St. Herman’s Seminary commencement: “An Ending, But Also A Beginning….”

SHS Commencement

On May 27, 2012, Priest Michael Nicolai and Deacon Andrew Wasillie graduated from Saint Herman’s Seminary here.

Father Michael and Deacon Andrew now are entering a life of ministry after having spent years preparing for service to the Diocese of Alaska.

His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin presented the graduates with their Diplomas in Orthodox Theological Studies, as well as certificates from the Kodiak Area Native Association for their field work in substance abuse counselling.  In addition, Archbishop Benjamin awarded Reader’s Certificates to Deacon Jason Isaacs, Monk Timofey [Kozaki], Subdeacon John Askoak, Subdeacon Michael Trefon, and seminarian Wasillie Guy.

SHS Commencement
Deacon Andrew Wasillie with His Grace, Bishop Benjamin

We were honored to have the Archpriest Stephan Heckman, dean of the Yukon Deanery and rector of Transfiguration of Our Lord Church in Pilot Station, give the address at the commencement exercises.  His words of parish ministry and service to God’s people in Alaska were both eloquent and heartfelt.

Mary Ann Khoury of Outreach Alaska, who has coordinated support for the Seminary and other projects in the Diocese for nearly 15 years, presented gifts to the graduates from their sponsoring churches.

In addition, Archbishop Benjamin elevated adjunct instructor, Priest Samuel Gantt, to the dignity of Archpriest.  Axios!

SHS Commencement
Priest Michael Nicolai with His Grace, Bishop Benjamin

We offer sincere congratulations to our seminarians for their accomplishments and look forward to a bright future in our common ministry.  May God grant them and their families many years!

A commencement photo gallery may be viewed here.