February 17, 2016
Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Seminary Alumni assemble for Patronal Feast & Gathering at Holy Trinity Monastery

From February 10, the eve of its patronal feast day of the Three Hierarchs, Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, NY hosted its second Alumni Reunion, bringing together HTOS graduates from various classes for common prayer and fellowship. On the evening of Wednesday, February 10, a festal meal was served for the alumni, including visiting hierarchs.

On February 11, the visiting alumni assembled in the Seminary Hall to hear presentations from the seminary faculty and administration, and to discuss the future of the HTOS Alumni Association. In his address, Archimandrite Luke (Murianka), rector of the seminary, announced the recent transition to the four-year curriculum for the B.Th. program, and shared plans for the creation of the first-ever graduate Master’s program at the seminary. Fr. Luke called for regular cooperation and communication between the Alumni Association and the seminary, and for this reason proposed to elect a President of the Association, who will serve as a liaison between the seminary and the alumni community. In response to Fr. Luke’s proposal, the assembled alumni elected Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko (class of 1971), rector of the Church of All Russian Saints in Burlingame, CA, as the first President of the HTOS Alumni Association. In the afternoon, the alumni guests heard a presentation from Michael Perekrestov, Curator of the Foundation of Russian History Museum, and were able to visit the museum.

The celebration of the patronal feast of the Seminary, the feast of Three Holy Hierarchs and Ecumenical Teachers Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom, began with the Hierarchal Vigil on Thursday night, February 11, and culminated with the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on Friday morning, February 12. The Vigil and Liturgy were concelebrated by three alumni hierarchs: His Eminence, Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada (1984), and Their Graces, Bishop George of Canberra (1980), and Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan (1998). In addition to the abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, Fr. Luke (1978), and the monastery clergy, the Divine Liturgy was concelebrated by visiting HTOS alumni: Archpriest Victor Potapov (1972; rector of St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC), the President of the Alumni Association Fr. Stefan Pavlenko (1971), Archpriest George Kurtow (1978; Seaside, CA), diocesan secretary Archpriest Serge Lukianov (1981; dean of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ), Archpriest Paul Volmensky (1986; Sacramento, CA), Archpriest George Kallaur (1984; rector of Unexpected Joy Church on Staten Island, NY), Archpriest Alexis Duncan (1988; rector of the Nativity of the Mother of God Church in Albany, NY), and others. During the Sixth Hour, Archbishop Gabriel performed the tonsure of second-year seminarian George Luimes to the rank of reader, and after the Great Entrance, ordained George’s father, Deacon Mark Luimes (Niagara Falls, ON, Canada) to the holy priesthood. At the end of Liturgy, a moleben to the heavenly patrons of the seminary was served, and Archbishop Gabriel addressed all those assembled with words of greeting.

Immediately after liturgy, the hierarchs, clergy, alumni, faculty, students, and the entire community assembled in the Seminary Hall for the festal lunch and reception. Bishop Nicholas congratulated the Seminary community with the feast and read a letter of greeting from His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion (1972), First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad. Priest Ephraim Willmarth (2011), assistant dean of the seminary, read to the assembly a letter of greeting from His Grace Peter, Bishop of Cleveland (1971), President of the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America. The keynote address at the reception was delivered by Archpriest Paul Volmensky (1986), rector of Holy Ascension Church in Sacramento, CA. Fr. Ephraim announced the names of the seminarians who became the recipients of the scholarship awards: The Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov Scholarship, Ivan V. Kouliaeff Educational Fund, and St. Sava Scholarship. Protopresbyter George Dragas, Professor of Patristics at Holy Cross Greek Seminary in Brookline, MA and visiting professor of Moral Theology at HTOS, greeted the seminary community with inspiring words emphasizing the connection between the seminary and the monastery as a vital link for the spiritual growth of students. A brief greeting by the newly-elected President of HTOS Alumni Association, Fr. Stefan Pavlenko, concluded the reception.

Holy Trinity Seminary