Monday, November 21, 2022

OISM at St. Tikhon's

For those that don't know, the Orthodox Inter-Seminary Movement was revitalized by Bp. Michael of New York some number of years ago. Students from seminaries across the country get together at different institutions (in rotation) to hear talks, worship together, and get to know one another. It's invaluable. Many of the friends I made years ago at OISM are still people I talk to today.

For many who attend it is the first time they have experienced Orthodoxy outside of their jurisdictional boundaries. Coming from the melting pot that is Texas Orthodoxy, seeing the look on a visitor's face that said "What in the world are they doing" in response to something done in a chapel, classroom, or even a trapeza was peak entertainment. Our seminaries are quite similar in many ways but also very different in many ways as well. Ask someone in the OCA who went to St. Vlad's to describe St. Tikhon's and you will hear it. Ask a Holy Cross student to explain Jordanville and you will hear a lot more.  And it's not just seminarians who attend. Men and women in theological studies are welcome to come and that just adds to the uniqueness of the experience.

On the other end of things, it is often the most gregarious and open people who end up road-tripping it to Brookline, Johnstown, South Canaan, etc. and not the people who most "need" to go. So, if you're going to the next OISM, convince the guy with "other plans" to get in the van and go. Promise him a free Sheetz meatball sub or something. It's important and not an experience you can easily repeat after graduation.

(HTS) - On October 7-9th, Jordanville seminarians participated in the Fall 2022 retreat of the Orthodox Inter-Seminary movement at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.

On Friday evening, an akathist was served to all North American saints, and students heard a brief sermon from the Dean of St. Tikhon's, Fr. John Parker. That evening, Dn. Michael presented a paper he wrote on the life of St. Tikhon of Moscow. Students attended Divine Liturgy in the Monastery cathedral the following morning, and enjoyed time touring the monastery grounds after Church.

In the afternoon, edifying talks were given on recent saints that labored in America. First, Fr. Patrick Viscuso, professor of Canon Law at Antiochian House of Studies and the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America, spoke about the education of St. Raphael of Brooklyn at Halki Seminary during the onslaught of Protestant and Catholic missionaries to the Arab Orthodox Christians in the 19th century. After lunch, Fr. Serge Kotar, a former cleric of the Joy of All Who Sorrow Cathedral in San Francisco, and current Pastoral Theology professor at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, spoke about the early life of St. John Maximovitch, as well as the many miracles he has worked.

That evening, students attended the All-Night Vigil in the monastery cathedral, and afterwards enjoyed fellowship over a meal prepared by the students of St. Tikhon's. Finally, all the students assembled in church on Sunday to celebrate the memory of St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia. All departed with new perspectives and friendships with their fellow churchmen struggling in their labors for Christ in their respective seminaries. There was discussion of the location for the next meeting in the Fall 2023, including the possibility of Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville. 

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