Seminary Represented at Western Rite Conference

5–8 August • Off Campus • Orchard Lake, MI

L to R: Fr. Edward Hughes, Bp. John Abdalah, Fr. Chad Hatfield, Ian AbodeelyL to R: Fr. Edward Hughes, Bp. John Abdalah, Fr. Chad Hatfield, Ian AbodeelySt. Vladimir’s Seminary was well represented at the biennial, pan-Orthodox conference of the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCANA), held in early August at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Roman Catholic Seminary, Orchard Lake, Michigan. The Right Rev. John Abdalah (Alumnus ‘84), auxiliary bishop for the Western Rite Vicariate, addressed the clergy and laity, while the Rite’s Vicar General, The Very Rev. Edward Hughes (Alumnus ‘80), and SVOTS Chancellor/CEO The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, were among the presenters.Fr. Chad's presentation at the conferenceFr. Chad's presentation at the conference

Third-year seminarian and organist Ian Abodeely coordinated all of the music for the conference, incorporating the music of Bach, Dupre, Williams, Charpentier, Purcell, Byrd, and others. The services were sung using traditional Gregorian modes. (Read Ian's reflections in "Seminarians Speak.")

Bishop John with Western Rite clergyBishop John with Western Rite clergyThe Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate oversees parishes and missions within the Archdiocese that worship according to traditional Western Christian liturgical forms, derived either from the Latin-speaking churches of the first millenium, or from later usages that are in conformity with the Orthodox Christian faith. More than 20 Western Rite Antiochian churches and missions located throughout the United States are in full communion with their brethren of the Byzantine Rite. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) also oversees a number of Western Rite parishes in the U.S.

Presentations focused on the theme of discipline in the spiritual life, with a guiding verse from I Corinthians: "Every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible." Mass was celebrated daily, together with Vespers and Lauds (morning prayer).

Bishop John gives the Final Blessing at Solemn High Mass, Feast of the Transfiguration.Bishop John gives the Final Blessing at Solemn High Mass, Feast of the Transfiguration.

Organist and seminarian Ian Abodeely (Jocelyn Mathewes, Studio Mathewes Photography)Organist and seminarian Ian Abodeely (Jocelyn Mathewes, Studio Mathewes Photography)At the conclusion of the conference, Fr. Chad remarked that “over the years Western Rite seminarians have attended St. Vladimir’s, and we hope to serve more of these students in the next few years. We appreciate their contributions and are working to make our link with the Western Rite tradition stronger through participation in events such as this recent one in Michigan.

“Various Eastern and Oriental Orthodox liturgical traditions are always represented in our student body,” he added. “This is one aspect of life at St. Vladimir’s that we value the most.”