On Friday, March 27th, 2015, students of pastoral theology, along with HTOS assistant to the dean Rev. Ephraim Willmarth and instructors Rev. Deacon Andrei Psarev and Dr. Vitaly Permiakov made a three-day visit to the St. John the Baptist parish in Washington D.C. The trip, part of Holy Trinity Seminary’s pastoral theology curriculum, focused on the growth of the seminarians’ pastoral knowledge and exposure to parish life, events, and divine services.
Upon arrival to the parish, a light meal was served and was followed by welcoming words from the parish’s rector, V. Rev. Victor Potapov, as well as His Eminence, Metropolitan Jonah. The following morning, seminarians attended the English Divine Liturgy and had the opportunity to hear many inspirational words and practical advice from Father Victor, Metropolitan Jonah, and Rev. Patrick Viscuso, a priest and canonist of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America who gave a brilliant talk regarding marriage and canon law. After attending the Vigil service, seminarians were free to traverse and explore the historic sights and landmarks of Washington.
On Sunday, after the English Divine Liturgy, the guests were treated to a delicious meal, which was followed by a talk by Dr. Vitaly Permiakov regarding the liturgical theology components of the preceding week. After the Slavonic Liturgy, Fr. Andrei gave a presentation on what is ecclesiastical canon law. After this, some of the seminarians and Dr. Permiakov visited the Dumbarton Oaks Museum to view the Byzantine Liturgical items in its collection and to hear a presentation from Drs. Gabriel Radle and Nina Glibetic, who are research fellows in Byzantine studies and liturgical scholars. After, the HTOS faculty bid farewell to the parish clergy and community and had some time to further explore the metropolis, before embarking on their trek back to Jordanville, NY.
The attending students and staff of Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to the clergy, sisterhood, and community of the St. John the Baptist parish for their kindness and hospitality. May God bless you with many years and spiritual grace, as well as the strength and patience to complete this year’s Great Lent.