing a $300,000 pledge to St. Tikhon’s Seminary Married Student Housing project during the 18th All American Council in July 2015. On October 6th, 2015, Chapter 121 was re-established at St. Tikhon’s Seminary.  Since that time the chapter has engaged the greater community, including a fundraising dinner held at St. Michael’s Church in Jermyn, PA.

Fr. Steven, Seminary Dean, shared: “Since those who have been serving as the local FOCA chapter’s leadership this past year will be graduating in May, this visitation was timed well to pique the interest of newer students.”

FOCA’s Mission is to: proclaim, share and reveal our Orthodox Christian Faith through service, fellowship and example.

Photos, Andrew Nelko.

St. Tikhon’s Mission Choir visits Holy Trinity Church in New Britain, CT - 12/04/16

St. Tikhon’s Mission Choir visited Holy Trinity Church on the weekend of December 3-4, 2016.  Archpriest David Koles is the pastor of the parish, and has served as Dean of the CT Deanery for the past six years.  Fr. Steven, Seminary Dean, was attached to this parish for a period of time after serving as pastor of St. Alexis parish in Clinton, CT for fifteen years.

This was an auspicious weekend in many respects.   Chris Dresko, Parish Warden and Choir Director who took primary responsibility for this visitation, and Benedict Sheehan, Director of Music at St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary, participated together in the New England Diocesan Youth Rally some 20 years ago!

In addition, December 4th was the Feast Day for St. Alexander Hotovitzky, Missionary to North America and Martyr under the Bolshevik yoke.  Fr. Steven brought the newly written icon of saints who have walked the grounds of St. Tikhon’s for its first visitation.  St. Alexander is one of the saints who walked the grounds at St. Tikhon’s. He also accompanied St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow, who founded the monastery, when they blessed the original church in New Britain in 1902.  Fr. Steven shared the very real connection between Holy Trinity and St. Tikhon’s Seminary through these saints. 

Following Great Vespers on Saturday, Benedict Sheehan spoke of his new publication of two-part music. The Mission Choir sang several selections from this new publication.  Seraphim Danckaert, Director of Mission Advancement, spoke of the St. Tikhon and St. Nikolai Fellowship, and invited those present to support mission choir members financial needs as well as married students direct financial needs.

On Sunday, Greg Dresko and Dan Belonick joined the Mission Choir to sing the responses for the Divine Liturgy.    The Mission Choir is most grateful for the parish’s hospitality over the weekend.  Over $3,000 was also raised for the seminary.  May God grant Fr. David, and parish faithful many blessed years!

Andrew Nelko Ordained to the Holy Diaconate - 12/03/16

On December 3, 2016, Andrew Nelko, senior seminarian at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, was ordained to the Holy Diaconate.  His Eminence, the Most Reverend Melchisedek, Archbishop of Pittsburgh and the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania, was the celebrant. Joining him were: Archimandrite Sergius (Bowyer) St. Tikhon’s Monastery Abbot, Archpriest Andrew Nelko, Andrew’s father, Archpriest David Shewczyk, Assistant Director of Field Education at the seminary, Fr. Ignatius Gauvain, Director of Student Life, Fr. Innocent Neal, St. Tikhon’s Bookstore Manager, Fr. Theodore Gregory, STOTS Class of 2015, and Fr. Matthew Joyner, Andrew’s classmate.  Celebrating Deacons included, Hierodeacon Herman (Majkrzak), St. Tikhon’s Monastery, and more of Andrew’s classmates:  Deacons John Kennerk and Basil Ferguson.

Matushka Kaila Nelko has been working at St. Tikhon’s Bookstore while her husband has been continuing his studies.  Dn. Andrew will likely be assigned in the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania upon graduation from seminary.  May God grant many years to Dn. Andrew and Mat. Kaila Nelko as they prepare for a new chapter of their vocational journey!

Photography:  Andrew Bohush, and Mat. Jessica Fuhrman who has assisted with photography during several ordinations!@

St. Tikhon's Seminary Welcomes ATS Site Visit Team - 11/23/16

Our Accreditation Liaison, Dr. Barbara Mutch, and a Site Visit Team from The Association of Theological Schools visited St. Tikhon's Seminary from November 20-23 for a periodic re-accreditation review.  


Institutional Accreditation Director, Association of Theological Schools; Ordained Minister and Preacher; Baptist Union of Western Canada. 

Barbara Mutch was appointed to the ATS staff as director, accreditation and institutional evaluation in September 2015. Her work includes facilitating accrediting reviews, providing education and support to member schools about the process of accreditation, and providing staff support to the work of the Board of Commissioners of the ATS Commission on Accrediting. This is the first time St. Tikhon’s Seminary has welcomed our new accreditation liaison.

Site Visit Committee Chair: DR. LELAND ELIASON Former Dean Dean and Provost -Bethel University and Seminary, St. Paul, MN.


Adjunct Professor of New Testament, Franciscan School of Theology, Oceanside, CA; Teaching Fellow, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of San Diego; Podcast Contributor, Ancient Faith Radio.

SR. MARY MCCORMICK, OSU, PH.D. Academic Dean and Professor of Systematic Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary and School of Theology, Wickliffe, OH.

DR. BARRY MORRISON Pastor, Wolfville Baptist Church, Wolfville, Nova Scotia, Canada.

The site visit began with an introductory dinner on Sunday, November 20th. Over the course of the next few days, site team members met with: Rector, Dean, administrative leadership, faculty, seminarians, alumni, and board members. They also undertook a document review related to the various meetings, and to confirm compliance with standards. Team members participated in services at the monastery church during the review.  From the seminary’s vantage point, the team was well-prepared for this visit, directly touching upon the most salient points in each session they conducted.

Though we will need to wait until the final report is issued in February to publicize the accreditation review findings, the St. Tikhon’s Seminary community is grateful to our new accreditation liaison and the site visit team for a very meaningful and genuine engagement.

Photos are included from our opening reception, meetings with seminarians, alumni, board members, and field education representatives (including leadership members from SCI Waymart, Wayne Woodlands Manor, and Wayne Memorial Hospital).   

The photo accompanying this story is of Dr. Barbaa Mutch, offering an introduction at the opening reception.

Bishop Thomas meets with Antiochian Seminarians - 11/22/16

During the recent ATS re-accreditation site visit, The Right Reverend Thomas, Bishop of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic Diocese of the The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, met with his seminarians currently studying at St. Tikhon's Seminary on Tuesday, November 22nd.  Bishop Thomas is also a member of the Board of Trustees.

Antiochian Seminarians seated include Marshall Goodge, Joseph Clark, and they were joined by Yazen Fakhouri.  Sitting with them during lunch was Archpriest David Cowan, who participated in the Alumni Session, and has been integrally involved in the Self Study over the past two years.  

St. Tikhon's Seminary Posts 2016 Audit - 11/15/16

St. Tikhon's Seminary posted its unqualified 2016 Audit results as of November 15th.  You can either go to the audited financials page by clicking here, or see the 2016 audit by clicking here.


Mission Choir Visits St. Herman Orthodox Church in Gradyville, PA - 11/13/16

The Mission Choir, along with Archpriest Dennis Swencki, Chief Financial Officer, Fr. Ignatius Gauvain, Director of Student Life, and Seraphim Danckaert, Director of Mission Advancement, visited St. Herman Church on Sunday, November 13th.

Archpriest John Perich, Rector, and Deacons Nicholas Edwards and Gregory Hubiak, led the celebration of the Divine Liturgy.  Archpriest James Dougherty, who was attached to the parish, returned to concelebrate along with Fr. Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, Fr. Dennis, and Fr. Ignatius.  This visit coincided with the parish's festival.

The Mission Choir, led by Benedict Sheehan, was even more complete with several members of the St. Tikhon Monastery Chamber Choir.  The choir traveled to Eastern College for a concert later in the afternoon (see separate story).

Fr. Steven preached the sermon, and Fr. Dennis spoke to the congregation about the work of the seminary.  This was all the more meaningful in that Fr. Dennis founded St. Herman Church as a Mission, and served as its first pastor.  

Thank you to Fr. John and parish faithful for your hospitality on this celebratory day!

Mission Choir Visits Holy Cross Church in Williamsport, PA - 11/13/16

The St. Tikhon's Mission Choir visited Elevation of the Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Williamsport on Sunday, November 13th.  Archpriest Daniel Kovalak, Rector, was the celebrant.  Concelebrating were Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, and Fr. James Chuta who is attached to the parish.  

After the Divine Liturgy with responses sung congregationally, the Mission Choir sang a brief program of liturgical music in the parish hall.  Fr. Steven thanked the parish for sharing Fr. Daniel with the Seminary, as he has been a lecturer at the seminary for many years in Mission-related ministry.  

The seminary thanks Fr. Daniel and the parish for their warm hospitality!

Photos by Seminarian Veljko Pejovic

Vocation's Retreat Held at St. Tikhon's Seminary - 11/12/16

St. Tikhon's Seminary held its Vocation's Retreat from November 11-12.  Twelve participants came together to share their respective journeys along with several current seminarians, pray together, and join in the celebration of the ordination of Dn. Matthew Joyner to the Holy Priesthood.

The theme of the retreat was Saint John Chrysostom:  Champaion of the Priesthood. Fr. Ignatius Gauvain, Director of Student Life, offered a presentation on Saint John Chrysostom as related to the retreat participants; vocational discernment.  Also, during the brunch following the ordination, Dr. David Ford, Professor of Church History, shared some translations of Saint John Chrysostom's correspondence with Deaconess Olympia, of Constantinople, during his exile.  These translations will soon be published.

The Vocation's Retreat, traditionally held on Lazarus Saturday, was moved back to the fall both to seek greater participation, and to offer more time for those attending who subsequently decide to apply, to complete application materials.  From these vantage points, and from the feedback from participants, this move was certainly worthwhile.  

May God continue to bless the lives of those particpating in the vocation's retreat!

Ordination of Deacon Matthew Joyner to the Holy Priesthood - 11/12/16

Dn. Matthew Joyner, a third-year seminarian, was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Saturday, November 12, 2016.  His Eminence, the Most Reverend Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania was the celebrant.  Dn. Matthew had been his driver for the past two years, traveling throughout the diocese.  Clergy from the seminary, monastery, and the diocese concelebrated.

The ordination took place during the seminary's Vocations Retreat, so participants were able to witness the ordination in the context of the retreat.  Diocesan faithful planned a retreat weekend here as well before learning that they would be present for both the retreat and the ordination.

 A festive luncheon was held for all in the seminary refectory following the ordination.  Fr. Steven Voytovich, seminary dean, welcomed everyone, and Dr. David Ford shared some of his translations of St. John Chrysostom's writings as part of a forthcoming publication with all present.

Axios and many years to Fr. Matthew and Matushka Ashley!

Photos by Seminarian Andrew Bohush and Mat. Jessica Fuhrman

90th Birthday of Ann Dahulich, Mother of Archbishop Michael - 11/10/16

On Thursday, November 10th, The Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of New York, and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and Rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary, his brother George, and their sister Barbara, invited family, friends, and members of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and St. Tikhon's Seminary, to come and celebrate the 90th birthday of their mother, Mrs. Ann Dahulich.  

The evening began with a Moleben, celebrated at St. Michael's Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church in Binghamton, NY.  This is the church where Archbishop Michael was baptized and raised in, after his parents were also married in the same church! Archbishop Michael offered a most heartwarming homily of the "love of a mother", referring of course to the Mother of God for her Son Jesus Christ, in referencing his expereince of his mother's love.  Following the Moleben, all gathered then moved to the church hall for a festive dinner.

In lieu of gifts, the Dahulich family requested that donations be made either to St. Michael's Church Iconography Fund, or St. Tikhon's Seminary Married Student Housing, reflecting His Eminence's ongoing efforts to see this project through to completion.  A highlight of the evening was Father David Cowan, NY/NJ Diocean Secretary, and his family singing some show tunes.  Archbishop Michael has enjoyed taking his mother to Broadway shows over the years.  They sat together in front of those gathered to listen to the talented Cowan family.

May God grant Ann and her children, Archbishop Michael, George, and Barbara, and the Dahulich family many blessed years! Thank you for sharing your family's loving celebration with so many others who know and love you.

Photos by Archpriests Steven Voytovich and Alexey Karlgut

St. Tikhon's Seminary Celebrates Molieben for Guatemalan Missionaries - 11/10/16

Two years ago, Jesse Brandow came to St. Tikhon’s Seminary to talk about his impending missionary journey to Guatemala.  Since that time the Student Government has been sending monthly donations to aid in funding Jesse’s ministry.  Two weeks ago Student Government leadership asked for a Molieben to be celebrated, in order to pray for those involved in this missionary work. Jesse in turn asked for several “informal seminarians” to also be remembered. 

In addition, Archimandrite Juvenal, formerly of St. Tikhon’s Monastery, has been raising funds in order to join this missionary effort. Both the current missionaries and Archimandrite Juvenal were prayed for during the Molieben, celebrated on Thursday, November 10th.

This is just one example of our St. Tikhon’s Seminary Student Government making a difference!

St. Tikhon’s Seminary Prepares for ATS Site Visit: Comments Invited (Updated) - 11/02/16

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary will be receiving an evaluation committee from the Association of Theological Schools November 20-23rd. You are invited to forward comments related to this evaluation to either to the ATS Commission on Accrediting or to our Seminary Accreditation Leadership Team.  Comments are particularly welcome regarding the General Institutional Standards, the Educational Standards, and Degree Program Standards.

Please email comments directly to the director of accreditation services,

or to our seminary’s dedicated e-mail address:

or send comments by mail to the Commission or the Seminary:

Director of Accreditation Services                        STOTS ATS Accreditation Leadership Team

The Association of Theological Schools                   St. Tikhon’s Seminary

           10 Summit Park Drive                                         P.O. Box 130

     Pittsburgh, PA 15275-1110                              South Canaan, PA 18459

Update:  A Town Hall Meeting was held on Monday, November 14th, at 7pm in the Seminary Refectory.  The focus of this town hall meeting was for public comment related to our completed Self Study.  Copies of the Self Study are available at the St. Patriarch Tikhon Library for reference. 

(Photo from ATS Focused Visit at St. Tikhon's Seminary in 2012)


Diocesan Hierarchs visit St. Tikhon’s Seminary - 10/25/16

His Grace, The Right Reverend David, Bishop of Sitka and the Diocese of Alaska, and His Grace, The Right Reverend Paul, Bishop of Chicago and the Diocese of the Midwest, visited St. Tikhon's Seminary while attending the fall Holy Synod meeting that concluded on Friday, October 21st.  His Grace Bishop David visited before the Holy Synod and returned after for several additional days.  His Grace, Bishop Paul visited over the weekend following the Holy Synod meeting and remained into the early part of the following week.  

During his visit, Bishop David visited his student, Reader Timothy Kolb, who traveled from Alaska with his wife Elisabeth in a Winnebago  to begin the new school year after attending a vocations retreat in the Spring.   Bishop David returned again after the Holy Synod meeting to further visit with members of the seminary community.

During his visit, Bishop Paul visited with his students from the Diocese of the Midwest here at the seminary.  He also sat in on several classes.   

Both hierarchs also met briefly with V. Rev. Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean.  Fr. Steven briefly related how important these archpastoral visitations are:  "It is very important for our seminarians to see their respective hierarch come to visit and encourage them on their formation journey.  The whole seminary community also greatly benefits from the opportunity to interact with our hierarchs."

Photos with Bishop David: Reader Timothy and Elisabeth are both in the first photo.  In the second photo, Archbishop Michael, Seminary Rector, and Fr. Steven are with Bishop David and Reader Timothy just before class began.

Photo with Bishop Paul from left to right:  Jonathan and Megan Lincoln, married earlier in October, making history as the first two St. Tikhon's students to be married at the seminary; Dn. Basil and Marina Ferguson, with their sons Elijah, Ephrem, and Gregory; Bishop Paul, Fr. Steven, Dn. Stephen Gresh;  Dn. John and Michelle Kennerk, with Anthony (Inez not in photo).

Mission Choir Visits Ballston Lake, NY - 10/23/16

The St. Tikhon's Mission Choir visited Christ the Savior Church in Ballston Lake, NY.  Fr. Matthew Markewich, Rector, was formerly the St. Tikhon's Monastery Bookstore Manager, and traveled with the Mission Choir.  It was wonderful for members of teh Mission Choir to visit him now with his parish faithful!

Fr. Matthew remarked in the context of Vespers and the Divine Liturgy how clearly the syllables of the text came across, carried by the musical setting as the choir sang.   The parish faithful were enthusiastic in welcoming the choir, as well as collecting funds to assist married students' needs.  

Following the Liturgy, Fr. Matthew and Mat. Rebecca welcomed the choir to their home for lunch.  May God bless Fr. Matthew and the faithful of Christ the Savior Church!

Photos, Veljko Pejovic.

Century Association Holds Annual Meeting - 10/09/16

The Century Association, led by President Sarah Jubinski, held their annual meeting following Divine Liturgy and festive luncheon celebrating Founder’s Day.   They presented a check to the seminary totaling $8,000, representing contributions of at least $100 from Century Association members.

Elections were held during the meeting, and a new president was elected, Subdeacon John Lasichak, of St. Michael’s Church in Jermyn, PA. He joins Rosalee Luster, Vice President, Matushak Gloria Martin, Secretary, Elizabeth Dutko, Recording Secretary, and Kathryn Fedirko, Treasurer, as association leadership.

St. Tikhon’s Seminary joins the Century Association leadership in expressing gratitude to Sarah Jubinski for her many years of service to the seminary, both in supporting the St. Patriarch Tikhon Library, and her leadership of the Century Association.  She will continue serving as Immediate Past President. May God grant her and Century Association leadership team members many blessed years!

If you would like to join the Century Association, please find the application elsewhere on this website by clicking here.

St. Tikhon's Community Celebrates Feast of St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow - 10/09/16

St. Tikhon's Monastery Brotherhood and Seminary community came together to celebrate the Feast of St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow.  St. Tikhon was the one who founded the monastery.  Upon returning for the consecration of the Monastery Church in May, 1906, St. Tikhon stated:  "I would like our monastery to become, according to the words of the Savior, like a leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal, till it was all leavened (Matt. 13:33)." (St. Tikhon of Moscow:  Instructions and Teachings for the American Orthodox Faithful (1898-1907), translated and edited by Alex Maximov and David C. Ford, STM Press, 2016)

Every year the founding of the monastery is commemorated by the celebration of "Founder's Day", on the Sunday nearest the Feast of St. Tikhon.  This year the Feast itself was on Sunday making for an even greater celebration!  Additionally, Jonathan Lincoln and Megan Haak were married later the same afternoon, making seminary history as the first two St. Tikhon's students to be married.

May Christ our God continue to bless the monastery community to be the leaven that St. Tikhon prayed for, and the ongoing formation work of the seminary.

Photos, Seminarian Robert West

Seminary Participates in Observance of First Anniversary of Dn. Mark Hoeplinger's Repose - 10/08/16

St. George Church in Buffalo, NY celebrated the one-year anniversary of the repose of Dn. Dr. Mark Hoeplinger.  Dn. Mark was a graduate of the Diaconal Formation Program, a practicing Ear-Nose-and-Throat physician, and a St. Tikhon's Seminary Board member.  He reposed in the Lord on October 8, 2015.

Fr. Jason Vansuch, parish rector, celebrated the Divine Liturgy with many concelebrants.  Among them was Archpriest alexey Karlgut, and the participants of the Endicott Diaconal Formation program.  Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, and two first-year seminarians, Alex Norton and John Parker, together sang the responses for the Divine Liturgy and the Panikhida that followed it.  Matushka Christine Hoeplinger and her family not only were present for the services, but assisted in preparing a wonderful luncheon that followed.  Fr. Steven offered brief comments after the Liturgy.  He indicated that Dn. Mark would have approved both of the many developments in the past year to the parish, as well as the diaconal program participants meeting together after the conclusion of the services.

After the services were concluded, all present went out front to bless a new sign for the church donated by the Hoeplinger family. During the luncheon, Seraphim Danckaert,  Director of Mission Advancement, shared with all that Tikhonaires were available that featured a story on Dn. Mark's repose.  

