UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Inauguration of the New Academic Year 2011 at St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary!
By Subdeacon Vasyl Pasakas
Another academic year began at St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary with the celebration of the Archpastoral Divine Liturgy at the seminary’s Three Holy Hierarchs chapel.
His Eminence Archbishop Antony and His Grace Bishop Daniel began a new chapter of the seminary academic year celebrating the Holy Mystery of Eucharist inviting the faithful of the Church to share in the learning experiences of the Church’s Seminary. About a dozen of priests and deacons and dozens of faithful from parishes near and far gathered to pray with the hierarchs that the new academic year will be a successful one for all the students enrolled at the seminary with each opening heart and soul to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the example of the three educators/Fathers of the Church – the patrons of their seminary chapel – Sts. John Chrysostom, Bazyl the Great and Gregory the Theologian. There are currently ten resident students enrolled at the seminary. There are an additional seven students enrolled in the St. Stephen Deaconate course conducted by the Antiochian House of Studies program, who may eventually enroll in the Graduate Study of Resident programs. Our Church also has two additional resident students – one each enrolled in St. Tikhon Seminary in South Canaan, PA and Holy Cross Seminary in Boston, MA.
The seminary Provost, Very Rev. Fr. Bazyl Zawierucha welcomed the seminarians back to their school home and invited everyone to participate in various liturgical and ministerial services of the Seminary. He urged the faithful to keep the seminarians in their prayers during each day as they struggle through life in a society, which will continually tempt them in order to draw them away from their calling. He thanked all those participating in the opening ceremonies and special prayers.
Bishop Daniel addressed the seminarians “to pray and study in the Seminary sacred precincts entering into an intimate relationship with Christ, the Only-begotten Son of God. This relationship produces spiritual maturity and gives produces that, which the Orthodox Christian world in general and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in particular, are in need of during this 21st century – Orthodox priests-pastors who are men of prayer, models of holiness, men in love with and devoted to the Gospel of life, which they are called upon to love and proclaim in season and out of season and the Eucharistic Christ, Whom they with trepidation hold in their hands at every Liturgy and distribute to the faithful who approach with awe, faith and love.”
In his words to the seminarians, Archbishop Antony greeted them in behalf of Metropolitan Constantine, the Rector of St. Sophia Seminary and addressed them with words of encouragement, stating that “throughout the Seminary’s almost four decades devoted to prayer and study, our Lord sent forth new witnesses, new heralds, who as Deacons, Priests and Bishops, the graduates of the seminary, continue to preach the Kingdom of God and repentance…The return of our seminarians from last year, together with the arrival of four new seminarians from Ukraine gives us the occasion to praise God for His “mighty acts” in their lives. The fact, dear seminarians, that you have just come, or that you have come back, shows the action of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit in the Church. Amidst many invitations and enticements in your lives you have felt an attraction to the priesthood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which is a pearl of great price, and with generous love you are here to pursue or to continue the discernment of your vocation. The action of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit are clearly at work in your lives.”
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy His Grace Bishop Daniel introduced to the faithful of the Church the faculty of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary as well as the new seminarians: Yurii Andreiko, Mykola Kavchak, Ivan Chopko and Bohdan Melnykovych – all four of them arrived to the United States from Lviv region of Ukraine and Adrian Mazur of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in New York, NY. In addition to the five new seminarians, the Church’s Theological School is blessed with the following seminarians: Subdeacons Vasyl Pasakas, Philip Harendza, Vasyl Dovgan, Andriy Matlak and Ioan Mazur.
The hierarchs and seminary staff expressed their deep gratitude to all the volunteers – staff members of the Consistory and Seminary, who prepared a luscious feast for the celebration.
Please continue to pray for the group of students and for this new year. Along with the rigors of academics we wish to develop them in their ministry and spiritual maturity. Our donors are a key factor in the ongoing work of this theological institution. If you wish to contribute, click on the “donate” tab for more information.