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Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary [SVOTS] is planning a very special event for the Ecclesiastical New Year.  On Saturday, September 1, the school’s student-led Saint Herman’s Society will welcome SVOTS alumnus and SVS Press author Archpriest Michael Oleksa to campus to headline a full day of events!

Father Michael, who has ministered and worked for decades in Alaska, will speak on “The Legacy of Saint Herman and the Alaskan Mission Today.”  The special day will begin at 11:00 a.m. with the celebration of an Akathist and Supplication service for the New Year, followed by lunch and a walking tour.  Father Michael will deliver his keynote address at 2:00 p.m. in the Bashir Auditorium.  At 4:15 p.m. the planting and blessing of new trees will be held.  The day will close with the celebration of Great Vespers at 6:30 p.m.

Now retired, Father Michael has served as village priest, university professor, and consultant on intercultural relations and communications in Alaska.  He has authored several books on Alaskan native cultures and history, including Alaskan Missionary Spirituality Orthodox Alaska, both published by SVS Press.  A 1969 graduate of Georgetown University, he earned his M.Div. at Saint Vladimir’s in 1973, and went on to complete his doctoral degree at the Orthodox Theological Faculty in Presov, Slovakia, with an emphasis in Alaska Native History during the Alaska-Russian period (1741–1867).  He is recognized as an “Elder” by the Alaska Federation of Natives and a “Distinguished Public Servant” by the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska.  He also has been honored by the Alaska State Legislature and the National Governors Association.

The event is free and open to the public.

SVOTS’ Saint Herman Society for Orthodox Ecology seeks to encourage environmental stewardship.  It sponsors campus beautification days and tree-planting events, public lectures by notable ecologists, and the annual observance of the ecclesiastical New Year with its traditional focus on the stewardship of creation.