Many continued on from there to the cemetery, where the graves of Dn. Mark, and Fr. Ratchko, who reposed shortly before Dn. Mark, were blessed.  Fr. Ratchko had received Dn. Mark and celebrated their marriage. 

Fr. Jason shared his hope that this would be an annual celebration of Dn. Dr. Mark's life and ministry.  May Dn. Mark's memory be eternal.

St. Tikhon's Seminary announces 2016 Fall Lecture Series - 10/03/16

The annual Fall Lecture Series at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, featuring four public lecture on Tuesdays throughout the month of October, will begin this Tuesday, October 4.  Please note the time for each lecture as they are not all evening presentations.

Weekly topics and speakers include the following.

October 4 at 7 PM — “Understanding Today’s College Students from an Orthodox Street Preacher’s Perspective”
Gary Cattell, also known as “The Willard Preacher,” began preaching and dialoguing with students at Penn State as a Protestant in November of 1982. In the spring of 1999, he became an Orthodox Christian. He now ministers to Penn State students from the perspective of the Orthodox faith. He is married to Karen, his wife for more than thirty years, and has four grown children and four grandchildren.

October 11 at 7 PM  — “Identity and Knowledge: A Reflection on Leading Reading Groups on the Church Fathers”
Dr. Timothy Becker, PhD, teaches at the Center for Orthodox Thought and Culture at Eastern University in Philadelphia, where he also leads a popular reading group for anyone interested in the Church Fathers and Orthodoxy. Dr. Becker will reflect on why and how participation in this communal activity has been transformative for students and others.

October 18 at Noon — “Vocation & Ministry in the Orthodox Church”
Sr. Vassa Larin, PhD, is host of the popular YouTube show “Coffee with Sr. Vassa,” the author of various scholarly and popular works, and a professor of liturgical studies at the University of Vienna in Austria. Sr. Vassa will explore the intriguing concepts of “ministry” and “vocation” in the context of our post-modern, globalized world. Have these concepts “changed" in the Internet-Age — an Age of Fluidity? 

October 25 at 7 PM — “Money to Burn: A New (Old) Approach to Christian Stewardship”
Dr. Andy Geleris, MD, completed medical school and a neurology residency at UCLA, and has been a practicing neurologist for 33 years in southern California. He and his family became Orthodox as part of St. Peter's in Pomona, a Protestant church that converted to Orthodoxy in 1996. In his talk, Dr. Geleris will examine how embracing a biblical and patristic vision of generosity can revitalize one's spiritual life and the Church's witness to the world.

The general public is encouraged to attend. Admission for the entire lecture series is $10 per person. Refreshments will be provided. Please direct questions and RSVP to Teresa Vaux-Michel, Administrative Assistant to the Dean, at 570-561-1818 ext. 101  Please click here for a flyer that you can post.

Joint Seminary Celebration of OCA Chancery Patronal Feast Day - 09/24/16

Students, faculty, and administrators from both St. Vladimir’s Seminary and St. Tikhon’s Seminary gathered at our national chancery in Syosset on Saturday, September 24th to celebrate the Chapel Patronal Feast Day of St. Sergius of Radonezh. This celebration was hosted by chancery staff, began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, and was followed by a luncheon.  Archbishop Michael, St Tikhon’s Seminary Rector, preached during the Divine Liturgy. 

Photos of the day’s events viewed here were taken by St. Tikhon's seminarians.

Please also see the complete coverage of the day’s events on our OCA website by clicking here.


Feast of the Elevation of the Cross with Metropolitan Tikhon - 09/14/16

The Feast of the Elevation of the cross on September 14th, in which we glorify our Lord’s Resurrection and celebrate the life-giving power of His Holy cross, St. Tikhon’s was especially blessed to celebrate the feast with The Most Blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of all America and Canada. His Beatitude was there for the Vigil on Tuesday night and concelebrated Wednesday morning with: His Eminence Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, Archimandrite Sergius, Monastery Igumen, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, Fr. Ignatius Gauvain, Seminary Director of Student Life, Fr. Innocent Neal, Monastery Bookstore Manager, Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak, Secretary to the Metropolitan, Hierodeacons Herman and Maximus, and Seminary Deacons Basil Ferguson, and Mikel Hill, amongst others. 

Metropolitan Tikhon’s homily encouraged the faithful to consider the gift we have been given in the saving power of Christ’s death on the cross and his resurrection, and to remember what hope this inspires. Continuing from there, he emphasized the importance of personalizing the feast of the cross, taking this hope and truth into our own personal life to in turn be sources of hope and Christ’s truth to all we come into contact with. This was a wonderful encouragement to the students who are studying to be servants, to the monks struggling in prayer and asceticism, and to all who live in this area working out their salvation “with fear and trembling.”

Story written by Seminarian John Parker

Alumni Update: Recent Ordinations - 09/12/16

Dn. Paul Abernathy (STOTS Class 2010) was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Saturday, August 27 at St. George in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania. He was ordained by His Grace, the Right Reverend Thomas (Joseph), Bishop of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic, of the Antiochian Archdiocese.  Fr. Paul was ordained in the same parish where he was received into the Orthodox Church.  There were 18 priests and deacons present during the Divine Liturgy and ordination.  Fr. Paul served his first liturgy at the Mission of St. Moses the Black in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Sunday, August 28. Axios to Fr. Paul and his family as he begins the next phase of his ordained ministry.

 Dn. Basil Kuriakose (STOTS Class of 2015) was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Wednesday, September 14th, 2016, at his home parish in Mumbai. He was ordained by his Diocesan Bishop, His Grace, Geevarghese Mar Coorilos (Metropolitan, Diocese of Bombay, Malankara Orthodox Church). Axios to Fr. Basil and his family in India!  (Photo is from diaconate ordination.)

Timothy Winegar (STOTS Class of 2016), was married to Joni Raile in July.  He sent word that he would be ordained to the Holy Diaconate also on the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross, at the Elevation of the Cross Church in Sacramento, CA.  Axios!

Alumni Update: In Memoriam, Fr. John Govrusik (STOTS Class of 1944) - 09/03/16

Archpriest John Govrusik fell asleep in the Lord on September 3, 2016.  He was interred at St. Tikhon’s Cemetery on September 12th. Please click here to see memorial write-up featured on our OCA website: .

Alumni-Seminarian Joint Retreat Encourages Unity and Brotherhood - 09/02/16

On September 1-2, St. Tikhon’s seminarians and alumni convened for a joint retreat, which was hailed as the most positive, successful seminarian-alumni gathering in recent memory. The retreat not only afforded students the opportunity to meet the men who were trained at St. Tikhon’s and are now stewards of Christ’s vineyard, but also provided a context in which both groups could grow together in fellowship and self-reflection.

On Thursday afternoon, September 1, Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick of Emmaus, PA (STOTS 2007) spoke about the concept of “Priest and Parish as Family,” and encouraged those assembled to consider that their own parish communities operate under the same dynamics as families do. In a follow-up session with Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, Seminarians and alumni briefly separated into small groups, and considered how their own personal family experiences might shape parish ministry.  Reflections from each group were shared with the larger group.  Photo of Fr. Damick is from his fall lecture series presentation to St. Tikhon's in October of 2014.

That evening, the alumni treated the seminarians and their families to a delicious barbeque dinner. Hamburgers, hot dogs, and watermelon heralded the last month of summer; old friends had a chance to catch up, and new friendships were formed, as conversations lasted well into the evening.

Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of St. Tikhon’s Monastery (STOTS 2005), delivered a powerful talk the next day on the three stages of spiritual life, as taught by Archimandrite Zacharias Zacharou in his work, “Remember Thy First Love.” Archimandrite Sergius’ words offered encouragement that the difficulties we frequently experience are the “testing of your faith [that] produces patience,” (James 1:3), and it is this patient endurance by which we shall be found to gain the salvation of our souls (Luke 21:19).

The last event of the retreat was unique in that second and third-year seminarians were present at the alumni business meeting as official alumni for the first time. While there were many thoughts, feelings, and deep emotions expressed at this meeting concerning the importance of the work of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, perhaps one theme stands out: the student body and the gathered alumni may learn from each other, and both are dependent in a way on the other. While it is clear that the seminarians may be guided and taught by those currently serving in parish ministry, the clergy also expressed their conviction that they may learn from the seminarians, and be inspired by their zeal and vision for the Church.

This year’s joint seminarian-alumni retreat reminded those present that we rely on each other, as some of us continue serving Christ’s Church and others enter into that ministry. Christ is our source of life and renewal, and as branches of the True Vine, we abide in Him and grow together.

Writer, Jonathan Lincoln

New Students Arrive at St. Tikhon's Seminary - 09/01/16

SOUTH CANAAN, PA [STOTS Communications] – New Seminarians Arrive at St. Tikhon’s!

St. Tikhon’s Seminary welcomes 14 new M.Div. Students for the coming academic year!  Of the new students, eight are from the Orthodox Church in America, two each from the Antiochian and Greek Archdioceses respectively, one is from the Bulgarian Patriarchate, and one is from the Eritrean Church.  In addition, several other OCA students are beginning special programs of study. 

The new academic year coincided with the new Ecclesiastical year.  Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, celebrated the Divine Liturgy on September 1st, with Priest Patrick Burns, Alumni President, and Priest Ignatius Gauvain, Director of Student Life.  Seminarian Deacons Mikel Hill and Basil Ferguson also concelebrated. At the end of the Liturgy prayers were offered for the monastery and seminary at the beginning of the New Year, and new students were blessed to wear their cassocks.

Alumni came together for a continuing education program in part to have greater interaction with new and returning seminarians. This initiative came from the alumni. Presentations were offered by Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick (STOTS, 2007), Pastor of St. Paul Antiochian Orthodox Church, Emmaus, PA, and Archimandrite Sergius, St. Tikhon’s Monastery Igumen (STOTS, 2005).  Alumni and seminarians alike expressed how meaningful it was to have spent almost two days together! A separate story will be posted with more details related to the retreat.

Fr. Steven shared a comment about the beginning of the year:  “With special thanks to the work of many during this past week, especially Fr. Ignatius Gauvain as Director of Student Life, and Fr. Patrick Burns, Alumni Chair who spent most of the week at the seminary, we are off to a very good start for the new year!”

St. Tikhon’s Celebrates Patronal Feast Day - 08/13/16

 The St. Tikhon’s Community came to celebrate the Feast of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, Patron Saint of both the monastery and seminary.   The feast began with Novice Daniel Armstrong being tonsured a Riasaphore Monk at the end of the vigil.

His Eminence, the Most Reverend Mark, Archbishop of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania was the celebrant at the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy.  With him was Archimandrite Sergius (Boywer), Monastery Igumen, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, Igumen Gabriel (Nicholas), Archpriests John Kowalczyk and David Shewczyk, Seminary Field Education Director and Assistant Director, Fr. Theodore Petrides, pastor of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Stroudsburg, Fr. Ignatius Gauvain, Seminary Director of Student Life, and Fr. Innocent Neal, St. Tikhon’s Bookstore Manager.  Those serving as deacons included:  Hierodeacon Herman (Majkrzak), Hierodeacon Maxim (Romanchak), Deacon Michael Pavuk, from St. John’s Cathedral, Mayfield, and Deacon Matthew Joyner, seminarian.

At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Archimandrite Sergius presented Mr. Alexander Bratic, J.D. with the Order of St. Tikhon in recognition of his very generous philanthropic support of the monastery and seminary over many years. He has graciously donated funds for many projects at St. Tikhon's Monastery and Seminary, and has served as a Board Member of the Seminary.  A festive lunch followed where everyone enjoyed some fellowship.  


Photos by Deacon John Kennerk

St. Tikhon's to Hold Joint Retreat for Alumni and Seminarians - 08/04/16

South Canaan, Pa. — The Alumni Association of St. Tikhon's Seminary is holding a 24-hour retreat on September 1-2. 

All alumni are welcome to attend at no cost, and there will be an opportunity for those who live far away to register for an online broadcast of the seminars and annual meeting.

Featured speakers include Fr. Andrew Stephen Damick (STOTS '07) and Archimandrite Sergius [Bowyer] (STOTS '05), and participants in the full retreat will earn five continuing education credits.

"We hope that alumni will take advantage of this opportunity to earn some of their required continuing education credits, to recharge spiritually, and also spend time with the current seminarians," Priest Patrick Burns, president of the association, said. "The alumni have sponsored a BBQ for seminarians around this time for many years, but holding a 24-hour retreat will provide everyone with an extended time to renew friendships and form closer bonds."

Thursday's seminar with Fr. Andrew will focus on practical ideas to foster leadership, healing, and change in parish communities, and Friday's seminar with Fr. Sergius will discuss spirituality and prayer in the context of busy ministries. In addition to the seminars, there will be a small group discussion session, a panel discussion, and prayer in the monastery church.

A flyer which includes the retreat's schedule is available for download and printing here.

"We hope this retreat, developed from a suggestion by our alumni, becomes a new tradition and helps foster deeper relationships among alumni and current seminarians," Archpriest Steven Voytovich, STOTS Dean, said. 

To inquire about the retreat or to register, contact Teresa Vaux-Michel at 570-561-1818, ext 101 or

Donations to support this new initiative are also welcome.

"The Alumni Association plans to cover the cost of holding this event, including food, instruction, and the online component," Fr. Burns said. "To do so we need your support."

Please send checks payable to "St. Tikhon's Seminary" to Fr. Patrick Burns at 59 Clifton Ave
Ansonia, CT 06401-2203, or contact him with questions at

Register now for the 19th Annual St. Tikhon’s Golf Tournament - 07/18/16

SOUTH CANAAN, PA -- The 19th Annual St. Tikhon's Golf Tournament will be held on Saturday, August 20 at Jack Frost National Golf Course in White Haven, Pa. 
"We are looking forward to another great opportunity for fellowship and fun during the golf tournament at Jack Frost, which has been rated as the best course to play in the state by Golf Advisor," Archpriest Dr. Steven Voytovich, STOTS Dean, said. "Alumni, donors, and friends of St. Tikhon's have been coming to this tournament from all over Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey for many years. If you enjoy golf, or simply want to support the Seminary, we hope you will join us this year."

The event begins with lunch at 12:00 p.m. and a shotgun start at 1:00 p.m. There will be an awards dinner at 6:00 p.m. The cost is $100 per golfer, which includes lunch, green fees, cart, sleeve of balls, steak dinner, liquid refreshment, prizes and awards. There will also be skill prizes.

To enter the tournament, either as a single player or with a group, please contact Berny Golubiewski at or by calling 570-825-4780, or click here for a registration form.

Individuals interested in sponsoring the event are encouraged to contact Fr. David Shewczyk, STOTS Class of '75 and a member of the Tournament Committee.  Please click here for more information on sponsorships.

"By God's grace there are many wonderful and exciting things happening at the Seminary," Fr. David said. "We ask you to consider making a donation to this fundraiser for the Seminary, which has been coordinated by supporters of the Seminary for the last 18 years. Please understand that all donations go directly to the Seminary. No donation money is used for Tournament costs."

Hole sponsorships are available for a donation of $100. Other sponsorship levels exist, and all donations will be welcomed and acknowledged in a Tournament Ad Booklet. Please make checks payable to St. Tikhon's Seminary and return by August 15, 2016 to Fr. David Shewczyk, 401 E. Main, St. Wilkes Barre, PA 18705.

St. Tikhon’s Seminary Welcomes new Director of Student Life - 07/10/16

SOUTH CANAAN, PA [STOTS Communications] – St. Tikhon’s Seminary is pleased to welcome Fr. Ignatius Gauvain in the role of Director of Student Life.  He began serving in this role on July 1st.

Fr. Ignatius (then Robert) completed coursework in Mathematics and Civil Engineering at the University of Alaska, before completing his Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts from St. Thomas Aquinas College in California in June 2000.  He married his wife Elizabeth in July, 2001.

With his preliminary teaching certificate, Robert taught math courses, grades 9-12, for at-risk students.  He completed a Teacher’s Secondary Certificate in Mathematics at California State University in Northridge California (2005).   While there he also tutored other students in math and science.

Before coming to St. Tikhon’s Seminary, Fr. Ignatius attended St. Herman Church in Minneapolis, MN.  While in Minnesota he served as Vice-President of the Watertown Chamber of Commerce in the midst of building his own computer business supporting individuals and businesses.

Fr. Ignatius came to St. Tikhon’s Seminary in 2010 with his wife Elizabeth and their children:  Alexei, Xenia, and Veronika.  Anna and Maximos were born while they were at seminary.  He worked part-time while taking slightly less than a full semester course loads.  He also served as Mission Choir Member, traveling with the choir on many weekends during his years of study.  Fr. Ignatius was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on May 25, 2013, and to the Holy Priesthood on February 2, 2014, by Metropolitan Tikhon. 

While completing his studies, Fr. Ignatius began serving at St. Mary’s Church, Coaldale.  He graduated with his M.Div. Degree in May, 2014, and has since completed two years of pastoral service to this parish community.  He also has served as Treasurer for the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania.   All during this time Fr. Ignatius continued to travel to St. Tikhon’s, serving vigil and Divine Liturgy weekly, as well as assisting both the seminary and monastery with information technology support. 

Fr. Steven, seminary dean, had the opportunity to work with Fr. Ignatius on information technology needs during these past two years.  He noted:  “Fr. Ignatius approached each situation with an unbiased sense of balance and resourcefulness that was most helpful in resolving even the most difficult challenges.”

Fr. Ignatius shared a brief reflection in taking up his new responsibilities:  “I and my family feel as if we have returned home, though in truth part of us never left; a piece of our hearts remained here even while we lived away.  Brother and sisters, each of us can plant a small piece of our hearts like a seed in this fertile soil.  Here that seed is tended by the saints and watered by the Spirit and yields much fruit.  And for anyone whose heart is planted here, each return is a homecoming.  Thank you for welcoming us home.   May God bless us all!

Please join us in welcoming Fr. Ignatius.  You can contact Fr. Ignatius by phone at 570.561.1818, Extension 103, or by e-mail at:

Alumni Update: Fords Encounter Many St. Tikhon's Alumni in the Southwest - 07/08/16

Drs. David and Mary Ford, long-time professors at St. Tikhon's, recently returned home from an extended tour of the Great American Southwest.  During their time there, they visited the OCA Monastery dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel near Canones, New Mexico.  The setting there is spectacular, and the monks' hospitality and kindness, led by the abbot, Fr. Silouan, was heartwarming.  And by surprise, a recent St. Tikhon's graduate, Fr. Zachary Lynch (2011), along with his Matushka, Natalia, and four of their five children, were staying there for several days - so the Fords had a wonderful reunion with them as well.

Then, on Saturday, June 25, Dr. David spoke after Vespers at the St. Job of Pochaev Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Los Alamos, New Mexico, on the theme, "The Home as a Little Church: The Wisdom of St. John Chrysostom."  The priest there, Fr. Theophan Mackey, is another recent graduate of our Seminary (2014).  The Fords also attended the Divine Liturgy there the next morning, and enjoyed reconnecting with the whole Mackey family.

The Fords then went to Phoenix, where they were hosted for several days by St. Tikhon's alumnus Michael Devich (2010) and his wife Heather.  During their time there, on the morning of June 29, the Fords attended the Divine Liturgy at Saints Peter and Paul OCA Church in Phoenix for their patronal feast.  Fr. David Balmer,(STS, 2006), is attached there.  He and his wife, Mary, spent the afternoon catching up with the Fords. 

Two days later, the Fords visited the Western Regional Family Life Conference of the Antiochian Archdiocese, also being held in Phoenix.  There they held a book-signing, co-hosted by Dcn. Gregory Hatrak, another St. Tikhon's alumnus (1994) and former St. Tikhon’s Bookstore Manager, now Manager of St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, and the Chancellor of St. Vladimir's Seminary, Fr. Chad Hatfield.  The main book they were promoting is the newly released collection of essays and other materials on marriage entitled Glory and Honor: Orthodox Christian Resources on Marriage, published by St. Vladimir's Press, which the Fords both helped edit, as well as contributing articles to it.

