Annual Alaska Mission Trip Strengthens Ties with Sister Seminary
At the beginning of the Lenten season, The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, SVOTS chancellor/CEO and the former dean of SVOTS' sister school St. Herman Theological Seminary, and The Rev. Dn. Evan Freeman (SVOTS '09), Yale University doctoral student in iconography, traveled to Kodiak, Alaska. The two were hosted by The Very Rev. Innocent Dresdow, dean of the Holy Resurrection Cathedral, Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and St. Herman Dean The Very Rev. John Dunlop. Father Chad and Dn. Evan presented lectures on priestly formation and iconography to seminarians, and joined local clergy for several Lenten services.
Deacon Evan recorded the annual missions trip in word and image: view the complete photo gallery.
Thursday, March 6
After flying through the night from Newark to Seattle to Anchorage and finally to Kodiak, we caught the end of Matins in the St. Herman Seminary Chapel. The weather was good, and so Fr. Innocent Dresdow brought us to Spruce Island, the beloved pilgrimage site for St. Herman of Alaska. Despite choppy seas, we made it back to Kodiak in time for the celebration of the Great Canon of St. Andrew. We were also able to venerate the relics of St. Herman in Holy Resurrection Cathedral.
Friday, March 7
In the morning we attended the Presanctified Liturgy, and afterwards Fr. Chad gave a number of SVS Press books to The Right Rev. David, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska (OCA) for the St. Herman Seminary library. In the afternoon, Fr. Chad spoke to the seminarians about priestly formation, encouraging the seminarians to attend to their own spiritual well-being in order to avoid clergy burnout.
Saturday, March 8
In the morning we attended the Divine Liturgy. In the afternoon, I spoke to the seminarians about icons, taking my title from the words of the Kontakion for the Sunday of Orthodoxy: “Salvation in Word and Images.”
Sunday, March 9
On Sunday morning, Fr. Chad preached the homily and we concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with Cathedral Dean Fr. Innocent, Seminary Dean Fr. John, and other seminary and local clergy. The liturgy concluded with a procession with icons. In the evening, we began the long journey home to Yonkers, NY.