Community Life: “Grandfather” Joseph and “Aunt” Vera Honored

Two longstanding members of our Three Hierarchs Chapel community were honored following the hierarchal Divine Liturgy on Sunday, May 20, 2017: Joseph Domanick and Vera Hubiak. His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, primate of the Orthodox Church in America and chair of the Board of Trustees, presented Joe with an icon of St. Joseph the Betrothed, and Vera with a gramota, in recognition of their service to our seminary community.

Now 92+ years old, Joe takes a personal interest in every student he meets. Over the years, he has shown equal love and kindness to others in the wider chapel community. Around campus, he may be seen quietly reading biblical commentaries in the library, participating in or helping out at campus events—like Orthodox Education Day—praying at liturgical services, or vigorously socializing at coffee hour.

“This icon depicts St. Joseph the Betrothed,” said seminary President Archpriest Chad Hatfield, as he addressed Joe during the recognition ceremony, “and I could not imagine a more fitting image. Like Joseph watched over Mary, you have nurtured and cared for the students, children, and members of the chapel community. Just by your presence, you set an example of God’s grace, and we thank you for all that you do and have done.”

Likewise, Vera has been a longtime member of the Seminary’s chapel community. Formally, she sings in the choir, volunteers for various jobs around the seminary, hosts coffee hour, organizes Holy Supper on the Eve of the Nativity, and coordinates participation in St. Bart’s Soup Kitchen in White Plains.

“Besides all of that, Vera visits our community members in the hospital or in their homes,” noted Fr. Chad. “She looks after so many in our community, making sure that they and we all stay connected. She has also gone out of her way to bring people to services here in our Chapel.

“Joe and Vera,” concluded Fr. Chad, “on behalf on the entire seminary community, thank you for everything you have done for us and everything you have given us.”

Additionally, Fr. Chad gifted Joe and his wife Teresa with a special illuminated honorary certificate for their “exemplary” service to the community.

Photo by Mary Honoré