 During their time there, the Fords reconnected with six other St. Tikhon's alumni, all in the Antiochian Archdiocese: Fr. Nathan Thompson (2009) and his wife Mandy, Fr. Michael Habib (2009), Fr. John Christianson (2010) and his wife Barbara, Fr. David Sommer (2005), Fr. Matthew Howell (STS 2011, whom they had recently seen in Alaska!), as well as Fr. Gregory Horton (STS, 1987) and his wife Cindy.

The previous day, as the Fords visited St. Anthony's Greek Orthodox Monastery near Florence, Arizona, they were met there by the Hortons.  We were all very warmly greeted by the former Victor Kouzemchek - now Fr. Theo - who used to work in the St. Tikhon's Bookstore.

All in all it was a tremendously rewarding and enriching trip - as we beheld such amazing natural scenery, visited important pilgrimage sites, and reconnected wonderfully with so many people who have been associated with our St. Tikhon's community through the years.  Thanks be to GOD!

New Strategic Plan Posted on Seminary Website - 07/06/16

SOUTH CANAAN, PA [STOTS Communications] – At its May 27, 2016, the St. Tikhon's Seminary Board of Trustees adopted a new Strategic Plan for 2016-2020.  You can find the Strategic Plan under the "About Us" tab, or simply by clicking here.

This plan includes input from a broad spectrum of seminary constituencies.  You can read the story of our World Cafe session devoted to developing the strategic plan in October of 2015 here.  

Fr. Steven Voytovich, Chair of the Board's Strategic Planning Committee, shared the following comment:  "I am grateful to all who have contributed to the development of this new strategic plan that will be a core document for planning and assessment in the coming years toward advancing the mission of the seminary!

Alumni Update: Two St. Tikhon’s Graduates Ordained on Ascension Feast - 06/09/16

Two St. Tikhon’s Seminary Graduates were ordained on the Feast of Ascension!

Dn. Joseph Hazar was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on June 9, 2016, by His Grace, The Right Reverend Anthony, Bishop of Toledo and the Diocese of the Midwest, of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.

In this photo of St. Tikhon’s Alumni are, left to right: Fr. Gabriel Monforte (2013), Fr. Joseph Hazar (2011), Subdeacon Todd Mokhiber (2012), Fr. John Hogg (2012), and Deacon Paul McDonald (2013).

Axios to Fr. Joseph and Khouria Jennifer as they begin a new phase of ministry!

Innocent Neal (Class of 2005), currently serving as St. Tikhon’s Bookstore Manager, was ordained to the Diaconate on Sunday, June 5, 2016, and to the Holy Priesthood on the Ascension Feast, June 9th.  His Eminence, the Most Reverend Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and the OCA Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania was the celebrant at both ordinations, with the ordination to the priesthood occurring at St. Tikhon’s Monastery Church.

Fr. Innocent was also surrounded by classmates:  Archimandrite Sergius, St. Tikhon Monastery Igumen (2005), Fr. Timothy Hojnicki (2005), and Fr. Stephen Vernak (2007), and Fr. Peter Henry (2006).  Dn. Gregory Hatrack (1994) also served at the Festal ordination, along with deacons who are presently studying at St. Tikhon’s.

Axios to Fr. Innocent, Matushka Melania, and their family also!

74th Graduation Exercises held at St. Tikhon's Seminary: Updated 6-23-16! - 05/28/16

The St. Tikhon's Seminary Community was very pleased to welcome His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, and Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, as Commencement Speaker for the 74th Graduation Exercises!  He was joined at graduation by His Eminence, Metropolitan Savas, of the Pittsburgh Metropolis of the Greek Orthodox Church in America.  Our Metropolitan Tikhon, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and President of all three seminaries of the Orthodox Church in America, led the Commencement Exercises.  His Eminence, The Most Reverend Michael, Seminary Rector and Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey was joined by His Eminence, the Most Reverend Benjamin, Archbishop of the Diocese of the West of the Orthodox Church in America.

The Doctor of Divinity Degree, Honoris Causa, was conferred upon Archbishop Demetrios by Metropolitan Tikhon and Archbishop Michael before Archbishop Demetrios offered the Commencement Address.  Archbishop Demetrios shared very practical dimensions of ministry with the graduates, both with genuine warmth, and from the depth of his many years of service in our Lord's vineyard.  To read Archbishop Demetrios' Commencement address, click here.  To see a posting of our graduation, in the most recent Greek Orthodox Observer, please click here

Graduating with a Master of Divinity Degree were:  Joseph Frangipani, Priest Theodore Gregory, and Erik Timothy Winegar. Priest David Gresham completed a Certificate in Pastoral Studies.  Edward Dawson and Russell Komline completed the Diaconal Formation Certificate Program. 

Timothy Winegar graduated with honors.   He completed a thesis entitled:  The Temple of His Body:  Saint Cyril of Alexandria's Understanding of the Temple and Worship in Spirit and Truth in His Commentary of John.  

Timothy, also having served as Student Government President, Presented the Fr. Alexander Atty Memorial Award for Community Service to Archpriest Daniel Donlick for his decades of service to the seminary that continues to this day as he serves as confessor for many of the seminarians!  The first set of photos reflects the graduation exercises.

Later in the evening, after Vespers, the graduates, their family members, and the community of St. Tikhon's came together for the graduation dinner, held at Genetti Manor in nearby Dickson City.  All the hierarch particpating in graduation remained to join in the celebration.  Each graduate shared some reflections during the dinner, as did Archpriest John Jillions, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, and Metropolitan Tikhon.  

Andrew Nelko, now President of Student Government, presented the graduates with an icon bearing the patron saints of all those graduating.  This has been an initiative of Student Government.   Dn. John Kennerk also shared a gift certificate, representing hearfelt gratitude by all the seminarians, with Matushka Lorissa Gregory, who has served as our cook for the past two years.  The second set of photos cover the graduation dinner.

May God grant many years to Archbishop Demetrios, and all our St. Tikhon's Seminary graduates!

112th St. Tikhon's Monastery Pilgrimage Begins - 05/28/16

Archimandrite Sergius, St. Tikhon's Monastery Igumen, welcomed His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, and other hierarchs, as the 112th Pilgrimage began, on Friday, May 27th.  Metropolitan Tikhon was joined by:  His Eminence, the Most Reverend Benjamin, Archbishop of San Francisco and the Diocese of the West, His Eminence, the Most Reverend Michael, Seminary Rector and Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and His Grace, the Right Reverend Thomas, Bishop of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic Diocese of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

Archimandrite Sergius received the miraculous myrrh-streaming Iveron Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos from Subdeacon Nectarios who travels with her and Mitred Archpriest John Sorochka from St. John's Cathedral in Mayfield.  After veneration of the myrrh-streaming icon by the hierarchs, the procession continued into the Monastery Church of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk.  The first slide show chronicles the beginning of the pilgrimage.

On Saturday, May 28th, the pilgrimage continued with Divine Liturgy followed by the 74th Graduation Exercises at St. Tikhon's Seminary.   The St. Tikhon's Community was very pleased to welcome His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios, Geron of America, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America.  He arrived in time for the Divine Liturgy in the morning, before giving the Commencement Speech at graduation.  The second set of photos here are from the Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning.


St. Tikhon's Seminary Community Softball Game - 05/19/16

The St. Tikhon's Seminary community gathered near the end of final's week for a softball game played at the local high school ball field.  Seminarians, seminary wives, and children gathered for an annual match-up between dormatory and married students.  As will be evident from the photos, this was an incredible evening!

Photos, Andrew Bohush, Rachel Frangipani, and others!

St. Tikhon's Mission Choir Visits Lorain, Ohio - 05/15/16

The Mission Choir visited Sts. Peter and Paul Church, in Lorain, Ohio, over the weekend of May 14-15.  This was the third Sunday of Pascha commemorating the Myrrhbearing Women.  Fr. Joseph McCartney was the celebrant, along with retired pastor, Archpriest Basil Stoyka. 

The weekend began with Vespers, followed by a wonderful dinner!  Fr. Steven shared events occurring at St. Tikhon's Seminary, and the Mission Choir sang.  Megan Haak joined the mission choir for this event, offering Fr. Steven the opportunity to share her engagement, over Bright Week, to Seminarian Jonathan Lincoln!  This is the first engagement of seminary students occurring at St. Tikhons!

The Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning returned everyone to the events of Holy Week and the beginning of the Paschal Feast with the beautiful hymnography.  After this the choir was invited to a parishioner's home for a sumptuous Paschal dinner with friends and family of Sts. Peter and Paul Church.  What a joyous visitation!

Photos by Andrew Nelko and Veljko Pejovic.

Hospitality A la Russe VII - 05/15/16

Members of St. Tikhon’s Seminary Century Association, clergy, matushki, seminarians, and friends enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of food and fellowship at Hospitality ala Russe VII on Sunday, May 15, at St. John’s Center in Mayfield, Pa..  In all, over 150 attended!  The festival featured a magnificent “Russian Table” with zakushki (appetizers) of potato pancakes, beet salad (vinaigrette), eggplant caviar, potato cheese pierogi, kielbasi, Russian meatballs, marinated mushrooms, meat and cabbage pirozhki, Georgian pizza, marinated herring, and Paska bread followed by a dinner with  shaslyk (beef kabobs), Novgorod potatoes, and old country carrots with a delicious ice cream sundae.  

The renowned Kauriga Balalaika Orchestra played our favorite balalaika melodies!  There were door prizes and a superb basket raffle with themes of Cold Cash, Keurig Coffee Maker, and Vera Bradley, Star Wars, and Russian Trinkets. “HANYA’S KITCHEN: The Orthodox Herald Recipe Collection,” cookbook was available for purchase.

On behalf of the Association members and friends, Sarah Jubinski, president, presented Father Dennis Swenki with a check for $15,000 for the Seminary.  

Story by Sarah Jubinski, Photos by Dn. John Kennerk

In Memoriam: Fr. Walter Smith -- Updated - 05/14/16

Fr. Walter Smith, Class of 2004, reposed in the Lord on the evening of May14, 2016 at the rectory of Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church, Waterbury CT. 

A native of the state of Montana, Fr. Walter’s first career was as a professor of art history and art gallery curator/director. He has taught and directed art galleries in Massachusetts, Wisconsin and Mississippi. A convert, he was received into the Orthodoxy at Holy Trinity Church of Kansas City, Kan., in 1996. In 2001, he took up full-time study at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary in South Canaan, Pa. Smith was ordained a priest in 2003, and graduated from the Seminary with a Master of Divinity degree in May 2004.

Since his ordination, Fr. Walter served in several parishes: Holy Trinity Church, McAdoo Pennsylvania, Holy Trinity Church, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church back in Missoula, Montana, and most recently began serving at Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church, Waterbury, CT.

Presbytera Nancy Smith, who received her Ph.D. in art history from the University of Chicago in 2000, taught art history at Marywood University in Scranton Pennsylvania from 2001 to 2006. She has also trained as a painter and iconographer, producing icons for Holy Trinity Church in Moose Jaw.  Father Walter and Presbytera have one adult daughter, Flora.

Visitation will begin at the Nativity of the Virgin Mary Church, 3125 North Main Street, Waterbury, CT at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, May 20. The Funeral for a Priest will be celebrated at 6:00 p.m. On Saturday, May 21, the Divine Liturgy and a Panikhida will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m., followed by interment in the parish cemetery.

May Fr. Walter’s memory be eternal.  Please remember Presbytera Nancy, Flora, and the faithful of The Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church in your prayers.

Matthew Fuhrman Ordained to the Diaconate by Metropolitan Tikhon on St. Alexis Feast - 05/07/16

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon visited Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan, PA, to lead the celebration of the Feast of St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre on Bright Saturday, May 7th.  During the hierarchical Divine Liturgy His Beatitude tonsured Matthew Fuhrman, St. Tikhon’s Seminarian, Rassophore Monk Maxim and Hesychios Webb from the Monastery brotherhood, readers.  Rassaphore Monk Maxim was subsequently ordained to the Subdiaconate, as was Matthew, who was then ordained to the Diaconate!

Priests concelebranting at the Liturgy included: Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of Saint Tikhon's Monastery; Igumen Gabriel; Archpriest Steven Kopestonsky; Seminarian Priest Theodore Gregory; deacons included: Archdeacon Joseph Matusiak; Deacon Alexander Cadman from State College where Matthew previously studied; and Seminarian Deacons Matthew Joyner, John Kennerk and Basil Ferguson.

At the conclusion of the Liturgy a Molieben was celebrated before St. Alexis’ relics.   St. Alexis is remembered for leading many Eastern Rite Catholics to the Orthodox Church, beginning with congregations in Minneapolis MN, and Wilkes-Barre, PA, and many others who followed.  You can read more about St. Alexis at our OCA Website by clicking here

Axios to Deacon Matthew and Mat. Jessica, who continues to serve as part of the website team for our Orthodox Church in America!

Great and Holy Pascha celebration at St. Tikhon's - 04/30/16

With great joy the St. Tikhon's community came together to celebrate Nocturne, Matins, and Divine Liturgy of Great and Holy Pascha!  Matins includes the singing of the canon of St. John of Damascus.  Following this are the Paschal Verses during which we sing:

This is the day of resurrection.

Let us be illumined by the Feast.

Let us embrace each other.

Let us call "brothers" even those that hate us,

and forgive all by the resurrection...

The Sermon of St. John Chrysostom, originally composed as a baptismal instruction, is retained as so much of the Paschal Services recalls the Sacrament of Baptism.  (texts above taken from introduction of Paschal Services by Archpriest Paul Lazor)

We remain grateful for our seminarian photographers including on Pascha, Joseph Frangipani.

Thank you also to our choirs who led the singing of the responses all through Holy Week and Pascha:  Benedict Sheehan and both the Mission and Mixed Choirs, and Brother Daniel and the Monastery Choir!

Holy Friday and Saturday at St. Tikhon's - 04/29/16

The services of Holy Week continue with Vespers with placing of the Winding Sheet Friday afternoon, followed by Matins of Holy Saturday.  The latter service includes a procession with the Epitaphion.  This "is not a funeral procession.  It is the Son of God, the Holy Immortal, who proceeds through the darkness of Hades, announcing to 'Adam of all generation' the joy of the forthcoming resurrection.  'Rising early from the night," He proclaims, 'The dead shall arise, those in the tombs shall awake, and all those on earth shall greatly rejoice.'"  (From the preface written by Fr. Alexander Schmemann in the Matins of Holy Saturday service book).

On Holy Saturday we celebrate a Vesperal Divine Liturgy revealing the first announcement of the Resurrection to the Myrrhbearing Women!  Please take a moment to review the slideshows from both Holy Friday and Holy Saturday, with gratitude to our seminarian photographers.

Metropolitan Visits St. Tikhon's During Holy Week - 04/28/16

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon visited St. Tikhon's during Holy Week.  He served the Hours and Presanctified Liturgy on Holy Wednesday, as well as Matins of Holy Thursday.  On Holy Thursday he led the celebration of the Vesperal Divine Liturgy, and Matins of Holy Friday with the reading of the Twelve Gospels.  Please take time to review the two photo slideshows representing services for each day.

Thank you to Seminarian Andrew Nelko and those with him who took photos during these services. 

St. Tikhon's Community Celebrates Palm Sunday - 04/24/16

Palm Sunday services, Vigil and Divine Liturgy, were celebrated with great Joy on April 23-24.  Several of the Vocations Retreat participants remained to join in the celebration led by Archimandrite Sergius, Igumen of St. Tikhon's Monastery.  Celebrating clergy included, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, seminary dean, Igumen Gabriel (Nicholas), and recently ordained Fr. Theodore Gregory, along with Seminarian Deacons Matthew Joyner and Mikel Hill.  Please check back in the coming days for photos from Holy Week and Pascha services.

St. Tikhon's Seminary holds Vocational Retreat - 04/23/16

Ten participants attended St. Tikhon's Vocational Retreat, held on Friday and Saturday, April 22-23!  A mixture of cradle Orthodox and recent converts, these men came from as far as Alaska to participate in retreat sessions, and attend services of Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday.  Sessions were led by Archpriest Steven Voytovich, dean and Archimandrite Sergius, Monastery Igumen.  Retreat participants also were led on a tour of the monastery and seminary grounds.   May God continue to bless the vocational journeys of these men!

Mission Choir Visits St. Andrew Church, Baltimore, MD - 04/17/16

The Mission Choir visited St. Andrew Church, in Baltimore.  After singing the responses for Great Vespers, a wonderful crab-cake dinner followed in the church hall.  Parishioners looked through the bookstore items.

In the morning, the Mission Choir again sang the responses for the Divine Liturgy.  Fr. Steven offered the homily.  A special collection was taken for the seminary, and Archpriest Theodore Boback offered an opportunity for sharing a brief update on seminary life.  Fr. Boback served as Alumni President for a number of years, and at one time Archbishop Kiprian also served the parish as pastor.  At the seminary we continue to regularly remember Leda Dzwonczyk of blessed memory, who served as Board Secretary.  Seminarians stayed overnight with parish families.  Fr. Steven enjoyed a brief opportunity for fellowship with Fr. Ted and and Hope at Baltimore Harbor.

During the festive lunch that followed, each of the seminarians introduced themselves.  The young child shown in the photos, with permission, is the Great-Grandson of Archbishop Kiprian!  Blessed Pascha to all at St. Andrew's Church!

Several St. Tikhon's Seminary Faculty Gather for Seminar - 04/12/16

Several members of the St. Tikhon's Seminary faculty met for a seminar on the evening of April 12th.  They met at the home of Drs. David and Mary Ford, who offered wonderful hospitality.  Present were:  Dr. Christopher Veniamin, Professor of Patristics, Dr. David, Chair of Department of Church History and Patristics, Dr. Mary Ford, Associate Professor of Scripture and Spirituality, and V. Rev. Dr. Steven Voytovich, Chair of Department of Pastoral Arts and Praxis.  Dr. David was also the presenter, sharing some of his work in translating and setting into English letters written by St. John Chrysostom, while exiled, to St. Olympia the Deaconess.  He then led faculty in discusing points related to this work.  These letters will also soon be appearing in print.  

Several other faculty planned to attend but when the session had to be re-scheduled, had conflicts.  Fr. Steven, seminary dean, proposed holding seminar sessions as opportunities for faculty to interact with each other outside "meeting" contexts.  Fr. Steven added:  "this is the first of hopefully many seminar sessions not only for faculty to share their work, but to build relationships with one another."

St. Tikhon's Professor to Participate in Great and Holy Council - 04/11/16

Christopher Veniamin, D.Phil. (Oxon.), a distinguished member of the faculty of St. Tikhon's Seminary, has been appointed as a representative to the Great and Holy Council of the Orthodox Church, which is to take place June 16 to 27, 2016, in Crete.  His appointment comes from the Holy Synod of the Apostolic Church of Cyprus, for which he will serve as theological consultant during the Council's deliberations.
The conciliar gathering of hierarchs of the various universally recognized autocephalous Churches throughout the world is the first of such councils since the time of the Ecumenical Councils (the last of which was held in 787 in Nicea).  The Council will be presided over by His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople.
Dr. Veniamin was born and raised in London, England, of Greek Cypriot parents. A love for the Church and a desire to learn more about the Orthodox faith came as a direct result of growing up in the spiritual climate of the Holy Patriarchal and Stavropegic Monastery of St. John the Baptist (Tolleshunt Knights, Essex, England), founded by his spiritual father, Archimandrite Sophrony Sakharov.

His formal training in theology began at the School of Theology in the University of Thessalonica (Greece), where he studied under Professors George Mantzarides, John Fountoulis, and Fr. John Romanides. Following the successful completion of his studies in Thessalonica, he undertook doctoral studies at Pembroke College, Oxford, under the aegis of the Most Rev. Dr. Kallistos T. Ware, Metropolitan of Diokleia. His thesis, The Transfiguration of Christ in Greek Patristic Literature: From Irenaeus of Lyons to Gregory Palamas, was a diachronic study of the meaning of the Transfiguration in patristic theology.

Dr. Christopher is also an accomplished cantor and holds the four-year Degree in Byzantine Music from the celebrated School of Greek Ecclesiastical Music in Thessalonica, and is a pupil of Eleftherios Georgiades, former Lampadarios of the Great Church of Christ.

