St. Vladimir’s embraces the challenge of serving the Church and the needs of Orthodox Christians in the 21st Century. Time brings change but the Truth of the Gospel is eternally unchanging; adjustments must be made to engage a rapidly changing world, but without sacrificing that which is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
[SVOTS Communications / Yonkers, NY] On Friday, September 11, 2015, the Board of Trustees and Faculty of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary will bestow a Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa, upon His Holiness Irinej (Gavrilovic), archbishop of Peć, metropolitan of Belgrade-Karlovci, and patriarch of Serbia. At the Academic Convocation, Patriarch Irinej will deliver an address titled, “Theology as a Hope for the Future of the Church.”
The patriarch will arrive on the seminary campus, briefly visit Three Hierarchs Chapel, and then proceed to the Academic Convocation. The public ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. in the Metropolitan Philip Auditorium of the John G. Rangos Family Building. An open reception will follow.
His Holiness Irinej, the 45th Patriarch of Serbia, was enthroned in his present position in January 2010. His Holiness was ordained as a Hieromonk in 1959, and served as Bishop of Moravica and Nis prior to his election as patriarch. He also was both a professor and rector of Prizren Seminary.
Alex Machaskee, executive chair of the Seminary’s Board, said he greatly looks forward to the patriarch’s visit, noting, “I was honored to meet with his Holiness Patriarch Irinej when I was in Belgrade three years ago. His radiance is a bright light for all Orthodox Christians. I look forward to seeing him at St. Vladimir’s and again en route to Kosovo at the end of September.”
In the patriarch’s entourage will be His Grace the Right Reverend Maxim (Vasiljevic), bishop of the Western American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church of North and South America and seminary Trustee; His Grace the Right Reverend Dr. Mitrophan (Kodic), bishop of the Eastern American Diocese of the Serbian Orthodox Church of North and South America; and His Eminence the Most Reverend Jovan VI (Vraniškovski), archbishop of Ohrid and metropolitan of Skopje, which is under the Serbian Patriarchate of Peć.
Archbishop Jovan VI is an internationally known cleric, due to his time spent as a political prisoner. He was once a member of the schismatic Macedonian Orthodox Church, but following his response to a call for reunion with the Serbian Patriarchate in 2002 (known as the Niš Agreement), he was for several years persecuted and jailed by the state (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia). On February 2, 2015, in compliance with a ruling of the Skopje Court, he was finally released from the Idrizovo prison.
“Our Seminary is honored to have Patriarch Irinej receive this award from our hand,” said Archpriest John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir’s. “We are also humbled and blessed by the presence of this entire distinguished delegation, clergy who teach us what it is to witness to Christ, by undergoing persecution and trials far beyond our own in the U.S.”
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