This year, the patronal feast of the seminary was celebrated with special solemnity. This being the 75thanniversary of the seminary, it is only fitting that the seminary was able to mark this holy day in such a special way, for which we give thanks to our Lord.
It was with great joy, that the seminary’s feast was celebrated by two of our Church’s senior bishops, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas, recently elevated to the position of First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, and His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada. Also concelebrating was our own Bishop Luke.
As is our tradition, a lot of Greek chant and even hymnography was used, especially during the All-Night Vigil. The Six Psalms were read in Greek as were some other petitions and prayers.
Fr. Protodeacon Peter Markevich was ordained to the priesthood and will be practicing in the monastery until he takes up his new assignment as rector of Holy Trinity Church, Mebane, North Carolina, in the spring. Fr. Peter is a graduate of the Seminary and at one time taught Liturgics in the Seminary. He also for many years has been a valued worker in the monastery’s Publications Department and will be continuing with this. Subdeacon Ivan Golovin was ordained to the diaconate. He will be serving in the monastery and is a current enrollee in the Seminary.
It must be noted that during the Hours, Seminarian Patrick Hinds was tonsured a subdeacon. Thus it was shown that our Church is committed to provide the Church with educated clergy. We ask everyone to pray for our new servers of the Lord in His vineyard and their wives and families.
At the end of the liturgy, there was a short moleben and then we proceeded to the monastery refectory for a delicious lunch. The seminarians themselves with the help of Igumen Cyprian and Dean of Students, Hieromonk Theodore, provided all with a bountiful “tea,” after the monastery trapeza.
Metropolitan Nicholas presented the Monastery with a hand painted icon of Saint Hilarion of the Kiev Caves in memory of Metropolitan Hilarion and greeted the students and everyone present on the feast of the Three Hierarchs. Dean Nicholas Schidlovsky spoke to everyone about the significance of Holy Trinity Seminary followed by Bishop Luke.
Bishop Luke highlighted that the Holy Three Hierarchs were bishops but more importantly they were monks. Their outstanding education gave them an excellent foundation in the wisdom from below but their ascetic struggles gave them the illumination from above which made them truly great and men of God. He emphasized to the seminarians the need for the ascetic life. The students live in a unique environment where they attend school but their life also revolves around prayer and the liturgical life of the monastery along with obedience and certain restrictions which form the soul. The ascetic foundation is something that all of us need to carry. The former generations were formed in this monastic setting. Without this foundation of education and prayerful life and discipline one cannot develop properly.
Students need to hold fast to this tradition, this legacy of Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary which is unique in the place it holds in the Orthodox world but also unique in the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. The Three Holy Hierarchs set the boundaries by which we must live. They determined where the truth was and were false teaching was. We must be careful not to step away from the boundaries the Fathers have set for us. At the end Bishop Luke wished all the seminarians to remain steadfast on the path laid by the Three Holy Hierarchs and the fathers who came before us.