Archpastoral Letter for the New Seminary Year 2004
September 12, 2004
To the Very Reverend Protopresbyters, the Very
Reverend and Reverend Fathers, the Reverend Clergy and Beloved Faithful of this
Glory to Jesus
By the authority invested in me by the Holy
Synod of Constantinople, I solemnly proclaim the opening of the sixty-fifth
academic year of Christ the Saviour Seminary.
I attend to this event with great devotion, as
should we all. The Lord has given this Diocese many gifts, of whose worth it is
impossible to measure. But some from these many rise to prominence, even amidst
such a rich array. And one such prominent gift is Christ the Saviour Seminary.
This Diocese cannot be without this Seminary.
This Seminary nurtures and sends out priests to the parishes of the Diocese. To
survive and grow, and to obey the Lord's Great Commission to "Go ye into all
the world," Diocesan parishes need Diocesan priests. And Christ the Saviour
Seminary is the place that provides them.
We treasure the Seminary, as it holds many of
our aspirations for the years to come. The future life of the Diocese is rooted
deep within its walls and grounds. The priest of your grandchildren will read
the Fathers here, and he will learn the plain chant of our forefathers here,
and he will even labor at the tasks of cleaning and grounds keeping here.
There is a simple reason for these mundane
tasks: the Seminary does not produce mere book-men. It does not send out
academics who are learned, but unpracticed. Neither does it nurture men who
quit books the moment they graduate ... nor does it produce men who are strangers
to study or prayer.
Christ the Saviour Seminary is dedicated to the
development of priests who work hard, think hard, and pray hard - priests who
like to be around people, and want to serve, with all their heart, at the Holy
The Seminary is committed to the production of
such "practical theologians" -- not only because the Seminary is a preparation
for a professional career, but more because the Seminary is standing firmly
within Orthodox Tradition. You see, in Orthodoxy, there is no such thing as a
priest who is only a scholar -- who has no parish, but only reads and writes.
All theological reflection, in the Orthodox Church, must arise from the
dialectic between pastoral practice and pious study. Any other reflection is
bound to flounder in the postmodern squalor of today's intellectual ferment.
Christ the Saviour Seminary is a repository of
our hopes, and it is an archive of our memories. It is an organic link to the
eternal Chorus of Holy Tradition. It is a seed bed of vocations. It is a
proving ground of intentions.
So whether the student population numbers five
or fifty, Christ the Saviour Seminary shall remain, under the blessing of His
Holy Name. Its work, for the Diocese and the Kingdom, will not end.
In celebration and thanksgiving for the 65th
Anniversary of Christ the Saviour Seminary, I bestow upon this Holy Apostolate,
its administration, faculty and staff, students and their families, my
Archpastoral Blessing, and extend the same to all of you, beloved faithful in
With prayerful regards, I remain
yours in Christ,