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His Holiness makes historic visit to St. Tikhon's Seminary & Monastery

His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews III offered a historic visit to St. Tikhon's Seminary, and St. Tikhon's Monastery, in South Canaan, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, September 28, 2022.  The Catholicos of the East & Malankara Metropolitan, was received gracefully by His Eminence Archbishop Michael, Rector of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, its Dean, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. John Parker, the Assistant for academic affairs, Rev. Fr. Dr. Paul Wtiek, Director of Student Life, Rev. Fr. Ignatius Harper, and Professor of Theology, Rev. Fr. Dr. Demetrios Harper.

The Chief Shepherd of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church was then received by the seminary community in the convocation hall.  His Eminence Archbishop Michael introduced His Holiness, who offered a beautiful address to the seminary community.  His Holiness shared his joy to be on the very grounds where the saints have walked, and acknowledged the challenges of ministry in a broken world.  His Holiness shared it is the virtue of love that can help us overcome these challenges.  "It is this love that empowered the apostles, it is this love that empowered the martyrs, it is this love that unites all Christians to the Apostolic calling which we have been entrusted."

As a token of love from the seminary community, in honor of His Holiness' historic visit, Very Rev. Fr. Dr. John Parker, the Dean of St. Tikhon's Seminary presented a rare 1st Edition Psalter in Syriac, published in 1825, as a gift to His Holiness.  In addition to this, His Eminence, Archbishop Michael announced the establishment of the 'His Holiness Moran Mar Baselios Marthoma Mathews III Scholarship' which will cover the theological education of Master of Divinity students of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, studying at St. Tikhon's Seminary.

After the convocation, His Holiness offered prayers of incense in the St. John Chrysostom Malankara Orthodox Chapel, located on campus, and continued his visit to St. Tikhon's Orthodox Monastery.  His Holiness was greeted by Very Rev. Archimandrite Sergius, the Abbot of the Monastery, and sought the intercession of the saints in the Monastery Church.  The Catholicos also venerated the sacred relics of St. Alexis of Wilkes Barre, St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, St. Panteleimon, St. Herman of Alaska, and the miracle-working Icon of She who is Quick to hear, all of which remain in the Monastery Church.  With the blessing of the Abbot of the Monastery, His Holiness also venerated the Miraculous Icon of St. Anna, which remains in the private Monastery Chapel of St. Theodosius.

 
During private meetings with the leadership and faculty of St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary, His Holiness shared his joy of knowing the proximity of the monastery in relation to the seminary, and it can positively affect the theological and pastoral formation of future priests.  The leadership of the seminary assured His Holiness of their commitment and partnership in training future priests and deacons for the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church.

Since 2003, St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary has educated numerous clergy of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, especially the Northeast American Diocese.  Currently, there are eight students from the Malankara Church enrolled in the Master of Divinity program at St. Tikhon's Seminary.

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