19th AAC Handbook released, available online

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19th AAC

In accordance with the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America, Article 3, Section 5, the Delegate Handbook for the 19th All-American Council [AAC] is now available online.

As widely announced, the 19th AAC will be held in Saint Louis, MO July 23-27, 2018.  The Council theme will be “For the Life of the World,” inspired by the classic book of the same name written by the late Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann.

“The Handbook, which according to the Statute must be issued 60 days prior to the opening of the AAC, includes the approved agenda, instructions, rules and arrangements for the AAC, as well as submitted and approved Statute amendments and resolutions for consideration by AAC delegates,” said Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary.  “The Handbook also provides procedures for submitting resolutions during the AAC.

“The Handbook has been blessed by the Holy Synod of Bishops, and delegates are requested to read it in its entirety, download it and bring it with them to the AAC,” Father Eric added.  “Hard copies will not be available at the Council.  Upon registering, delegates will receive three-ring binders in which to place the Handbook.”

Reports on the OCA’s various offices, departments and institutions will be released online 30 days prior to the AAC’s opening, in accordance with Article 3, Section 5 of the Statute.

Questions or concerns may be addressed to the Preconciliar Commission at 19aac@oca.org.

Eternal Memory: +Pani Magdalene Blaschak

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JOHNSTOWN, PA – With profound sadness the Diocesan Chancery announces that Pani Magdalene Blaschak, the wife of Fr. Thomas Blaschak, reposed in the Lord on Sunday, May 20, 2018.

Funeral arrangements for Pani Magdalene are as follow: Wednesday, May 23rd – 6:00 PM – Panachida at St. John’s Church, Hermitage with viewing and visitation at the Church until 8:00 PM. Thursday, May 24th – 11:00 AM – Funeral Service, St. John’s Church, Hermitage, PA with Interment in the Parish Cemetery, followed by a Memorial Meal in the Parish Hall.

Bishop John Leads Patronal Feasday Celebrations in St. Nicholas Cathedral

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On Tuesday, May 22, the feast of the Translation of the relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker to Bari, the clergy and parishioners of St. Nicholas Cathedral celebrated its summer patronal feastday.

HTOS 2018 Commencement will host Fr Patrick Viscuso as keynote speaker – June 3, 2018

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Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary’s 2018 commencement will take place on the Sunday of All Saints, June 3. The day will begin at 9am with the entrance of his Eminence, Metropolitan Jonah followed by Hierarchal Divine Liturgy. After lunch, commencement will begin at 2pm with a procession to the monastery cathedral for a molebien of Thanksgiving, followed by the academic procession to the main hall in the Dean Nicholas N Alexandrov Seminary Building for the commencement exercises themselves, which will be followed by a reception for those in attendance. This year’s commencement speaker will be Reverend Fr Patrick Viscuso.

The Reverend Patrick Viscuso is a Professor of Canon Law at the Antiochian House of Studies and the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-Atlantic, an Orthodox canonist, and a priest of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.  His doctorate in historical theology from The Catholic University of America concentrated on Byzantine and Oriental canon law, patristic studies, and church history. He also holds a Master of Divinity from Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University.  He is the author of numerous scholarly articles and five books: A Quest for Reform of the Orthodox Church (2006), Orthodox Canon Law: a Casebook for Study (2007, 2011 2nd edition), Sexuality, Marriage, and Celibacy in Byzantine Law: the Alphabetical Collection of Matthew Blastares (2008), Guide for a Church under Islam, The Sixty-Six Canonical Questions Attributed to Theodoros Balsamon (2014), and The True Significance of Sacred Tradition and Its Great Worth by St. Raphael Hawaweeny, A Nineteenth-Century Orthodox Response to Roman Catholic and Protestant Missionaries in the East (2017).  Father Viscuso has spoken in a number of domestic and international venues, most notably the Dumbarton Oaks Spring Symposium and the North American Patristic Society.  He has been president of the Byzantine Studies Association of North America, and serves as a member of the Orthodox Delegation to the North American Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation.  

The seminary community invites all of our alumni, supporters and friends to join us for this exciting day.

Archbishop Daniel Consecrates Sacramento, CA’s Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Mission’s church

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On Sunday, May 20, 2018, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel of the Western Eparchy of the UOC of the USA consecrated Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Sacramento, CA.

Archdiocese Statement on Santa Fe High School Shooting

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NEW YORK – The mass school shooting at Santa Fe High School, in the small town of Santa Fe, Texas, last Friday May 18, 2018, has once again brought shock, sorrow and anger to the whole country and the world.

We, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, mourn the tragic loss of life of the 10 victims of this abominable murderous act, eight high-school students and two teachers and we share the deep pain and grief of their families and friends. Our fervent prayers and thoughts are with all of them, the victims, their families and their friends.

