On Tuesday, December 12, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon made an archpastoral visit to St. Tikhon’s Monastery and St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, PA, where he presided at services for the Feast of St. Herman of Alaska, the patron saint of the Orthodox Church in America.
Following the All-night Vigil on the eve of the feast, Metropolitan Tikhon participated in the seminarian wives’ bi-weekly gathering hosted at the Dean’s residence. His Beatitude spoke about the important ministry of clergy wives, his own vocation and life, and resources for clergy wives. It was noted that such gatherings are vital in the formation of friendships and preparation for ministry in the Church.
On Wednesday, December 13, His Beatitude presided at the celebration of the hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Concelebrating with His Beatitude were His Eminence Archbishop Michael, Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey and Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, Archpriest Alexander Rentel, OCA Chancellor, Archimandrite Sergius (Bowyer), Abbot of St. Tikhon’s Monastery, Archpriest John Parker, Dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, and monastic, seminary, and visiting clergy.
In his homily, Metropolitan Tikhon spoke of the example of greatness in humility, meekness, and faithfulness given to us by St. Herman, reminding the faithful that, “…he is, from the perspective of worldly history, an utterly obscure and unimportant person. He was not a man of power, wealth, or influence, shaping the destiny of Russian Alaska by world means. And yet, in the Church, in the assembly of the people of God, called to salvation in Christ Jesus, the memory of Saint Herman is eternal and radiant.”
Following the Great Entrance, Metropolitan Tikhon ordained third-year seminarian Dn. Caleb Lewis to the holy priesthood. After the divine liturgy, His Beatitude presented a Synodal Gramota to Archpriest John and Matushka Katherine Kowalczyk in recognition of their nearly fifty years of dedication to St. Michael’s Orthodox Church in Jermyn, PA, the Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry, and St. Tikhon’s Seminary.
A reception was held in the seminary refectory to honor the newly-ordained Fr. Caleb.