Seminary hosts open house; Hierarch visits from Lebanon

St. Vladimir’s Seminary welcomed several guests to campus Thursday, March 8, including a hierarch from Lebanon and nine prospective students. The visiting hierarch and the prospective students each came for a glimpse into seminary life at St. Vladimir’s.


His Eminence Metropolitan Antonios (Al-Soury) of Zahle, Baalbek and Dependencies in Lebanon (Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East) visited the seminary Thursday morning along with His Grace Bishop John of Worcester and New England of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCANA). The hierarchs were joined by Rev. Dn. Nektarios Ibrahim, who was travelling with His Eminence Metropolitan Antonios.

A large group assembled to welcome the distinguished guests upon their arrival to campus, including Seminary President Archpriest Chad Hatfield, Archpriest Alexander Rentel, ecclesiarch and assistant professor of Canon Law and Byzantine Studies, and numerous seminarians under the jurisdiction of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

His Eminence Metropolitan Antonios and His Grace Bishop John offered prayers at Three Hierarchs Chapel, and later toured the campus grounds and bookstore. During the visit, seminary faculty shared with His Eminence how the school accommodates its seminarians from the Antiochian Orthodox tradition.

"Fr. Chad, Dr. [John] Barnet, and I informed the metropolitan about the classes that are taught at St. Vladimir’s Seminary for the Antiochian seminarians, and also the services in the Chapel that are served according to the rubrics and practices of the Archdiocese,” said Fr. Rentel. “We told him that we are the only seminary in North America which can do such things."

Well over a dozen seminarians from the Antiochian Archdiocese are currently enrolled at St. Vladimir’s Seminary.


Nine prospective students braved the snow and difficult travel conditions to attend an open house at St. Vladimir’s Seminary on Thursday.

“Difficult” may be an understatement for one of those prospective seminarians, Michael Fiocca, and his wife, Lucy, who traveled with him from Philadelphia to attend the open house.

"We were diverted twice,” Michael explained. “We dodged a falling tree, had a huge boulder, I think, fall on top of my car, and then a large ice cube fell on my windshield—[but] nothing was broken. It was down to single-lane traffic; it was really bumpy, but I was determined to get here!"

Joining Michael and Lucy at the open house were prospective students from locations across the country, including Dallas, Florida, Chicago, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

The group enjoyed a full day’s worth of activities. The day began with Matins at Three Hierarchs Chapel, followed by breakfast and a welcome from Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield, the Seminary President. The prospective students then attended classes, toured the campus, learned about degree programs and financial aid, and talked with current seminarians about community life. The open house concluded with Vespers and dinner with seminarians.

Among those varying activities and discussions, Michael said he particularly appreciated Fr. Chad’s talk about community and academic life on campus and the seminary’s vision for the formation of its students.

“The practical side of priesthood—personal relationships, the counseling, those sorts of things—hearing [Fr. Chad] talk about that, and [that] that’s going to be developed more, that's really what's interesting me,” said Michael.

“This community is definitely something I want to be a part of with my husband," Lucy added.

St. Vladimir’s Seminary is currently accepting applications for the 2018-2019 academic year. More information for prospective students can be found below.

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