Академічні Духовні Реколекції в Свято-Софіївській Семінарії
On Thursday December 20, 2021 - six of the current MA Program seminarians and three professors gathered in Southbound Brook at Saint Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary. During dinner and after until Evening Prayers, they caught up. Some met in person for the first time. Their work throughout the semester is online, often on Zoom meetings, but not in-person. These students have full-time jobs that they work, and families that they continue to care for during their studies.
On Friday morning (December 21, 2021) the students gathered early to serve the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom in the seminary chapel, led by Father Theophan Mackey, vocations director and assisted by the full-time seminarians in residence. After the liturgy and breakfast, they spent the day with Father Gabriel Rochelle, taking their final exams and engaging in final instruction in New Testament: Acts and Epistles.
Saturday was a special day. In the morning Father Theophan and Father Anthony Perkins led a seminar on liturgical practice which evolved into pastoral care of the faithful. The afternoon was filled with music and laughter and festivities as the Nativity Celebration for the seminary commenced.
In the evening, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel sat with the MA seminarians and discussed their thoughts on the semester they had just completed and listened to the situations in their individual lives and local parishes. Then they attended Great Vespers at the Memorial Church of Saint Andrew led by His Eminence Metropolitan Antony.
Throughout the days the part-time seminarians made new connections with the full-time seminarians, the residents of the seminary. These connections will strengthen their interpersonal networks of support in the years of ministry ahead of them.
Sunday morning the Divine Liturgy was again served in Saint Andrew’s then they bid farewell to each other and the seminary until next semester.