Category: Seminaries (page 1 of 38)

Get To Know Our Students: Vasiliki Motsios

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Hellenic College freshman Vasiliki Motsios says that “this was the only out-of-state school I applied to.” Being from Florida, she understandably wanted to stay closer to home—and to better weather than Boston can offer. But Hellenic offered something more important. “I came up for the open house weekend and really liked the whole vibe of the place. Everyone was so welcoming. That really drew me in. And I’d never been to Boston but loved the proximity to a city where there’s lots to do.”

Vasiliki is majoring in Human Development. “I always knew I wanted to help people and the Human Development courses here are so interesting.” Over spring break, she gained hands-on experience helping the less fortunate as part of a team of HCHC student volunteers building houses for the poor with Project Mexico. Back home, she has helped others as a lifeguard for the past four summers and will do so again this year. “It’s something I’m really passionate about,” she says.

Certified not only to teach swimming to the public but also to train future lifeguards, Vasiliki was the first responder to a potential drowning and saved the swimmer’s life. That would have been satisfaction enough for her, but not for her peers, who nominated her for a county-level “You Rock” award—which she won. Here is just part of what the head of aquatics for Pasco County Parks and Recreation had to say: “I have never seen a teenager go after both certifications so closely together…Vasi does an absolutely outstanding job…She really proved herself recently when she led the response to a medical emergency…resulting in a successful and incredible rescue…”

Asked what she would say to someone thinking about applying to Hellenic College, Vasiliki says she would describe the school as “somewhere you’ll make close friends and know everyone on campus. There are so many things the school offers us, academically and spiritually. You should do what I did and come see for yourself.”

Get To Know Our Students: Vasiliki Motsios

This post was originally published on this site

Hellenic College freshman Vasiliki Motsios says that “this was the only out-of-state school I applied to.” Being from Florida, she understandably wanted to stay closer to home—and to better weather than Boston can offer. But Hellenic offered something more important. “I came up for the open house weekend and really liked the whole vibe of the place. Everyone was so welcoming. That really drew me in. And I’d never been to Boston but loved the proximity to a city where there’s lots to do.”

Vasiliki is majoring in Human Development. “I always knew I wanted to help people and the Human Development courses here are so interesting.” Over spring break, she gained hands-on experience helping the less fortunate as part of a team of HCHC student volunteers building houses for the poor with Project Mexico. Back home, she has helped others as a lifeguard for the past four summers and will do so again this year. “It’s something I’m really passionate about,” she says.

Certified not only to teach swimming to the public but also to train future lifeguards, Vasiliki was the first responder to a potential drowning and saved the swimmer’s life. That would have been satisfaction enough for her, but not for her peers, who nominated her for a county-level “You Rock” award—which she won. Here is just part of what the head of aquatics for Pasco County Parks and Recreation had to say: “I have never seen a teenager go after both certifications so closely together…Vasi does an absolutely outstanding job…She really proved herself recently when she led the response to a medical emergency…resulting in a successful and incredible rescue…”

Asked what she would say to someone thinking about applying to Hellenic College, Vasiliki says she would describe the school as “somewhere you’ll make close friends and know everyone on campus. There are so many things the school offers us, academically and spiritually. You should do what I did and come see for yourself.”

Seminarians of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary Mark the 31st Anniversary of Chornobyl Nuclear Explosion at the Metropolia Center of the UOC of the USA

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Remembering Chornobyl: 1986-2017

Seminarians of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary Mark the 31st Anniversary of Chornobyl Nuclear Explosion at the Metropolia Center of the UOC of the USA

Visitors of the Metropolia Center of the UOC of the USA often notice a dead tree in front of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Bound Brook/Somerset, NJ, which for years has been informally referred to as a symbolic monument to the tragic events of April 26, 1986 – the day of Chornobyl Nuclear explosion. 

For quite some there has been a desire to replace a dying tree with a young one that will symbolize the call to Life. With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, the student body of St. Sophia Seminary participated in the planting and dedication of a new Maple tree as the world-wide community marks the 31st Anniversary of Chornobyl Nuclear Disaster.

