From Monday, January 22, through Wednesday, January 31, 2018, Dr. David Ford, Professor of Church History at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, joined Archimandrite Sergius (STOTS 2005), Abbot of St. Tikhon’s Monastery and alumnus Fr. Andrew Damick (Class of 2007), on a blessed pilgrimage to Mount Athos, led by Fr. Theodore Petrides of Stroudsburg, PA.
Dr. David reports, “I had a wonderful time – it was my first time there! Everything was very, very blessed – all the great conversations, ancient churches, magnificent iconography, powerful singing, multitudinous relics (many incorrupt), spectacular scenery, splendid weather, and delightful company with all those in our group!”
The group had five nights on the Holy Mountain – staying at the Monasteries of Simonopetra, Pantokrator, Vatopedi, and Xenophontos – as well as visiting Karakallou, Iveron (where they all know our Professor of Dogmatics, Dr. Harry Boosalis), Philotheos, St. Panteleimon, Docheiariou, and the Sketes of St. Andrew and St. Elijah.
After leaving Mt. Athos, the group was tremendously blessed to have an overnight visit at the Ormelia Monastery for women, where they experienced a truly unforgettable five-hour Vigil for the Feast of the Three Hierarchs. The singing was filled with much power and heavenly beauty!
Then before driving back to Thessalonica, we stopped for a four-hour visit at the nearby Monastery of St. Arsenios of Cappadocia, where we again received amazing hospitality. The Abbot, Fr. Arsenios, is an old friend of our Professor of Patristics, Dr. Christopher Veniamin.
Dr. David added, “May our All-Gracious Lord help all of us to retain and enlarge upon everything that He graced us with during our pilgrimage.”