“For The Life of the World” College Conference
5 October 2013 • On–Campus
On the first Saturday in October, over forty Orthodox college students gathered at St. Vladimir's for fellowship and spiritual encouragement during College Education Day. Special speakers The Rev. Christopher Foley (alumnus, '06), currently rector of Exaltation of Holy Cross Church, High Point, NC, and The Rev. Joel Weir, a graduate of St. Tikhon's Seminary and rector of St. Stephen the First Martyr Orthodox Church, Crawfordsville, IN, spoke about their transformative spiritual encounters with the writings of Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann. The well-known author and professor was dean of St. Vladimir's from 1962 until his death on December 13, 1983.
The conference coincided with the 50th anniversary of the publication of Fr. Alexander's seminal SVS Press book, For the Life of the World, which both speakers claimed set them upon the path to Orthodox Christianity and deepened their faith in Christ. The book, translated into at least 12 languages, was first printed in 1963 by the National Student Christian Federation.
Director of Admissions and Alumni Relations at St. Vladimir's Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak organized and served as host to the conference, which drew from several Orthodox Christian Fellowship (OCF) chapters on college and university campuses. "In this unique year," said Protodeacon Joseph, "our Events Committee decided to dedicate what normally is Orthodox Education Day to the spiritual growth of college and university students. It was an inspiring day for all of us, and we hope to find continued ways to minister to collegians."
Visiting students also gathered together for meals and conversation, and worshipped in Three Hierarchs Chapel: praying the Akathist Hymn for The Saints of North America and joining other members of the Seminary community for Great Vespers.