Alumni News

SVS Press books sent to 3,000 Ethiopian seminarians

Author: 
Deborah Belonick

Father Seth at Commencement 2017 (photo Mary Honoré)Father Seth at Commencement 2017 (photo Mary Honoré)When Alumnus Fr. Seth Earl graduated from our Seminary in May 2017, the Commencement Program noted his “commendation for service to community.”

No surprise there. During his student days, Fr. Seth had been actively involved in the Student Council, especially in creating and presiding over one of its associated Student Interest Groups: the “St. Moses Society,” an organization that endeavors to foster meaningful conversation on race in the Orthodox Church today. He also had represented St. Vladimir’s at the Orthodox Inter-Seminary Meeting (OISM) gathering in 2015.

Neither was it a surprise when Fr. Seth was named Assistant Priest of St. John the Wonderworker Church, a vibrant parish in the Diocese of the South, Orthodox Church in America, known for active outreach to its neighbors in Atlanta, Georgia.

However—even anticipating Fr. Seth’s community-centered mindset—it was a surprise to learn he recently collaborated with a parishioner of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Mission in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to send dozens of theological books to 3,000 seminarians in Ethiopia! (Father Seth is “on loan” to the Appalachian Deanery every other weekend, serving Divine Liturgy at the St. Tikhon’s Mission.)

The Ethiopian effort was conceived by Dean Arnold, choir director and chairman of the parish council at St. Tikhon’s Mission. Arnold had previously forged friendships with leaders of Holy Trinity Theological College, in Addis Ababa (HTTC), Ethiopia, the center of theological and ecclesiastical study for all Oriental Orthodox Churches, which provides religious and secular instruction to both clergy and lay members of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church. During Arnold’s time in Ethiopia, he noted the lack of theological books in the library of HTTC, where 3,000 students are enrolled.

(from left) Perusing the book donations: Vice Academic Dean of HTTC Girma Batu, Dean W. Arnold, Archbishop Themotewos, head of HTTC, and Levi Crawford(from left) Perusing the book donations: Vice Academic Dean of HTTC Girma Batu, Dean W. Arnold, Archbishop Themotewos, head of HTTC, and Levi Crawford“Because Amazon does not ship economically to Ethiopia—this country also bans Starbucks and other global corporations—the students literally cannot get the books they crave to read: Schmemann, Lossky, Meyendorff, and so forth,” explained Arnold. So, upon his return to the States, Arnold took it upon himself to sound the alarm and to call for book donations.

That’s when Fr. Seth stepped in to lend a hand. He helped to arrange, with St. Vladimir’s President, Fr. Chad Hatfield, to have SVS Bookstore bundle up brand new books written by in-demand Orthodox authors—John Meyendorff, John Zizioulas, Georges Florovsky, Vladimir Lossky, Nicholas Afanasiev, Alexander Schmemann, Kallistos Ware, John Behr, and Hilarion Alfeyev. Then, friends of Fr. Seth, who were traveling from New York to Atlanta, delivered them to Fr. Seth, and over Christmas break, he hauled them from Atlanta to Chattanooga and delivered them to Arnold.

Arnold and fellow parishioner Levi Crawford then packed the books in boxes and made the two-legged plane journey to Addis Ababa.  “The Ethiopians were simply delighted to receive their books!” Arnold reported. Officials of HTTC even sent a formal letter of gratitude to him, expressing their thanks for the “spirit of Christian fraternity” exhibited by the donation.

As for Fr. Seth, he says he’s overjoyed to have been able to extend his “community service” to his African brothers and sisters. No surprise there.

Previous Alumni News:

