Bishop Irinej [right] and delegation in the SVOTS Library with Fr. Chad Hatfield [left].
On Wednesday, March 29, 2017, a delegation of the Serbian Orthodox Church, led by His Grace, Bishop Irinej of Eastern America, met with Archpriest Dr. Chad Hatfield, President of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary [SVOTS]. They discussed potential areas of academic cooperation between Saint Vladimir’s and the Faculty of Orthodox Theology at the University of Belgrade, including faculty and student exchanges and a collaborative international conference. Bishop Irinej is an alumnus (M.Div. ’82) of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary and member-designate to its Board of Trustees.
Representing the school of advanced theological studies in Belgrade was Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Dr. Vladimir Vukadinovic, full Professor of Liturgics and Ecclesiastical Art History. Father Vladimir had been in the US, serving as guest lecturer for the Diocese of Eastern American during its Fraternal Seminar and Clergy Confessions gathering in Cleveland, OH, March 23–25. Also among the delegation were Protopresbyter-Stavrophor Dr. Zivojin Jakovljevic, Episcopal Deputy of the Diocese of Eastern America, Dean of Saint Sava Cathedral in New York City, Assistant Professor in Church Slavonic at Saint Sava School of Theology, Libertyville, IL, and lecturer in Linguistics at Cleveland State University; Protopresbyter Vladislav Radujkovic, parish priest at Saint Sava Cathedral; and Deacon Dr. Jovan Anicic, Director of Religious Education of the Diocese of Eastern America and Assistant Professor of Dogmatics and Church Chant at Saint Sava School of Theology.
During their time on campus, the delegation also toured the Father Georges Florovsky Library, the largest repository of Eastern Christian literature in the US besides the Library of Congress; Three Hierarchs Chapel; and the SVS Bookstore. Additionally, Bishop Irinej and Father Vladimir met with Deacon Gregory Hatrak, Director of Marketing and Operations Manager of SVS Press and Bookstore, to discuss another cooperative venture: the translation and publication of theological works.
Another highlight of the visit was a meeting between Father Vladimir and the seminarians of Serbian background at Saint Vladimir’s: Dn. Larry Soper and Stefan Djoric of the Eastern American Diocese, Joseph Wesseler of the Western American Diocese, and Stefan Mastilovic of the Australian and New Zealand Metropolitanate. The students and Father Vladimir used the unique opportunity to discuss contemporary issues concerning Orthodox Christian theological education.
A gallery of photos may be viewed on the web site of the Eastern American Diocese.