18–20 January 2013 • On–Campus • Virginia Nieuwsma
The Very Rev. Marcus Burch, chancellor of the Diocese of the South (DOS) of the Orthodox Church in America, visited diocesan students over an eventful weekend that included the 30th Annual Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture. The DOS Carolina Dean, The Very Rev. Thomas Moore, accompanied Fr. Marcus.
Father Marcus explained that the main purpose of the visit was to meet with the students and families who are finishing their time at SVOTS in May of 2013, in order to discuss placement possibilities after Commencement. Both Fr. Marcus and Fr. Thomas also met with students in the second year who are petitioning for ordination.
On Saturday afternoon, the visiting priests also hosted all DOS students for a meal and fellowship. "This provided us an opportunity to meet with the first year students, all the spouses, and children," explained Fr. Marcus. "I feel very strongly that we need to know not only the clergyman whom we will place in the DOS," he continued, "but also his wife and children. And we should know of any unique circumstances in their lives, to help us discern how they should be placed."
Additionally, Fr. Marcus met with Chancellor/CEO The Very Rev. Dr. Chad Hatfield and Seminary Dean The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr to discuss diocesan students and their future ministries. Father Marcus outlined some of the issues that the diocesan leaders addressed: the process for placement within the diocese, the desire that all rising seniors would be able to do a summer internship in a parish between the 2nd and 3rd years, the first assignment, and implementing the DOS Seminary Debt Service Program, which services student loans for seminarians who are assigned in the DOS, throughout the duration of their assignments.
While at St. Vladimir's, the DOS Chancellor and Carolina Dean also attended the panikhida service for the newly reposed DOS priest Fr. Jacob Myers, offered Saturday afternoon in Three Hierarchs Chapel prior to the Vigil. Both at the Vigil on Saturday evening as well as at the Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning, Fr. Marcus and Fr. Thomas concelebrated with SVOTS clergy. "We thoroughly enjoyed the fellowship with old friends and new," said Fr. Marcus.