Professor Veniamin joined the STS faculty in the fall of 1994, and on September 30, 2005, received the distinct honor of being elected its first ever full professor, in recognition of his outstanding service to the Seminary and his distinguished record of teaching, research, and publication.  He also serves as the assistant director and registrar of The Antiochian Orthodox Institute Ph.D. Program and as its professor of Patristic Theology and Dogmatics.
Among the books he has written or edited are:  Ecclesial Being:  Contributions to Theological Dialogue (2005, ed.; 2006, reprint), The Enlargement of the Heart (2006, ed.; 2012, repr.), The Hidden Man of the Heart (2008, ed.; 2014, repr.), The Orthodox Understanding of Salvation:  "Theosis" in Scripture and Tradition (2013; 2014, repr.), Saint Gregory Palamas: The Homilies (2009; 2014, repr.), and The Transfiguration of Christ:  In Greek Patristic Literature from Irenaeus of Lyons to Gregory Palamas (forthcoming). 
Dr. Christopher has also published numerous articles, ranging in subject from the Apocryphal writings of the New Testament to Euthanasia.  He is well known for having edited and translated into English the first complete edition of the homilies of Saint Gregory Palamas, for which he also wrote the introduction and detailed notes. Forthcoming publications include the reworked version of his doctoral dissertation, an inquiry into the anthropological significance of Pentecost, and a study on St. Augustine, viewed within the context of the Orthodox Patristic Tradition. He is also the President of Mount Thabor Publishing, specializing in quality books on Orthodox theology since 2005. 

Professor Veniamin has known Saints Porphyrios and Paisios, and he is familiar with many of the Elders of the Holy Mountain and with other notable figures in contemporary Orthodoxy, academic and ecclesiastical, including Archimandrite Zacharias, Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos, and Professor Constantine Scouteris.
Archbishop Michael (Dahulich),
Seminary Rector

Mission Choir Visits Ohio - 04/10/16

The St. Tikhon's Mission Choir, accompanied by Seraphim Danckaert, Director of Mission Advancement, visited two parishes in Ohio during the weekend of April 9 and 10.  On Saturday they visited St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Mogadore.  Archpriest Nicholas Wyslutsky (Class of 1989), currently serves as Alumni Association Treasurer.  On Sunday they visited St. Andrew Church, Maple Heights, Ohio.  Archpriest Emilian Hutnyan (Class of 1992) currently serves as a St. Tikhon's Seminary Board Member.

Guest Lecturer at St. Tikhon's Seminary - 04/05/16

On Tuesday, April 5th, Dr. Peter Bouteneff, Professor of Systematic Theology at St. Vladimir's Seminary, was a guest lecturer in Dr. Christopher Veniamin's Patristics class.  Seminarians and visitors alike came to hear Dr. Bouteneff's presentation entitled:  "In What Sense am I a Sinner?"

Later, Dr. Bouteneff and Fr. Steven, seminary dean, had a brief opportunity to talk together.  They are seminary classmates (SVS, 1990).  Dr. Veniamin will also be lecturing in Dr. Bouteneff's class.

Mission Choir Visits St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral - 04/03/16

The mission choir led the singing of the responses for the Vigil and Divine Liturgy of the Sunday of the Most Precious Cross, at St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, in Allison Park, PA, April 2-3.  His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek (Pleska), returning from the Holy Synod meeting the previous week, was present for the Vigil, celebrated by Archpriest Michael Senyo, Cathedral Dean.  It was great to see Joel Brady (STS Class of 2015) who is now a cathedral parishioner.

After the vigil, we gathered at the home of Protodeacon Michael and Matushka Mary Wusylko's home for an evening that included dinner and fellowship.  Protodeacon Michael, a St. Tikhon's Board member, was recuperating from surgery, but joined us for a brief time.  His Eminence joined us at dinner, as did David Jarrett.

The mission choir sang the responses also on Sunday morning.  Fr. Steven preached the homily, and Seraphim Danckaert, Director of Mission Choir, shared about the work at St. Tikhon's Seminary during coffee hour.  Fr. Steven was pleased that Matushka Cindy was able to join him for this trip, meeting the wonderful cathedral clergy and faithful.  

Fr. Steven shared his gratitude to the cathedral community for their generous support of the seminary!

Ordination of Fr. Theodore Gregory - 03/27/16

Dn. Theodore Gregory was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on Sunday, March 27th, in St. Gregory Palamas Church in Glen Gardner, New Jersey.  His Eminence, Michael, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, was the celebrant. Concelebrating clergy included Archpriest Alexey Karlgut, dean of NY deanery, retired Archpriest Sergius Kuharsky, Priest John Diamantis (pastor of St. Gregory parish), Priest Gregory White (STOTS Class of 2015, pastor of Holy Spirit Church, Wantage, NJ), Protodeacon Leonid Roschko (Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Howell, NJ (ROCOR)), Dn. Joseph Shaluha (Fr. Theodore’s cousin from St. Gregory of Nyssa Church, Columbus, Ohio), and current seminarian Dn. John Kennerk. Fr. Gregory and Fr. Theodore both came to seminary after completing the diaconal formation program that is overseen by St. Tikhon’s Seminary.  The Seminary Mission Choir visiting South River was able to join family and friends at a festive luncheon following the ordination, singing “Many Years” to the newly ordained Fr. Thedore, Matushka Lorissa, and their family. May God bless Fr. Theodore and Mat. Lorissa!

Photographs by Andrew Nelko and Jessica Fuhrman

Mission Choir Visits South River, NJ - 03/26/16

The Mission Choir visited Archpriest David Garretson and faithful of Sts. Peter and Paul Church in South River on March 26-27.   You can see in the photo slideshow a stunning photo of the domes of this historic church. We celebrated Great Vespers on Saturday evening and Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning.  Seminarians Fr. David Gresham, Jonathan Lincoln, Marshall Goodge, Paul Kappandaze, and Fr. Steven, seminary dean, were led by seminarian choir director Mikel Hill. During the Liturgy, Basil Kozak, parish Choir Director read the epistle, and Seminarian Dn. Mikel Hill, preached. Both Fr. David and Basil are seminary classmates of Fr. Steven!  At the end of the Liturgy, Fr. David queried the children about the hierarchical Liturgy celebrated the week before.   It was wonderful to be with such a vibrant parish community!

Photos by Fr. Steven Voytovich

St. Tikon’s Celebrates Feast of the Annunciation - 03/25/16

St. Tikhon’s celebrated the Annunciation Feast on March 24th and 25th, with Festal Vigil and Vesperal Divine Liturgy. This is the one major feast that falls during Great Lent! Archimandrite Sergius (Bowyer), monastery Igumen, was the celebrant.  Joining him was Fr. Steven Voytovich, seminary dean, Fr. Stephen Kopestonsky, Hieromonk Innokenty (Chmerko), and seminarians:  Fr. David Gresham, Dn. Theodore Gregory, and Dn. Matthew Joyner. “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee!”  

Photographs by Seminarian Andrew Nelko

STOTS Commemorates the 60th Anniversary of St. Nikolai’s Repose - 03/18/16

Community chanted an Akathist composed by St. Nikolai of Zhicha, gathered at the site of his repose in the Seminary’s main building.

South Canaan, Pa (March 18, 2016) -- At the initial request of seminarians asking to specially mark the Feast Day of St. Nikolai of Zhicha, they discovered, together with Fr. Steven, seminary dean, that this is the 60th anniversary of his repose at St. Tikhon’s Seminary.   Members of the Seminary community gathered outside the saint’s former room to chant an Akathist and venerate his Icon and relics.

St. Nikolai, who is known internationally for his numerous theological and spiritual writings, including the Prologue from Ohrid, spent the last five years of his life here at St. Tikhon’s, where he taught classes, mentored seminarians, and served as the Seminary’s Rector.  To learn more about the life of St. Nikolai, click here to see a write-up from the 1986 Tikhonaire.

He reposed on March 18, 1956 in his room in the seminary’s main building. A commemorative photo and short bio hangs in the hallway outside his former room (see photo in slideshow), serving as a daily reminder of his presence and protection.

The Akathist, written by St. Nikolai and dedicated to Jesus, the Conqueror of Death, was composed on Pascha, 1923.  At that time St. Nikolai was Bishop of Ohrid.  He had earlier composed “Prayers by the Lake” bearing the same name.  For today’s service, one of the Prayers by the Lake focusing on prayer to Jesus as King and God, made public on Ancient Faith Radio, was read as the prayer after the Akathist.  Then all gathered sang the Magnification for St. Nikolai before venerating his icon bearing relics.

Fr. Steven was joined for the Akathis by seminarians, faculty and administrative team members, and Fr. Stephen Kopestonsky.  At the conclusion of the service he noted:  “we take this opportunity today to prayerfully remember one of our saints who have walked on these grounds, and ask his intercession before Christ our Lord for our ongoing efforts toward pastoral formation:  for the faculty, the seminarians, and all who continue to labor here.”  “O Venerable Father Hierarch Nikolai, pray unto God for us!”

St. Tikhon’s Seminarians Present Papers at Patristics Conference - 03/03/16

On March 3-5, seminarians Deacon Mikel Hill, Marshall Goodge, and Jonathan Lincoln participated in the 12th Annual Graduate Student Conference in Patristic Studies at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Seminary in Brookline, Massachusetts, sponsored by the Pappas Patristic Institute. The students presented academic papers, attended services at the campus chapel, and had many opportunities to get to know the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant scholars who attended the conference.

For the St. Tikhon’s students who participated, the conference was an opportunity for bridge-building, both within Eastern Orthodoxy and with those representing other Christian traditions. First, the conference afforded the St. Tikhon’s students the opportunity to share their unique perspective on the writings of the Fathers with the conference’s participants, specifically, the biblical-patristic mindset that is: acquired through the Church’s services, discussed in the classroom, and lived in the Orthodox Christian life.

Second, that very relationship between the spiritual life and academic study was brought into focus during the course of the conference.   How can the academic study of the Fathers not merely inform us, but transform us if at the core union and communion with Christ is the goal? St. Tikhon’s students sought to witness this transformative power of a relationship with Christ, experienced in the Church of the Fathers, now in the present with: those to whom they presented their academic work, those who prayed with them in the chapel, and those whom they shared their meals with.  

Those who participated in the conference are continuing to reflect on this experience with the hope of glimpsing the reality of transformation, while preparing to enter the Great Lenten journey.

(Story written by Jonathan Lincoln)

Annual STS and SVS Basketball Game - 02/26/16

The St. Tikhon’s pickup basketball team squared off against the formidable St. Vladimir’s again this past Friday afternoon.

The St. Tikhon’s team packed up after lunch and made the two and half hour drive to Yonkers. After a visit to the bookstore and some pre-game banter with the locals, they set off for Hooperstown, the basketball facility nearby, where they met their opponents sneaker to sneaker. Archpriest Chad Hatfield, Chancellor of St. Vladimir’s, opened the game with a prayer and encouraging words for both teams.

Despite an effort unmatched in recent Orthodox Theological Seminary basketball history, St. Tikhon’s lost to St. Vladimir’s by “a considerable amount,” one spectator recalled. “The boys from PA just couldn’t get their defense, or offense for that matter, together in time. St. Vlad’s came out strong and stayed strong.”

The evening was rounded out by a generous pizza dinner hosted by St. Vladimir’s in their own Germack Hall, where the Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement (OISM) was also gathered. Seminarians from Holy Cross (Boston) and Holy Trinity (Jordanville) were also in attendance. After some encouraging fellowship, the St. Tikhon’s boys gathered in the van for the late night drive home. Their heads were held high as they strategized for next year; optimistically anticipating that the top four players from St. Vladimir’s would graduate in May.

If you would like to join the St. Tikhon’s basketball team (and attend seminary), be sure to attend the upcoming Vocations Retreat, titled: “The Priest: A Vessel of Clay in the Potter’s Hand.” For more information, click here. 

(Story written and edited by seminarians Dn. John Kennerk and Andrew Nelko)



Spring OISM Gathering Held at St. Vladimir's Seminary - 02/26/16

On Friday February 26th, five seminarians from St. Tikhon's traveled to St. Vladimir's Seminary to join with students from Holy Trinity Seminary (Jordanville) and Holy Cross/Hellenic College for the spring gathering of the Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement (OISM).  OISM provides a forum for students from different Orthodox seminaries and theological schools to meet one another, visit respective institutions, fellowship, attend lectures and discuss topics of interest to future servants of the Church.  

Following the annual STOTS vs  SVS basketball game Friday evening, students renewed old friendships and made new ones while chatting over pizza and snacks. The OISM retreat officially began Saturday morning with a molieben, followed by a campus tour.  The highlights of the day included a series of talks by Father Vladimir and Matushka Suzanne Aleandro, who shared about their experiences of missionary work among the Turkana people of Northern Kenya, and by Fr. Chad Hatfield, who spoke about Orthodox missiology with a particular focus on the changing religious landscape in America and the world today, and the need for greater Orthodox witness and mission.  Afterwards, an OISM general meeting was held and new officers were elected, including St. Tikhon's Megan Haak who will continue to serve as OISM Secretary.  (Timothy Winegar has completed his term as OISM President.
The weekend culminated in the celebration of the divine services together, with vigil Saturday evening and a hierarchical liturgy celebrated by His Eminence Irénée, Archbishop of Ottawa and the Archdiocese of Canada, along with an ordination to the priesthood on Sunday morning. The seminarians returned home following a meal together Sunday afternoon, thankful to God for the friendships made and strengthened over the weekend and for the rewarding time spent together.  A special thanks also to St. Vladimir's Seminary for hosting the Spring OISM meeting and for their gracious hospitality throughout the weekend.
(Story written by Seminarians Timothy Winegar and Megan Haak)

Ordination of Seminarian Mikel Hill to the Diaconate - 02/20/16

Seminarian Mikel Hill was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by His Grace Alexander, Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese on Saturday, February 20th, at St. Elia the Prophet Bulgarian Orthodox Church in Akron Ohio.  Mikel is a second-year seminarian at St. Tikhon's Seminary, and is student director of the Mission Choir.  

Benedict Sheehan, Choir Director and Music Professor for the monastery and seminary, respectively, led the mission choir, accompanied by several of his children.  

May God grant Deacon Mikel, Matushka Rachel, and their three daughters many blessed years! 

Alumni Update: Ordination of Dn. Basil Kuriakose - 02/19/16

After many requests, it is a joy to finally post photos of Basil Kuriakose, (Class of 2015) who was ordained to the diaconate in the fall, upon returning to Mumbai.  As was shared in November, Fr. Steven, seminary dean, had the opportunity to see Dn. Basil at Kottayam Seminary, where he is completing his training.  Metropolitan, H. G Geevarghese Mar Coorilos is also Rony John's bishop, who we anticipate visiting St. Tikhon's in March.

Below is the write-up Dn. Basil shared with very little alteration.   Fr. Steven

On August 22nd, 2015, Seminarian Basil Kuriakose was ordained Deacon by H. G. Geevarghese Mar Coorilos, Metropolitan, Diocese of Bombay (Malankara Orthodox Church), at his home parish St. George Orthodox Syrian Church, Borivli, Mumbai (India).

Dcn. Basil graduated from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in May 2015 and is currently undergoing Liturgical Training at Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kottayam, since October 2015.

Dcn. Basil is married to Ritty Basil and is blessed with a son ‘Elijah.’

Your most valuable prayers are requested for Dcn. Basil and his ministry in the Diocese of Bombay.

Mission Choir Visits Campbell Ohio - 02/14/16

The Mission Choir visited St. John the Baptist Church, Campbell, Ohio, over the weekend of February 13-14, 2016.  This was an incredibly joyous celebration led by His Grace, Paul, Bishop of Chicago and the Diocese of the Midwest.  Fr. Andrew D. Nelko (STOTS Class of 1981), father of our current seminarian Andrew Nelko is parish pastor, and serving with him was Dn. David Gemmel.  

The Mission Choir was visited by Fr. Gabriel Bilas (STOTS Class of 2015), who joined in singing the responses during Great Vespers.  The parish hosted a dinner for parishioners and choir members following Vespers.  On Sunday we celebrated a hierarchical Divine Liturgy, followed by an incredible steak luncheon.  The Mission Choir sang a brief concert during the luncheon.  We are most grateful for the warm hospitality shown by St. John the Baptist parish!   Thank you to Nathanael Nelko who forwarded some of the photos in the gallery. 

In Memoriam: Archimandrite Athanasy (Mastalski) - 02/05/16

Archimandrite Athanasy fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, February 5th.  He was a much loved member of the St. Tikhon's community.  Please click here to see a brief write-up on our OCA website, or here to see the same plus service schedule from St. Tikhon's Monastery.

Upon arriving at St. Tikhon's in 2012, and continuing as guardian of the Miraculous Icon of the Righteous Anna, Archimandrite Athanasy began investing his life and years of ministry service in the lives of the seminarians.  Archimandrite Sergius, Monastery Igumen, appointed him as Seminarian Chaplain in the summer of 2013 while serving as Interim Dean.  Fr. Athanasy also taught liturgical practicum courses for as long as his health allowed.  Many seminarians also saw him as their confessor.  He delighted in having informal time with seminarians, sharing a meal for example.

Before becoming too ill to regularly serve at the monastery church, Fr. Athanasy marked 50 years of ordained ministry.  May Archimandrite Athanasy's memory be eternal.

Archpriest Steven Voytovich,

Seminary Dean

Ordinations on Feast of the Presentation of our Lord - 02/02/16

His Grace, the Right Reverend Paul, Bishop of Chicago and the Diocese of the Midwest, was the main celebrant at St. Tikhon's Monastery Church for the Vigil and Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord in the Temple.  During the Divine Liturgy, Bishop Paul ordained two St. Tikhon's seminarians from the Diocese of the Midwest.  Dn. David Gresham was ordained to the Holy Priesthood, and Basil Ferguson was ordained to the Holy Diaconate.

Concelebrating together with Bishop Paul were: Archimandrite Sergius, Igumen of St. Tikhon's Monastery, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, St. Tikhon's Seminary Dean, Archpriest Daniel Degyansky (STS Class of 1991), a VA Chaplain and Rector of St. John Chryostom Church, Woodside, NY, The Rev. John Brown, Federal Bureau of Prisons Chaplain, attached to St. John the Wonderworker Church, Atlanta, Georgia, and Hieromonk Innokenty (Chmerko), of the Monastery Brotherhood.

Please take time to look at the many meaningful photos capturing the ordinations, taken by several seminarians, Monk Maxim, and Jessica Fuhrman.   Axios!  May God grant many blessed years to the newly ordained Fr. David Gresham, Dn. Basil Ferguson, and their families!

During the luncheon following the Divine Liturgy, Timothy Winegar, President of Student Government, presented Fr. David a wooden pectoral cross from all his classmates with funds raised through the work of Student Government!

St. Tikhon's Seminary Century Association Hosts St. Tatiana Luncheon - 01/28/16

The Century Association, led by President Sarah Jubinski, hosted the annual St. Tatiana’s Luncheon on Thursday, January 28th.   The luncheon meal was surpassed only by the wonderful deserts that had also been prepared! St. Tatiana, a second-century martyr, is the patron saint of students.  This identification occurred in the context of the Empress Elizabeth founding the Moscow University on her feast day in 1755.  St. Tatiana Chapel remains an integral part of that university today.

Sarah shared that the icon of St. Tatiana that resides in the dining hall was carried in 2009 by her, together with Mary Sernak, all the way from Russia to be presented to the Seminary!  Sarah shared about the work of the Century Association, and a check totaling $6,000 was presented to the seminary as a first donation in the new year.  Most all the Century Association Board and many members were present for the luncheon, and were photographed together.

Both Fr. Steven, Dean, and Seraphim Danckaert, Director of Mission Advancement expressed gratitude in receiving the Century Association Donation, presented by Sarah Jubinski and Archpriest Joseph Martin (Spiritual Advisor). For those who would like to join the Century Association, please see the Benefactor page.  Each member contributes at least $100 to the association.

FOCA Moleben and Dinner at St. Michael Church, Jermyn, PA - 01/24/16

It is truly a blessing to be able to reinstate the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA) Chapter, 121, here at St. Tikhon’s Seminary. FOCA has been really gracious to the seminary and the families throughout the years. We restarted the chapter in order to show our support and recognition for all the work they do and to help grow the FOCA so that they can continue their dedication to serving and assisting the Orthodox Church in America.