Archbishop Daniel, assisted by Very Rev. Fr. Stephen Hutnick and Deacon Ivan Tchopko led a Memorial Panakhyda at the planting site of the tree, calling to remembrance countless victims of Chronobyl.

Following the service, the Archbsihop spoke of the importance of remembering not only the victims of the disaster who perished, but also those who survived and continue to this day to suffer the consequences of the radioactive cloud, which spread not only throughout Ukraine but all around the world.  He reminded the faithful that the truth about the accident at Chornobyl only became known because of that cloud being detected and analyzed over other nations, forcing the Soviet regime to admit the truth of the disaster.  It is still doubtful, even some 30 years later that the entire truth about the accident was ever told.

Later in the day, Metropolitan Antony shared with the Seminarians of the Church that this is already a seventeenth tree planted on the grounds of the Spiritual Metropolia Center of the UOC of the USA that is dedicated to the tragedy of Chornobyl.  The first was planted on St. Thomas Sunday at the 15th anniversary of the tragedy in front of the Ukrainian Cultural Center by the students and teachers of St. Andrew Ukrainian Studies School, which holds its classes in the Cultural Center classroom wing.  The second tree was planted on the circle before St. Andrew Memorial Church at the 20th anniversary of Chornobyl by the youth of our church from around the country.  The third and fourth trees were donated by Metropolitan Antony (then Archbishop) on the 25th anniversary of the disaster on the Memorial Church grounds adjacent to the statue of Metropolitan Vasyl Lypkivskyj – two maple trees, one to commemorate the survivors and the other to commemorate the victims of the nuclear explosion. On the 30th anniversary of Chornobyl in 2016, Pokrova Sisterhood of the Memorial Church sponsored the planting of two rows of 12 flowering pear trees along the sides of the driveway before the Memorial Church.  The trees on the left, when facing the Church, commemorate the survivors of the nuclear disaster – especially the children – and the trees on the right commemorate those who perished in the disaster.

The Metropolitan has always expressed his belief that the planting of trees to commemorate the survivors and the deceased is the most appropriate manner to remind visitors to our Metropolia Canter about the Chornobyl nuclear explosion. Life – as seen in the trees, which will grow for generations to come – continues on after suffering and death.  A cold stone monument is beautiful, as the Metropolitan stresses, but a living memorial creates a more positive contemplation of how good always prevails over evil – how life prevails over death – thanks to our Risen Lord!

Remembering Chornobyl: 1986-2017

Remembering Chornobyl: 1986-2017 – 04/26/17

Photos by Deacon Ivan Tchopko, Subdeacon Mykola Zomchak, Volodymyr Morozovsky

(19 images)

Archdiocesan Presbyters Council Meets at HCHC

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Hellenic College Holy Cross welcomed the Archdiocesan Presbyters Council (APC) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America onto its campus April 24-25.

Led by Rev. Fr. John Touloumes, President, the APC serves Archdiocesan clergy through spiritual growth, educational development, and personal wellness.

Hellenic College Holy Cross is honored to be a proud partner with the APC and share in its ministry. 

Archdiocesan Presbyters Council Meets at HCHC

This post was originally published on this site

Hellenic College Holy Cross welcomed the Archdiocesan Presbyters Council (APC) of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America onto its campus April 24-25.

Led by Rev. Fr. John Touloumes, President, the APC serves Archdiocesan clergy through spiritual growth, educational development, and personal wellness.

Hellenic College Holy Cross is honored to be a proud partner with the APC and share in its ministry. 

Greek Ambassador Visits HCHC

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Haris Lalacos, Ambassador of Greece to the United States, visited Hellenic College Holy Cross on Thursday, April 13. 

Joining the Ambassador was the Honorable Ifigenia Kanara, Consul General of Greece in Boston, and HCHC administrators and faculty.  

Greek Ambassador Visits HCHC

This post was originally published on this site

Haris Lalacos, Ambassador of Greece to the United States, visited Hellenic College Holy Cross on Thursday, April 13. 

Joining the Ambassador was the Honorable Ifigenia Kanara, Consul General of Greece in Boston, and HCHC administrators and faculty.  

