Seminary celebrates fifty years of OED, SVS Press

St. Vladimir’s Seminary (SVOTS) celebrated two milestones at the 2018 edition of Orthodox Education Day (OED) on Saturday, October 6: fifty years of OED and fifty years of St. Vladimir’s Seminary (SVS) Press.

Education Day, which fell on the Feast of St. Innocent of Alaska, began with Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at which relics of St. Innocent were present. His Beatitude, the Most Blessed Tikhon, archbishop of Washington and metropolitan of All America and Canada, presided. Members of the Seminary community and OED guests packed into Three Hierarchs Chapel for liturgy; the Chapel was so full, in fact, that many had to stand outside in the narthex and outside as the Chapel doors were kept open for everyone to worship.

Listen to a recording of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on OED, October 6, 2018

The day included several more highlights befitting the historic celebration, including a passionate call to spread the Gospel as individuals in addition to supporting Orthodox evangelistic enterprises such as SVS Press and Ancient Faith Ministries.

“We have a responsibility to care for the souls of men and women for whom Christ died…” said John Maddex, CEO of Ancient Faith Ministries, and the keynote speaker for OED. “The best thing that ever happened to the world was when God came in the flesh and dwelt among us; his life, death, and resurrection brought love and healing to a sick and dying world.”

Listen to John Maddex’s keynote address, “Saving Some by All Means” (I Cor 9.22)

Following Maddex’s address, former SVS Press director Ted Bazil and SVOTS Professor Emeritus David Drillock offered a fantastic look back and wonderful stories from the fifty-year history of SVS Press and OED.

“It was during the summer of 1973 when I was in the bookstore, working late at night, that Ted Bazil, a seminarian who was working on the Seminary grounds crew, would see the light in the bookstore and come in, offering his assistance…” Drillock reminisced. “Since that time, I have had a really wonderful relationship with Ted.”

Bazil would go on to become manager and then director of SVS Press from 1973 until his retirement in 2012, helping to establish SVS Press as the largest and most active publisher of Orthodox Christian books in the English language.

“We had all this material then [c. 1974]; we actually started advertising it and were taking orders…but we didn’t have the books, because we couldn’t afford to buy the inventory,” Bazil laughed. “So what we had to do is work additional time, work additional hours and be very careful in how we managed and how we purchased…and we finally would receive this material in, and we would distribute it to our customers.” 

Listen to “50 Years: A First-Hand Look Back at SVS Press & OED”

Orthodox Education Day also featured bookstore and marketplace sales, a workshop for teens, children’s activities, food, and a fantastic performance at Three Hierarchs Chapel by the Boston Byzantine Choir in celebration of the choir’s own anniversary of 25 years since its founding

Listen to the Boston Byzantine Choir 25th Anniversary Concert

The day concluded with Vespers at the Chapel, with SVOTS Director of Music Robin Freeman conducting the choir.