This time, the burden is heavier and the pain is sharper because the alleged seventeen-year old perpetrator of this crime has been identified as a Greek-Orthodox, and his family as members of one of our parishes. We pray for him and his family as well.

This unacceptable and totally unthinkable school massacre is yet another one in a series, it is an epidemic of violent crimes that has overtaken our society and country. It is the result of an explosive mix of the proliferation of the culture of violence, violent video games, bullying and victimization of our youth, desensitization to crime, devaluing of human life and easy access to readily available guns. The question arises and we have posed it last time and we now have to ask again, whether we have done all we can to stop this epidemic disease.

How many more victims, how many more school children, how many more teenagers and teachers should die before we act?

We turn to prayer of course, for Almighty God to intervene and avert any repetition of such heinous acts and events, but as we find ourselves, once again, in need of offering words of comfort and solace, words of solidarity and hope to those who were directly affected by the events in Santa Fe, Texas, we wholeheartedly plead with our elected officials for immediate and effective action.

May we all heal with the assistance of the God of mercy and wisdom and may we work to achieve positive results to restore hope to our society and the world.

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20 graduates make up SVOTS Class of 2018; 3 honorary doctorates awarded

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The Class of 2018 with visiting hierarchs and seminary President Chad HatfieldThe Class of 2018 with visiting hierarchs and seminary President Chad Hatfield19 May 2018 • On Campus
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At its Commencement Ceremonies Saturday, May 19, St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) conferred degrees upon twenty graduates, including thirteen Master of Divinity, five Master of Arts, and two Master of Theology students, and also awarded three honorary doctorates. Nine graduates of the Class of 2018 have been ordained to holy orders to serve in both Eastern and Oriental Orthodox jurisdictions.

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Spring Semester 2018: Ordinations, Receptions, Elevations

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During Spring Semester 2018, three new priests have been added to the ranks of our Student Body and Alumni fellowship, as well as three new deacons. Additionally, Alumnus and faculty member Fr. Daniel Findikyan was elected primate of the Eastern Diocese of the Armenian Church of America.

Ordinations, receptions, and elevations from Fall Semester 2017 can be viewed here. Three members of the Class of 2018 were ordained before the start of Fall Semester 2017. Details from their ordinations can be found here.

We keep them in prayer as they continue in their ministries. Axios


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STOTS hosts Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement gathering

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On the weekend of May 11-13, 2018, Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary hosted this year’s Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement [OISM] gathering on the school’s campus.

OISM is a Pan-Orthodox organization focused on building bridges between the different seminaries.

The theme of this year’s gathering was Orthodox Christian missions.  Presentations were offered by three STOTS faculty members—Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Dean and Chair of the Department of Pastoral Arts and Praxis; Dr. David Ford, Professor of Church History; and Hieromonk Herman [Majkrzak], Lecturer in Liturgical Theology.

“In addition to stimulating and informative presentations, the seminarians where able to participate in services at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery and spend time getting to know each other and build friendships,” said STOTS seminarian Joseph Clark.  “It is hoped that the seeds planted here will one day bear fruit for Christ’s Church.”

In addition to students from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, representatives from Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, NY; Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, Jordanville, NY; and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology/Hellenic College, Brookline, MA also participated.

Seminaries celebrate commencements

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Bishop David [left] welcomes Archbishop Michael after Divine Liturgy in Kodiak, AK on Sunday, May 13.

The annual round of commencements at the Orthodox Church in America’s three seminaries opened on Sunday, May 13, 2018 at Saint Herman’s Seminary, Kodiak, AK.

At the invitation of His Grace, Bishop David of Sitka and Alaska, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael of New York and New Jersey and Rector of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA delivered the commencement address.  The day opened with the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in Kodiak’s Holy Resurrection Cathedral.  Graduation and the commencement program were held on Sunday evening at the Afognak Native Corporation, after which members of the Board of Trustees, faculty, and student body and their families enjoyed a festive banquet.

Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY will hold its 2018 commencement exercises on Saturday, May 19.  A Service of Thanksgiving will be celebrated in Three Hierarchs Chapel at 2:00 p.m., after which the graduation program will be held in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building.  This year’s commencement speaker is David Bradshaw, Ph.D., a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Kentucky and a member of Saint Athanasius Church, Nicholasville, KY.

The 75th annual Commencement of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA will be held on Saturday, May 26, in conjunction with the 114th Annual Memorial Day Pilgrimage to Saint Tikhon’s Monastery.  The day will open with the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the monastery church at 9:00 a.m., followed by a meal in the dining hall.  Commencement exercises will begin at 1:00 p.m.  The Vigil for the Great Feast of Pentecost will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m., followed by dinner for all pilgrims in the dining hall.

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