75th Anniversary Celebration of Holy Trinity Seminary: September 15-17, 2023

On the weekend of September 15-17, 2023, a three-day celebration took place between Cooperstown and Jordanville, NY to mark the 75th anniversary of Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, having been founded in 1948 by Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko) of blessed memory. The program for the entire weekend can be viewed by clicking here.

The weekend began on Friday, September 15 at 4:00 pm with an exclusive Gala Reception hosted at the Otesaga Hotel in Cooperstown. Many esteemed guests of the seminary were in attendance, including a number of visiting hierarchs. Included among our ROCOR hierarchs were His Eminence, Metropolitan  Nicholas, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada, His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe, His Grace (our own) Bishop Luke of Syracuse, seminary rector, and His Grace Bishop Job of Stuttgart. In addition, the seminary was honored to welcome His Eminence, Metropolitan Saba of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America (AOCANA), as well as His Grace, Bishop Isihije of Valjevo, the personal representative of His Holiness, Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia.

Following this reception, the Anniversary Concert titled “Bells, Choirs, and Resounding Virtuosity” was held at the historic Christ Church Episcopal in Cooperstown (burial site of James Fenimore Cooper). A recording of Holy Trinity Monastery’s bells was played over the sound system as the audience entered the church. Beginning at 8:00pm, an introduction was given by  seminary dean, Dr. Nicolas Schidlovsky. The first portion of the concert was entitled: “Orthodox Church Music of the Slavonic Liturgy Part I", and featured the Osanna Chamber Ensemble, a mixed choir under the direction of John Arlievsky. The Ossana Chamber Ensemble sang a Five-Composer Sampler (the actual repertoire appears in the anniversary program booklet on pages 4-5). Following Osanna’s performance, the middle of the concert was entitled "Evocations / Reflections at the Piano" and featured pianist Timothy Morrow. Timothy's selections included some Masterworks from Russia, France, and North America. The final portion of the concert was entitled "Orthodox Church Music of the Slavonic Liturgy, Part II" and featured the Holy Trinity Seminary Choir under the direction of Deacon Nicholas Kotar.  The revised seminary concert repertoire, as well as the names of the singers for both the Osanna Chamber Ensemble and the Holy Trinity Seminary Concert Choir can be viewed by clicking here.  The entire concert is posted and available on the seminary’s YouTube channel.

On Saturday, September 16, the seminary hosted a Public Program entitled “The Orthodox Christian Seminary in the 21st Century”. The program took place in Jordanville in the Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov Hall, which is located inside the Dean Nicholas Alexandrov Seminary Building. This program ran from 9:00am to 3:00pm, and featured speakers that included several of our own professors, as well as several guest speakers. Dean Nicolas Schidlovsky began the program by introducing His Grace, Bishop Luke, HTOS Rector and Associate Professor in the Department of History, Philosophy, and Humanities, as well as the Department of Ministry Practicum and Homiletics. His Grace gave the opening presentation entitled "Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary and the Theological School on Pre-Revolutionary Russia: Similarities and Differences”.  Next, Fr. John Boddecker, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Scriptural Studies and Exegesis and Director of Graduate Studies at HTOS, gave his presentation entitled “Scripture as the Foundational Grounds for Contemporary Pastoral Formation”. Fr John was followed by Deacon Vitaly Permiakov, Ph.D., Asst. Professor of Liturgical Theology at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (OCA) in Crestwood, NY, whose presentation was entitled “The Orthodox Seminary Endeavor in the West”. After a brief break, Mr. Edward Novis, Instructor in the Department of History, Philosophy, and Humanities at HTOS, gave his presentation entitled “Teaching Classical Philosophy: Why Is This Important For Students?”. Following Mr. Novis, Protodeacon Andrei Psarev, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Theology, Patrology, and Canon Law as well as the Department of History, Philosophy, and Humanities and Director of Undergraduate Studies at HTOS, presented his talk entitled “History Matters – a Lot!” Protodeacon Andrei then moderated the Q & A and discussion of the morning session. 

After lunch, the program resumed at 1:30 pm and featured several guest speakers. First, Dr. Joachim Pissarro, Director of the Hunter College Galleries and Bershad Professor of Art History at Hunter College of the City University of New York, gave a presentation entitled “The World’s Art in History: What Does It Teach Us Today?”. Following Dr. Pissarro, Hegumen Silouan (Justiniano) gave his presentation entitled “Iconography: Towards Future Seminary Curriculum Development”. Following Fr Silouan, seminary dean Dr. Nicolas Schidlovsky moderated the discussion and Q & A of the afternoon session. The program concluded with a viewing of the Russian History Museum’s new exhibition; “Mysteries and Odysseys”.

