26-27 January 2013 • Off-Campus • Virginia Nieuwsma
Over a busy weekend in the nation's capital, His Beatitude the Most Blessed Tikhon , archbishop of Washington and metropolitan of All America and Canada, was enthroned at St. Nicholas Cathedral, the primatial cathedral for the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). Liturgical events began with Saturday evening Vigil and continued with the Sunday Hierarchical Liturgy, attended by the OCA's Holy Synod of Bishops as well as dignitaries from several Orthodox communities from North America and overseas. The Seminary's delegation to the event consisted of SVOTS Chancellor/CEO The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield and Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak, director of Admissions and Alumni Relations, who served alongside several alumni. Additionally, Dr. David Drillock, emeritus professor of Liturgical Music, directed the choir, and Seminary Dean The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr and Senior Advisor Theodore Bazil also attended the Liturgy.
At the celebratory banquet afterwards, held at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, Fr. Chad noted that "I was impressed with and encouraged by His Beatitude's comment during his address at the banquet: that he would make the OCA seminaries and their needs a high priority of his primacy."
Born Marc R. Mollard in Boston MA on July 15, 1966, His Beatitude entered the monastic community at St. Tikhon's Monastery shortly after his reception into the Orthodox Church in 1989. On February 14, 2004, he was consecrated to the episcopacy at St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery Church, to serve the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania for the OCA. On May 9, 2012, he was elevated to the dignity of Archbishop.
On Tuesday, November 13, 2012, clergy and lay delegates, in concert with the OCA's Holy Synod, elected Archbishop Tikhon as their Beatitude at the 17th All-American Council held in Parma, OH. Upon his election he assumed the ex officio positions of President of the Seminary and Chair of its Board of Trustees. Dean Behr explained that "the Seminary community anticipates His Beatitude's first visit to our campus following his Enthronement, when he will preside at Three Hierarchs Chapel for the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord on February 2, 2013, and will receive a special primatial gift we've prepared for him."
The Enthronement capped off an eventful weekend, which also included St. Vladimir's participation in Friday's Washington, D.C. March for Life, held every year in conjunction with the anniversary of the Supreme Court's 1973 Roe V. Wade decision which legalized abortion in all fifty states. United States Representative Chris Smith (NJ, 4th District), a featured speaker at the March for Life, attended Sunday's Enthronement banquet and expressed to Chancellor Hatfield his appreciation for the growing Orthodox Christian participation in Pro life events.