On 31 March the Saint Vladimir’s Seminary Octet visited Saint Andrew's Church, Dix Hills NY, for a morning parish visit during the Divine Liturgy and to participate in the New York City Deanery Lenten Mission Vespers that evening. Attending along with the Octet were the seminary’s Chancellor (Archpriest Chad Hatfield) and SVS Press Marketing Manager (Deacon Gregory Hatrak).
The Divine Liturgy was enriched by the singing of the Octet and the concelebration of Archpriest Chad Hatfield (Chancellor of the Seminary) and Deacon Gregory Hatrak (Manager of SVS Press Marketing) along with the parish rector, Archpriest John Klingel. Following the Liturgy, the seminarians had a chance to engage and converse with the faithful of the parish.
In the evening, the Octet sang responses at a traditional Sunday evening Mission Vespers sponsored by the New York City Deanery. Several sisters of All Saints Greek Orthodox Monastery in Calverton NY also attended. Clergy in attendance along with the parish rector and Father Hatfield included: Archpriest Wiaczeslaw Krawczuk (NYC Dean), Archpriest Eric Tosi, Archpriest Joseph Woodill, Archpriest Jonathan Ivanoff, Priest David Cowan, Priest Nathan Preston (Saint Nicholas Albanian Orthodox Church, Queens NY), Priest Seraphim Joa, Priest John Diamantis, Protodeacon Eric Wheeler, Deacon Gregory Hatrak, and Deacon Nicholas Garklavs.
Father Hatfield’s preaching following Vespers recalled the missionary efforts of Saint Innocent of Alaska (who was commemorated that day). He exhorted the faithful to remember the fervor of early missionaries, whose legacy now benefits Orthodox Christians all across North America. The faithful shared a Lenten agape meal in the parish hall, prepared through the diligent labor of Matushka Peggy Klingel. The Octet performed a few additional selections, including an awe-inspiring rendition of Trubachev's "Bogoroditse Devo." Father Klingel presented a $1,000 gift of financial stewardship to the seminary on behalf of the parish and visiting faithful. He offered his profound thanks to Father Hatfield, Deacon Gregory, and the seminarians remarking:
"For many years, especially in the late 60's and early 70's, our parish had a close connection to Saint Vladimir's Seminary. Many of the seminary's greatest luminaries -- such as Father Alexander Schmemann and Father John Meyendorff -- visited and played an important role in guiding our parish: the first English-language mission on Long Island. And, through the efforts of Father Michael Mihalick, our former pastor, we were blessed to gain the original iconostas from the 'Old Chapel' ... a very tangible connection with Saint Vladimir's and its liturgical life. But for many years, for many reasons, this connection became weaker and more distant. And so, it is a great joy for us to welcome Father Chad and the Octet, to renew and reconnect this relationship of prayer, education, and inspiration with our parish. That this took place during Great Lent and through the ministry of such powerful and profound singing by the Octet, under the direction of Hierodeacon Herman [Majkrzak], made this day one that will be long remembered by us. And, in the time we spent with these seminarians, who were thoughtful, open and generous with us, we truly revisited the zeal and inspiration of our youth."