From East and West: Diocesan Representatives Visit SVOTS

20–26 February 2013 • On–Campus

Diocese of the West students with Fr. Matthew and Fr. Basil (Photo: L. Osburn)Diocese of the West students with Fr. Matthew and Fr. Basil (Photo: L. Osburn)On February 20, 2013, The Very Rev. Basil Rhodes (St. Nicholas Church, Saratoga, CA) and The Very Rev. Matthew Tate (Church of the Annunciation, Milwaukie, OR), two deans from the Diocese of the West, Orthodox Church in America (OCA), visited their diocesan students and Fr. John Kowalczyk, chancellor of the Diocese of Eastern PAFr. John Kowalczyk, chancellor of the Diocese of Eastern PAspouses at St. Vladimir's Seminary: Stephen and Lindsey Osburn, Martha Carlisle, James and Danielle Wiegel, Dn. Andre and Mtka. Samantha Paez, and Ashli Moore. In addition to hosting a pastoral meeting with all the westerners to hear feedback about their time at seminary, Fr. Basil and Fr. Matthew paid special attention to those students and families who are concluding their years at SVOTS in May and thinking about future parish placement. In the evening, the entire group also went out to a local restaurant to extend their time of fellowship.

"It is always a great joy for us to be able to visit our seminarians at both STOTS and SVOTS," said Fr. Matthew afterwards. "We are always humbled by the incredible sacrifice that the students and their families make in their preparation to serve the Church. It's also impressive to see the wonderful transformation in them over the course of three years.

"We especially appreciated having an evening with Fr. John Behr to discuss the future of St. Vladimir's," continued Fr. Matthew. "His love for the work of the Seminary and his infectious enthusiasm for his teaching was very encouraging!" 

The following Monday and Tuesday, a delegation from the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania led by Chancellor The Very Rev. John Kowalczyk also visited campus. The group of Pennsylvanian clergy all participated in a diocesan retreat with Dr. Albert Rossi, adjunct professor of Pastoral Theology. Professor Rossi offered two talks on prayer and healing, and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology Dr. Peter Bouteneff led an evening group discussion titled "Church and Culture." While on campus, the Diocese also hosted a wine and cheese reception for seminarians and their families, featuring wine from the Monastery of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk in South Canaan, PA.