Ohio Gala Supports Seminary

April 30, 2017 • North Canton, OH

With the blessing of His Grace Irinej, bishop of the Eastern Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church and St. Vladimir’s Seminary alumnus (M.Div. ’82), the parish community of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, North Canton, OH, hosted an alumni gathering and gala banquet in support of the Seminary on Sunday, April 30. The events coincided with the “Slava,” or patron saint’s day, of the parish.

His Grace Bishop Irinej, speaking at the benefit gala (photo: Adrienne Soper)His Grace Bishop Irinej, speaking at the benefit gala (photo: Adrienne Soper)Besides His Grace, five other seminary alumni are native sons of the St. George parish: its current rector, Fr. Aleksa Pavichevich (who is also enrolled in the Doctor of Ministry program at St. Vladimir's); Fr. Pete Pritza (+); Fr. Dan Rogich, rector of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Canton, OH; Fr. John Zdinak, dean of St. Theodosius Cathedral, Cleveland, OH; and Dn. Larry Soper, 1st-year seminarian. In recognition of the deep bond existing between the parish and the Seminary, Archpriest Chad Hatfield, president of St. Vladimir’s, presented the community with an icon of the Great and Holy Prince Vladimir, during the celebration.

At the gala’s banquet, His Grace presented the main keynote, sharing a story of a blessing he had received from St. Nikolai Velimirovic while still in his mother’s womb, and transitioning to the impact St. Nikolai had on the life and development of St. Vladimir’s Seminary. Father Chad spoke of the Seminary’s historical witness and impact on the development of Orthodoxy in North America, and emphasized also the rigorous academic standards and full and robust liturgical life offered to seminarians during their training. Church Board President Nick Pribich spoke about the impact his recent trip to St. Vladimir’s made on him, and the other parishioners who had accompanied him.

Archpriest Chad Hatfield with seminary alumni at the gala (photo: Adrienne Soper)Archpriest Chad Hatfield with seminary alumni at the gala (photo: Adrienne Soper)Alex Machaskee, executive chair of the Board of Trustees at St. Vladimir’s, thanked all those present for their support of the seminary, and he thanked His Grace in particular for his support in the continued growth of the seminary community. He highlighted the historic connection between the Belgrade Theological Faculty and St. Vladimir’s, noting that with the leadership and support of His Grace Bishop Irinej this connection would develop into a profound, working relationship.

To read more about the gala and to see a full photo gallery, visit the website of the Eastern Diocese of America, Serbian Orthodox Church.

Does your parish want to host an event in support of St. Vladimir’s Seminary? Call Matushka Robyn Hatrak at 914.961.8313 x330 or email: events@svots.edu.