GOARCH Hosts Archdiocesan Seminar for 2023 HCHC Senior Class

From Tuesday, March 21 to Thursday, March 23, the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America hosted a seminar at its headquarters in New York for the 2023 Holy Cross School of Theology Senior Class.

Seminarians had the opportunity to meet with His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros of America, as well as learn from the laypeople and clergy leading the Archdiocese’s various ministries and affiliated organizations, like the Philoptochos Society and Order of St. Andrew, Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. They also visited key centers of Archdiocesan life, including St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at Ground Zero.

As the seminar came to a close on Thursday afternoon, senior Michael Hostetler presented His Eminence with an icon of the Theotokos in the sgraffito-style, on behalf of the graduating class, as a "token of our gratitude for your hospitality and ongoing commitment to us, our school, and the Archdiocese."

The Icon was hand-carved by Mr. Ilia Anossov, a renowned fresco artist whose iconography, Hostetler explained, the senior class had first encountered on a volunteer trip to St. Innocent's Orphanage, an affiliated ministry of the Assembly of Bishops near Tijuana, Mexico.

"Mr. Anossov has donated much of his time and talent to St. Innocent's over the years. His iconography can be found in both chapels on the orphanage grounds. Additionally, he produced and donated a series of portable sgraffito-style icons for the orphanage to sell as an additional form of income to support the orphans. This icon of the Theotokos is one of them. We hope that this icon will also serve as a symbol of our class' commitment to living out our respective calls from Christ to love and serve our brothers and sisters who are in need of material and spiritual aid, whether they are down the street in our neighborhood or across international borders," Hostetler said.

Seminarian Ioan Gheorghiu also offered a reflection on the class's experiences at HCHC:

“Our visit here over the past few days inspires us to take what we have learned in seminary and apply it first in our lives as Orthodox Christians and then in our ministry to others within the Archdiocese. We not only feel supported by the various directors and ministry workers here but also have made personal connections that we'll be able to turn to as we enter into a life of ministry for the Church," Gheorghiu said.

“Your Eminence's prioritization of our beloved Scholi's wellbeing has been transformative for our class especially. As students who began our time at Holy Cross prior to your enthronement, we have felt the positive impact of the changes you have brought on the administrative, liturgical, academic, and spiritual levels first hand. We hope that moving forward under Your Eminence's and President Cantonis' leadership the school will continue to grow into a place where young men and women will be able to receive a transformative education within our sacred Orthodox Tradition. It is our hope that your continued leadership will guide our Archdiocese and school into even greater collaboration with the other Orthodox Christian jurisdictions within the United States. Young people of all backgrounds desire the opportunity to offer their lives as servant leaders in the Church, society, and their families."

Among the participating seminarians were: Manoli Aspiotis, Ioan Gheorghiu, Kyle Sterner, Gabriel Cupsa, and Aaron Rice from the Metropolis of San Francisco; Zachary Heller and Michael Hostetler from the Metropolis of Detroit; Elias Pagones and Stephen Kalina from the Metropolis of Chicago; Gabriel Galifinakis from the Archdiocesan District; Pasquale Santarelli from the Metropolis of Pittsburgh; Alexandros Pandazis from the Metropolis of New Jersey; Ronald Clark from the Metropolis of Denver; and Nicholas Spirakis from the Metropolis of Atlanta.

What's New on GOARCH?
From the Archdiocese