Today—March 18, 2020—marks the fifth anniversary of the repose of Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus of Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary [SVOTS], and noted Orthodox Christian priest, theologian, preacher, mentor, and speaker.
During his years of priestly ministry, Father Thomas authored numerous books and articles, including his well known The Orthodox Faith: An Elementary Handbook on the Orthodox Church.
A prolific lecturer and preacher, he spoke at conferences, retreats, and Church gatherings of all kinds, many of which were recorded. Father Thomas exercised untiring and loving pastoral care on behalf of many who sought him out for spiritual guidance. His greatest desire was that every person would respond to these words of Jesus Christ: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” [Matthew 11:28].
As we continue to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the autocephaly of the Orthodox Church in America, the place of Father Tom in the growth of parish life and theological education in the Metropolia and the Orthodox Church in America, and his influence on those leading our seminaries can not be understated. “Fr Tom is one of those influences in my life, not so much from the past, but now, as a voice reminding me of the many “lost opportunities” we have let pass us by in America as Orthodox Christians. But he is also an example to me of great faith in Christ and the perseverance of His holy Church,” said Archpriest Chad Hatfield, President of Saint Vladimir Seminary.
“Among the countless lessons he taught me was, to be honest. He was a Christian, a priest, a man, who, to my eye and knowledge tried with every fiber of his being to live what he believed,” said Archpriest John Parker, Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary [STOTS].
“If there is anything Father Tom taught us, it is that he was not speaking to us because he had a lot to say. He really only had one thing to say: please follow the commandments,” noted Metropolitan Tikhon. “We are thankful, especially today in our current situation, that Father Tom left us with so many words written and spoken, through which he continues to encourage and inspire us.”
Father Tom was one of the most prolific podcasters, a pioneer you might say. We share here one of the most popular episodes of his Ancient Faith Radio Speaking the Truth in Love series: God is in Control - Yes or No?. It seems a proper one for the moment.
May Protopresbyter Thomas Hopko’s memory be eternal!