Seminary Appeal Will Aid Suffering Syrian Christians

When Patriarch John X (Yazigi), Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East, visits the United States this fall, he will receive not only warm wishes but also a charitable gift from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. The gift, intended to aid suffering Orthodox Christians in Syria, will be presented to His Beatitude in December and will represent a tithe (one-tenth) of the Seminary’s #GivingTuesday appeal.

“Life has a deeper meaning than fighting crowds on Black Friday or scouring the web for the best deals on Cyber Monday,” said seminary Chancellor/CEO The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield. “That’s why St. Vladimir’s is participating in #GivingTuesday, a national day of charitable giving.

“Four generous donors are heavily supporting this effort, in matching five-to-one any charitable donation given that day, so a $10 gift will transform into a $50 gift, and a $100 gift will transform into $500 gift,” explained Fr. Chad, “and these donations will provide not only for our seminarians but also for our suffering brothers and sisters in the Middle East.

“Our seminary community felt impelled to share whatever is given to us with the Orthodox Christians in Syria, in light of their horrific plight,” he continued. “So, on December 2nd, whatever monies come in, we’re going give a full tithe to His Beatitude John X, who realistically will know how to distribute this funds ‘at ground zero’ so to speak. With each of our four generous supporters matching up to $5,000, it would be within reason to expect that we could potentially take in $25,000 on that day, with $2,500 going to our brothers and sisters in Syria.

“Right now, we’re asking Orthodox Christians in the U.S. to get help us get the word out on their social media networks, through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram,” Fr. Chad concluded, “and to stay in the loop about this venture by signing up for #GivingTuesday emails.

Patriarch John X will visit the U.S. to preside at the enthronement of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph, who was elected as Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCANA) on July 3, 2014, by the Holy Synod of Antioch, meeting in Balamand, Lebanon. Events related to the enthronement will take place during the weekend of December 5 through 7, 2014, at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, New York. The actual enthronement will take place in conjunction with a Service of Thanksgiving on Saturday, December 6.