The Paradox of Humanity

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Homily from Holy Thursday – April 13, 2017

Dr. Lewis J. Patsavos                                                                                             
Professor of Canon Law, Emeritus

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jn 14:27).

The peace promised us by our Lord shortly before His passion does not mean simply the absence of discord. It means everything which contributes to our highest good. The peace which the world gives is the peace of escape for a time, the peace which comes from the avoidance of danger and trouble. The peace our Lord offers is the peace of conquest. Nothing in this life can ever take it from us and no sorrow, no suffering, no crisis can ever make it less.

As we ponder the chaotic state of the world, these words of promise and hope stand in dramatic contrast to the sobering reality which is the paradox of humanity. In fact, there is scarcely a moment in history when the paradox of humanity does not become apparent. This is especially true in this time of uncertainty when the threat of terrorism and violence at home and abroad surrounds us. On the one side there are voices of pessimism, helplessness and despair. And on the other side, there emerges – sparingly at first – the conviction of the basic goodness of humanity. On every side we meet this paradox – the fact that human beings are helpless sinners, capable of destroying themselves and the world in which they live, and that they are somehow close to God.

This paradox appears in all its sharpness in the teaching of our Lord and in His view of humanity. No teacher ever had a higher view of humanity. That is proved by His entire method of approach. No one ever gave such commands, or presented such challenges, or confronted with such invitations. We have only to remember how much of His teaching and speaking consists of imperatives, such as that heard in the Gospel of St. Mark: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mk 8:34). There is no point in issuing commands, challenges and invitations, if there is no possibility of response. Our Lord expected a response, because He fulfilled His mission on the assumption that every person is a child of God. He believed that everyone could make a response, even if it required His own death on the cross to make that response possible. 

But that is not to say that He thought lightly of the evil of which human beings are capable. He did not see humanity in an idealized way.  The very fact that He came into the world to live and die is proof of the desperate case of humanity, entangled in sin. The problem of humanity is sin – a word scarcely heard today, certainly not in the secular world in which we live. And the essence of sin is to demote God and to arrogantly promote ourselves; it is to act our way instead of His way. The dreadful consequence is that, if a person does that long enough, he/she reaches the point when he cannot recognize God’s voice when he hears it, nor sense His presence when he confronts it.

Our Lord’s view of sin differed radically from those who preceded Him. To understand this, we must look at the sins most sternly condemned. At the same time, we must understand that these seemingly harmless sins, if unchecked, lead to the degree of evil now encompassing us. He sternly condemned self-righteousness. To be conscious of no sin or wrongdoing is in itself sin. This is especially so when the consciousness of virtue brings with it contempt for those regarded as sinners.

He sternly condemned externalism. In His day as in ours, virtue was identified by some with certain external acts – abstention from certain foods, elaborate rules regarding rituals, strict formalities about worship, meticulous giving of tithes, etc. These are not bad in themselves, provided they are performed with the proper intention and spirit. However, virtue has little to do with the physical condition of a person’s hands. It has everything to do with the spiritual condition of a person’s heart. No external act, least of all conventional religious acts, of itself constitutes virtue.

The sin condemned most often was that of hypocrisy – saying the right words without performing or really believing them. As taught by our Lord, a tree is known by its fruit and a person by his deeds (Mt 7:19-20). It is here that we come to the core of his conception of sin. Sin is an attitude of the heart. It may very well be that a person’s outward actions are beyond reproach, but that does not necessarily make him a good person. The deciding factor is the attitude of his heart.

This means that only God can judge us, for He alone sees the secrets of our hearts. It means that many a person confronts the world with the outward appearance of unimpeachable conduct; he/she is full of good deeds; his attitude appears to be that of Christian charity and forbearance; no one can detect in him the slightest trace of immorality. But beneath the surface, there smolders a fire of burning desire, of secret pride, of hidden bitterness, of concealed vengeance, of envy, greed, self righteousness and ingratitude, which God alone knows. A person can confront the world with the outward conduct of a saint, while within him there is the heart of a devil. There are, in any event, very few who would willingly reveal the inner workings of their thoughts and desires.