Following the evening meal which was hiosted by the monastery brotherhood, All-Night Vigil was served in the monastery cathedral at 7:00pm. During the Vigil service, the seminary/monastery choir sang on both right and left kliros, with the right kliros directed by Deacon Nicholas Kotar, and the left kliros directed by Michael Perekrestov.

The third day of the events began on Sunday, September 17 began with the Entrance of His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas of New York and Eastern America, First Hierarch of ROCOR. His Eminence was co-served during the hierarchical divine liturgy by eight other hierarchs, including His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada, His Eminence Archbishop Irenee of Ottawa and the Archdiocese of Canada (OCA), His Grace Bishop Isihije of Valjevo (representative of His Holiness, Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia), His Grace Bishop Irenej of Eastern America (Serbian Orthodox Church), His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe, His Grace Bishop Luke of Syracuse, monastery abbot and seminary rector, His Grace Bishop Job of Stuttgart (representative of Metropolitan Mark and the German Diocese), and His Grace, Bishop Jerome.  Additional serving clergy included numerous monastery clerics, as well as visiting clergy, many of whom are seminary alumni. The responses at the Divine Liturgy were sung by the combined seminary/monastery choir under the direction of Deacon Nicholas Kotar. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas was gifted with a commemorative Icon of the Three Hierarchs, St Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian, and St. John Chrysostom. Each of the other hierarchs and many other guests were also gifted (at the banquet that followed) with this commemorative 75th anniversary icon, as well as a copy of the book “Glorified in America” published in 2023 by Holy Trinity Publications. At the conclusion of the service, a greeting from Metropolitan Anthony of Volokolamsk, Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate was read by Archpriest Igor Vyzhanov, representative of the Moscow Patriarchal Parishes in the USA.

Folling a noon meal in the monastery, many guests traveled back to Cooperstown to attend the Benefit Banquet held in the Otesaga Hotel’s Grand Ballroom. Cocktails and hors-d’oeuvres began at 3:00pm followed by the Lord’s Prayer, dinner, and a program. The actual program followed a slightly amended format from what is attached. His Grace, Bishop Luke of Syracuse (HTS ‘78), Abbot of holy Trinity Monastery and rector of the Seminary gave a welcome address. Next, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas (HTS ’98), First Hierarch of ROCOR addressed the banquet attendees, during which he asked His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada (HTS ‘84) to read a Synodal Gramota given to Bishop Luke, Dean Nicolas and the seminary on this occasion of the 75th anniversary. Our seminary Dean Nicolas Schidlovsky gave his address at the banquet, opening with a poem by Anna Akhmatova (the text of which is included in the program attachment). 

Dean Nicolas was followed by His Grace, Bishop Isihije of Valjevo, who read aloud the greeting of His Holiness, Patriarch Porfirije of Serbia.  Archpriest Stefan Pavlenko (HTS ’71), Rector of All Russian Saints Parish in Burlingame, CA and Director of the seminary’s alumni association spoke next, congratulating the seminary with the 75th anniversary and presented a $10,000 check from the St. John Kronstadt Home for Aged Russian Americans. Fr. Stefan then asked Archpriest Peter Perekrestov (HTS ’78), Senior Priest of the Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in San Francisco to come to the podium. Fr. Peter presented the seminary with another check for $10,000, and read a greeting on behalf of His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America and the faithful of the Western American Diocese of ROCOR. 

Next, Deacon Michael Pavuk (who served as Master of Ceremonies) read aloud a resolution which was adopted by the New York State Senate and the New York State Assembly on May 31 and June 5, 2023, respectively. After this resolution was read, Archpriest Serge Lukianov (HTS ’81), Rector of St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Howell (Lakewood) NJ, Dean of the NJ Deanery, and Deputy Director of the HTOS Alumni Association gave an address inspiring the alumni and the faithful to generously support the good work of the seminary. A greeting was also received by Dean Nicolas from Archpriest Gregory Joyce on behalf of the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America. His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas then gave closing remarks, which were followed by the closing prayer. Glory to God for His Great Mercy in granting that the seminary and all those in attendance experienced a festive weekend. A commemorative 75th anniversary booklet is being compiled to include photos, as well as historical and current information about the seminary. The booklet will include photos and information on this joyous weekend, and with God’s help, should be available in the spring, 2024.

Friday Concert - 09/15/2023

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Saturday Talks - 09/16/2023

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All-Night Vigil and Sunday Liturgy

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Banquet

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Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary
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