Seminary Community Bids Farewell to Father Steven Belonick

3 May 2012 • Community Gathering

Student wife Mat. Tamara Yates presents Fr. Steven with a "Memory Book" from the seminarians and chapel community.Student wife Mat. Tamara Yates presents Fr. Steven with a "Memory Book" from the seminarians and chapel community.At a dinner following the service of Vespers on Thursday, May 3rd, the seminary community bid farewell to Archpriest Steven J. Belonick, who served most recently as Campus Chaplain at St. Vladimir’s. Father Steven, who was employed at the seminary from 2000–2011, was assigned as rector of Holy Ghost Russian Orthodox Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut on March 3, 2012.

During his tenure at the seminary, Fr. Steven held several positions besides his most recent one, including: Director of Recruitment, Public Relations Officer, Alumni Director, and Dean of Students. He is a 1977 graduate of St. Vladimir’s and holds a Master of Divinity degree from the school.

Reflecting upon his several years at St. Vladimir’s, Fr. Steven said, “I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of love from the students, their families, the seminary administration, and the chapel community on my departure from the seminary. 

“These twelve years have been some of the most challenging and yet rewarding years of my life as a priest,” he continued, “and I wouldn’t change them for anything. 

“The friendships and working relationships that have developed over the years with students, faculty, members of the Board of Trustees, and alumni alike have enriched me and my family in ways that are beyond measure,” he concluded, “and I will remember all of them regularly in my prayers. I am so grateful to God for all of His gifts to me.”

The dinner was spearheaded by the seminarians and their families, and Fr. Steven especially thanked Matushki Katie Bozeman, Tamara Yates, and Samantha Paezand Trish Horstman—wives of current seminarians—for organizing the get-together. Well-wishers also included members of Three Hierarchs Chapel, to which Fr. Steven was attached during his time at the seminary.

The student and chapel communities presented Fr. Steven with a going away monetary gift as well as a “Memory Book” that expressed their gratitude for his work as Campus Chaplain. The seminary Dean Archpriest John Behr and seminary Chancellor/CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield also expressed their gratitude to Fr. Steven for his work in many capacities at the seminary throughout his years there.

View a gallery of photos of the dinner, taken by seminarian spouse Leanne Parrott, here.