The St. Tikhon’s FOCA Chapter hosted a dinner for the local parishes in the Wilkes-Barre Deanery on January 24, 2016. The dinner began with a Moleben for beginning of a charitable work at St. Michael’s Orthodox Church in Jermyn, PA. After the Moleben all were invited to St. Michael’s Center for a lovely dinner. A band consisting of seminarians and professors called the Dogmatixs entertained the faithful before several guest speakers spoke regarding their time at St. Tikhon’s and the FOCA chapter during their time.  St. Tikhon’s Mission Choir also sang.

We were truly blessed to have the Very Rev. Eugene Pianovich, a 1950 Alum of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, speak. Fr. Eugene’s class was the first class to begin a FOCA chapter at St. Tikhon’s back in 1947. I can’t think of any better way to restart the chapter at St. Tikhon’s than a Moleben and having one of the people responsible for starting the chapter almost 65 years ago in attendance.

Nearly $500 was collected at the dinner which will be used toward the work of the chapter!

We would like to thank everyone who came out to support the starting of our new FOCA chapter at St. Tikhon’s!

In Christ,

Andrew Nelko, STOTS FOCA President

Blessing of Seminary Buildings - 01/20/16

On Wednesday, January 20th, Fr. Steven gathered in the St. Nikolai of Zhicha Seminary Chapel together with faculty, administrative team members, and students to bless the main administrative building as the spring semester got underway.  In addition, later in the day both the Archbishop Kiprian Women’s Dormitory and the Metropolitan Leonty Men’s Dormitory were blessed.   May the Lord Jesus Christ, who deigned to be baptized by John in the River Jordan, bless all those who work, study, and teach, at the seminary!

St. Tikhon’s Seminary FOCA Chapter to host Dinner - 01/15/16

St. Tikhon's Seminary FOCA Chapter will be hosting a dinner at St. Michael's Orthodox Church Center on Sunday, January 24th, at 4pm.  Please click here for an event poster.  Please contact to register or for more information.

Ordination of John Kennerk alongside St. Tikhon’s Alumni! - 01/10/16

John Kennerk, a second-year student at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by His Grace, Bishop Paul, on Sunday, January 10th, at Christ the Savior Church in Chicago, Illinois.

Concelebrating with Bishop Paul was Fr. John Baker (STS Class of 2004), Rector of Christ the Savior, Dn. Theophan Warren (STS Class of 2015), deacon attached to the parish, and Dn. Alexander Koranda, (STS Class of 2014), assigned to St. George Cathedral also in Chicago.  The photo of three deacons, two recent graduates and one current student from St. Tikhon's, is truly incredible!

May God grant many years to Dn. John and Matushka Michelle as they return to St. Tikhon’s for the upcoming Spring semester, and to our alumni in their service in our Lord's vineyard!

Alumni Update: 1964 Graduate! - 01/09/16

During chaplain endorsing body meetings in Washington, D.C. these past few days, it was wonderful to see Archpriest Michael (Class of 1964) and Matushka Nadia Koblosh.  Upon graduation from St. Tikhon's Seminary, Fr. Michael pursued an M.Div. Degree at St. Vladimir's Seminary.  While doing so he taught at St. Tikhon's in Liturgical Theology through much of the 70's.  Fr. and Mat. have served in a number of parishes including, Holy Trinity in East Meadow, Long Island, Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church in Terryville, CT.,  Holy Ghost Church, Bridgeport, CT., began Christ the Savior Mission in Southbury, CT., and served in St. Nicholas Church, Whitestone, NY. As shown in the photos, Fr. Michael is presently serving at All Saints of America Mission in Alexandria, VA, and Matushka Nadia directs the choir.  They were integral to beginning this mission in 2008.

As we both spent significant time in the Diocese of New England, it was wonderful to catch up with one another once again. May God grant you and your family many blessed years!

St. Tikhon's Seminary Christmas Card - 01/04/16

All of us at St. Tikhon's Seminary want to thank all who have offered time, talent, and treasure to the seminary community this past year!

Love Lites at Wayne Memorial Hospital - 12/14/15

St. Tikhon’s Seminary participated again in the ceremony of the Love Lites at Wayne Memorial Hospital on December 14th. The Honesdale Chamber Choir also came to sing.  The hospital’s President and Chief Executive Officer participated in this event that is focused both on remembering family members during the holiday season and raises funds for the hospital.

Joyce Malicky, Volunteer Coordinator, who assists our seminarians in visiting patients at the hospital, arranged for our group to sing Christmas carols on the floors.  It was wonderful to share the gift of song during this holy season of preparation with those who are hospitalized, and the staff who are caring for them.

Alumni Update: 1963 Graduate Honored! - 12/13/15

Archpriest Vladimir and Matushka Virginia Lecko were honored with a Synodal Grammota, presented by Bishop Paul during his recent visit to St. Mary's Cathedral in Minneapolis.  Click here to see the original story.  

Fr. Vladimir attended St. Tikhon's after serving in the military, learning much from Archpriest Basil Stroyen (Class of 1946), of blessed memory, who was then dean.  He served as choir director at St. John the Baptist Church in Edwardsville, PA.  As priest, Fr. Vladimir served as pastor of Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church, Madison, Illinois, and then moved to serve as pastor of St. Mary's Cathedral in Minneapolis, with other clergy.

Upon retirement from the cathedral, Fr. Vladimir continued serving in Northern Wisconsin, first initiating a mission near his home, and more recently serving at the Kursk Root Icon Mission in Weston, Wisconsin, when the parish was without a priest.  He drove 80 miles each way monthly to serve this ROCOR Mission, most recently assisting in orienting Fr. Edward Batchko (Class of 2013) upon his assignment to the mission in the fall of 2013.

Fr. Vladimir and Matushka Virginia have served as a model of service in the church for many decades. May God grant them both many blessed years, warmed by the prayers of so many lives that they have touched!

Photo from Diocese of the Midwest write-up.

Matthew Joyner Ordained to the Holy Diaconate - 12/13/15

Today, on the Sunday of the Holy Forefathers and the Commemoration of the Repose of St. Herman of Alaska, 2nd year seminarian Matthew Joyner was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by His Eminence Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania.  Dn. Matthew will continue to travel with Archbishop Mark on archpastoral parish visitations as he completes his studies.

St. Tikhon’s would like to extend heartfelt congratulations to the newly ordained Deacon Matthew, and Matushka Ashley as they begin the next phase of their ministry.  Thank you to Seminarian John Kennerk who took the photos included in the gallery.

OCEC Offers Training at St. Tikhon's Seminary - 12/12/15

The Orthodox Christian Education Commission (OCEC) came to St. Tikhon's Seminary on Saturday, December 12th.  V. Rev. George Alberts, Khouria Anna Hughes, and Matushka Myra Kovalak prepared a full day's training program for seminarians and seminary wives.   Fr. Steven welcomed them in the morning as sessions got underway.  Two tracks were offered:  Teacher Training (part I) (with Fr. George and Khouria Anna), and Church School Director training (with Mat. Myra).  In addition, they brought a number of resources for everyone to review.

Many seminarians commented on the value of this day of training.  The OCEC is a multi-jurisdictional organization, under the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, and offers training around the country for those engaged in religious education, utilizing resources developed by all our Orthodox Churches here in North America.  Click here to view their website.  Seminarians not only received training, but also now are aware of this resource that they can call upon in parish communities.  OCEC asks that when they are requested, that all jurisdictional parishes in a locality be invited to participate.  What a wonderful example of collaboration!  

We are grateful to our three presenters for all they shared with us, and very grateful to Maria Sheehan and those working with her who did most of the coordination making this event possible!


Mission Choir Visits New England on St. Nicholas Day - 12/06/15

St. Tikhon’s Mission Choir visited Sts. Peter and Paul Church in Meriden on Sunday, December 6th, and then headed to Three Saints Church in Ansonia for a concert on Sunday afternoon.  The mission choir, led by Benedict Sheehan, sang the responses at Sts. Peter and Paul Church.  The choir celebrated the return of J.J. Kotalick (Class of 2015) who was visiting from the State of Washington.   Fr. Steven, Seminary Dean, concelebrated with Fr. Joshua Mosher and preached.  Seraphim Danckaert, Director of Mission Advancement addressed the congregation at the end of the Liturgy.  Fr. Joshua shared his joy in having Fr. Steven back in New England after having served as pastor of St. Alexis Church in Clinton, a sister parish in the deanery for fifteen years.

St. Tikhon’s Seminary Mission Choir Offers St. Nicholas Day Concert - 12/06/15

St. Tikhon’s Seminary Mission Choir offered a concert at Three Saints Church in Ansonia, CT, on Sunday afternoon, December 6th.  This concert was hosted by the parish and co-sponsored by the CT Deanery of the Diocese of New England.   The Mission Choir,  including J.J. Kotalick (Class of 2015) who was visiting the seminary, was directed by Benedict Sheehan, sang a selection of liturgical hymns from Vigil and Divine Liturgy and music from the Christmas season.   Benedict was also featured as a soloist in the Nativity Magnification by Dodonov.  Fr. Steven and Fr. Patrick Burns, current pastor, both shared having first visited Three Saints Church during seminary choir trips, and Matushka Cindy Voytovich presently serves with Fr. Patrick as Choir Director for the parish.

Nearly 200 clergy and faithful from the area came to hear the concert during the Advent season!  Fr. Steven thanked the many donors who made this concert possible, including the efforts of Fr. Patrick and faithful from Three Saints Church who offered delicious light sandwiches, finger-food-appetizers, and wine following the concert , and a number of local funeral directors and other donors contributing to the concert.  Seraphim Danckaert, Director of Mission Advancement, announced during the reception that all donations made during the concert would be doubled!  All the proceeds from the concert will go toward the work of St. Tikhon’s Seminary and in particular scholarships for mission choir members who commit to these regular parish visitations throughout the academic year.

Mission Choir Visits Williamsport PA - 11/22/15

St. Tikhon’s Mission Choir visited Elevation of the Holy Cross Orthodox Church in Williamsport, PA, on Sunday, November 22nd.  The mission choir joined in the congregational singing of the responses during the Divine Liturgy and then offered a brief concert in the fellowship hall during coffee hour.  Archpriest Daniel Kovalak (St. Tikhon’s Class of 1974) has been the pastor of this parish since it began as a mission.  Archpriest Dennis Swencki, the seminary’s Chief Financial Officer, concelebrated with his classmate and preached the homily. 

In reflecting on his visit, Fr. Dennis stated:  “It was a personally jubilant and heartwarming experience to share the altar with my Brother and fellow classmate Fr. Daniel and experience firsthand his leadership in developing a startup mission Parish and for the past 38 years dedicate his life to his people and their Church.  Fr. Dan continues to serve as a gifted example for our St. Tikhon’s Seminary students.”   Fr. Daniel has taught seminarians in the area of mission development for the past twenty years, and presented at our fall lecture series in October.

St. Tikhon’s Seminary Field Education Elevation - 11/17/15

Seminarians completing their field education at SCI Waymart have been elevated from volunteer to intern status this fall!  This facility is one of three local institutions where our seminarians are currently ministering as part of their field education. 

Those in the above photo from our meeting on November 17th were, from right to left: Joseph Grillo, Interim Corrections Classification and Program Manager, The Rev. Don Schaible, Facility Chaplaincy Program Director, Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, and Archpriest John Kowalczyk, Seminary Field Education Director.  In the midst of this elevation and another important focus of this meeting was negotiation of a contract formalizing the relationship between these two institutions.  “This relationship has been in place for 27 years” according to Fr. John, and “today we celebrate another significant step!”

Archpriest Joseph Martin celebrates 50th Anniversary of Ordination - 11/07/15

Archpriest Joseph Martin (Class of 1963), celebrated his 50th annivesary of ordination on Saturday, November 7th.  The celebration began with Divine Liturgy at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Cathedral where he served for twenty years before retirement.  His Eminence Mark, Archbishop of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, presided at the Liturgy with both diocesan clergy and Archimandrite Sergius and Archpriest Steven Voytovich from St. Tikhon's.

At the end of the Liturgy he was given a Synodal Grammota, he and Matushka Gloria were given a Grammota from the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania.  He was also  given a pectoral cross from St. Tikhon's Seminary, in recognition of his years of active service on the seminary board (longest serving active member), and serving as spiritual advisor for the Century Association, that raises funds for the seminary.  Matushka Gloria has faithfully served on the Century Association with Fr. Joseph.

The celebration continued with a wonderful luncheon at Gennetti's in Wilkes-Barre.  Fellow chaplains from the VA Hospital that he serves with, many local clergy, family members, and many others came together to share in the joy of this anniversary.

May God grant Archpriest Joseph and Matushka Gloria many blessed years!  

Thank you to David Mills of Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Wilkes-Barre for the photos!

Fall Harvest Party - 11/01/15

On the evening of November 1st, the St. Tikhon's community gathered together for a Fall Harvest Party.  Seminarians, seminary families, faculty, and others gathered for an evening of fellowship, activities, and just plain fun, as shown in the photos below!

St. Tikhon's Seminary Hosts Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement Gathering - 10/23/15

From October 23rd - 25th, 2015, 30 students from five Orthodox seminaries joined the seminarians at St. Tikhon's for the bi-annual gathering of the Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement (OISM)!   Participating schools included:  St. Vladimir's Seminary, Crestwood, NY, Holy Cross/Hellenic College, Brookline MA, Holy Trinity Seminary - Jordanville, NY, Christ the Savior Seminary - Johnstown, PA, and St. Herman's Seminary - Kodiak, AK.  

Founded in the 1960's and revived in 2003, OISM seeks to foster fellowship and cooperation among Orthodox seminary and theology students.  The event this weekend seemed to do exactly that, as students were encouraged by learning about and from each other through praying together, sharing meals, discussing pertinent issues, and experiencing the life at St. Tikhon's Seminary and Monastery.

This fall's gathering focused on the theme of Expanding the Mission of the Orthodox Church.  The weekend began Friday evening with an opening Molieben for the OISM Gathering, celebrated by Archpriest Steven Voytovich, dean, with icons present in the seminary chapel from many of the participating schools.  This was followed by a talk from Archimandrite Sergius, the Abbot of St. Tikhon's Monastery, on the spiritual life that necessarily forms the core of Church growth on any level.  Saturday's events began with Divine Liturgy for St. Demetrius Saturday.   Two discussion sessions followed, in which students shared ideas, insights, and questions with each other regarding parish growth, mission, and evangelism.  One session was facilitated by Dr. David Ford from St. Tikhon’s Seminary, and the second by Archpriest John Reeves from State College in PA. Discussions and sharing continued informally over meals and around a bonfire later that evening.   Many remained for Saturday Vigil and Sunday Divine Liturgy celebrated in the Monastery Church. 

It was encouraging to have such a large gathering, with representation from so many schools, and to see new friendships made and relationships grow over the course of the two days.  Students came from a wide variety of backgrounds and even countries – Australia, India, Russia, Serbian, Uganda, Canada and the U.S. – and found that they have common concerns and desires for the health and growth of Christ's Church.  This common ground gives hope for continued dialogue, collaboration, and spiritual fellowship.

Megan Haak, OISM Secretary, and co-facilitator of the weekend's events, shared her thoughts as the weekend concluded:  "I was greatly encouraged by the size of the group that came – this being the largest attendance for an OISM gathering in the past couple of years – and by the conversations that happened over the course of the weekend.  There was a feeling of warmth, respect, and eagerness for sharing and collaborating with each other that was wonderful to experience in a pan-Orthodox gathering like this." 

At the Sunday brunch for participants,  Fr. Steven thanked Megan and Timothy Winegar, current OISM President, both from St. Tikhon’s Seminary, for their many hours of work and preparation for this gathering, along with many others helping them.  Seminarians assisting in taking the many photos now available for this event included: Andrew Nelko, Andrew Bohush, and John Kennerk.

Strategic Planning Session held at St. Tikhon's Seminary - 10/15/15

During the board’s October meeting at the seminary (October 15 and 16), the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee organized a community-wide session to focus on the effort to initiate  discussion around the formation of a new strategic plan.  Board members, faculty, administrative team members, seminarians, and alumni, all came together for this session.

Seraphim Danckaert, our new Mission Advancement Director, organized the session in a World Café model.  Each of five tables had a specific draft focus area of the developing strategic plan, and successive groups comprised of all seminary constituencies engaged in discussing that topic, led by a facilitator who also took notes on all ideas raised.

All involved were energized by this session, with the hope that future similar sessions might be held to further the dialogue and indeed the energy created at this initial session.  The seminary is grateful for the board taking time out of its meeting schedule in order that this session could have the fullest potential constituency representation. 

Fr. Steven Voytovich, Dean

St. Tikhon's Seminary Century Association holds Annual Meeting - 10/11/15

Sarah Jubinski, President of St. Tikhon's Seminary's Century Association, led the Annual meeting following Divine Liturgy on Sunday, October 11th, Founder's Day Weekend.  Association leadership and members met in the seminary dining room, and enjoyed a potluck meal afterward.  Founder's Day is always the Sunday following the Feast of St. Patriarch Tikhon of Moscow, on October 9th.  

Among the highlights were election of officers, celebrating 50th wedding anniversary of longtime members and spiritual advisor, Archpriest Joseph (Class of 1963) and Mat. Gloria Martin (Class of 1963), and the association giving the seminary $5,000!   Please click here to see more about the Century Association and their support of the seminary.  All members of the association give at least $100 annually, and all donations are in turn given to the seminary.  They also host Hospitality ala Russe each year as a major fundraising activity!

May God grant the leadership and members of the Century Association many blessed years!

Feast of St. Tikhon of Moscow, Ordination of Fr. Vasili Dubee - 10/09/15

The St. Tikhon Monastery and Seminary Community gathered together on October 8-9 to celebrate the Feast of the Founder of the St. Tikhon Monastery, Saint Patriarch Tikhon, Confessor and Patriarch of Moscow.  This year's feast was even more full with the ordination of Dn. Vasili Dubee (St. Tikhon's, Class of 2009) to the priesthood.  His Eminence, Mark, Archbishop of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, presided at the Hierarchical Liturgy and ordination.  

St. Tikhon's would like to extend a heartfelt congratulations and offer prayers for Fr. Vasili and his family as they begin this next phase of their public ministry.

In Memoriam: Dn. Mark Hoeplinger, M.D.: Updated with Service Schedule - 10/08/15

The St. Tikhon’s Seminary community mourns the passing of Dn. Mark Hoeplinger, a member of our Board of Trustees.

The son of Frank and Rose Hoeplinger, Dn. Mark was received into Orthodoxy in 1987 from the Roman Catholic Church into St. Stephen’s Serbian Orthodox Church in Lackawanna, NY.  This is the same parish where he and his wife, Dr. Christine (Stefanovich), were married in in 1980.  They have two adult children, Stephen and Alex.

A practicing Ear, Nose and Throat Physician in Seneca, NY since 1987, Dr. Mark and Dr. Christine, a dentist, have traveled with colleagues to countries such as Uganda, Peru, and Guatemala to offer medical and dental expertise to those in need, as medical ministry.  These trips have been organized through the Orthodox Christian Mission Center in St. Augustine, FL, and through Faith in Practice.  Dr. Mark also served as a resident faculty member at the ENT Department of the University at Buffalo Medical School for over 25 years.

In 2011, Dr. Mark entered the Diaconal Training Program through St. Tikhon’s Seminary.  He was ordained deacon on August 11, 2013 at St. George Orthodox Church (OCA) in Buffalo, NY, by then Bishop Michael (Dahulich) and has continued serving there since.

Dn. Mark became a St. Tikhon’s Seminary Board member just months later in October of 2013.  Since that time he has worked ceaselessly to advance a number of areas of seminary life, most notably our married student housing project.  

Fr. Steven Voytovich, Dean of St. Tikhon’s, shared his remembrance of Dn. Mark:  “When I first met Dn. Mark, he was excited about connecting with recent graduates of St. Tikhon’s Deacon Training program to encourage their support of the seminary.  This energy has only grown in the past two years in his untiring efforts to build support for the seminary.  Dn. Mark so often shared how he felt he had received so much, and now felt called by God to give back out of the abundance he had received.”  

