Students from Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary [SVOTS], Yonkers, NY; Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Canaan, PA; and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, Brookline, MA gathered on the SVOTS campus March 8-11, 2019 for the Spring 2019 Conference of the Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement [OISM].
Founded in the 1960s and revived in 2003, the OISM fosters fellowship and cooperation among Orthodox seminary and theology students. The group meets every year at one of North America’s Orthodox theological seminaries.
“I joined OISM because I wanted to actively foster a deep brotherhood between seminarians of every jurisdiction,” said SVOTS seminarian Evan LeDoux, who helped organize this year’s gathering. “We also had in mind how isolated and lonely the clerical vocation can be. God-willing, when we are all ordained priests or are serving Christ’s Church in another capacity, we will have true friends to support us who understand our shared challenges and can work together with us.”
The weekend event began with the celebration of a Western Rite Divine Liturgy by Archpriest Edward Hughes of Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Lawrence, MA. Father Edward, the Vicar General of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America’s Western Rite Vicariate, also spoke and led discussions regarding the Western Rite and Orthodox unity.
“For me, the Liturgy was an amazing event,” said Seminarian David McReady, who assisted Father Edward at the Liturgy. “The Western Rite is very small and not well known in Orthodoxy, so it was wonderful to share this treasure with our brothers and sisters.”
A native of Belfast, David was raised in the Church of Ireland and served as an Anglican priest before coming to SVOTS as a student of the Antiochian Archdiocese. He hopes to serve as a Western Rite priest.
Following the Divine Liturgy, the seminarians gathered for the talks led by Father Edward and SVOTS Professor Dr. John Barnet, who delivered a lecture on Christian unity in the New Testament. The gathering concluded with the celebration of the Sunday Divine Liturgy at Three Hierarchs Chapel.
A photo gallery and a video of the Western Rite Liturgy are available on the SVOTS website.