With eight priests concelebrating and 30 other clergy and 200 faithful present, His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine and His Eminence Archbishop Antony inaugurated the beginning of the academic year with the re-consecration of Three Holy Hierarchs Seminary Chapel. The chapel was recently renovated by a group of faithful parishioners of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in New York, NY under a skilful leadership of Very Rev. Fr. Todor Mazur, who spent every Saturday throughout the past half a year working with his parishioners in the Chapel installing a new ceiling, floors, and Iconostas, which was delivered to the Seminary through the skillful efforts of Very Rev. Fr. Bohdan Kalynyuk, pastor of St. Andrew Parish in Bloomingdale, IL.
The part-time program is designed primarily to accommodate later vocations among individuals, who are already well into professional careers and who want to respond to our Lord’s call to the Holy Priesthood. There are 8 students enrolled in an extremely intensive program, which combines one weekend each month in residence at the Seminary and a heavy self-directed reading and writing regimen at home during the rest of the month. During the weekend in residence these students participate in intensive 16-hours of lectures. The students complete two full three-credit courses per semester in this program.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Constantine in His sermon during the Liturgy: “The year 2007 marks the 32nd anniversary of St. Sophia Seminary. Of all its accomplishments, the most notable during these past years has been the spiritual formation and education given to young men whose primary goal in life was to serve our Lord and the faithful as priest pastors in our Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the U.S.A. and Diaspora. Many were the young men whose call to the priestly ministry was perfected in our seminary, and who have, as models of faith and service enriched the lives of the faithful now entrusted to their pastoral care. Armed with faith and knowledge, they met the challenges of the past 32 years and cooperated with the grace of God in perfecting every aspect of their witness to Christ in a world in need of Christ’s transforming grace.
May Almighty God crown the mission of our seminary with blessed success, and fill its hallowed halls with those who will keep vigil over themselves and eventually shepherd with philanthropia the communities entrusted to their care.
May the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, come upon our faculty staff and future students.”
The responses for the Rite of Consecration and the Divine Liturgy were spiritually and most beautifully sung by three choirs from our parishes: from Assumption of the Mother of God, Northampton, PA, under the direction of Linda Winters, singing for the consecration; from St. Andrew Memorial Church, South Bound Brook, NJ under the direction of Michael Andrec, singing the first half of Divine Liturgy; and from Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Wilmington, DE under the direction of Nancy Hlywiak, singing the second half of Divine Liturgy.
The day concluded at the Ukrainian Cultural Center where our planned family picnic was moved due to the weather reports of rain most of the day. Tom O’Prandy, our Cultural Center manager and caterer, received and prepared all the various foods donated by area parishes, and formed them into a beautiful buffet presentation, called upon to do so only a few days before the event! It was a meal enjoyed by everyone present with an abundance for all.
Archbishop Antony continued the program with the presentation of Hramoty/Award Certificates to Frs. Mazur and Kalynyuk and the members of Holy Trinity Cathedral, New York, NY for their loving contributions of time and effort at the seminary: Pani-Matka Yelena Mazur, Vasyl Dubnich, Anatoliy Babiy, Serhiy Danchenko, Mykhaylo Kolopelnyk, Christian Shofinec, Alex Shofinec and Ihor Kubyra.
The Archbishop also thanked Mrs. Valentina Kuszmycz, also of Holy Trinity Cathedral, New York, NY, who presented the seminary with a collection of “rushnyky” – embroidered towels for use in Three Hierarchs Chapel. He then introduced the alumni of St. Sophia Seminary – clergy who are currently serving in parishes of our Holy Church, who were present for the celebration: Fr. Yurij Bazylevsky, Protopresbyter Taras Chubenko, V. Rev. Jakiw Norton, V. Rev. Myron Oryhon, Fr. Michael Danczak, Fr. Stephen Masliuk, V. Rev. Steve Repa, Fr. Zinoviy Zharsky and Fr. Deacon Iryney Dziadyk.