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[STOTS Communications, South Canaan, PA]

The new school year got underway on August 28 with orientation for new students. A total of sixteen new M.Div. students began orientation on Monday, along with two one-year special study students for a total of 18 new students! Members of the new class include 17 men and one woman, all but one of whom are married! Thirteen of our new students come from OCA parishes, two from the Antiochian Archdiocese, and one each: Bulgarian Patriarchate, ROCOR, and Serbian.   Several other applicants are delayed in arriving due to immigration-related concerns. All were heartily welcomed by the St. Tikhon’s community!

Orientation week included presentations from and opportunities to meet members of the administrative team and faculty.   Returning students joined the new students on Thursday for student-body orientation sessions. In addition, alumni came to the campus on Thursday and Friday for continuing education, an alumni barbecue, and to develop relationships with new and returning students. (See alumni retreat story here).

Of the photos accompanying this story, the first shows the new student upon arrival, and the second following their receiving a blessing to wear their cassocks following the Divine Liturgy on Thursday morning. His Eminence, Michael, Archbishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, and St. Tikhon’s Seminary Rector, was present through most of the week to welcome and meet with new students, and joined Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, in congratulating new seminarians on Thursday morning, indicating his encouragement that seminarians perceive the wearing of their cassocks as constant prayer.

The whole St. Tikhon’s community will gather for a Labor Day picnic before beginning classes on Tuesday, September 5th.   May God grant our new and returning seminarians a fruitful journey through this new academic year!