CANAAN, PA [by Monk Gregory, Aide to the Metropolitan] -- Many Orthodox hierarchs, clergy and faithful gathered in here on
the weekend of May 28-31, 2010 to take part in the 106th Annual Saint Tikhon of
Zadosnk Orthodox Monastery Memorial Day Pilgrimage.
beloved "weekend of traditions" officially began on Friday afternoon
when His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania
celebrated the Blessing of Waters at the monastery well. This was followed by
the daily celebration of Vespers, and a public meal provided by Igumen Sergius
and the monastery brotherhood.
Saturday, May 29 Bishop Tikhon was joined by His Grace, Bishop Alejo of Mexico
City and His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey in the
concelebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Monastery church.
Bishop Tikhon ordained Deacon Benjamin Tucci to the Holy Priesthood during the
hospitality offered by the monastery brotherhood, Igumen Sergius and many
pilgrims welcomed the Miraculous and Myrrh-Streaming Hawaii Iveron Icon of the
Mother of God to the pilgrimage. Those who were blessed to be present at the
greeting of this Icon were able to venerate and receive some of the precious
myrrh which flows forth in abundance from this sacred image of the Mother of
God. The icon was available for veneration in the Monastery church throughout
the pilgrimage weekend.
Sunday morning, the Feast of All Saints, in the presence of the Miraculous and
Myrrh-Streaming Hawaii Icon of the Mother of God, His Beatitude, Metropolitan
Jonah was joined by brother hierarchs and clergy in celebrating the Divine
Liturgy at the monastery church. Concelebrating with His Beatitude were Bishops
Tikhon, Alejo, and Michael. Also joining Metropolitan Jonah were Igumen
Sergius; Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in
America; and clergy from around the country.
evening, at a banquet hosted in honor of the new graduates of Saint Tikhon's
seminary -- see related story at http://www.oca.org/news/2171-- those present were again blessed to
hear from their beloved hierarchs. Though remarks were directed specifically at
those students who, having graduated, are now preparing go out in to the world
to serve the Church and her faithful, all who were in attendance were greatly
moved by the vision of transformation which was the common thread in the
evening's remarks. Throughout the course of the evening, extremely generous
donations were given to both the Seminary and the Monastery by the Saint Alexis
Foundation, the Saint Tikhon's Centennial Association, and the Saint Tikhon's
Memorial Day, Metropolitan Jonah concelebrated with many brother hierarchs and
led hundreds of faithful in the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at the large
pavilion church established for this yearly event. Concelebrating with
Metropolitan Jonah were His Eminence, Bishop Joseph of Los Angeles and the West
of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; His
Eminence, Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk, Administrator of the Moscow
Patriarchal Parishes in the US; His Eminence, Archbishop Job of Kashira,
Administrator of the Moscow Patriarchal Parishes in Canada; His Eminence,
Archbishop Seraphim of Ottawa and Canada; His Grace, Bishop Nikon of Boston and
New England and the Albanian Archdiocese; His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of
Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania; His Grace, Bishop Alejo of Mexico City
and the Diocese of Mexico; His Grace, Bishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and
Western Pennsylvania, and His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey.
At the invitation of Metropolitan Jonah and his brother hierarchs, retired
Metropolitans Herman and Theodosius joined in this historic concelebration of
the Divine Liturgy. Igumen Sergius; Archpriest Alexander Garklavs; Archpriest
Eric Tosi, OCA Secretary; Igumen Alexander [Pihach], Chancellor of the
Archdiocese of Canada; Archpriest Joseph Lickwar, Chancellor of the Diocese of
New York and New Jersey; Archpriest John Kowalczyk, Chancellor of the Dioces of
Philadelphia and Pennsylvania; and STOTS class of 1950 Valedictorian Archpriest
John Nehrebecki were among the many notable clergy who served at the Divine
the service, the hierarchs processed to the grave of Metropolitan Leonty,
located directly behind the monastery church, and celebrated a Panikhida.
Hierarchs and Patriarchs, monks, nuns, and those who have served the church
were through the years were also remembered in prayer.
highlight of this year's pilgrimage was the childrens' activity booth staffed
by the OCA Department of Christian Education [DCE]. Over 75 children
participated in activities that included a tour of the monastery museum,
presentations on North American Orthodox Church history, and stories relating
the lives of North America's Orthodox saints. Resources recently produced by
the DCE were featured. Children enjoyed making sand crosses, prayer bracelets,
and the always popular and often requested bird feeders. Maria Proch directed
the activities, assisted by her mother, Marie Proch; DCE members Valerie
Zahirsky, Alexandra Safchuk, John Pusey, and Daria Petrykowski; and Anastasia
Bilas. The children were delighted to have Bishop Melchisedek join them.
spent the remainder of the day exploring the grounds of the monastery, the
bookstore and newly renovated and expanded museum, meeting old friends and
family, and taking part in prayer services held throughout the day. In the
cemetery that has organically spread from behind the monastery church and over
the surrounding hillside, which contains the grave of Saint Alexis Toth and
currently holds the graves of Metropolitan Leonty and Protopresbyter Alexander
Schmemman, many Panikhida services were offered for departed loved ones. A
memorial service was celebrated for departed military servicemen and women, and
was concluded by the playing of Taps by a retired military regiment. Many
flocked to the monastery bell tower for the service of healing and anointing,
and to the Akathist held before the relics of Saint Alexis in the monastery
church. The pilgrimage officially closed after the celebration of Vespers on
106th Annual Pilgrimage to St. Tikhon's Monastery - Friday - 05/28/10
The 106th annual pilgrimage opened with a blessing of the well on Monastery grounds. His Grace, Bishop Tikhon, led the faithful in prayer who were then blessed with the Holy waters from the well.
