The community of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery and Seminary extends a cordial invitation to all faithful to attend the 113th Annual Pilgrimage Memorial Day weekend, May 26-29, 2017.
“We are very glad to be able to offer the blessing of the monastery and her founder, Saint Tikhon of Moscow, to all visiting hierarchs, clergy and faithful from the Orthodox Church in America and other Orthodox jurisdictions and guests from near and far,” said Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery.
The pilgrimage will officially open on Friday, May 26, at 3:30 p.m. with the greeting of the Hawaiian Myrrh Streaming Icon of the Iveron Mother of God and the celebration of a Molieben. Vespers and Matins will follow at 4:00 p.m. in the Monastery Church of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk. The icon will be available for veneration throughout the pilgrimage. All pilgrims are invited to dinner in the monastery dining hall following Friday’s services.
The 75th annual Commencement of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary will be held on Saturday, May 27. The day will open with the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the monastery church at 9:00 a.m., followed by a meal in the dining hall. Commencement Exercises will begin at 1:00 p.m. The Resurrection Vigil will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m., followed by dinner for all pilgrims in the dining hall.
The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 28, followed by a meal for all in the dining hall. Vespers and Matins will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m.
On Memorial Day—Monday, May 29—the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated in the Monastery Church at 7:30 a.m. The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m., followed by a Panikhida for Veterans at All Saints Bell Tower at 12:15 p.m. The Akathistos Hymn to Saint Alexis will be celebrated in the monastery church at 1:30 p.m., while the Molieben to the Most Holy Theotokos with the Anointing of the Sick, Infirm and All Pilgrims will be celebrated at the monastery bell tower at 2:30 p.m. The pilgrimage will close with the celebration of Vespers and Matins at 4:00 p.m.
Concurrent with the Pilgrimage, the Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Music Institute [PaTRAM] will hold its Second Annual Memorial Day Young Singers’ Conference at the Monastery. [See related story.] PaTRAM recently released the first recording by its Patriarch Tikhon Choir, titled “Praise the Lord, All Ye Nations.” Under the direction of Maestro Vladimir Gorbik, the 30-voice mixed choir includes vocalists and choral musicians from the US, Canada and Russia. Conference participants will sing the liturgical responses during the Pilgrimage. Detailed Conference information may be accessed on PaTRAM’s web site.
Saint Vladimir’s Seminary is pleased to announce that it recently received an unprecedented major monetary gift to support Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Press [SVS Press], its renowned publishing house. The gift, made by Bronson and Kathleen Eden, will be used to establish “The Mr. and Mrs. Bronson B. T. Eden Endowment for Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Press,” which will promote the educational work of the Press by providing funds for acquisitions and translations, editorial and managerial support, and marketing and other activities that further the growth and financial success of the Press.
Since its founding, the Press has been instrumental in supporting the seminary’s mission in spreading the Gospel of Christ and the teachings of the Orthodox Christian faith. Benefactor Kathleen Eden shared that she had been actively acquiring and reading SVS Press books since 1988, even before she entered the Orthodox Church, and that the seminary’s publications had had a significant influence on her. Her husband, Bronson, who fell asleep in the Lord one month following the couple’s generous gift, also was an enthusiast of the Press.
“The Edens have decided to make this major gift to increase the work of the Press and to help ensure its growth and its ability to reach new markets in fulfilling its mission,” remarked the Archpriest Chad Hatfield, Seminary President. “In so doing, they have also helped us complete one of the short-term goals of our new business model, put into place by our Board in May 2016, which is ‘to manage and grow SVS Press and its program quality.’ We express an enormous debt of gratitude to the Edens for their confidence and belief in Saint Vladimir’s Seminary to enlarge the ongoing missionary work of the Press.”
Over the years the Press has grown from a small enterprise that published and distributed its faculty’s class lectures (using a mimeograph machine) to an internationally recognized first-class academic publication house. Its volumes — including works on spirituality, Christian biography, contemporary issues in religion, Church history, doctrine, patristic studies, biblical studies, sacred arts, and even children’s books — have been translated into 16 languages, while its music and spoken word collection includes more than 15 compact disk recordings.
“I have been informed by our accrediting agency, the Association of Theological Schools, that our Press is the only seminary publishing house — among all the other seminaries they accredit — to earn an annual net profit without requiring a subsidy from the operations budget of its school,” Father Chad added. “Rather than requiring funds from our Seminary’s operations budget, SVS Press annually contributes to our operations budget. So, besides being a blessing to so many around the globe, SVS Press is essential to our ability to run the seminary. In fiscal year 2016, SVS Press contributed its net profit of $415,740 to the Seminary’s operations budget, and this is nothing short of amazing.
“Truly,” Father Chad ended, “God has blessed this ministry, and we are profoundly grateful to Bronson and Kathleen Eden for granting us the means not only to continue it, but also to expand it for the benefit of the seminary and to the glory of God.”