Michael Herzak, Board Chair, shared his thoughts upon learning of the death of Dn. Mark:  "His untimely repose has hit the St. Tikhon's community very deeply.  In the short time of his service as a board member, he has been such an energizing force in advancing St. Tikhon's Seminary mission, most recently in working to fund the married student housing project so that future married students can count on housing in enrolling at the seminary."   

Dn. Mark will be sorely missed by the St. Tikhon’s Seminary community, and our prayers are with his family and parish family as they too grieve his passing.  A Memorial Service was celebrated by the St. Tikhon Community upon learning of his repose.  May the memory of Dn. Mark be eternal!

 Please find below the schedule of  funeral services for Thy Newly-Departed Servant of God, Dn Mark Hoeplinger

Viewing at Hoy Funeral Home - 3855 Seneca Street Buffalo, NY
2:00-5:00 pm
6:00 to 9:00 pm

Viewing at St George Orthodox Church - 2 Nottingham Terrace Buffalo, NY
2:00-5:00 pm
     5:00-6:00 pm meal served in The Parish Fellowship Hall
6:00 to 9:00 pm
     7:00 pm - Panahyda Service

  9:00 - 10:00 am Viewing at St George Orthodox Church - 2 Nottingham Terrace Buffalo, NY
10:00 am - Funeral Service at St George Orthodox Church - 2 Nottingham Terrace Buffalo, NY
     Light meal in Parish Fellowship Hall following Funeral Service 
     Internment at Lakeside Cemetery Hamburg NY followe by Repast Meal

Hotel Info:  Best Western Hotel which is less than 10 minutes from the church. The rate per night is $89. When you call to reserve a room you need to mention funeral at Saint George Orthodox Church.



St. Tikhon's Re-establishes Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America Chapter - 10/06/15

St. Tikhon’s Seminary Re-starts FOCA Chapter

 On October 6th the seminarians, led by the Seminary Rector, Archbishop Michael, restarted the St. Tikhon’s Seminary Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA).   This movement highlighted several significant events most recently including FOCA’s completed pledge of $300,000 to the seminary’s married student housing project at this past summer’s All-American Council in Atlanta.

Previously known as the Federated Russian Orthodox Clubs (FROC), this organization supported the very founding of St. Tikhon’s Seminary.  In addition, St. Tikhon’s Seminary had a functioning Chapter, 121, that in October of 1963 hosted the National FROC Convention!  Even up to 2007 in the FOCA Journal, Chapter 121 was represented.   FOCA has also supported our seminarians at Christmas time with gifts for seminary familiies.

Those elected to office during this inaugural meeting included:

Andrew Nelko, President, Andrew Bohush, Vice President, Rachel Hill Secretary, and Timothy Winegar, Treasurer.

St. Tikhon’s Seminary remains grateful for their relationship with the FOCA, and we look forward to further interactions both as we continue the work on the married student housing project and in the acceptance of this re-instated FOCA Chapter!

In Christ,

Fr. Steven Voytovich, Dean

St. Tikhon's Celebrates Alumni Homecoming as New Academic Year Begins - 09/10/15

Seminary Alumni Gather at St. Tikhon's

On Thursday, September 10th, Alumni gathered together at St. Tikhon's.  In the course of the day alumni joined the seminary community for lunch, held a meeting in the afternoon, celebrated Vespers at the Monastery Church, and then hosted a picnic for the seminary community.

Fr. Patrick Burns, new Alumni President, welcomed all the alumni who came together.  He especially thanked Archpriest Theodore Boback for his service as Alumni President for the past nine years!  Together with Archpriest Stephen Evanina, Vice President, Archpriest Nicholas Wyslutsky, Treasurer, and Archpriest Andrew Nelko, Secretary, alumni discussed how they could strengthen ties among alumni, and again between alumni and current seminarians as mentors and guides.  

Alumni received greetings from Archimandrite Sergius, Igumen of St. Tikhon's Monastery and seminaryAlumn.  They also heard a report on seminary life in the new academic year from Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean,  and an update on current fundraising projects, including married student housing, by Seraphim Danckaert, Director of Mission Advancement.

Following the meeting, Archpriest Theodore Boback celebrated a memorial service in the Monastery Church for Archpriest Vladimir Borichevsky, in remembrance of the 25th anniversary of his repose.  Alumni joined current mission choir members for the rare opportunity to sing under the direction of Archimandrite Sergius for Vespers!  His Eminence Mark, Archbishop of the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania came to the Monastery Church, and blessed the food for the picnic following.

Alumni leadership served a picnic dinner to members of the seminary community.  Those gathered were treated to music by Dr. Harry and the Dogmatics.  Later, Fr. Patrick facilitated a brief program of sharing by alumni to those just beginning their studies in the new year.

All in all this was truly a day of fellowship with our alumni.  We are most grateful that they have taken time from their full schedules as parish pastors, some driving over six hours to participate in the days events, and we hope to build on the momentum of this day in the weeks and months ahead!

St. Tikhon's 78th Academic Year Begins with Feast and Picnic - 09/08/15

St. Tikhon's Seminary began its 78th academic year with the Feast of the Nativity of the Thetokos.  Seminarians, faculty, administrative team members gathered with Archimandrite Sergius, Igumen, and the monastic brotherhood to celebrate the feast with Vigil and Divine Liturgy.

Following Divine Liturgy was a picnic for seminarians and their families together with the whole St. Tikhon community to continue a more informal time of fellowship.  Those attending were also entertained by Dr. Harry Boosalis and the Dogmatics, made up of our talented seminarians, who played music through the course of the afternoon.  With the weather cooperating, this was a wonderful beginning of the new academic year.   Classes and regular schedule began the following day.  May God grant us a fruitful year of prayer, worship, study, and service.

Bishop Alexander Visits St. Tikhon's Seminary - 09/02/15

The Right Reverend Alexander, Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese, visited St. Tikhon’s Seminary during orientation week on Wednesday, September 2nd.  He first met with Seminarian Mikel Hill, who is a second-year student.  Later, he visited the monastery church and toured both monastery and seminary grounds with Mikel and Fr. Steven, seminary dean.  Upon returning to the seminary’s main building he briefly addressed new seminarians preparing to engage their studies, while they were in the Saint Patriarch Tikhon Library with Sergei Arhipov, Seminary Registrar and Librarian.   It is uplifting for both seminarians and the seminary community to have our bishops visit!

Mark Your Calendars Now for Alumni Picnic - 08/25/15

The Annual Alumni Picnic will be held here at St. Tikhon's Seminary on Thursday, September 10th.  Please click here to read a letter from our new Alumni President, Fr. Patrick Burns (Class of 2009).  His letter contains a schedule for the day's events.  

If you would like to join the seminary for lunch on that day (12:30pm), please contact Teresa Vaux-Michel, no later than September 5th at either 570.561.1818, or by e-mail.    Fr. Patrick asks that you e-mail him to RSVP no later than Sunday, September 7th, so they may prepare sufficient food and drink.  

Please plan to come and visit your seminary!

St. Tikhon's Seminary 18th Annual Alumni Golf Tournament - 08/22/15

St. Tikhon’s  Seminary Alumni and current Field Education Leadership Team, Archpriests John Kowalczyk and David Shewczyk, (Class of 1975 celebrating 40 years!), with fellow loyal planners, organized another very successful annual golf tournament on Saturday, August 22nd!   The tournament was held at the Jack Frost National Golf Club in Blakeslee, PA, in the heart of the beautiful Pocono Mountain resort area.  The weather was perfect for alumni and many others who have come annually to play golf on this beautiful course.

According to Frs. John and David, this annual tournament has raised more than $60,000 over the past eighteen years!  Golfers participate in challenges in certain holes, as they enjoy this day on the course.  All Wanas of Alexander’s Restaurant in Mayfield generously donates time and energy toward the meals for those golfing.  Those viewing the photo album and feeling that they missed a wonderful opportunity, mark your calendars now for August 20, 2016!

St. Tikhon's Seminary Board of Trustees Holds Early Fall Meeting - 08/22/15

St. Tikhon’s Board of Trustees met at the seminary, August 20-21.  Board committees met on Thursday, with the whole board meeting together on Friday.

Board committees are comprised of board members, faculty, administrative team members, seminarians, and others.  These meetings form a multi-disciplinary platform bringing together many voices across the community, especially important now while St. Tikhon’s Seminary is in the midst of a Self Study, preparing for a re-accreditation review in 2016.

Among the celebrations of the board meeting itself:

  •          The board celebrated the completion of the $300,000 Married Student Housing pledge by the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA), announced during the All-American Council!
  •          The board accepted a proposal from Peter and Sarah Jubinski to form the Peter and Sarah B. Jubinski Library Endowment!  With initial funding pledged from Peter and Sarah, this endowment will be focused toward acquisitions for the Patriarch Saint Tikhon Library.  This is an especially meaningful gift, as it follows 40+ years of support and direct engagement in the library by Sarah Jubinski.  She has served there as librarian and has remained an ardent supporter of the Patriarch Tikhon Library!  Sarah also serves as the Chair of the Seminary’s Century Association, representing those offering annual financial stewardship gifts.  May God grant Peter and Sarah many blessed years!
  •          The board heard for the first time from new Director of Mission Advancement, Seraphim Danckaert, and from Fr. Patrick Burns, new Alumni President, elected at the All-American Council.
  •          Board members participated in a presentation focusing on their development efforts by Dawn Miller of Zielinski Company. Dawn has been our consultant that assisted us with development work and in hiring  Seraphim.
  •          The board also reviewed documentation that revealed a much stronger year financially in the fiscal year just ended.

May God grant our trustees many blessed years!


St. Tikhon’s Seminary Opens Search for Director of Student Life (Updated) - 07/31/15

Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary here recently re-initiated a search for a full-time Director for its Office of Student Life, which directly provides for the overall welfare and practical needs of seminarians in formation, with special attention given to their spiritual life. 

The Director of Student Life will be responsible for supervising the overall discipline of seminary student body, coordinating with all seminary constituencies in matters related to community events, serving in counseling, advocacy, and advisory roles to students in general academic, spiritual, and personal matters.

A detailed job description may be found on the seminary web site.

The seminary is offering a competitive salary, flexible work environment, and benefits package.

To apply for the position, please forward a cover letter, resume, three references and three writing samples to  the V. Rev. Steven Voyovich, Dean, at P.O. Box 130, South Canaan, PA 18459.  Alternatively, applications may be submitted by e-mail to: 

Axios! Gabriel Monforte is Ordained to the Holy Diaconate and Priesthood - 07/26/15

On Sunday, July 26, 2015, the Sunday of the Holy Fathers of the First Six Ecumenical Councils as well as the Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel, Gabriel Monforte (STOTS 2013) was ordained to the diaconate by His Eminence Metropolitan HILARION, in St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ. On Tuesday, July 28, 2015, the thousandth anniversary of the repose of St. Vladimir, Dn. Gabriel was ordained to the priesthood by His Grace Bishop NICHOLAS, also in St. Vladimir Memorial Church in Jackson, NJ. Priest Gabriel will serve for the time being in the Mid-American Diocese, while being attached to the diocesan cathedral.

May God bless Fr. Gabriel and Matushka Laura as they begin the next phase of their public ministry!


FOCA Completes St. Tikhon's Married Student Housing Pledge! - 07/20/15

The Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America (FOCA), is meeting for the first time in conjunction with the All-American Council.  During dinner with the hierarchs Sunday evening, Becky Tesar, FOCA President, presented Archbishop Michael, St. Tikhon's Seminary Rector, with a check for $300,000, representing the fulfillment of a pledge made by them toward our St. Tikhon's Seminary!  St. Tikhon's Seminary is most grateful for all the efforts made by FOCA to complete their pledge to this important project!


St. Tikhon's Seminary Welcomes Seraphim Danckaert - 07/07/15

Seraphim Danckaert, new Director of Mission Advancement at St. Tikhon's!
Seraphim Danckaert was received into the Church at the age of 13, along with his parents and sister, at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church (OCA) in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Mr. Danckaert met his wife, Anne, one summer during graduate school in an intensive summer program at Indiana University for young scholars learning Romanian. Anne and Seraphim have three young children, Benjamin, Evelina, and Brigitte, all under the age of five. 
After receiving his M.Div. with highest honors from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in 2007, Mr. Danckaert has spent the last eight years in management and fundraising roles at the Orthodox Christian Network, a national ministry under the auspices of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States, and at Princeton Theological Seminary, where he served in the Office of the President and also oversaw various initiatives in social media, online education, and continuing education for alumni, pastors, and lay leaders. Earlier this year, after his close friend Fr. Matthew Baker, an alumnus of St. Tikhon's, fell asleep in the Lord following a tragic car accident, Mr. Danckaert started and managed an online fundraising campaign for Fr. Matthew's widow and six young children, which has raised nearly $800,000.
In addition to his professional activities, Mr. Danckaert studied under Fr. Andrew Louth for four years as a Ph.D. candidate in theology at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and has been an active member of the Fr. Georges Florovsky Orthodox Theological Society of Princeton University, serving as co-chair of four major international conferences for Orthodox theologians, clergy, and lay people interested in the theological vision of the Church Fathers. His publications have appeared in theological journals in the United States, England, Greece, and Serbia. 
Mr. Danckaert and his family look forward to joining the St. Tikhon's community and working closely with its leadership, alumni, and supporters for the advancement of St. Tikhon's sacred mission and for the glory of God.  As of beginning of July, Seraphaim is available by phone at 570.561.1818, or by e-mail at .

2015 Commencement Address Now Available Online - 06/23/15

The following address was presented by His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon at the 73rd Annual Commencement exercises at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary on May 23, 2015.

2015 Commencement Address

Reserve Your Place in the 18th Annual St. Tikhon’s Memorial Golf Tournament (Updated) - 06/23/15

The St. Tikhon’s Community is pleased to announce that the 18th Annual Golf Benefit will be held on Saturday, August 22, 2015 at Jack Frost National Golf Course in Blakeslee, PA. Registration for the event begins at 12:00 PM, with the Shotgun Start occurring at 1:00 PM, followed by an Awards Dinner at 6:00 PM.  The deadline for registration is fast approaching, so register now!  Click here for registration information.

The cost of the event is $100 per golfer, which includes Golf, cart, lunch, admission to the banquet, drinks, refreshments, and prizes. Checks should be made payable to St. Tikhon’s Seminary and mailed to Bernard S. Golubiewski at 19 Main Street, Laflin, PA 18702.  You can also contact Berny Golubiewski by email:  or Phone: 570-825-4780; cell: 570-417-8271.

Those wishing to support the event are invited to sponsor a hole at the tournament. Corporate Sponsorship costs $100 and Individual Sponsorship is $25. All sponsor participants will be recognized on the course for all to see and your  sponsorship will be indicated in a special remembrance at the awards dinner to follow.

Checks for sponsorships should also be made out to Bernard Golbiewski and mailed to the aforementioned address.  

We look forward to seeing you on the course!

Applications are Still Being Accepted for the Upcoming Fall Semester. - 06/03/15

Is The Lord Calling You to Serve His Holy Church?

Applications to St. Tikhon's Seminary are being accepted through July, 31, 2015.

Scholarship Assistance Available.

Click here for information on how to begin the Admissions process.

For question you can reach us by phone at 570-561-1818 or you may email the Dean at or the Registrar at

Registration is Now Open for the St. Tikhon's Seminary Annual Clergy Continuing Education Symposium - 05/29/15

Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary will host its annual Continuing Clergy Education Symposium June 16-18, 2015. The seminary is pleased to provide this symposium to assist OCA priests and deacons fulfill their 20 hours of continuing education studies mandated each year by the Holy Synod of Bishops.

This year’s program is focused most intensively on theological foundations for and the practice of pastoral care by our clergy in parish life.

The list of speakers and topics to be included in this year’s symposium includes the following:

  1. “Practical Issues in the Life of an Orthodox Priest with Guidance from the Holy Fathers” by Archbishop Michael (Dahulich), Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, Professor of Scripture - Tuesday afternoon, June 16, at 1:30 p.m. We will explore specific aspects of the Holy Priesthood, with direction gleaned from the writings of pastoral theology by Saint Ambrose of Milan, Saint Gregory the Great and Saint John Chrysostom.

  1. “The Concept of Healing as Found in the Dynamic of the Treatment Team Model” by Archpriest John Kowalczyk, Director of Field Education at St. Tikhon’s Seminary and Chaplain at SCI Waymart - Tuesday evening, June 16, at 6:30 p.m. We will examine the concept of healing as found in the dynamic of the Treatment Team Model and how the various disciplines working together interface in a harmonious way and bring care for the total person. We will review and bring examples of how this treatment model can bring healing for the priest in his personal life and pastoral work.

  1. “Palliative Care” by Dr. George Giokas, Physician specializing in: Geriatric Medicine, Hospice and Palliative medicine in Schenectady, NY - Wednesday, June 17, at 9:00 a.m. Palliative Care is a specialty of medicine caring for seriously ill people using an interdisciplinary team approach. The presenter, a practicing palliative care physician, will provide a medical perspective of current challenges to caring for adults with life-threatening illnesses. We will also explore issues related to advance care planning including advanced directives.

  1. “Pastoral Care in the Lives of the Saints” by Fr. Joseph Frawley, St. Martin Chapel at West Point Academy - Wednesday, June 17, at 1:00 p.m. We will examine Pastoral Care from two perspectives:  first, as reflected in the Lives of the Saints (i.e. the various categories of saints); and then as exemplified in the lives of more contemporary God-pleasers.

  1. “Caring for the Elderly and Disadvantaged” by Mat. Marion Swencki, Director of Long Term Care, Wayne Woodlands Manor, Waymart, PA - Thursday, June 18, at 9:00 a.m. We will discuss the following topics: Alzheimer's disease and related dementias; simple solutions to major problems; person centered care and the corresponding right to dignity and respect; multi-pharmacy and effects on well being; Medicare, Medicaid, Private insurance, Managed Care, and Supplemental Insurance; Elder Abuse -- identification, prevention, and reporting.

  1. “Pastoral Counseling in the Parish” by Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean, Associate Professor of Pastoral Arts and Praxis, St. Tikhon’s Seminary - Thursday, June 18, at 1:00 p.m. We will consider some topics related to parish life that will include grief and loss, marriage, addictions, and family system orientation helpful for family counseling, and other topics of interest to participants;  also considerations given to referrals.

All courses are available for Clergy Continuing Education credit, as approved by Archpriest Ian Pac-Urar. The cost, which includes lecture registration, room and board (in the Metropolitan Leonty Dormitory), is $100.00 per person. For an additional charge, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Pioneer Plaza Hotel in Carbondale, PA. Please contact the seminary directly for any questions or to make reservations at at the seminary’s main number 570-561-1818 or by e-mail to

111th Memorial Day Pilgrimage - 05/25/15

Each year the St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary Community opens its arms in dramatic fashion to the greater Orthodox and non-orthodox community. This is a labor of love, the preparation for which is several weeks long and involves every person associated with the Monastery and the Seminary as well as many friends and families, volunteers from neighboring parishes, and long-time supporters.

This labor of love is, in many ways, an iconic representation of our relationship with the world and an articulation of our place it that world. Each year we open up our lives to everyone who wishes to come and take part in the pilgrimage and each year we are surprised by the response. This year, hundreds of Pilgrims turned out to spend Memorial Day with the St. Tikhon’s Community. This was the 111th Memorial Day Pilgrimage.

On Monday the main Liturgy was celebrated by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael of New York and New York and New Jersey; His Eminence, Archbishop Mark of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania; His Grace, Bishop Thomas of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; and His Grace, Bishop John of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Moscow Patriarchate.

Following the Liturgy pilgrims were also able to participate in memorials for the departed and Holy Unction for the healing of soul and body. They enjoyed a wide variety of food from vendors stationed around the Monastery grounds. They beheld and venerated relics, ancient icons, and priceless treasure of the Church at the St. Tikhon's Metropolitan Museum. They were able to venerate the Miraculous Myrrh Streaming Icon from Hawaii. They immersed themselves in the rich history of the Seminary through the latest edition of the Tikhonaire, which chronicles history of the Seminary and Monastery and has been in publication since 1948.