106th Annual Pilgrimage to St. Tikhon's Monastery - Saturday - 05/29/10
On Saturday, the second day of the annual pilgrimage, Bishops Tikhon, Alejo, and Michael concelebrated the Heirarchical Divine Liturgy. His Grace, Bishop Tikhon, ordained Benjamin Tucci to the Holy Diaconate. After Liturgy, the monastery hosted a meal for all the pilgrims. Shortly after the meal, the myrrh-streaming Iveron Icon of the Mother of God from Hawaii arrived at the monastery.
106th Annual Pilgrimage to St. Tikhon's Monastery - Monday - 05/31/10
On Memorial Day, there were an unprecedented 12 hierarchs and several other clergy serving the Divine Liturgy at the pavilion church. The choir comprised of many diocesan members led by Reader John Black of Holy Trinity in Pottstown. Throughout the day, many diocesan clergy volunteered their time to serve at the food stands.
It’s that time of the year when children the world over are completing their “Christmas wish lists.”
With the Stewards of the Orthodox Church in America’s campaign to enlist 300 individuals to help fund and expand the work of the Church’s departments—the third and final week of the campaign begins Monday, December 9—department chairs were asked to submit their “wish lists,” indicating what could be accomplished should sufficient funding become available. [Click the “Become a Steward” link on the homepage to the right to donate on-line.]
Here’s what they wrote.
Donna Karabin, who chairs the Department of Christian Service and Humanitarian Aid, hopes that “Compassion in Action: Parish Ministry Training,” a fully developed collaborative effort between her department and Institutional Chaplaincies with a web site of 27 documents and the blessing of Metropolitan Tikhon, could be piloted. She envisions a partnership of clergy and laity that involves them in ministry at parishioners’ critical life junctures. Training would focus on providing an attentive and caring Orthodox Christian presence for those who suffer physically, emotionally, psychologically or spiritually – and to serve as a catalyst for healing and transformation.
“We need to maintain our current ministries, but we also need to expand our ministries as new needs arise,” said Donna. “A broad and generous response to the Stewards campaign would be one of the most productive ways to build up the Church.”
Donna lists two other departmental wishes—organizing more frequent parish ministries conferences, similar to the four that were held between 2004 and this year, and holding consultations with the OCA’s dioceses to share ministry ideas and programs.
The Department of Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministries’ chair, Andrew Boyd, would like to see an expansion of the Saint Peter the Aleut Grant to larger, expansive, charitable outreach aimed at our own youth to assist with the cost of textbooks, clothes for job interviews, and other incidentals that pile up in the young adult years. He also hopes for offering additional support for the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America’s youth committee and the Orthodox Christian Fellowship. Social media offerings and original, on-line content would be expanded with additional funding, as would rebuilding the tradition of youth pilgrimages to Alaska, Mexico and elsewhere and developing resources to help our youth preach the Gospel in our time and place round out the department’s wish list.
“While there are those who claim that ‘the youth are the future of our Church,’ the fact is that they play a vital role in the Church’s present as well, even as they are trained to lead the OCA well into the 21st century,” said Andrew. “Investing in our youth now is an investment in their—and our—futures!”
The Department of Christian Education, chaired by Matushka Valerie Zahirsky, said that additional funding would help cover expenses for a series of regional workshops featuring guest speakers. Department members would present training workshops “in places we now cannot afford to travel to, such as Alaska and the west coast,” she added. The DCE also hopes to engage a full-time person to oversee and continually update its web site.
Archpriest Ian Pac-Urar, who oversees the Department of Continuing Education, said that “we can do some wonderful things with adequate funding.” Among them would be scholarships for clergy and missions, development of on-line clergy leadership and management training and a “healthy parishes program,” and publication of a clergy field guide—“Things We Didn’t Learn in Seminary.”
“The 16th All-American Council and the Holy Synod of Bishops set continuing education as one of the top-level goals of the 2012 Strategic Plan,” said Father Ian. “Clergy and laypersons alike have called this an idea whose time has come, and our department hopes to continue to provide additional quality courses and seminars for our priests and deacons”—something for which the current OCA budget does not provide.”
Archpriest Theodore Boback, who coordinates Orthodox Military Chaplaincies, would like to provide required and essential liturgical items and supplemental resources to priests entering active military chaplaincy. He also cites the need to provide military and VA chaplains with pamphlets, crosses, icons and other devotional publications and items for distribution to service members and veterans. Other wishes that could become a reality with increased funding include enhancing archpastoral visits to military and VA chaplains, initiating annual recruiting visitations to our seminaries and within our dioceses, funding an annual military and VA chaplaincy conference/retreat, enhancing the OCA military and VA chaplain web site/blog, and developing a DVD highlighting the OCA’s military and VA chaplaincies.
Among the wishes expressed by Prof. David Drillock, chair of the Department of Liturgical Music, are the continuation of the popular “Learning the Tones” tutorial, initiation of a program to incorporate liturgical music and hymnography into Church School curricula, and establishment of additional on-line courses for beginner choir directors.
Priest John Parker, who chairs the Department of Evangelization, would like to see the implementation of a “mission school” for priests serving in new parishes and mission communities. Another item on his department’s “wish list” would be the establishment of a sub-department dedicated to planting and growing African American and Spanish-language ministries while publishing resources and vital texts into other languages. Among the other publications he envisions would be a regular mission and evangelistically minded journal and evangelistic material “in beautiful, ‘entry-level’ sizes and quantities. He also would like to develop a “much-needed ‘Alaskan Spotlight’ to remind our wider OCA of the font of our Native Orthodoxy, help train Native Alaskans and others in how to deal with Protestant and other religious encroachment in Villages, and establish a missionary center related to Old Harbor, Kodiak, and Spruce Island.”