Nor must it be forgotten that the other side of the matter is also true. A person may appear to the world to be a shameless sinner, and yet in his/her heart may hate his sin and yearn for forgiveness. Only God can see the evil desires that are forever festering within us. And only He can see the wistful yearnings which somehow never come to action.  Therefore, only He can judge.

If all this is true, it means that God is the only cure for evil and sin in the world. It is a truth of life that a person may master his actions, but can never by himself master his thoughts and desires. The more he tries, the worse his state becomes. For that he needs some power beyond himself. The only cure for evil and sin, the only solution to the paradox of humanity, is the indwelling power of God, ever readily available to those who seek it. A person attains this sublime state and thereby reaches his true humanity, only when he can say with the Apostle Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20).    

In the final analysis, that which matters most is not the actualities of men and women, but their potentialities. The important thing is not so much what they are, but what they can become. Our Lord is fully aware of humanity’s susceptibility to evil and sin. That is why He came into the world, suffered and was crucified. But at the same time he believes in men and women with complete confidence – provided they accept the offer He extends – His peace: “Peace I leave with you.  My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jn 14:27).

May this peace abide in us as we approach the holiest of days leading to Pacha, but especially in these dangerous times of crisis and uncertainty. And may each of us address the paradox of humanity by diminishing in our own lives the evil and sin which surround us. AMEN.                                                                                                 

The Paradox of Humanity

This post was originally published on this site

Homily from Holy Thursday – April 13, 2017

Dr. Lewis J. Patsavos                                                                                             
Professor of Canon Law, Emeritus

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jn 14:27).

The peace promised us by our Lord shortly before His passion does not mean simply the absence of discord. It means everything which contributes to our highest good. The peace which the world gives is the peace of escape for a time, the peace which comes from the avoidance of danger and trouble. The peace our Lord offers is the peace of conquest. Nothing in this life can ever take it from us and no sorrow, no suffering, no crisis can ever make it less.

As we ponder the chaotic state of the world, these words of promise and hope stand in dramatic contrast to the sobering reality which is the paradox of humanity. In fact, there is scarcely a moment in history when the paradox of humanity does not become apparent. This is especially true in this time of uncertainty when the threat of terrorism and violence at home and abroad surrounds us. On the one side there are voices of pessimism, helplessness and despair. And on the other side, there emerges – sparingly at first – the conviction of the basic goodness of humanity. On every side we meet this paradox – the fact that human beings are helpless sinners, capable of destroying themselves and the world in which they live, and that they are somehow close to God.

This paradox appears in all its sharpness in the teaching of our Lord and in His view of humanity. No teacher ever had a higher view of humanity. That is proved by His entire method of approach. No one ever gave such commands, or presented such challenges, or confronted with such invitations. We have only to remember how much of His teaching and speaking consists of imperatives, such as that heard in the Gospel of St. Mark: “If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (Mk 8:34). There is no point in issuing commands, challenges and invitations, if there is no possibility of response. Our Lord expected a response, because He fulfilled His mission on the assumption that every person is a child of God. He believed that everyone could make a response, even if it required His own death on the cross to make that response possible. 

But that is not to say that He thought lightly of the evil of which human beings are capable. He did not see humanity in an idealized way.  The very fact that He came into the world to live and die is proof of the desperate case of humanity, entangled in sin. The problem of humanity is sin – a word scarcely heard today, certainly not in the secular world in which we live. And the essence of sin is to demote God and to arrogantly promote ourselves; it is to act our way instead of His way. The dreadful consequence is that, if a person does that long enough, he/she reaches the point when he cannot recognize God’s voice when he hears it, nor sense His presence when he confronts it.

Our Lord’s view of sin differed radically from those who preceded Him. To understand this, we must look at the sins most sternly condemned. At the same time, we must understand that these seemingly harmless sins, if unchecked, lead to the degree of evil now encompassing us. He sternly condemned self-righteousness. To be conscious of no sin or wrongdoing is in itself sin. This is especially so when the consciousness of virtue brings with it contempt for those regarded as sinners.

