Seminarians Past and Present Reflect on Orthodox in the Military

Virginia Nieuwsma

Dn. Nicholas Roth, Class of 2014Dn. Nicholas Roth, Class of 2014One St. Vladimir's seminarian and three alumni have written about their military experiences in the December, 2013 issue of Wonder, the monthly on-line journal of the Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Youth, Young Adult,Fr. James Parnell, Class of 2013Fr. James Parnell, Class of 2013 and Campus Ministry. To commemorate the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Orthodox Chaplaincy in the US Armed Forces, the blog features the theme “For our Armed Forces.”

In “Walking Through the Valley of Death," veteran and third-year student Dn. Nicholas Roth notes the omnipresence of death in the lives of military personnel, and the ways in which they cope with with this. He concludes that “the reality of death gives us a great opportunity to maintain focus on the only things that matter—our relationships with God and with each other.” His former classmate Fr. James Parnell (SVOTS ‘13), also a veteran, and rector of All Saints Church in Hartford, CT, writes of “The Memory of War.” “For good and for ill, the constant rhythm—the beating of the war drum—remains in our ears long after the banners have stopped flip-flapping, the plane has landed, and the weapons are locked away,” he reflects.