Blessing the stream on the mission’s property on the Great Feast of Theophany.
Saint Juvenaly and His Companion Mission, Wasilla, AK, recently was awarded a second-year Church Planting Grant from the Orthodox Church in America.
“It has been a great help for our mission to receive this grant,” said Archpriest Mikel Bock, Priest-in-Charge, who has been a part of other missions that started with little and has witnessed how through consistent prayer and work they were able to grow. “This grant helps relieve some of the financial worries of the priest, so that more focus can be put into the mission, and all missions have their ups and downs.”
Fr. David Rucker conducts a mission seminar at St. Juvenaly Mission.
And Saint Juvenaly’s, like all missions, has had its ups and downs, Father Mikel added.
“When Saint Juvenaly’s was planted, it was said that anyone can build a building, but building a church begins inside each and every one of us,” Father Mikel continued. “The commitment that we make to Christ is to carry the message of the Gospel to as many as we can throughout our community—this is how a church grows. This same commitment to Christ and His church is what gets us through the ups and downs that take place.”
Father Mikel is quick to add that “this commitment we make also has to be long term, because it is very easy on the downside to get discouraged. We have to remember that if we are fulfilling Christ’s will, He will provide.
Faithful receive Communion during Vesperal Liturgy on Great and Holy Saturday 2017.
“Because of seasonal work, some months’ finances are good, while others not so good, but the Planting Grant offers the ability to focus on the work of the church, which helps the church become more stable and grow,” Father Mikel continued. “Many outreach programs have been established already, but the goal is to be more prominent in aiding those who are in need, whether the sick, less fortunate, or people in prison.”
Father Mikel noted that “one of the good things about having our own building is that we are able to hold services often. Throughout the year, we celebrate services for all the major and minor feasts, as well as for many of the saints’ commemorations, which helps bring the people together more often. We are fortunate to have a stream on the back of the property, with a warm spring, which is ideal for Theophany, no matter how cold it gets.”
As with all growing mission communities, the faithful of Saint Juvenaly’s anticipate ongoing work and ministry, from the spiritual to the physical.
Faithful celebrate Holy Pascha.
“The Planting Grant enables me to be available for the building up of the community, whether it be through the celebration of services and sacraments or for counseling, visits and talks,” Father Mikel said. “We visit the men’s prison—an hour and a half drive—three to five times every month, in addition to the women’s prison. And then there are always those things that need to be done around the church. The planting Grant has been a great help, and will continue to be a help in bringing the faith to the Wasilla area.”
His Beatitude Theophilos III Patriarch of Jerusalem 20 April 2017
Your Beatitude, Your Eminences, Your Graces, Beloved Members of our respective Brotherhoods, Dear Fathers,
Christ is risen! In this Bright Week, we greet you, Your Beatitude, and the members of your Brotherhood and the Armenian community in Jerusalem, in the joy and gladness of the Resurrection.
As the Easter Hymn of Exodus 15 in your Armenian tradition declares: Today the immortal and heavenly bridegroom Has risen from the dead: Good tidings of exultation to you, O Church, bride from the earth. Praise your God in a voice of delight, O Sion.
Our Easter celebrations are made all the more moving this year as we celebrate the Feast at the renovated and re-dedicated Sacred Edicule. This project is the most significant endeavor in the Holy Places in our lifetime. We have saved Holiest site in the Christian world from certain permanent damage, and we have enjoyed the experience of the intimacy of touching the Tomb.
The most important fruit of this work has been the active dialogue that brought to fruition the co-operation of our three Communities in carrying out this project. This new chapter in our life has drawn the attention of the world and is a true sign of hope in a world torn apart by division, fear, violence, and persecution. The human family is fractured, and longs for unity and communion. Our unity of purpose in the renovation of the Sacred Edicule is of enduring significance, and we must build on this important foundation.
For there is more to be done, in completing further work in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, especially on the underground sewage system of the rotunda and the completion of the rest of the works in the compound of the Holy Sepulchre. There is also more to do in building a deeper unity among the Churches and Christian communities of the Holy Land in our spiritual mission. The renovation of the Sacred Edicule is a good beginning: we have shown that we can accomplish great things. But the strength of our resolve will be proven as we move on to do more in the future. Once again, we wish to express our gratitude to you, Your Beatitude, for all your efforts in the work restoring the Sacred Edicule, and we look forward to further partnership with you as we take on the next tasks that lie before us. This work has been laid upon us by Divine Providence, and we must be faithful to our calling, especially in our days, when our region is going through such horrible experiences and the world lives in total confusion and a very great danger.
May the Light that shines from the Holy Tomb at Easter give us the strength of purpose to carry on the good work that has been started. May we, as the Apostle Paul has said in the Acts of the Apostles, “finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the good news of God’s grace” (Acts 20:24).
