25 April, 2012
St. Basil the Confessor
“For the lips of a priest ought to preserve knowledge, and from his mouth men should seek instruction - because he is the messenger of the Lord Almighty.” (Malachi 2:7)
My beloved brothers in the Holy Priesthood, members of the Ukrainian Orthodox League, parishioners of our Hoy Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA: CHRIST IS RISEN!
Some forty-five years ago, the Ukrainian Orthodox League established the Metropolitan John (Theodorovich) Scholarship Fund, providing and ensuring education of our past, present and future spiritual fathers of the Church. The very first MJSF scholarship was awarded in 1966. Those who have benefited from the UOL’s MJSF have become role models for the next generation of our clergy. Our St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Bound Brook, NJ forms the future of our Church. Sustaining the long tradition of spiritual, pastoral and theological excellence of our clergy remains a priority of the entire Church.
We are writing you this short letter prior to May 3rd of this year, as we mark the anniversary of Metropolitan John’s repose in the Lord. He was the very first Metropolitan of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, who dedicated his life to the service of his flock. Namely because of his love of the Church, the UOL established a fund in his honor and memory, benefiting seminarians and clergy of the Church, who pursue theological academic training. The goal of our Scholarship Fund is always to provide character formation and a high-quality education to seminarians and clergy. However, to maintain these standards and remain beneficial to the seminarians and clergy of our Church, we ask your kind financial assistance.
As St. Sophia Seminary student body continues to grow, it grows increasingly younger, more enthusiastic, more read to embrace the demands of ministry in the Church - and increasingly ill-equipped to make the financial commitment that four years of residential seminary education demands. In fact, a growing number of gifted applicants to the Seminary find themselves forced to review their applications because they are unable to shoulder the financial burden.