This year, the feast of the Three Great and Holy Hierarchs – Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom ‒ the patronal feast of Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY ‒ was celebrated with special solemnity. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the seminary, and to mark the occasion, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad – His Eminence Nicholas, Metropolitan of Eastern America & New York, arrived to officiate the divine services.
A week prior, on February 5, the Sunday of the Publican & the Pharisee and of the New Martyrs & Confessors of Russia, His Grace, Eastern American Diocesan vicar Bishop Luke of Syracuse, abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, elevated Hierodeacon Paisios (monastery cleric) to the rank of archdeacon, which the monastery has not had for many years.
Concelebrating with the First Hierarch at Divine Liturgy on Sunday, February 12, were Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada, Bishop Luke, and a large number of monastery and visiting clergy.
At the Hours, Metropolitan Nicholas ordained third-year seminarian Reader Patrick Hinds a subdeacon, assigned to St. Elizabeth the New-Martyr Church in Rocky Hill, NJ.
After the Great Entrance, the First Hierarch ordained monastery cleric Protodeacon Peter Markevich to the priesthood; he will practice serving at the monastery until he is ready to travel to his new parish assignment at Holy Trinity Church in Mebane, NC. Fr. Peter is a graduate of the seminary and at one time taught Liturgics. He also for many years has been a valued worker in the monastery’s publications.
After the Eucharistic Canon, Bishop Luke ordained Subdeacon Ivan Golovin to the diaconate. The newly ordained Deacon Ivan will fulfill his obedience at the monastery, and is a current enrollee in the seminary.
In keeping with tradition, many hymns at the divine services were sung in Greek, in honor of the Holy Hierarchs, patron saints of seminaries and Orthodox Christian education.
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, a short moleben was served, after which all proceeded to the monastery refectory for a bountiful luncheon. The seminarians themselves, with the help of Abbot Cyprian (Alexandrou) and Dean of Students Hieromonk Theodore (Stanway) provided all with tea refreshments after lunch.
Metropolitan Nicholas presented the monastery with a hand-painted icon of Venerable Hilarion of the Kiev Caves in memory of Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), and greeted the students and everyone present on the feast of the Three Hierarchs. Dean Nicolas Schidlovsky spoke to everyone about the significance of Holy Trinity Seminary, followed by Bishop Luke, who highlighted that the Holy Three Hierarchs were bishops, but more importantly were monks. Their outstanding education gave them an excellent foundation in the wisdom from below, but their ascetic struggles gave them the illumination from above, which made them truly great and men of God.