Archpastoral Letter on 70th Anniversary and Beginning of Seminary Academic Year
Protocol No. 193
September 6, 2009
Archpastoral Letter on the Seventy Anniversary and the beginning of the 2009 Academic Year of Christ the Saviour Seminary
To the Very Reverend Protopresbyters, Very Reverend and Reverend Fathers, Monastics, and the pious faithful of our God-saved Diocese,
Glory to Jesus Christ!
"Give me wisdom and understanding, so that I may go out and come in before this people, for who can judge this great people of Yours." I Chronicles 1: 10
It is my great hope and prayer that this humble request of the great Israelite King and Prophet Solomon be also on the lips and in the hearts of the several young men who will enter the doors of our Christ the Saviour Seminary for the first time or as returning students this fall as we initiate its 70th anniversary. Solomon's request ought to be the inspiration and impetus and motivation to all men who feel called to serve God and to be leaders of His people. They need to possess this proper mindset to be good workers in the vineyard of Christ. We see that God was pleased with Solomon that he did not ask for riches or wealth or honor or the life of his enemies, but rather the virtues of wisdom and understanding. And because he asked for appropriate and worthy gifts, God gave him all of those others as well.
Our priests will certainly not be as rich as Solomon, or as powerful, or as famous, but hopefully they will be as great and holy in the eyes of God and in the view of the parishioners whom they will serve. That is what we want for them and of them.
Wisdom and understanding require cultivation. These virtues will be nurtured and developed in many and varied ways during the years of their seminary education: through the liturgical cycle of services on a daily basis, in their own personal prayer lives, through reading of the Holy Scriptures and other spiritually-edifying books, in the classes of the various branches of theology, Bible studies, philosophy, history, homiletics, the Church Fathers, Liturgy and rubrics, music, and other similar disciplines. They will also have practical, hands-on experience in the ministries of visiting the sick, teaching Church school classes, and assisting me and the priests and instructors who work with them in the proper care of the Church building and the order of the divine services. When they graduate after several years, they will be adequately prepared to go forth and assume their role as pastors in our parishes.
This was the vision of my predecessors of thrice blessed memory: Metropolitan Orestes, who founded our seminary, and who in its infancy, housed it in his own home, and Bishop John, its second rector and a professor there, the 25th anniversary of whose repose we will commemorate this September. They must be pleased to look down upon us and witness the inauguration of the 70th anniversary year of this sacred institution. Of course, I join with them in this same lofty goal; I love to be among our seminarians and watch them grow and prosper as did the young boy Jesus Who "increased in stature and wisdom, and in favor with God and men." (Luke 2:51)
So I ask you, good and pious faithful of our God-saved Diocese, to pray for our seminary and its future, its students, current and future, and their teachers, and that our goals may be realized for ages to come. And I hope that you will continue, whenever called upon, to offer your material and financial support as well. I know that God will bless you when you do!
Bestowing upon you my archpastoral blessing and offering my gratitude, I remain
Most sincerely yours in Christ,
+ Metropolitan Nicholas
This letter is to be read in lieu of the regular Sermon on Sunday, September 13, 2009