We wish you, Your Beatitude, your Brotherhood, and the Armenian community under your archpastoral care, the joy of this Paschal Feast.
His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II attended the Divine Liturgy celebrated by His Eminence Archbishop Armash Nalbandian, Armenian Orthodox Archbishop of Damascus at St. Sarkis Armenian Orthodox Cathedral in Damascus.
His Holiness was accompanied by His Eminence Mor Timotheos Matta Al-Khoury, Patriarchal Vicar of the Patriarchal Archdiocese of Damascus, Very Rev. Raban Joseph Bali, Patriarchal Secretary and Media Office Director, and Very Rev. Raban Gabriel Dahho. The Archbishops of Damascus and other Christian leaders as well as His Excellency the Ambassador of Armenia in Damascus were also present.
The Divine Liturgy was followed by a special prayer service for the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide on the 102nd yearly commemoration of the massacres.
His Holiness Patriarch Mor Ignatius Aphrem II called for a special prayer for the return of the abducted Archbishops of Aleppo, Boulos Yaziji and Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim, on the occasion of the 4th year after their abduction.
His Beatitude Greek Melkite Catholic Patriarch Gregorius III Lahham attended the prayer and His Beatitude Greek Orthodox Patriarch John X was represented by His Eminence Bishop Aphram Maalouli, General Patriarchal Auxiliary Bishop. His Eminence Mario Cardinal Zenari, and their Excellencies Bishops Armash Nalbandian, Moussa Khoury and Luka Khoury, Joseph Arnaouti, Elias Tabeh, Samir Nassar, and Rev. Boutros Zaour also participated in the prayer.
The Patriarchal Choirs chanted hymns related to the Resurrection of the Lord.
His Holiness Patriarch Aphrem II said that we are saddened by the absence of the two abducted Archbishops of Aleppo Mor Gregorius Youhanna Ibrahim and Boulos Yaziji. The abduction of the two Archbishops is a message that aims at striking the shepherd to disperse the herd. He renewed the call to the international authorities and men of good will to help in the case of the two abducted Archbishops. He held that, as Christians, we always have hope that the Lord will help us in our fight against terrorism and destruction in the country that all its citizens helped build and develop.
His Excellency Bishop Aphram Maalouli read the Common Paschal letter issued by the two Patriarchs on April 14, 2017 in which they pray for the return of the two Archbishops of Aleppo.
His Beatitude Patriarch Gregorius III Lahham spoke about the hope that we all have because we are the children of the Resurrection.
An icon of St. Luke (Voyno-Yasenetsky) the Physician, of Simferopol, one of the most beloved Russian saints of the twentieth century, was delivered to the International Space Station on April 20. The icon was taken aboard the Soyuz MC-04 by Russian astronaut Feodor Yurchikhin and American astronaut Jack Fisher, reports the site of Moscow’s Novospassky Monastery.
The icon was blessed in Novospassky Monastery on March 11 in the Church of St. Romanos the Melodist, in the tomb of the Romanov boyars, by the vicar of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill and deputy abbot of the monastery Bishop Sava of Voskresensk.
Feodor Yurchikhin is a sincere believer and one of the most experienced Russian astronauts. He is currently on his fifth trip into orbit, having spent 534 days, 2 hours, and 33 minutes in space, and 31 hours and 54 minutes on the space station.
According to one of the organizers of the send, chairman of the board of the Fraternity of Orthodox Leaders of Culture, Science and Education Yuri Alekseevich Serov, the event was made possible thanks to the executive director of the manned space program of the state RosCosmos corporation astronaut Sergei Konstantinovich Krikalev, who orbited the earth more than 1,000 times on board the Soyuz TMA-6 in 2005 with a copy of the miraculous Valaam Icon of the Mother of God.
“When I had the icon in my hands I felt an unprecedented surge of strength and unwillingness to part with it. I am sure that the icon of St. Luke will fill these Paschal days with bright joy and help the international crew of the International Space Station to celebrate the forthcoming Victory Day, and to remember that in the recent past our people were in a battle with evil such as fascism,” Serov added.
The icon is expected to return in June 2017.
The icon’s arrival and stay on the space station is timed to the 140th anniversary of St. Luke’s birth on May 9, 2017. St. Luke was a beloved bishop and physician who treated innumerable people, many of whom are still alive today. In 1946 he was awarded a first degree Stalin Prize, but was later subject to repressions, being exiled for eleven years. He was rehabilitated in April 2000, and later that same year was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church in the assembly of Russian New Martyrs and Confessors.
Prakash Varghese (Delegate of Gulf , Levant & Middle East) – OCP News Service – 25/4/17
Abu Dhabi/United Arab Emirates: His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, received His Eminence Theodosios Hanna (Archbishop of Sebastia of the Jerusalem Patriarchate) in Abu Dhabi on 24/4/17, reports Emirates News Agency.