He sternly condemned externalism. In His day as in ours, virtue was identified by some with certain external acts – abstention from certain foods, elaborate rules regarding rituals, strict formalities about worship, meticulous giving of tithes, etc. These are not bad in themselves, provided they are performed with the proper intention and spirit. However, virtue has little to do with the physical condition of a person’s hands. It has everything to do with the spiritual condition of a person’s heart. No external act, least of all conventional religious acts, of itself constitutes virtue.

The sin condemned most often was that of hypocrisy – saying the right words without performing or really believing them. As taught by our Lord, a tree is known by its fruit and a person by his deeds (Mt 7:19-20). It is here that we come to the core of his conception of sin. Sin is an attitude of the heart. It may very well be that a person’s outward actions are beyond reproach, but that does not necessarily make him a good person. The deciding factor is the attitude of his heart.

This means that only God can judge us, for He alone sees the secrets of our hearts. It means that many a person confronts the world with the outward appearance of unimpeachable conduct; he/she is full of good deeds; his attitude appears to be that of Christian charity and forbearance; no one can detect in him the slightest trace of immorality. But beneath the surface, there smolders a fire of burning desire, of secret pride, of hidden bitterness, of concealed vengeance, of envy, greed, self righteousness and ingratitude, which God alone knows. A person can confront the world with the outward conduct of a saint, while within him there is the heart of a devil. There are, in any event, very few who would willingly reveal the inner workings of their thoughts and desires.

Nor must it be forgotten that the other side of the matter is also true. A person may appear to the world to be a shameless sinner, and yet in his/her heart may hate his sin and yearn for forgiveness. Only God can see the evil desires that are forever festering within us. And only He can see the wistful yearnings which somehow never come to action.  Therefore, only He can judge.

If all this is true, it means that God is the only cure for evil and sin in the world. It is a truth of life that a person may master his actions, but can never by himself master his thoughts and desires. The more he tries, the worse his state becomes. For that he needs some power beyond himself. The only cure for evil and sin, the only solution to the paradox of humanity, is the indwelling power of God, ever readily available to those who seek it. A person attains this sublime state and thereby reaches his true humanity, only when he can say with the Apostle Paul: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Gal 2:20).    

In the final analysis, that which matters most is not the actualities of men and women, but their potentialities. The important thing is not so much what they are, but what they can become. Our Lord is fully aware of humanity’s susceptibility to evil and sin. That is why He came into the world, suffered and was crucified. But at the same time he believes in men and women with complete confidence – provided they accept the offer He extends – His peace: “Peace I leave with you.  My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jn 14:27).

May this peace abide in us as we approach the holiest of days leading to Pacha, but especially in these dangerous times of crisis and uncertainty. And may each of us address the paradox of humanity by diminishing in our own lives the evil and sin which surround us. AMEN.                                                                                                 

Registration Open for Memorial Day Conductors' & Singers' Workshop

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[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA] The St. Tikhon’s community is pleased to be hosting once again a wonderful opportunity organized by PaTRAM for church musicians, The Memorial Day Conductors’ & Singers’ Workshop, on Friday, May 26 through Monday, May 29, 2017.

This year’s program includes workshops for both conductors and singers, working independently and in tandem with Maestro Peter Jermihov and other faculty, and culminating in singing at the hierarchical services celebrated by His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, His Eminence Archbishop Michael, Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, and other hierarchs and clergy who will be visiting for the seminary’s graduation ceremonies and the weekend’s other traditional liturgical festivities.

“PaTRAM is engaged in an ongoing effort to build up the quality of liturgical music in the Orthodox Church in the United States and Canada,” Benedict Sheehan, Director of Music at St. Tikhon’s Seminary and a workshop leader at the PaTRAM event, said. “In workshops like this one, they give Orthodox musicians of varying levels of experience the opportunity to work with first-class educators and to do so in a spiritual atmosphere.”

In addition to enjoying a very full weekend of instruction and singing, participants in the workshop will receive complimentary tickets to St. Tikhon’s memorial concert featuring Tchaikovsky, of which PaTRAM is a major sponsor.

To find out more about the workshop, and to register, please click here.
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