Friendship with St. Joseph’s Seminary Expands

August 30, 2017 • On-campus

On Wednesday, August 30, 2017, nearly 90 seminarians and faculty from St. Joseph’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY, visited our campus. Included among the guests were the Seminary’s Rector, Msgr. Peter Vaccari, and the Most Reverend James Massa, auxiliary bishop of Brooklyn, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York.

The visitors first spent an intensive day studying the Eastern Churches on their own campus, and then arrived at St. Vladimir’s in the late afternoon to shop in the bookstore, attend daily vespers, dine with our community, and hear a presentation in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium, offered by Bishop Massa and Msgr. Peter representing St. Joseph’s Seminary; and Dr. Peter Bouteneff, professor of Systematic Theology, and Archpriest Chad Hatfield, president, representing St. Vladimir’s Seminary.

The presentation centered on contemporary issues of common concern, including: the rising number of Christian martyrs in the Middle East and North Africa; moral conduct and ethical imperatives; missionary efforts in post-Communist countries; and the Great and Holy Council of Crete held during Pentecost 2016. In particular the presentation focused on the relationship between Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the “new ecumenism” that their friendship has spawned. Discussion time was also given to the historic meeting between Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and Pope Francis in Cuba, which occurred in Havana in 2016.

Historically St. Vladimir’s and St. Joseph’s seminaries have engaged in various cooperative efforts, and most recent common endeavors include a joint concert, "Magnificat: Hymns to the Mother of God from the East and West"; and a shared seminar presented by Theresa Burke, Ph.D., LPC, NCP, the founder of Rachel’s Vineyard Ministries, a non-profit that focuses on the healing of post-abortion trauma. 

“My personal hope,” said seminary President Archpriest Chad Hatfield, “is to see exactly how we can further expand our relationship.

“A second meeting, to be held at St. Joseph’s with our own seminarians and faculty visiting, is being proposed,” he noted, “and I am also up for a friendly basketball game!”

St. Joseph’s Seminary and College, founded in 1896, is the major seminary of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of New York. It was authorized by the Board of Regents of the State of New York to grant the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1908, Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in 1921, and Bachelor of Divinity in 1965. The New York State Education Department granted St. Joseph’s permission to offer the Master of Divinity Degree in 1971, and the Master of Arts Degree in Theology in 1987. In addition, St. Joseph’s has been accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education since 1961 and the Association of Theological Schools since 1973.The Seminary is also affiliated with the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome, which allows for seminarians to receive the Pontifical Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree (S.T.B.) and which represents an acknowledgement of the Seminary’s intellectual formation program as the ecclesiastical equivalent of the “First Cycle” in the Roman Pontifical University system.