Letter to Alumni from Mrs. Ann Holod Zinzel

October 25, 2007

Dearly Beloved Alumni of St. Vladimir's Seminary:

Words cannot begin to express my feelings for the honor bestowed upon me by the Alumni Association at its Annual Reunion held at the Seminary on October 16, 2007! When I was first informed about the event, I was pleased and surprised. Never did I expect anything so magnificent as to what became a reality.

I had the pleasure of the attendees' company during the time they were here.

Shared conversations, remembrances, and meals felt so good. They came from Alaska and Canada and from USA points north, south, east and west! What a variety. What a joy to greet many of the "pre-thes" now so mature and wonderful in their ministry. The hard working ladies also in church ministry must be acknowledged too. 'Wonder workers all!' "I remember when..." was a very common expression during the reunion.

I was honored at the banquet. I also received many gifts and greetings from those unable to attend for which I am very grateful. I was called on to speak. I spoke about the miracle of how I came to St. Vladimir's Seminary -- meeting Fr. John Meyendorff on occasion in Washington, DC. I was asked to take him to dinner before a lecture he was to give to the Nation's Capital 'R' Club so that he would not have to arrive alone. During the meal he asked me 'how was work'? I had just been informed that I was being 'downsized'! I commented that I worked for Catholics, Protestants, and Jews. It would be good if I could get a job with the Orthodox. It was at that time that St. Vladimir's was moving to Crestwood, NY (from New York City) and the Provost, beloved Prof. Serge Verhovskoy, thought the Seminary 'might need a secretary, at least temporarily'! I applied and the rest is history of which you all played a tremendous role and for which I now thank you sincerely. Of course I remembered my beloved Fr. Alexander Schmemann and the added grace he offered in my life.

The climax of the evening of course was the gift from the alumni -- a 14'x 15' hand painted icon of my patron, 'St. Anna the Prophetess'! It brought me to tears.

The photographs on SVS web site give evidence to all of this eventful evening. Enjoy!

To all of the alumni I express my deep gratitude for the wonderful fulfilling life they gave to me. I keep you all in my prayers daily and in commemoration at liturgies.

If you can find time in your busy schedules to drop a note now and then I would be very pleased to hear from you. My email address is Annzinzel@aol.com. My home address is 143 Garth Road Apt. 2A, Scarsdale, NY 10583. Phone 1-914-472-7965.

With much love (and a gazillion 'bear hugs')

Ann Holod Zinzel