Two Seminarians Ordained on Feast of Three Hierarchs
You are the light of the world.
A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
Gospel reading, January 30
Hierarchs of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) presided over the ordinations of two third-year seminarians in a joyous celebration marking The Feast of the Three Great Hierarchs—Ss. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom—patrons of St. Vladimir's Seminary Chapel. His Beatitude The Most Blessed Tikhon, primate of the Orthodox Church in America, ordained Alessandro Margheritino to the Holy Diaconate, and His Eminence the Most Rev. Nikon, archbishop of Boston, New England, and the Albanian Archdiocese, ordained Dn. Nicholas Roth to the Holy Priesthood. After the Liturgy, Chapel clergy and visiting priests blessed the administrative buildings, dormitories, and apartments of students, faculty and staff.
"It was a wonderful day, and I was glad to be able to share it with Dn. Alessandro," said the newly-ordained Fr. Nicholas, who has been serving this year at Ss. Peter and Paul in Jersey City. "I am excited about beginning my ministry and look forward to laboring in the vineyard with the support of Mat. Mary."
Prior to his arrival on campus, Fr. Nicholas served as a Captain in the Army. His military years commenced when he enlisted as an infantryman in 2001, and subsequently deployed overseas for three separate assignments: Iraq from 2005–2006, and again from 2007–2008 after being commissioned a Second Lieutenant; then Afghanistan from 2009–2010. An active participant in community life, Fr. Nicholas has served as a sacristan at Three Hierarchs Chapel, a representative on Student Council, and as the liaison to the Council for the St. Herman of Alaska Student Ecology Group.
Deacon Alessandro has been ministering at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Church in New Haven, CT this school year. "St. Vladimir's forms us with theological, liturgical and pastoral training. But no matter how 'prepared' you might feel, when led to the Altar through the Holy Doors, standing before the Holy Gifts for the first time, you feel a great sense of unworthiness. Then you realize more than ever that it is only with God's grace and the prayers of the faithful that you can begin your ministry."
Born and raised in Palermo, Italy, Dn. Alessandro hails from Ohio, where he is a faithful member of St. Gregory of Nyssa Orthodox Church (OCA) in Columbus with rector The Rev. Matthew Moriak. He has served in short-term missions with the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) and the International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) in Albania, Kenya, and Louisiana. The president of Student Council, he holds a B.A. in International Relations – Political Science from the University of Palermo, Italy, and is married to Anna, an iconographer originally from Moscow, Russia. Deacon Alessandro and Anna are expecting their first child at the beginning of April.
Metropolitan Tikhon's homily referred to the Gospel reading from Matthew 5. "We have the comfort of knowing that the Lord desires to dwell within us....Not only saints and bishops, but every Christian is called to reveal the light given to us at our baptism and chrismation. We can do this in whatever place we have been planted, with whatever personality we have been given."
Clergy joining Metropolitan Tikhon and Archbishop Nikon included: The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, Dean; The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, Chancellor/CEO; The Very Rev. Dr. John Jillions, OCA Chancellor; The Very Rev. Joseph Lickwar, Ss.Peter and Paul Church, Jersey City, NJ; The Very Rev. Michael Westerberg, Holy Transfiguration Church, New Haven, CT; The Very Rev.Eric Tosi, OCA Secretary; SVOTS Associate Professor of Pastoral Theology The Very Rev. Dr. Harry Pappas; The Very Rev. Marcus Burch, Chancellor (OCA Diocese of the South); SVOTS Assistant Professor of Homiletics and Rhetoric The Very Rev. Dr. Sergius Halvorsen; SVS Press Editor-in-Chief The Rev. Dr. Benedict Churchill; and The Rev. James Parnell, All Saints Church, Hartford, CT. In addition to ordinand Dn. Nicholas, four deacons participated: Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak, The Rev. Dn. Gregory Hatrak, The Rev. Dn. Scott Miller, and The Rev. Dn. Kyle Parrott.