The Memorial Day Pilgrimage is an opportunity to reunite with friends and loved ones each year to pray together, share stories with one another, to teach one another, and to remember together.

Thank you for allowing us to share our lives with you. Thank you for sharing each of your lives with us, and God willing we hope to see you again next year.

Axios! Seminarian Joel Brady is Tonsured a Reader - 05/23/15

On Saturday, May 23, 2015 Seminarian Joel Brady was tonsured a Reader by His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon at St. Tikhon's Monastery Chapel as part of the Memorial Day Pilgrimage service on Pilgrimage Saturday. Later that day Reader Joel would also graduate Valedictorian of the graduating Class of 2015.

As a seminarian Reader Joel exemplified what it means to be a model student and servant in Christ. He was active in student government, maintained constant participation at both the Holy Services and Community Events, and was ever vigilant of his community stewardship responsibilities. During his final year the additional responsibility of being one of the two dormitory RA's was placed upon him, a responsibility that was accepted graciously with a profound humility.

On behalf of the entire community we would like to thank the Reader Joel Brady for his service to St. Tikhon's and pray that God continues to bless and keep him as he begins this next phase of his public ministry.


St. Tikhon’s Seminary 2015 Commencement - 05/23/15

On May 23rd, St. Tikhon’s Seminary held its 73rd Commencement.  Metropolitan Tikhon offered the Commencement Address.  Thirteen graduates completed the requirements for the Master of Divinity Degree, including graduates from India, Austria, and the Middle East.  Dn. Theophan  received Honors in Church History for his Thesis: “The Mystery of Lawlessness: A Pastoral Examination of the Manifestation of Evil in Contemporary Society.”

Archpriest Daniel Donlick, in just having celebrated 50 years of ordination to the priesthood, was awarded an honorary doctorate following his decisive role in moving the seminary toward accreditation with the Association of Theological Schools, and literally decades of service as professor, academic dean, and confessor that continues to the present day!  A scholarship was also named in honor of Fr. Daniel in recognition of his fiftieth anniversary.

Participating in commencement exercises were two new board members:  Nancy Kohudic, who is a member of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern PA and an ardent supporter of our Married Student Housing Project, and Bishop Thomas (Joseph) of the Antiochian Christian Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic, who is a long time supporter and friend of the St. Tikhon’s Community.

May God grant our graduates many blessed years of ministry in our Lord’s Vineyard!


Feast of the Ascension - 05/21/15

Troparion — Tone 4

O Christ God, You have ascended in Glory, / Granting joy to Your disciples by the promise of the Holy Spirit. / Through the blessing they were assured / That You are the Son of God, / The Redeemer of the world!

Kontakion — Tone 6

When You had fulfilled the dispensation for our sake, / and united earth to heaven: / You ascended in glory, O Christ our God, / not being parted from those who love You, / but remaining with them and crying: / “I am with you and no one will be against you!”

Metropolitan Leonty Symposium held at St. Tikhon’s Seminary - 05/20/15

On Thursday, May 14th, St. Tikhon’s Seminary hosted a Symposium on the life, witness, and service of Metropolitan Leonty. The day began with Divine Liturgy, and a graveside Memorial Service celebrated by Metropolitan Tikhon at Metropolitan Leonty’s tomb. Fr. John Jillions, OCA Chancellor, read a eulogy written by Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann.

During the course of the day we had five presentations, that included:  

  1. “The Life and Legacy of Metropolitan Leonty,” by Mr. Alex Liberovsky, OCA Archivist

  2. “Metropolitan Leontii and St. Tikhon of Moscow,” by Dr. Scott Kenworthy Dept. of Comparative Religion, Miami University, Oxford, OH

  3. “The Diaries of 1917-1918,” by Mat. Tamara Turkevich Skvir, Princeton, NJ

  4. “Metropolitan Leonty as a Man of Letters,” by Dr. Leonid Turkevich, Cincinnati, OH.

  5. “The Metropolitan Leontii Papers at the Library of Congress: a Brief Introduction,” by Harold Leich, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Later in the evening, after Vespers, a reception and time of informal sharing followed in the Monastery Museum. Archpriests Sergei Glagolev, Daniel Hubiak, and John Nehrebecki shared their remembrances, along with Constantine Kallaur and many others. The evening ended with reflections and a prayer that had been written by Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko before he reposed, read by Dr. David Ford.

Participants received individually numbered copies of a Homiletics Course that Metropolitan Leonty taught that were designed and produced in commemoration of the event.  Clergy participants who registered and attended this symposium are approved for 3.5 hours of continuing education credit.

On behalf of the entire St. Tikhon’s Community we would like to thank each one of the presenters for being with us to share their contributions and reflections on this most beloved leader of our Orthodox Church in America. We would also like to thank each of the participants for traveling to be with us for this “Time of Holy Remembering.”

Finally we would like to thank the event committee: the V. Rev. Steven Voytovich, the V. Rev. Dennis Swencki, Fr. Leonid Schmidt, David Ford, Sergei Arhipov, Christopher Patton, Teresa Vaux-Michel, as well as Innocent Neal for his contributions.

Video recordings of the event will be made available to the public in some form in the near future. Information will be forthcoming on the seminary website.

The following except is from the remembrance of Metropolitan Leonty by Archpriest Thomas Hopko on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of the Metropolitan’s Repose.

“Through his weakness, Your divine strength has established the Church in this land. Through his folly, Your divine wisdom has guided her destiny. Through his humility, You have exalted her with divine glory. Through his poverty, You have filled her with the riches of Your divinity.  Through his obedience, You have granted her freedom from the powers of this world. Through his fidelity, You have counted her worthy to remain faithful to her calling to be the Kingdom of Heaven in the midst of the earth.


Annual Graduate Appreciation Dinner - 05/18/15

On Monday, May 18, 2015 the administration, faculty, staff, and graduating class of 2015 gathered with their families at Cafe Ronaldi in Old Forge, PA for the Annual Graduate Appreciation Dinner.

This event was generously sponsored by His Grace, Bishop Michael and all who attended enjoyed good food and fellowship. St. Tikhon’s wishes to extend congratulations to the 2015 graduates and their families as they prepare to leave our community to serve the Church in whatever capacity that they have been called.

St. Tikhon's Honors the Women of the Community - 05/17/15

As the Spring 2015 semester drew to a close, the women of the St. Tikhon's community gathered for a meal held to recognize and honor their often behind-the-scenes work and support. Married and single students alike pitched in to plan and serve food and to provide childcare so the women of the community could enjoy each other's company for the evening.
In particular, the wives of this year's graduating seminarians were recognized as they prepare to depart for new and different destinations. The atmosphere was light-hearted as favorite and funniest memories were compiled and shared to everyone's amusement and laughter. 
Thank You and Many Years to the women of the 2014–2015 St. Tikhon's Seminary community!

St. Tikhon’s Community Honors Archpriest Daniel Donlick - 05/16/15

On May 16, 2015, Archpriest Daniel Donlick marked the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the Holy Priesthood. Many clergy concelebrated with Metropolitan Tikhon at the Monastery Church, followed by a festive luncheon in the monastery trapeze that was attended by former and present students, family members, and the St. Tikhon’s community.

Fr. Daniel was Director of Admissions and part-time faculty member from 1971-1977. He served as registrar beginning in 1978, and in 1988 he was named to the newly established post of Academic Dean in 1988, a post he held until 1994 when his illness forced him to retire. He was also Associate Professor of History. Since then, he has remained a mentor and confessor to seminarians and their families at St. Tikhon’s.

During his tenure as Academic Dean, Fr. Donlick oversaw and in many ways shouldered much of the initial burden for preparing the institution for accreditation. This monumental effort resulted in the Seminary being granted Associate Membership in the Association of Theological Schools (ATS) in January of 1994. This is a most significant achievement for the life of the seminary, but when asked about this, he still saw his most significant work in preparing young men to serve the church, fulfilling the mission of St. Tikhon’s Seminary.

Fr. Daniel also took the opportunity to present his own gifts to the Seminary and Monastery during the celebration, to the Seminary he gave a new chalice set for use in the chapel, and to the Monastery he offered a lovely censer for use in the monastery church.

St. Tikhon’s Seminary has established a Scholarship in Fr. Daniel’s name, as a living tribute to his efforts to support vocations over now several decades. Contributions to this scholarship are most welcome!

In having reflected on Fr. Daniel’s life, ministry, and contribution to the seminary, it seemed most appropriate to further honor Fr. Daniel with a Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris Causa, at graduation on Saturday! May God grant Archpriest Daniel, Matushka Dolores, and their family many blessed years!

Celebration held for Archbishop Michael in Honor of His Consecration to Episcopacy - 05/09/15

On Saturday, 9 May 2015, the Dean of the seminary, the V. Rev. Steven Voytovich together with V. Rev. Dennis Swencki, Chief Financial Officer traveled to Saint John the Baptist Orthodox Church in Passaic NJ to  join with diocesan clergy in honoring His Eminence Michael (Dahulich), Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey and Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary on the 5th Anniversary of his consecration to the episcopacy.  His Eminence celebrated the Divine Liturgy, and a festive luncheon followed in Patterson, NJ.

Then Fr. Michael began teaching here at St. Tikhon’s Seminary in 1993, and became dean in 2001.  He served as dean until 2010 when he was elected for elevation to the Episcopacy for the Diocese of New York and New Jersey.  Bishop Michael returned to St. Tikhon’s in 2012, being named Rector in the fall of 2013.  Most recently, at the Spring 2015 session of the Holy Synod, Bishop Michael was elevated to Archbishop.  

As part of the celebration His Eminence was presented with a new mitre on behalf of the entire St. Tikhon’s Community.

May God grant His Eminence Michael good health and a long life and may He preserve him for many, many years.

St. Tikhon’s Alumni Phonathon Takes Initial Steps! - 05/08/15

On Friday, May 8th, Regional Alumni Coordinators prepared to reach out to St. Tikhon’s Alumni in their respective geographical areas.  While some scheduling difficulties prevented more from being able to check in on the course of this day, a wonderful unfolding occurred that you can now participate in.

Fr. John Baker, Rector of Christ the Savior Church, Chicago, Illinois, contacted nearly half of the alumni known to be in the greater Chicago area.  With assistance from Fr. Ignatius Gauvain (Class of 2014) Fr. John and Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean, conducted a brief interview where he relayed reflections from his phone calls.  You can view the interview here.  

Other regional coordinators are encouraged to go ahead and reach out to alumni in their areas, and then contact Fr. Steven in order that similar brief recordings can be posted on our website.  Besides reaching out to alumni, we are hoping to find alumni whose whereabouts are not currently known.  As has happened several times this year, as Archbishop Michael and Fr. Steven travel around the country, they look forward to gathering with area alumni.

May God grant our seminary alumni many blessed years!

Archpriest Steven Voytovich

Women's Group Learn Valuable Life Skills - 05/06/15

This year the St. Tikhon's Women's Group teamed up with the Carbondale YMCA to offer a CPR / First Aid class to Seminarians and their families. It was a wonderful opportunity for participants to learn responsiveness and preparation for a variety of emergency situations. Topics ranged from breathing and cardiac emergencies to first aid. We are thankful for the YMCA's remarkable willingness to work with us and facilitate our certification through the American Red Cross.

Annual St. Tikhon's Community Softball Game - 05/04/15

On May 4, 2015 students gathered with members of the faculty and administration to open the spring season with the annual St. Tikhon's Community Softball game, organized by the student government. Bishop Paul of the Diocese of the Midwest joined the spectators, and Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of St. Tikhon's Monastery, opened the game with the first at-bat and hit. Inning after vigorous inning, the game went until dusk, finally ending with a 9-4 victory for the off-campus student team. Everyone dined on standard ballpark cuisine from the grill and enjoyed the pleasant springtime change of scenery.

St, Tikhon’s would like to thank all of the participants in this year’s event. It was a wonderful opportunity for “off-campus” fellowship and friendly competition.

St. Tikhon’s Welcomes His Grace, Bishop Paul (Gassios) - 05/04/15

On May 4, 2015 the St. Tikhon’s Community was pleased to have with us His Grace Bishop Paul (Gassios), Bishop of the Diocese of the Midwest. His Grace met with the Dean of the seminary the V. Rev. Steven Voytovich, as well as seminarians from his diocese.

On behalf of the entire St. Tikhon’s Community we would like to thank His Grace, Bishop Paul and we look forward to him being able to visit with us again in the future.

Annual Century Association Event Continues to Provide Support for St. Tikhon's Seminary - 05/03/15

Members of St. Tikhon’s Seminary Century Association, clergy, matushki, seminarians, and friends enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of food and fellowship at  Hospitality ala Russe VI on Sunday, May 3, at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Bethlehem.  The festival featured a magnificent “Russian Table” with zakushki (appetizers) of potato pancakes, holodetz (pork in aspic), beet salad (vinaigrette), eggplant caviar, pierogi, kielbasi, Russian meatballs, marinated mushrooms, spinach and cheese puffs, Paska and Russian rye bread followed by a dinner with Baba’s chicken soup, Chicken Kiev, Novgorod potatoes, garden green beans, and a delicious ice cream sundae with home baked cookies.  The renowned nine-member  Kauriga Balalaika Orchestra played our favorite balalaika melodies.  There were door prizes and a superb basket raffle with themes of Afternoon Tea, Cold Cash, Keurig Coffee Maker, and Vera Bradley. “HANYA’S KITCHEN: The Orthodox Herald Recipe Collection,” cookbook was available for purchase and The Treasures of Russia Gift Shop was open for shopping.  All proceeds from the event benefit St. Tikhon’s Seminary.

Still Time to Take Part in This Historic Event! - 05/01/15

Though Pre-Registration has completed, there is still time to take part in this historic event!

There is still time to reserve your place at Academic Symposium Honoring the Life and Work of Metropolitan Leonty (Turkevich) (1876 – 1965.) This event will be held at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Canaan, PA, on Thursday, May 14, 2015 on the 50th Anniversary of his repose in the Lord.

This day-long symposium will feature not only yet to be published selections from the 1917-18 diary of Metropolitan Leonty as read and translated by his granddaughter Mat. Tamara Turkevich-Skvir, but will also feature poems and observational anecdotes written throughout the life of this champion of the Faith.

Presenters will also include Harold M. Leich, Russian Area Specialist European Division, The Library of Congress, as well as Dr. Scott M. Kenworthy presenting on the topic, “The Relationship between Metropolitan Leontii and St. Tikhon of Moscow.”

In addition to the more formal academic offerings, a time will be set aside for stories and recollections by friends, family, and others who had the opportunity to experience first-hand the grace and wisdom of Metropolitan Leonty.

The tentative schedule is listed below:

7:00 – 8:15 AM   Divine Liturgy, Monastery Church

8:30 – 9:00     Graveside Memorial Service for Metr. Leonty

9:10 – 9:50     Continental Breakfast and Fellowship

10:00 – 10:55  First Presentation

11:00 – 11:55  Second Presentation

12:00 – 1:25 PM   Lunch and Museum Tour

1:30 – 2:25     Third Presentation

2:30 – 3:25     Fourth Presentation

3:30 – 4:25   Fifth Presentation

4:30 – 5:10   Vespers, Monastery Church

5:15 – 6:30   Wine and Cheese Reception

6:30 – 8:00   Panel Discussion, centering on personal reminiscences of His Eminence

In anticipation of the number of faithful who will be visiting with us, we have arranged two separate group reservations with local hotels. The first is with the Comfort Inn in Hamlin, PA (570-689-4148), and the second is with the newly constructed Pioneer Plaza Hotel in Carbondale, PA (570-536-6020). Both hotels have reserved a block of rooms for the low rate of $88 per room. Reservations can be made by calling the hotel directly and asking to be included in the group of rooms reserved for St. Tikhon’s Seminary.

Registration for the Symposium can be made by calling St. Tikhon’s Seminary at 570-561-1818 and then dialing 0 for the receptionist, or you can register online through the St. Tikhon’s Monastery Bookstore by following the link here.

Please consider visiting St. Tikhon’s for this once in a lifetime chance to be a participant as our community of faith undertakes a “Holy Remembering” of one of its most beloved and revered paragons of faith whose life touched so many throughout the last century!

Community Welcomes Dn. Stephen Muse - 04/16/15

On Thursday, April 16, 2015 Dn. Stephen Muse gave a well-researched and thought-provoking presentation titled Holy Image Holy Blood: What Forensic Studies of the Shroud Can Tell Us About the Crucifixion and Resurection of Jesus. 

The lecture was free of charge and open to the public. Dn. Stephen was also gracious enough to allow the publication of the presentation for all to enjoy and can be viewed via the St. Tikhon's YouTube Channel below.

On behalf of the entire St. Tikhon's Community we would like to offer Dn. Stephen Muse our appreciation for taking the time to be with us and we look forward to visiting with him again in the near future.


Seminary Chapel Receives Beautiful New Floor - 04/16/15

On Thursday April 16, 2015 the St. Nicholai Velemorovich Chapel located inside St. Tikhon’s Seminary was remodeled with a beautiful new hardwood floor and carpeting due to the generosity of Dr. Nabil a longtime supporter of St. Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary who donated the hardwood flooring in the hopes that it would be used for just such purposes.

The cost of the installation of the flooring and the new carpet were donated by St. Tikhon’s Monastery. The hardwood is of an exceptional quality and should serve the seminary community for years to come. An alumnus who graduated in the early 70’s and has personally witnessed the transformation of the space from a library to a chapel remarked “I did a few petitions and the acoustics are so different its like being in a whole new place.”

Many thanks are due to Dr. Nabil for his donation and also to Abbot Sergius and the St. Tikhon’s Monastic Brotherhood for their continued and ever-present support of St. Tikhon’s Seminary.

Bright Week - 04/14/15

This is the day of resurrection.

Let us be illumined by the feast.

Let us embrace each other.

Let us call “brothers” even those who hate us,

And forgive all by the resurrection. . .

Great and Holy Thursday - 04/09/15

Troparion — Tone 6

Of Your Mystical Supper, O Son of God, / Accept me today as a communicant. / For I will not speak of Your mysteries to Your enemies, / Neither like Judas will I give You a kiss, / But like the thief will I confess You. / Remember me, O Lord, in Your Kingdom!

Troparion — Tone 4

By Your precious blood, / You have redeemed us from the curse of the law. / By being nailed to the cross and pierced by a spear, / You have poured forth immortality for man. / O our Savior, glory to You!

Kontakion — Tone 8

Come, let us all sing the praises of Him who was crucified for us, / For Mary said when she beheld Him upon the tree: / Though You do endure the cross, You are my Son and my God!

Palm Sunday - 04/05/15

Troparion — Tone 1

By raising Lazarus from the dead before Your passion, / You did confirm the universal Resurrection, O Christ God! / Like the children with the palms of victory, / We cry out to You, O Vanquisher of death; / Hosanna in the Highest! / Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord!

Troparion — Tone 4

When we were buried with You in Baptism, O Christ God, / We were made worthy of eternal life by Your Resurrection! / Now we praise You and sing: / Hosanna in the highest! / Blessed is He that comes in the Name of the Lord!

Kontakion — Tone 6

Sitting on Your throne in heaven, / Carried on a foal on earth, O Christ God! / Accept the praise of angels and the songs of children who sing: / Blessed is He that comes to recall Adam!

St. Tikhon's Holds Annual Vocations Retreat - 04/04/15

On April 3-4, 2015 Saint Tikhon's Seminary hosted its Annual Vocations Retreat. This annual event is designed specifically to help men ascertain their calling to serve the Lord and His Church in whatever capacity that He reveals.

Over the course of the retreat, prospective students had an opportunity to join with the Seminary Community and Monastery Brotherhood in prayer, tour the Monastery grounds and the Seminary Campus, meet the Dean of the school, hear talks, and join in discussions. It also provided a small glimpse of what a potential seminarian can expect to experience at St. Tikhon’s as an active member of the community.

The theme of this years retreat was “In the Fear of God and With Faith Draw Near.”

The retreat has already added names to the quickly growing list of incoming students for the Fall 2015 semester.

