Patronal Feast of the Synaxis of the Three Holy Hierarchs: St. Basil the Great, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Gregory the Theologian at the Seminary Chapel
Patronal Feast of the Synaxis of the Three Holy Hierarchs: St. Basil the Great, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Gregory the Theologian at the Seminary Chapel

“Teachers of the universe, in that you share in the ways of the apostles, entreat the Master of all, that He grant peace to the world and great mercy to our souls.”Tropar of the feast of the Synaxis of the Three Holy Hierarchs

Every year, in the month of February, the academic family of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary celebrates its patronal feast - the Synaxis of the Three Holy Hierarchs: St. Basil the Great, St. John Chrysostom, and St. Gregory the Theologian. This feast is always a symbol of enlightenment and unceasing prayer for all people but especially for the students of the seminary, the seminarians who, by taking the example of the Three Holy Hierarchs, are to pray and to enlighten the people entrusted into their spiritual care in future.

On the Eve of the feast, February 11, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel presided over a vesperal service at the Seminary Chapel. He was assisted by Fr. Vasyl Pasakas - the Dean of Student Life, Very Rev. Fr. Milorad Orlic - Professor of the seminary, Fr. Andrii Drapak, and Deacon Myroslav Mykytyuk.

On February 12, the very day of the feast, the Divine Liturgy at the Three Holy Hierarchs Seminary Chapel was also presided by His Eminence Archbishop Daniel - Academic Dean of the Seminary. His Eminence Metropolitan Antony - Rector of the Seminary, was present in the altar during the service. Before the beginning of the liturgy, the Hierarchs were greeted by seminarians (Reader Maksym Zhuravchyk ad Andrii Akulenko) who addressed their words of greetings and gratitude. The Dean of Student Life, Fr. Vasyl Pasakas, also addressed his word and called upon the bishops to pray not only for the fullness of the UOC of the USA, but also for our motherland Ukraine during such difficult times.

A number of priests and deacons gathered around the altar assisting His Eminence in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy: Fr. Yurii Sivko, Fr. Petro Levko, Fr. Roman Shak, Fr. Milorad Orlic, Fr. Todor Mazur, Fr. Taras Naumenko, Fr. Mykola Andrushkiv, Fr. Stepan Motychak, Fr. Vitaliy Pavlykivskiy, Fr. Orest Pukhalskiy, Fr. Zenoviy Zharskiy, Fr. Ion Proteasa, Fr. Vasyl Dovhan, Fr. Vasyl Pasakas, Fr. Vasyl Shak, Fr. Philip Harendza, Fr. Oleh Kravchenko, Fr. Andriy Drapak, Fr. Sviatoslav Hot, Fr. Mykola Zomchak, Deacon Andrian Mazur, and Deacon Myroslav Mykytyuk. Saint Sophia Seminary Choir (under the leadership of Roman Marchyshak) - the students of the seminary, accompanied the Liturgy with their beautiful voices. A good number of people also gathered to celebrate the feast. But what was especially heartwarming is the ability to hear children's voices who were present in the temple.

After the reading of the Holy Gospel, Fr. Milorad Orlic delivered an incredibly instructive sermon on the essence of Christianity. In his preaching Fr. Milorad said that we all must follow the One Who is Life, the Way and the Truth. Bringing up the example of the Three Holy Hierarchs whose memory we are celebrating, he spoke of the greatness which can be achieved by nothing else but love and humility. He concluded his sermon by explaining the essence of God, which is Love, emphasizing that God does not only have love, but He is the Love Himself. Therefore, he called on each and every one present in the church to have that love, live in one accord with God, so we all eventually may become gods ourselves, joining the Almighty in His Heavenly Kingdom.

During the liturgy His Eminence Archbishop Daniel raised his prayer for all the workers, teachers, benefactors, and the students of St. Sophia Seminary. Moreover, Vladyka chanted a prayer for Ukraine, raising the prayer for peace especially during these difficult times.

At the end of the Liturgy, His Eminence presented gifts to the students on the occasion of the patronal feast of their academic chapel. Fr. Vasyl Shak, on behalf of St. Andrew Society’s Lewytzkyi Scholarship Fund presented a gift to the Seminary on its feast.

After the service, a group picture was taken for historical purposes, after which, at the invitation of Archbishop Daniel, everyone present was invited to the festive table to share the joy of celebration.

Text by Fr. Mykola Zomchak

St. Sophia Seminary Prayerfully Celebrates Patronal Feast Day of the Chapel

Photos by Subdeacons Yaroslav Bilohan and Pavlo Vysotskyi

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