Title Authorsort icon Date
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Two Seminary Alumni Fall Asleep in the Lord: Fr. Theodore Ziton and Annette Milkovich Deborah (Malacky) Belonick April 28, 2011
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Memory Eternal: Archpriest Michael Kovach (1918-2013), member of first graduating class Deborah (Malacky) Belonick July 13, 2013
Alumni Association Honors Dean Emeritus Deborah (Malacky) Belonick December 6, 2013
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Alumnus Elected Metropolitan of Finnish Diocese Deborah (Malacky) Belonick December 1, 2014
Alumnus Deacon Joseph Gall Ordained to Priesthood Deborah (Malacky) Belonick February 23, 2016
Alumnus is Enthroned as Bishop of Dallas and the South Deborah (Malacky) Belonick June 14, 2016
Bishop Basil (SVS '73) Elected Secretary to Episcopal Assembly Deborah Belonick July 24, 2010
Alumnus Archpriest Paul Shafran Honored on 65th Anniversary of Ordination Deborah Belonick December 31, 2012
Seminary Alumnus Nominated to See of Dallas and the South Deborah Belonick February 26, 2015
Alumni to speak at Pan-Orthodox Conference on Diaconate Deborah Belonick April 20, 2017
Alumnus Prepares for Home-Building Teams in Tijuana Deborah Belonick May 4, 2017
Alumnus Facilitates Performance to Support People with Dementia Deborah Belonick January 4, 2018
SVS Press books sent to 3,000 Ethiopian seminarians Deborah Belonick February 12, 2018
Archpriest John Matusiak (SVOTS ’75) Speaks at Christian Education Conference in Poland Deborah Belonick, Web Editor October 7, 2010
Fr. Michael and Mat. Lydia Westerberg Celebrate 30 Years in New Haven Parish Deborah Belonick, Web Editor October 12, 2010
Archpriest Alexander Atty Installed as Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary Deborah Belonick, Web Editor November 10, 2010
In Memoriam: + Archpriest Thomas Succarotte Deborah Malacky Belonick August 11, 2015
Alumnus Delivers Address at Orthodox-Evangelical Dialogue in Finland Dr. Bradley Nassif September 29, 2015
Alumnus publishes article in Christianity Today Dr. Bradley Nassif December 19, 2017
Fayette County Jail: A ‘Womb’ of Transformation Dr. Nancy Holloway August 21, 2017
Alumnus remembers Dean Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko († 18 March 2015) Father John Parker March 24, 2017
Planting Grant Missions: Digital tools for the "Modern Fishermen" Fr Andre Paez September 12, 2016
"A Living Bible": Alumnus Fr. Aaron Warwick Reflects on Dr. Nicolae Roddy Fr. Aaron Warwick, Alumnus, '09 February 9, 2016
Fr. Andrew Cuneo's Parish Receives Planting Grant Fr. John Matusiak, Oca.org June 16, 2014
Parish of Alumnus Receives OCA Mission Grant Fr. John Matusiak, Oca.org September 27, 2014
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Archpriest Paul Gassios (SVOTS '94) Nominated for Chicago See Fr. John Matusiak, Oca.org October 7, 2014
Alumni Bless Site of Future Church Fr. John Matusiak, Oca.org June 10, 2015
Alumnus' Parish Receives Planting Grant Fr. John Matusiak, Oca.org November 24, 2015
Alumnus Leads Mission Parish in "Manifesting the Love of God" Fr. John Matusiak, Oca.org March 24, 2016
Alumnus Leads Mission Parish in Establishing Orthodox Presence Fr. John Matusiak, Oca.org April 19, 2016
Alumnus Speaks on the Growth of Mayan Orthodoxy in Guatemala Jesse Brandow May 27, 2014
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Alumnus Archpriest Sergei Glagolev Receives Miter, and Recognition at Music Conference Mat. Deborah Belonick June 22, 2017
Alumnus Archpriest Kirill Sokolov Leads 11th Annual Diaconal Practicum Mat. Deborah Belonick June 28, 2017
Father Gregory Brent Gilbert Featured in Baltimore Sun Mat. Deborah Belonick July 10, 2017
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Alumnus Archimandrite Warsonofiusz (Varsonufry) Ordained Bishop of Siemiatycze, Poland Mat. Deborah Belonick October 11, 2017
Miter granted to Alumnus Protopresbyter Leonid Kishskovsky Mat. Deborah Belonick November 12, 2017
Celebrating a saint, remembering his footsteps Mat. Deborah Belonick December 6, 2017
Alumnus Assumes “Emil and Elfriede Jochum Professor and Chair” at Valparaiso University Mat. Deborah Belonick December 27, 2017
In Memoriam: Archpriest Aaron Archer OCA / SVOTS November 16, 2012
New Building for Fr. Justin Patterson and Parish Community Oca.org July 30, 2014
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In Memoriam: Ludwig Djaparidze (SVOTS '90) Pdn Joseph Matusiak December 13, 2012
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In Memoriam: Tenth Anniversary of the Repose of Bishop Boris (SVOTS '46) Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak December 29, 2010
Father Rauno Pietarinen (SVOTS '80) Begins One Year Ministry to the Skolt Sami People in Northern Finland Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak June 2, 2011
SVOTS ALUM AWARDED FULBRIGHT FELLOWSHIP Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak June 24, 2011
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In Memoriam: Reverend Deacon Richard Howrilka Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak January 8, 2013
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Seminary Alumnus Elected Bishop for Ukrainian Catholic Epharcy of Parma Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak September 11, 2014
Alumnus Fr. Jerome Cwiklinski Honored for Distinguished Service Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak September 27, 2014
Archpriest Peter Baktis, Ch (COL) USA, Honored for 25 Years of Service Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak March 9, 2015
He's There for You Ralph Toss October 22, 2015
In Memoriam + the Reverend Dr. John T. Tavlarides Robin Freeman September 29, 2015
Alumnus Fr. Mardiros Chevian Appointed Dean of St. Nersess Armenian Seminary Virginia Nieuwsma December 11, 2012
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Fr. Christopher Eid (SVOTS 2010) Named Cathedral Dean Virginia Nieuwsma February 3, 2015
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Former student is Ambassador to the Vatican World Council of Churches September 27, 2014
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