On the weekend of December 16-17, 2017, the Feast Day of the Holy Great Martyr Barbara, a large delegation from Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, Jordanville, NY, traveled to St Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell, NJ, to honor Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov on the occasion of his 90th birthday.
In addition to Abbot Cyprian Alexandrou (Dean of Students and Lecturer in Biblical Greek), Archpriest Peter Alban Heers (Assistant Professor of Holy Scripture), Dr Vitaly Permiakov (Assistant Professor of Dogmatic and Liturgical Theology) and Deacon Michael Pavuk (Director of Development), 19 seminarians from Holy Trinity attended the Divine Services and the festive reception after the Divine Liturgy to pay tribute to Fr Valery for his exemplary, dedicated pastoral service over the course of more than five decades to the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, and to the faithful of St Alexander’s in particular.
His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada was the celebrant for the weekend. At the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy on Sunday, twelve priests also served and seven deacons assisted. The All-Night Vigil on Saturday was sung by a male choir composed of singers from the diocesan cathedral and Holy Trinity Seminary. The cathedral’s mixed choir provided the music for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Alexandra Lukianov directed the choirs at both services.
Congratulatory letters were sent to Fr Valery by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Onufry of Kiev and All Ukraine, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Archimandrite Luke (Murianka, Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery and Rector of Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary) – text here – and Archpriest Alexander F.C. Webster (Dean of Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary) – text here.
At the reception, Fr Serge Lukianov (Cathedral Dean and Diocesan Secretary of the EAD) asked the seminarians already gathered together on stage to stand to be recognized by the clergy and the faithful at the joyous gathering for their desire and commitment to serve the Holy Orthodox Church as future clergy. Fr Valery thanked the young men for their attendance, and personally presented each of them with a copy of his new book, Blessed Pastorship.
At the end of the reception, Fr Valery spoke to the entire gathering extemporaneously, candidly, and from his heart. He explained how his service as a priest was always akin to the love of a father for his children; it was that connection which has upheld him for so many years. It was obvious to the attendees that the numerous faithful to whom Fr. Valery has ministered as a loving, compassionate servant of God’s Holy Orthodox Church were privileged recipients of the blessed pastorship of Fr Valery himself.
For more than three years, anonymous benefactors have funded the Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov Scholarship as a living monument to Fr Valery to assist seminarians with their tuition expenses at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville. Twenty-five seminarians have received the Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov Scholarship, and approximately $250,000 has been disbursed to date. The benefactors have also decided to increase that amount to $100, 000 to 200,000 per year going forward.
As the only seminary of the entire Russian Church Abroad, Holy Trinity Seminary offers full-time instruction in residence for the Bachelor of Theology degree fully accredited by the State of New York. Thanks to many generous supporters the Holy Trinity Seminary has received donations more than 60,000 to date in response to the “Giving Tuesday” fundraising campaign launched on November 28, 2017. That impressive sum is still some $30,000 short of the $91,000 that another anonymous benefactor has pledged to match for undergraduate scholarships.
If you have not yet contributed to continuing “Giving Tuesday” campaign, you still have an opportunity until the conclusion of the feast of the Three Hierarchs on Monday, February 12, 2018. Your generosity is vital to the education of future clergy of our Church. By contributing to this campaign now, your donation will be matched, dollar for dollar, by our anonymous benefactors.
Please visit Holy Trinity Seminary’s donation page here to contribute to this important and worthy campaign.