Archbishop Anastasios of Albania Visits Campus
Hierarchical Visit • On-Campus • 30 January 2014
His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana, Durrës and All Albania, primate of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Albania, paid an informal visit to the seminary campus just on the eve of the Feast of the Three Hierarchs. During his short but impressive stay, he conversed comfortably and easily at an afternoon tea with administrators, faculty, and staff from the seminary, and administrators from the Office of the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), including His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, primate of the OCA and The Very Rev. Dr. John Jillions, chancellor.
Other guests at the gathering were His Eminence The Most Rev. Nikon, archbishop of Boston, New England, and the Albanian Archdiocese (OCA); His Eminence, Metropolitan John of Korçës, Albania; seminary Trustee Anne Glynn Mackoul; and The Reverend Archdeacon Panteleimon Papadopoulos, secretary to His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America. Mrs. Mackoul, who has known Archbishop Anastasios for sixteen years through their work together at the World Council of Churches (WCC), facilitated the visit, at the invitation of the seminary's Dean.
"I was so pleased to be able to help facilitate the invitation to His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios for an informal visit to the seminary," said Mrs. Mackoul. "His Beatitude and I had spoken the previous evening during the celebration sponsored by Fordham University's Orthodox Christian Studies Center on the occasion of his having been awarded an honorary degree and having delivered the annual Orthodoxy in America address and noted that St Vladimir's was 'just a stone's throw' from Fordham. It was wonderful that he was able to find the time to accept this impromptu invitation and a real joy for me to be able to welcome this beloved and venerable Orthodox patriarch again to our campus."
During the conversation Archbishop Anastasios gave attention to two topics—missionary activity and book publishing—with particular zeal.
"It was wonderful to be able to hear more about his rich experience in the missionary field and his thoughts about our task for [evangelization] today," said the Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, seminary Dean. Likewise, seminary Chancellor/CEO, The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, noted the archbishop's "appreciation for our seminarians who have been coming annually on mission trips to Albania."
The archbishop also had a focused conversation with SVS Press & Bookstore personnel about two of his books, as well as the publishing industry and the publications department of the Church in Albania and its distribution system. His Beatitude, who is Emeritus Professor of the History of Religions of the National University of Athens, where he taught for twenty years, has published eight books and more than 150 articles, including an SVS Press volume, Facing the World: Orthodox Christian Essays on Global Concerns.
"We were delighted with his company," said The Rev. Dr. Benedict Churchill, editor-in-chief at SVS Press, who met with the archbishop, along with Marketing and Operations Manager The Rev. Dn. Gregory Hatrak, and SVS Press Production Manager Michael Soroka.