24 September 2011 • Campus Community
The spiritual journeys taken by members of our campus community wind along varied roads, one of which is the monastic path. Recently, Hierodeacon Philip (Majkrzak), our Chapel Music Director, deepened his vocation as a monk, by being initiated into the rank of stavrophore, or "Cross-Bearer," which comes with the bestowal of his new name, "Herman." Father Herman came to our community as a student in the Th.M. degree program in 2009, at which time he assisted in our music program; he was appointed Chapel Director in 2010 and continues his studies.
Father Herman's new rank, also known as the "Lesser Schema," marks the point at which a monk makes formal vows of stability of place, chastity, obedience, and poverty; it is reached when the abbot of the monastery to which the monk belongs feels that the monk has reached an appropriate level of discipline, dedication, and humility. At the time of his initiation, the monk receives (in addition to his previous garments of cassock and headdress, or klobuk) a black embroidered cloth (paraman) symbolizing the yoke of Christ, which he wears under the cassock over his back and heart; a mandya, a cape-like garment symbolizing remembrance of death; a wooden hand cross, symbolizing the sacrifice involved in following Christ; and a beeswax candle, symbolizing spiritual alertness and vigilance.
Father Herman was tonsured by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and abbot of the Holy Trinity Brotherhood, to which Fr. Herman belongs. Within our student body, we now have four monastics: Abbot Gerasim, Hieromonk Kilian, Hierodeacon Herman, and Monk James.
Read more about Fr. Herman's background here.