The feast of the Three Hierarchs traditionally is the feast day of Orthodox theological seminaries, and so it is for our Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary. For this feast day, our seminary is often visited by other hierarchs of our Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, as it was this year, which made the feast even more solemn.
His Eminence, Archbishop Peter of Chicago and the Mid-American diocese as well as His Grace, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, vicar of the Eastern-American diocese made their way here to participate in the festivities. Both are graduates of the Seminary. For this reason also their visit was very important as the Seminary is now trying to reactivate the functions of the Seminary Alumnus Association, which was started a few years ago.
The usual schedule of services for a major feast were followed. As is our custom, during the All-Night Vigil many prayers were read in Greek by our students. Some Greek melodies were also used in the service. Due to the renewal of the Alumni Association, many clergy attended the Vigil and even more came for the Divine Liturgy the following day.
On the feast day itself, our own Bishop Luke was greeted at the entrance to the cathedral by a multitude of clergy, most of whom were graduates of our Seminary. The concelebration of three bishops reflected the theme of the feast of the Three Hierarchs.
At the end of the Liturgy, a short moleben was served to the Three Hierarchs. After the usual festal meal, a tea was served in the seminary hall for the bishops, clergy, seminarians and our local neighbors as well as the pilgrims. Some of our married seminarians as well as other neighbors brought desserts. His Grace Bishop Luke opened the gathering with his greetings. The dean of the Seminary, Dr. Nicolas Schdilowky also spoke the first time as our dean. The major lecture was read by Dr. Vitaly Permjakovs in the place of our “Three Hierarchs” in our theological thought.
After the tea, there was a meeting of the Alumni Association. The Very Rev. Stefan Pavlenko continues to be the president of the association, now with the assistance of the Very Rev. Victor Boldewskul. Fr. Victor came forth with ideas on how to get the association better organized. One very helpful idea was to have representatives appointed in the various dioceses of the Church as well as in other jurisdictions in as much as that there have been many graduates of the Seminary in other local churches, especially the Serbian Church.
In closing, it was widely felt that this year’s celebration was very successful in that it brought together many alumni from several generations of the Seminary as well as our present group of students, along with several of our bishops and our local community and well-wishers.