Dean and Chancellor Minister to the Wider Church in Lenten Spring

23 April 2013 • Off–Campus

Fr. John leads clergy retreat for the Greek Metropolis of DenverFr. John leads clergy retreat for the Greek Metropolis of Denver

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Kodiak and Fairbanks, Alaska...Denver, Colorado...Orlando and Jacksonville, Florida...Cincinnati, Ohio...Worcester,With St. George parishioners in Worcester, MAWith St. George parishioners in Worcester, MA Massachusetts...Charleston, South Carolina. By the end of this season of Great Lent, Chancellor/CEO The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield and The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir's Seminary, will have visited parishes on both coasts and many points in between, serving and presenting homilies, lectures, and retreats, in service of Christ's Church.

Father John Behr kicked off his busy retreat schedule with a full Florida weekend; he presented two parish retreats on the topic "Becoming Human," which also is the title of his upcoming SVS Press book. Members of St. Stephen the Protomartyr Orthodox Church in Longwood, and its rector, The Rev. Daniel Hickman (alumnus '10); and the parish of St. Justin Martyr Orthodox Church (OCA), with its rector, The Very Rev. Ted Pisarchuk (alumnus '94), warmly welcomed him.

In a Colorado Rocky Mountain weekend, The Very Rev. Seraphim Gisetti hosted Fr. John as he offered two retreats: one for clergy of the Greek Metropolis of Denver; and a public retreat at St. John Chrysostom Church in Golden (Antiochian Archdiocese).

In Worcester, Massachusetts, St. Vladimir's Alumni Board Chair Gregory Abdalah (SVOTS '08) planned a unique "Silent Lenten Retreat" at St. George Orthodox Cathedral, whose rector is Fr. Milad Selim; Fr. John was guest presenter. Lastly, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Fr. John joined The Very Rev. Steven Kostoff (alumnus '81) and the Christ the Savior/Holy Spirit Church community for an eventful weekend of talks and a meeting with the Indianapolis Deanery. 

Criss–crossing the United States several times, Fr. Chad Hatfield visited Alaska twice during the Lenten season. His theme for this year's Lenten talks was "The Three 'M's – Mary, Mysteries and Mission" and in his retreats, Fr. Chad elaborated that there are "three assured paths to spiritual renewal as we participate in the Great Fast: Mary and the incarnation, the mysteries of Baptism and the Eucharist, and our vocation and calling to mission." During the first trip to Kodiak, two seminarians joined the Chancellor to assist him in a workshop offered to students at sister institution, St. Herman's Theological Seminary. In the first week of April, Fr. Chad returned to the state to the city of Fairbanks, where he presented a retreat to parishioners and guests at St. Herman Church, the northernmost Orthodox parish on the continent. 

In between his Alaskan ministries, he joined the St. Vladimir's Seminary Octet for a day of teaching and music at the St. Andrew's Orthodox Church (OCA) in Dix Hills, New York. In a second Lenten Octet visit, this time to St. Anthony Orthodox Church (Antiochian) with The Very Rev. Joseph Allen in Bergenfield, NJ, Fr. Chad offered the homily and addressed parishioners after the Liturgy. Mindful of St. Vladimir's many Southern connections, Fr. Chad also spent a fruitful weekend with alumnus Fr. John Parker and the parish of the Holy Ascension Orthodox Church, Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.

"What a blessing it was for me personally and for our parish to welcome Fr. Chad to Holy Ascension for our end-of-Lent Retreat," noted Fr. John Parker. "His words to us on Christian discipleship as it relates to 'Mary, Mysteries, and Mission' were not only refreshing, but also encouraging, compelling, and practical."

Fr. Chad and Fr. John in Mt. Pleasant, SCFr. Chad and Fr. John in Mt. Pleasant, SC

Bergenfield, NJ: Fr. Chad offers the homily (Photo: Dn. G. Hatrak)Bergenfield, NJ: Fr. Chad offers the homily (Photo: Dn. G. Hatrak)