19 April, 2013
Beloved clergy, members of the Ukrainian Orthodox League and parishioners of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA:
As in the past several years, we have come to the season of the year during which we address the clergy of our Holy Church, membership of the UOL and the entire membership of the UOC of the USA with the request to assist us in providing spiritual and financial aid to our future spiritual fathers.
Historically speaking, over forty-five years ago, the Ukrainian Orthodox League established the Metropolitan John (Theodorovich) Scholarship Fund, providing and ensuring education of our past, present and future spiritual fathers of the Church. The very first MJSF scholarship was awarded in 1966. Those who have benefited from the UOL’s MJSF have become role models for the next generation of our clergy. Our St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Bound Brook, NJ forms the future of our Church. Sustaining the long tradition of spiritual, pastoral and theological excellence of our clergy remains a priority of the entire Church.
Once again, we are writing you this short letter prior to May 3rd of this year, as we mark the anniversary of Metropolitan John’s repose in the Lord. He was the very first Metropolitan of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, who dedicated his life to the service of his flock. Namely because of his love of the Church, the UOL established a fund in his honor and memory, benefiting seminarians and clergy of the Church, who pursue theological academic training. The goal of our Scholarship Fund is always to provide character formation and a high-quality education to seminarians and clergy. However, to maintain these standards and remain beneficial to the seminarians and clergy of our Church, we ask your kind financial assistance.
As St. Sophia Seminary student body continues to grow, it grows increasingly younger, more enthusiastic, more read to embrace the demands of ministry in the Church - and increasingly ill-equipped to make the financial commitment that four years of residential seminary education demands. In fact, a growing number of gifted applicants to the Seminary find themselves forced to review their applications because they are unable to shoulder the financial burden.
For all its wealth of beauty, holiness and vibrant tradition, our Seminary lacks the financial resources to provide adequate scholarships to these students. This represents a great loss the Church. And that is where our MJSF comes in – a ministry of the Ukrainian Orthodox League of the UOC of the USA.
We do not set fundraising goals for ourselves annually; because we are sure of the UOL’s and Church’s support of our efforts. The success of our fundraising will hinge upon our making an ongoing commitment to the next generation of priests and shepherds.
So, this year, as we all celebrate the Bright Feast of our Lord’s Resurrection, on Sunday, May 5, 2013, we ask all of you, especially our parishes to make a collection in the parish communities of the Church or send an annual or monthly gift to the UOL’s Metropolitan John Scholarship Fund. And spread the word. If you know people who might be interested in supporting the MJSF, contact Pani-Matka Linda Oryhon at firstname.lastname@example.org or Bishop Daniel at VladykaDaniel@aol.com. Please, continue o keep the Seminary and the entire student body in your prayers.
We hope to hear from you and count on your generosity.
With prayers, wishing you most Radiant and Joyful Year of our Lord,
+Daniel, Senior UOL Spiritual Father