There is Still Time to Share Your Stories for This Year’s Tikhonaire - 04/03/15

There is still time for you to share your memorable story for this year’s Tikhonaire Publication. This year the Tikhonaire is dedicated to the life and work of Metropolitan Leonty (Turkevich.) If you have a story or reflection that you would like to offer about this champion of the Orthodox Church in the country feel free to send it via email to or you can also send it via postal courier to PO Box 130 South Canaan, PA 18459.

There is also time if you have not been able to reserve your place in this year’s Tikhonaire with a sponsorship ad. Follow the directions below to register online or you can mail in your advertisement to the address above. Please consider lending your support to this historically rich document of faith and in doing so, making it clear that you support Orthodox Theological Education and the St. Tikhon’s Community.

On behalf of St. Tikhon's we would like to thank you for your untiring support, and may this coming Holy Week be a time of great spiritual renewal as we all make our way to that Feast of Feasts, Great and Holy Pascha, that awaits us at the end.

There is Still Time to Pre-Register for the Academic Symposium Honoring the Life and Work of Metropolitan Leonty (Turkevich) - 04/01/15

Only 27 More Days to Pre-Register for the Academic Symposium Honoring the Life and Work of Metropolitan Leonty (Turkevich). As was announced previously this  historical occasion will feature the life and work of this beloved Archpastor and fearless advocate for Orthodoxy in America.


St. Tikhon’s Seminary is pleased to announce that Leonid Turkevich Phd, the grandson of the beloved Metropolitan Leonty will also be presenting at the Symposium a Lecture entitled Metropolitan Leonty and the Literary Tradition. Below we have included a section from his submitted abstract.

“Most of this Symposium is devoted to the pastoral, ecclesiastical and administrative legacy of Metropolitan Leonty.  Although appreciated during his lifetime, but less well-known in the present day, is his literary legacy.  While it is not my intent or training to venture a definitive literary criticism of his corpus of works, I would like to revisit this aspect of his life.  He certainly viewed it as an important activity, so it is appropriate for us to attempt some understanding of these contributions.”

Harold M. Leich, Russian Area Specialist European Division, The Library of Congress will be presenting on The Papers of Leonty, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, at the Library of Congress. Below we have included a section from his submitted abstract.

“The presentation will provide an overview of the papers of Metropolitan Leonty Turkevich (1876-1965) at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.  The collection was generously donated by members of the Turkevich family in 1998 and is housed in the Library’s Manuscript Division.  The collection has been cataloged and is open for use by all interested researchers.

Most of Metropolitan Leonty’s papers, comprising eight linear feet of materials in archival boxes, are in bound volumes of correspondence records and diaries.  His poetry and financial notes are scattered throughout the diaries and correspondence records.  One of the most significant holdings in the collection is the Metropolitan’s detailed record of the Church council (Sobor) held in Moscow in 1917-1918.  Many of his notes on the Sobor are in shorthand and remain undeciphered.  The presentation will include reading a poem, heretofore unpublished, composed by Metropolitan Leonty in late October 1917, on the eve of the election of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church.

In summary, the papers are a rich source for the history of the Russian Orthodox Church, Orthodoxy in America, and for the biography of Metropolitan Leonty himself.” 

Also St. Tikhon’s would like to acknowledge the wonderful treasure that has been offered by V, Rev. Daniel Skvir who has submitted copies of the translated class notes of Metropolitan Leonty when he taught at St. Tikhon’s Seminary. It is from this that we intend to create a one of a kind, event exclusive offering that will be available only at the symposium itself. The offering will be limited edition, individually numbered, and will be offered exclusively to those who attend this historic event.

Only 27 more days to pre-register at a discounted rate!

Please register before April 2, 2015 for a discounted rate of $60. This can be done clicking on the link marked REGISTRATION below.

Please consider visiting St. Tikhon’s for this once in a lifetime chance to be a participant as our community of faith undertakes a “Holy Remembering” of one of its most beloved and revered paragons of faith whose life touched so many throughout the last century!




Member of St. Tikhon's Women's Group Has Lenten Reflection Published on OCN - 03/30/15

Rachel Hill, wife of first year seminarian Mikel Hill, recently had an article featured on Orthodox Christian Networkas part of their ongoing feature titled "The Sounding." 

The article is a Lenten Reflection titled "When we find ourselves on the floor" and can be read in its entirety by following the link.

St. Tikhon's Seminary Begins Search for Director of Mission Advancement - 03/30/15

St. Tikhon’s Seminary is seeking a full-time Director of Mission Advancement. Responsibilities include annual giving initiatives, major and planned giving programs, capital campaign efforts, administration, and reporting of department efforts to Dean, Rector, and Board of Trustees. Please see the attached job description for more information. To apply, forward resume

Director of Mission Advancement

Students Attend Bi-Annual OISM Event - 03/29/15

On March 28-29, 2015 four St. Tikhon’s students traveled to Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Massachusetts for a meeting of the Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement (OISM).  Twice a year, this group brings together students from all Orthodox seminaries for a weekend of fellowship and shared learning. Activities at the most recent OISM event included a tour of the Holy Cross campus, services in their beautiful chapel, and time to get to know one another. The students also benefited from discussions led by His Grace Bishop John of Worchester and Father Edward Hughes on the theme of “Building Community.”

In the opening session on Friday evening, students from St. Vladimir’s Seminary in New York, Christ the Saviour Seminary in Johnstown Pennsylvania, St. Herman’s Seminary in Alaska, Holy Cross, and St. Tikhon’s were able to hear from each other what “a day in the life” looks like at their respective seminaries.  This set the tone of open communication and learning from one another that continued throughout the weekend, as seminarians had the opportunity to come together in discussions of concerns that are common to every geographical location and jurisdiction. The St. Tikhon’s students returned eager to share their experience, and looking forward to the next OISM event.

Article by Megan Haak first year seminarian at St. Tikhon’s Seminary and newly elected OISM secretary.

Archivist from National Church Makes Annual Visit To St. Tikhon's Seminary - 03/26/15

On Thursday morning, March 26, 2015 in Dr. David Ford's course on America and Orthodoxy, Mr. Alex Liberovsky, the Archivist of the OCA, gave a wonderfully thorough and inspiring slide-and-lecture presentation entitled "The Autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America and Church Unity: From Historical Vision to the Present."  In this presentation he recounted the highlights of the story of Russian Orthodoxy in America, beginning with the missionary work in Alaska in the 1790s up to the present, with special emphasis on the synods of the Church, beginning with the first synod of the Russian American Diocese, held in Mayfield, PA, in 1907, under St. Tikhon of Moscow, through the granting of autocephaly in 1970, and continuing up to the upcoming 18th All-American Council, to be held in Atlanta, GA, this coming July.
Mr. Liberovsky also gave a short presentation at lunch in which he explained the current process of revising the Statutes of the OCA.  He, and Fr. Steven Kopestonsky (who attended the 1971 Council  held at St. Tikhon's at which the current Statutes were instituted), both emphasized the importance of the Statutes for everyone in the Church - especially parish priests, who need to make sure that their parish by-laws are aligned with the Statutes of the diocese and of the OCA.  Mr. Liberovsky urged the students to study the tentative revision of the OCA Statute (as given on the OCA website) and make any suggestions by April 21.
We all wish to thank Mr. Liberovsky very much for everything he shared with us during his visit.
(Article by Dr. David Ford)

Great Feast of the Annunciation - 03/25/15

Today is the beginning of our salvation, the revelation of the eternal mystery. The Son of God becomes the Son of the virgin, as Gabriel announces the coming of Grace. Together with him let us cry to the Theotokos: Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you (Troparion).

Axios and Many Years to Archbishop Michael - 03/24/15


St. Tikhon’s Seminary community celebrates the wonderful news that the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, during its recent meeting, elevated Bishop Michael to the dignity of the rank of Archbishop.   His Eminence, Archbishop Michael will celebrate in May the fifth anniversary of his consecration, and was elected Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary in October of 2013 also by the Holy Synod.

Grant, O Lord, a peaceful and prosperous life, health, salvation, and furtherance in all good things, unto Thy Servant, His Eminence, the Most Reverend Michael, Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, and protect and preserve him for many years!

- V. Rev. Steven Voytovich

St. Tikhon's Seminary to Host Annual Vocations Retreat - 03/24/15

Saint Tikhon's Seminary will once again be hosting its Annual Vocations Retreat on Friday, April 3 and Saturday, April 4, 2015. This encounter is designed specifically to help men ascertain their calling to serve the Lord and His Church in whatever capacity that He reveals.

The Vocations Retreat will begin on Friday evening at 6:00 for Registration and end after Vigil Saturday evening. Over the course of the retreat, guests will have the opportunity to join with the Seminary Community and Monastery Brotherhood in prayer, tour the Monastery grounds and the Seminary Campus, meet the Dean of the school, hear talks, and join in discussions. The schedule will provide participants the opportunity to consider very seriously one's active role, purpose and responsibilities as a member of the Body of Christ. It will also provide a glimpse of what a potential seminarian can expect to experience at St. Tikhon’s as an active member of the community.

The theme of this years retreat will be “In the Fear of God and With Faith Draw Near” and is offered at no cost to all individuals interested in visiting the seminary. If you would like to register for the retreat or if you would like more information on the retreat, or on St. Tikhon's Seminary, please call the school at 570-561-1818 or send an email to

You Can Now Support St. Tikhon's Seminary Through AmazonSmile - 03/24/15

St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is pleased to announce that you can now automatically make a donation to St. Tikhon’s Seminary each time you make a purchase using

St. Tikhon’s Seminary is now listed as one of the millions of charitable organizations participating in the AmazonSmile Program.

About AmazonSmile

What is AmazonSmile?

AmazonSmile is a simple and automatic way for you to support your favorite charitable organization every time you shop, at no cost to you. When you shop at, you’ll find the exact same low prices, vast selection and convenient shopping experience as, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. You can choose from nearly one million organizations to support.

How do I shop at AmazonSmile?

To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to from the web browser on your computer or mobile device. You may also want to add a bookmark to to make it even easier to return and start your shopping at AmazonSmile.

Which products on AmazonSmile are eligible for charitable donations?

Tens of millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations. You will see eligible products marked “Eligible for AmazonSmile donation” on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible.

Can I use my existing account on AmazonSmile?

Yes, you use the same account on and AmazonSmile. Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same.

How do I select a charitable organization to support when shopping on AmazonSmile?

On your first visit to AmazonSmile (, you need to select a charitable organization to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping. We will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation.

Can I change my charity?

Yes, you can change your charity any time. Your AmazonSmile purchases after the change count towards your newly selected charity. To change your charity, sign in to on your desktop or mobile phone browser and simply select “Change your Charity” in “Your Account.”

What charities can I choose from?

You can choose from almost one million eligible 501(c)(3) public charitable organizations.

How much of my purchase does Amazon donate?

The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price from your eligible AmazonSmile purchases. The purchase price is the amount paid for the item minus any rebates and excluding shipping & handling, gift-wrapping fees, taxes, or service charges. From time to time, we may offer special, limited time promotions that increase the donation amount on one or more products or services or provide for additional donations to charitable organizations. Special terms and restrictions may apply. Please see the relevant promotion for complete details.


Memory Eternal Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko - 03/19/15



On behalf of the faculty, administration, staff, students and families of the St. Tikhon’s Seminary community, I express our deepest sympathies on the falling asleep in the Lord of the ever-to-be-remembered Protopresbyter, Father Thomas Hopko. 

So often our society idolizes celebrities and billionaires; we make them our “heroes” and our “role models”.  But, in reality, their records are short-lived and their fame is fleeting.  We need to exalt and pattern our lives after the Saints who imitated Christ … and the pastors who imitate them.  Father Tom lived such a life:  teacher, author; scholar, dean; husband, father; mentor, friend … But primarily, he was a priest.

From his days in Endicott serving as an altar boy, to his years at St. Vladimir’s Seminary, as one of its renowned Deans, Father Tom loved serving the Lord, His Church, and His people.  He celebrated the Divine Services in a manner that would make one wonder if he were in Heaven or on earth.  He preached with the boldness of a prophet, the brilliance of a patristic father, and a clarity that reached the youngest of children – and the most senior of faithful. 

In his parishes, he was loved as a father and a friend.  He led people to Christ by his preaching and guided them on the path to theosis as a confessor.  His writings, which were both brilliant in depth and easy to understand, touched the minds and hearts and souls of countless individuals, not only in his parochial assignments but throughout this country and all over the world.

Father Tom was the consummate priest.  He trained men to become priests.  He mentored them in the Seminary and in their parishes.  He gave them advice and inspired them, guided and comforted them, but most of all, loved them.  He was, in fact, a priest’s priest.

In the book of Sirach, there is a passage praising a high priest, Simon.  Its words are applicable to the Protopresbyter – the first of priests – Father Tom:  “When he put on his splendid vestments and was clothed with the perfection of grace, and went up to the altar to serve … he honored the priesthood itself.” (50:10).

All of us whose lives were touched by Father Tom are better for it.  The faculty, students and alumni of St. Tikhon’s Seminary – for many of whom his teachings have been pivotal in their discerning of vocations – are richer for the years we have had him, as is the entire Orthodox Church in America.  We pray for the repose of his soul, that the Lord will indeed say to this consummate priest among priests, “Well done, good and faithful servant … enter into the joy of your Lord.” (Matthew 25:21).

May God beatify him and give him rest with the Saints … and may his memory be eternal!  

St. Tikhon's Women's Group Welcomes Master Pysanky Artist Nancy Dudchik - 03/14/15

This year’s pysanky workshop for the St. Tikhon's Women’s Group was conducted by Nancy Dudchik on March 14, 2015. Nancy is an accomplished artist from Connecticut who has years of experience in the art of pysanky, and has even had her beautiful works of art displayed at the White House.  Those in attendance learned the ancient art of making pysanky eggs which are traditionally made during Lent.   Pysanky is an egg which has been decorated or “written” on with layers of beeswax and is often dyed multiple colors. Once the wax is heated and removed, a beautiful design is revealed. Attendees were provided an in- depth demonstration and education regarding the significance of the colors and the symbols that have been historical used to create pysanky eggs.  Ms. Dudchik also brought with her pysanky eggs that she herself created which provided a great source of artistic inspiration for those present who made their own colorful creations.

The St. Tikhon’s Women’s Group would like to extend its thanks to Ms. Dudchik for giving of her time, talent, and knowledge which is very much appreciated.

St. Tikhon's Community Mourns the Loss of One of Its Own - 03/07/15

By Drs. David and Mary Ford

It was very moving for us to experience the vast outpouring of love and condolences at Fr. Matthew Baker's (STS 2008) funeral at the Church of the Annunciation (GOA) in Cranston, Rhode Island, on Saturday, March 7, 2015.  Officiating were two hierarchs - Metr. Methodios and Bp. Andonios - and about 30 priests, with at least 20 other priests in attendance, and many hundreds of people there - so many that police help was required for parking and for the very long funeral procession on the expressways from Cranston to Providence.  One great highlight was hearing the very personal letter written by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Presvytera Katie and the children.  It was a powerful experience, mourning the loss to the whole Church of one who many had hoped would become a leading theologian, but also, perhaps more importantly, one whom many had experienced as a loving friend and highly respected mentor.  There were people there from all over the country, from many jurisdictions and all walks of life - both Orthodox and non-Orthodox - coming to pay their respects to a man who had touched their lives in significant ways.

It was also very meaningful and gratifying for us to see so many of our former students (and some of their families) there to honor and pay their last respects to their brother in Christ who had entered Christ's Holy Priesthood only 14 months before. The alumni present included our current faculty member and Choir Director Benedict Sheehan (STOTS 2011) and his family; Fr. Seraphim Majmudar (STOTS 2008) from Tacoma, Washington; Paul Jungwirth, from Portland, Oregon; Fr. Joseph Lucas (STOTS 2010) from Miami, Florida; Fr. Matthew Brown (STOTS 2013) from Saddle Brook, New Jersey; Fr. Patrick Burns (STOTS 2009), from Ansonia, Connecticut; Fr. Nicholas Dellermann (STOTS 2008), from Norwich, Connecticut; Fr. Nicholai Meyers (STOTS 2009), from Utica, New York; Fr. Andrew Damick (STOTS 2007), from Emmaus, Pennsylvania; Fr. Adam Sexton (STOTS 2008), from Ashland, Virginia; Fr. Philip Kontos (STOTS 2008), from Jupiter, Florida; Fr. Stephen Vernak (STOTS 2007) from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Fr. Mark Lichtenstein (STOTS 2010) from Camp Hill, Pennsylvania; as well as Jerry Tarris, the Bakers' former "landlord" at the Tarris Estates in Simpson.

For a photo from the funeral, and a short description, please go here.

May we all be stirred with great resolve by the inspiring example of this brilliant scholar, challenging teacher, bold preacher, dynamic priest, and beloved friend and mentor to many.  We are truly honored to have him as one of our St. Tikhon's graduates.

Memory Eternal Priest Matthew Baker (STOTS 2008) - 03/01/15

It is with a very heavy heart that we received the news of the tragic passing from this life of the servant of God Presbyter Matthew Baker (STOTS 2008). Currently details are few but some time early this evening while attempting to drive home from his parish assignment at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Norwich, CT Fr. Matthew was involved in a car accident and passed away as a result of the injuries.

The following message was published by the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston:

Memory Eternal!

Fr. Matthew Baker tragically passes away in a car accident this evening

To the Faithful Stewards of the Metropolis of Boston,

With a very heavy heart, His Eminence informs you of the untimely passing of the Rev. Fr. Matthew Baker, who tragically died in a car accident early this evening. Fr. Matthew was recently assigned to the Holy Trinity Parish of Norwich, CT, following the retirement of Fr. Paul Pantelis. During this evening's snow storm, Fr. Baker was traveling home from the parish when he had an accident from which he did not survive. His children who were traveling in the car with Fr. Matthew are thankfully not injured. The Metropolitan spoke directly with Presbytera Katherine a few moments ago and expressed the love and sympathy of the entire Metropolis and assured her of our prayers, presence and support.

More information will be forthcoming tomorrow. Please join His Eminence as we pray for Fr. Matthew's eternal repose. We pray for Presbytera Kate, their six beautiful children, Fr. Matthew's mother and their entire family, that the Lord surround them in His comforting and peaceful embrace. May he rest in peace! May his memory be eternal!

The following funding website has been set up where people can make direct donations to offer support for his family during this most difficult time. Fr. Matthew was a dedicated priest, husband, father, and friend.

The Church and world are the lesser for his passing.

Within Your peace, O Lord, where all Your saints repose, give rest also to the soul of Your servant, for You alone are immortal.

St. Tikhon's Community Begins Lenten Journey with Forgiveness - 02/27/15

On Sunday, February 22, the St. Tikhon's Community joined together to begin their Lenten Journey with Forgiveness Vespers. During the following week, the Monastic and Seminary community came together to observe each of the daily services of Clean Week. This time of communal prayer and worship served as a beautiful beginning to the Lenten season and united the community in mutual labor and struggle as we head toward the goal of Great and Holy Pascha.

On Wednesday, February 25 and Thursday, February 26, 2015, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon graciously hosted a Clean Week Retreat for the student body of St. Tikhon's Seminary. His Beatitude taught on the importance of silence in the everyday life of the Christian and how to maintain that state even when engaging in the sometimes mundane daily activities that make up a person's routine.

Students were able to have multiple question and answer sessions during which his Beatitude patiently responded to each of the student's queries about spiritual life, liturgics, and the lives of the Saints.

The St. Tikhon's Community would like to extend its gratitude to Metropolitan Tikhon for taking the time to host this spiritually profitable and enlightening retreat.

Orthodox Exhibition Begins at Neumann University - 02/23/15

On Monday, February 23, 2015 an exhibition titled East Meets West: An Ecclesial Embrace began on the campus of Neumann University. The Exhibition commemorates the historic meeting between the Pope Paul VI and His All Holiness Patriarch Athenagoras, both of blessed memory, which occurred on January 5-6, 1964 in the Great City of Jerusalem.

This exhibition along with several lectures and presentations by renowned scholars hopefully endeavors to bring attention to the historical and spiritual significance of this first embrace.

The exhibition began Monday, February 23rd and will continue until Friday, April 24th, 2015 at the