CRESTWOOD, NY [OCA]
Orientation sessions for new students at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Crestwood, NY, and Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA, ushered in the opening of the 2011-2012 school year during the last week of August .
At Saint Vladimir’s, Chancellor/CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield introduced 17 new students to the rigors of seminary life and the “tough formation process” required in preparation for the priesthood and Church ministry.
“Theology which is alive, an ascetical life which is alive, is not simply found in the pages of books,” said Father Chad in his introductory address to the new students. “An authentic knowledge of God is what’s most important for you to acquire in your three years here as a seminarian, and that means being attentive to your own interior life, and that of your wife, your family, and your classmates.
“You’re going to find that you will have to carry each other from time to time,” he concluded. “Sometimes you’ll be the strong one, and sometimes you’ll be the weak one. But all of that cannot just simply be dismissed as ‘I’m too busy to deal with that’; because if you do, then you will fail at your whole vocation. It is the Evil One who wins.”
A similar message was offered by His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania and Archpriest Alexander Atty, Dean, at orientation sessions for incoming students at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary on the Feast of the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist. After the new seminarians were acquainted with the particulars and expectations of student life, they were joined by returning students for a two day retreat, “The Laborers are Few.” The theme was developed in a series of talks delivered by Bishop Tikhon, Archpriest Jason DelVitto, and Father Chrysostomos. During the retreat, the incoming students were presented with their newly blessed cassocks.
A similar orientation is planned for Saint Herman’s Seminary, Kodiak, AK.