Last month I received an email that stunned me.
The correspondent indicated that within his diocese he could not recall recently encountering a young priest educated at St. Vladimir’s. His perception was that St. Vladimir’s was producing very few priests to serve in local parishes in the U.S.
Such misperception is in need of correction, so let me offer some facts (which I also shared with the amiable but not fully informed correspondent).
For the past 17 years here at the Seminary, I have observed a predictable annual cycle: seminarians being ordained first as subdeacons, then as deacons, then as priests, and eventually being launched into parish life as pastors after graduation. Moreover, I regularly receive notices about recent ordinations of our alumni.
Impressively, the total number of seminarians and alumni (plus one faculty member) from St. Vladimir’s Seminary ordained to Holy Orders just fromJune 2016 to January 2018 (i.e., roughly three semesters) equals 37: 1 bishop, 20 priests, 13 deacons, and 3 sub-deacons.
Of the 20 priests ordained, seven are currently serving as rectors of parishes, and four more are serving as assistant or interim pastors in parishes; three are attached to parishes while employed as professionals in secular jobs, and one other is employed as a hospital chaplain. Four of the five student priests who are finishing their seminary studies will be assigned to parishes in North America after their graduation in May 2018, and one upcoming graduate will become a priest-missionary, most likely in Asia.
So, 16 out of the 20 priests ordained within the past year and a half either are now, or will soon be, serving local parishes as pastors. And, that’s not even counting student deacons likely to be chosen by their hierarchs to be ordained as priests by the time Commencement rolls around in May 2018.
Let me give you a few more facts, this time regarding the jurisdictions represented by those ordained during the past year and a half:
Eastern Orthodox Churches
- Patriarchate of Alexandria (Diocese of Uganda, Africa) = 1 deacon
- Patriarchate of Serbia (parish in America) = 1 priest
- Orthodox Church in America = 10 priests, 3 deacons
- Orthodox Church in Poland = 1 bishop
- Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America = 6 priests, 6 deacons
- Serbian Orthodox Church (Western Diocese of America, and Diocese of Canada) = 2 deacons
Oriental Orthodox Churches
- Armenian Apostolic Church (parish in America) = 1 deacon
- Coptic Orthodox Church (parish in America) = 1 priest
- Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church (parishes in America) = 3 subdeacons
- Syriac Orthodox Church in North America (parishes in America) = 2 priests
In other words, 34 out of the 37 recently ordained will be serving inside parishes in North America. And, I have faith that the three who will serve on foreign soil, such as our alumnus, Archimandrite Warsonofiusz, recently enthroned as Bishop of Siemiatycze, Poland, will serve with distinction.
So, if you’re looking for a young St. Vlad’s grad within your diocese, you may not need to look very far.
Many Years to all the recently ordained, as they continue their ministries in their respective churches. Axios! (Read the entire listing here.)
Director of Institutional and Advancement Communications
P.S. Additionally, eight of our alumni either were elevated in their rank or received an honorary award this past year and a half. Read the entire listing of those who were ordained, who were tonsured or elevated, or who received an award here.