Alumni Web News - February 2003

Dear Friends,

We are glad to be in contact with you again. If you remember from our last correspondence, the students had completed their finals and had left for their semester break. They returned two weeks ago and seem well rested. We are glad to report that seven new students joined the seminary community since then -- four of whom are full-time and three part-time.

January began with the celebration of the Feast of Epiphany and all the pre-festal services associated with it. The feast was as joyful as ever, with the celebration of the Liturgy, the blessing of water, the blessing of Troublesome Brook, and the procession to bless faculty and staff homes and to enjoy good food and fellowship.

Although students did not begin arriving on campus until the later part of January, activity on and off the campus was busy. Dean Erickson, Fr. Paul Lazor, and Fr. Timothy Blumentritt traveled to Indianapolis to participate in a forum of seminaries that have received the Lilly Endowment grants for the enhancement of congregational ministries. The schools inform and educate each other on how they have utilized their funds. Each time our representatives participate, they return not only with new ideas, but also are encouraged by how well SVS measures up to much larger seminaries.

The new semester began on January 20-21. Besides the new students, two new faculty members are teaching this semester. Ann Mitsakos (�00) is traveling back and forth from Boston to teach two courses in Religious Education - 'St John Chrysostom as Educator' and the basic course on teaching and preaching which she shares with Fr Timothy Blumentritt. We are also pleased to have Fr Luke Veronis, graduate from Holy Cross and a missionary in Albania for many years, teaching a course on 'Mission and Evangelism: An Orthodox Perspective.' Fr Luke also travels weekly from Boston.

During the month, much discussion has been given to major events - the re-organization of the Summer Institute, the Youth Institute for high-school juniors, a new look and format for SVS News, and a spring open house for prospective students. Of particular importance were two major events on campus -- the Fr. Alexander Schmemann Lecture and the Mission Symposium. Let me say a word about each.

The Schmemann lecture took place on the Feast of the Three Hierarchs, patronal feast of the seminary's chapel. His Grace, Bishop Nikon (OCA) celebrated the Vigil the evening before and presided at the Liturgy. After the Liturgy, all dormitory rooms, faculty offices, and staff offices were blessed. That evening, a record number of people (more than 250) packed the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium to hear Princeton Professor Albert Raboteau speak on 'Orthodoxy and American Culture: Conflict or Transformation?' The full text of his talk will be up on the seminary's web site soon.

We are also excited about the Mission Symposium featuring Archbishop Anastasios (Yannoulatos) of Albania, which will be held Thursday and Friday, February 27-28. Before the Archbishop delivers his keynote address at 7:30pm on Thursday, the seminary will bestow on him the degree of Doctor of Divinity honoris causa. Please check our web site for full details of the events and speakers.


Dean John Erickson, Dr John Barnet, Fr Alexander Rentel, and Dr Al Rossi will be featured speakers at a series presented by the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral, NYC on pre-lenten Wednesdays. The theme of the series is 'Fear and Faith.'

Fr John Behr, who is on sabbatical, is offering a weekly lecture series on Jesus Christ at St John's Episcopal Church, NYC

Fr Paul Lazor will be in St Paul the Apostle Church in Las Vegas, NV February 15-19, and at SS Peter and Paul Church in Phoenix, AZ February 22-23.


Nicholas Denysenko ('00) was ordained to the diaconate on January 18th by His Grace, Bishop Job (OCA) at Holy Trinity Church, St. Paul, MN.

Marc Boulos ('98) was ordained to the priesthood on January 19th by His Grace, Bishop Job (OCA) at St. Mary's Cathedral, Minneapolis, MN.

Nicolae Roddy ('89), Assistant Professor in Old Testament at Creighton University in Omaha, NE, has written a book called The Romanian Version of the Testament of Abraham: Text, Translation, and Cultural Context, recently published by the Society of Biblical Literature (2001).

Fr Martin Kraus ('02) and his wife Denise are parents of a new infant girl, Macrina, who was born on New Year's Day. Macrina was 8lbs, 1oz. and joins her siblings, Martin and Kyra. The Krauses are serving St Vladimir�s Church (OCA) in Trenton, NJ. Do you have news to share? Alumni News will be featured here in E-News, Web-News, as well as in the SVS News. Please contact Fr Steven Belonick at


Dave Drillock is recovering from angioplasty that he underwent in December. He has a new regimen of exercise and a change of diet. Change is difficult, but Dave is adjusting well.

Memory Eternal to Nikita Koulomzin, the husband of the late seminary professor Sophie Koulomzin, who fell asleep in the Lord January 24th. He was present at the Sunday Liturgy a week before he died where Fr Paul Lazor recognized him for having turned 99 years old in December.


Deacon James Coles was ordained to the priesthood by His Grace, Bishop Basil (AOCA) on January 6th at the Church of The Holy Prophet Elias, Santa Fe, NM.

Deacon Oliver Herbel was ordained to the priesthood by His Grace, Bishop Job (OCA) on January 18th at Holy Trinity Church, St Paul, MN.

Noah Bushelli was ordained to the diaconate by Bishop Antoun (AOCA) at the Christmas Liturgy at St George Church in Little Falls, NJ.

John Parker was ordained to the diaconate by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman (OCA) on the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, November 21, at the seminary�s Three Hierarchs Chapel.

Part-time student, Brian (Mark) Barber, was received into the Orthodox Church by chrismation on January 26, 2003.

Finally, on behalf of the faculty, staff, and students, may the Lord keep you well. Please pray for us as we do you. We will be in touch again in March.