Seminary Presents $8K Gift to Patriarch John X of Antioch

5 December 2014 • SVOTS Communications/Yonkers, NY • Deborah (Malacky) Belonick, Photos by Dn. G. Hatrak

In an expression of love and solidarity with the suffering Orthodox Christians in the Middle East, St. Vladimir's Seminary has presented a gift of $8,000 to The Most Blessed John X (Yazigi), Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East. His Beatitude, whose patriarchal throne is in Damascus, Syria, will personally oversee distribution of the monies to alleviate the dire conditions of Orthodox Christians in that country.

The gift represents a tithe (i.e., one-tenth) of the total $80,000 donated to the seminary during its highly successful #GivingTuesday campaign conducted on December 2. Seminary Chancellor/CEO Archpriest Chad Hatfield and Dean Archpriest John Behr were received by Patriarch John at the headquarters of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCANA) in Englewood, NJ, on Thursday, December 4, at which time they presented him with the $8,000 check. They also gave him a palitza, beautifully embroidered with an icon of the Three Hierarchs, Ss. Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom, patrons of the seminary chapel.       

Patriarch John is in the U.S. in anticipation of the enthronement of His Eminence The Most Reverend Joseph (Al-Zehlaoui) as Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of all North America for the Antiochian Archdiocese, which will take place on December 6, at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to presenting gifts to His Beatitude, the Chancellor and Dean presented an icon of the Great and Holy Prince Vladimir to Metropolitan Joseph in honor of his upcoming enthronement and in recognition of his being the newly elected Vice President of the Board of Trustees of St. Vladimir's Seminary.

"After weeks of anticipation and publicity, the seminary received an overwhelmingly generous response when it launched its very first #GivingTuesday campaign," reported Fr. Chad.

"We are humbled by this gift, which will allow our students to continue to learn about and preach the true faith," he said, "and we are grateful that we can offer a tithe—as we promised our donors—to the Orthodox believers in Syria, who daily bravely witness to that faith."

See a gallery of photos by Haitham Fakhouri of the Dean and Chancellor's meeting with Patriarch John and Metropolitan Joseph.