Fr. Steven visited St. Mary’s Cathedral over the weekend of November 8-9th. With gratitude to Archpriest Andrew Morbey, Cathedral Dean, Fr. Steven was able to concelebrate at the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning. As this was also Veteran’s Day, the cathedral veterans were both recognized and thanked for their service. Fr. Steven thanked the parish and many faithful who have been financial supporters of the seminary.
Following not long after coffee hour, a special brunch was hosted by the FOCA Chapter, coordinated by Todd and Polly Walker. The brunch was arranged to support St. Tikhon’s Married Student Housing Project. Fr. Steven shared a presentation on progress made thus far utilizing a new multi-location audio/video system in the church hall. Fr. Benajmin Tucci (STOTS 1999), and Fr. Richard Flom (Special Studies student at St. Tikhon’s during 2006-2007 school year) also shared their experiences and reflections at seminary relative to married student housing. It was also moving for Fr. Steven to have family members attend the brunch, including his mother, sister and her family, and extended family members! In all it was a wonderful afternoon of fellowship and sharing about St. Tikhon’s Seminary.
During that same weekend we prayed for the newly departed servant of God Constance Tarasar. Having driven to Minnesota, Fr. Steven arranged to remain in Minneapolis to attend funeral services on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thanks to the assistance of seminary staff, Fr. Steven was able to conduct classes via skype. Connie was the first woman to graduate from St. Vladimir’s Seminary, and went on to a full career in teaching and fostering Christian Education, among many other noteworthy accomplishments in service to the Orthodox Church in America, as was well noted on the OCA website. She was also briefly a faculty member at St. Tikhon’s Seminary from 1974-1975.
At the funeral home a wonderful display was arranged that included many forms of recognition of her work, a table of books and pamphlets that she either authored or contributed to, a full biography of her life, and pictures scrolled of Connie with many in leadership roles in the OCA and beyond. “It was meaningful to have been able to remain for funeral services in having grown up in the cathedral community as well as contributing toward the 1999 Church-Wide Initiative for Christian Education that Connie led.” May Connie’s memory be eternal.
Thank you Fr. Andrew, Todd and Polly, and the cathedral community for such a warm welcome, especially also James Varian, who shared some of his photographs that accompany this brief article.