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The Graduating Class of 2009

The Graduation Class of 2009After the completion of the Divine Liturgy on June 14, 2009, the Sunday of All Saints, the graduation ceremony of the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America took place at the Diocesan Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God in Des Plaines, IL.

This year there were three students who completed their courses: Priest Christopher Allen (the Assistant Rector at the parish of St. Innocent of Moscow in Wheaton, IL), Deacon John Feloniuk (a clergyman of the St. Vladimir parish in Ann Arbor, MI), and Reader George Zharikov (assigned to Holy Trinity parish in Vancouver, BC).  Reader George received his diploma “With Honors”.  Following the Divine Liturgy the diplomas were awarded to the graduates and “Many Years” was intoned for them and their families.  It is noteworthy that at the small entrance of the Divine Liturgy on this day Priest Christopher Allen was awarded the right to wear the Nabedrinik.

This year marks the fifth year of the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America.  The courses of the school are conducted using a distance learning format, not dissimilar to the distance learning courses offered by most major universities and colleges in the United States and Canada.  In addition to their regular coursework, all those who graduate in the Pastoral Theology track of the Pastoral School must complete a summer internship at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY and participate in the Liturgical Music School courses offered there.  Graduates of the Pastoral School receive diplomas in either Pastoral Theology or Orthodox Studies.  Students write and defend their senior theses as well as complete oral examinations before a committee, which this year was comprised of Bishop Peter of Cleveland (President of the Pastoral School), Archpriest Andre Papkov (Vice President of the Pastoral School), Archpriest Martin Swanson (Dean of the Pastoral School)he instructors of the Pastoral School).