St. Hermans Seminary Trustees Announce New Ilaasi Director, Set Goals

Mrs Elizabeth Yanowsky-Slanta, a Washington DC area layperson who has distinguished herself in the area of Orthodox missions, was recently named Executive Director of the Friends of Saint Herman - Ilaasi, a group of individuals dedicated to supporting the work of Saint Herman’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Kodiak, AK.

The announcement was made by His Grace, Bishop INNOCENT of Anchorage, at a meeting of the seminary’s Board of Trustees here October 7, 1999. Ilaasi was organized some two decades ago and for many years had been headed by Mr Phil Tamoush, Torrance, CA.

Mrs. Yanowsky-Slanta, who will also represent Isaasi on the seminary’s Board of Trustees, will oversee revitalization of Ilaasi while building an awareness of the schools ongoing needs and direction. Among her immediate tasks will be the preparation of a mailing to Ilaasi supporters by the end of 1999.

“Building an awareness of the seminary’s needs, especially among faithful in the lower 48, will be one of Ilaasis first tasks,” said Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America, who participated in the board meeting. “Mrs Yanowsky-Slanta, who also serves as an OCA representative to the Orthodox Christian Missions Center and has been at the forefront of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in Americas Mission Hotline, is well suited to the task before her. We are confident that she will build an awareness of the seminary and its needs while identifying individuals interested in strengthening the seminary’s mission.”

During their meeting, the seminary trustees reaffirmed the unanimous decision made at their meeting of May 4-5, 1999, which emphasized the vital role the seminary plays in the missionary and outreach work of the Orthodox Church in Alaska and the importance of ensuring the schools ongoing existence. The trustees emphasized the need to produce students who can lead, preach and teach in their communities with the goal of reestablishing the Church as the center of the local community. Among the other objectives discussed were the possible relocation of the seminary to Anchorage, providing continuing education for existing priests through support systems and continuing education programs, and the recruitment of qualified students.

In order to achieve these objectives, the trustees agreed to develop plans for the ongoing development of the seminary’s faculty and the enhancement of a catechetical apostolic model to further the seminary’s educational mission throughout the Diocese of Alaska. The possibility of offering instruction in locations beyond Kodiak, the seminary’s present site, were also considered.

Other goals to be pursued by the trustees include the immediate liquidation of the seminary’s outstanding debts, renovation of the schools buildings, and the possible use of the facilities for retreats, conferences, and pilgrimages. In his report to the trustees, Igumen Gerasim [Vurik], Temporary Administrator of the seminary, reviewed the physical condition of the schools physical plant, noting that the single-student dormitory was in need of extensive repairs to avert the building from becoming structurally unsound. Father Gerasim also informed the trustees of other areas in need of immediate attention. In an effort to address the seminary’s financial needs, Bishop INNOCENT noted that the schools 1999 Thanksgiving Appeal is expected to raise between $40,000 and $80,000.

Bishop INNOCENT also reviewed the seminary’s present administrative operations and enrollment, noting that there are six full-time resident students and three individuals pursuing the schools distance delivery program. Bishop INNOCENT informed the trustees that he had appointed the Rev Andrew Myers, Ouzinkie, AK, to serve as seminary chaplain and liturgics instructor, noting that Father Myers is the first graduate of Saint Herman’s to serve on the schools faculty and administration.

Bishop INNOCENT also announced that Julian Anitei has been appointed instructor in Canon Law, Music, and Moral Theology. He also reported that the Rev and Mrs John Dunlop are considering extending their tenure at the seminary beyond the current semester.

During the meeting, Bishop INNOCENT presented board member Mr. Clifford T. Argue with the Order of Saint INNOCENT, Bronze Class, on behalf of His Beatitude, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS, SHS President. The award was made in recognition of Mr. Argues years of dedicated service to the seminary and its trustees.

Eight trustees - four from Alaska and four from the “lower 48” - were elected to the board. New trustees include the Very Revs Nicholas Molodyko-Harris, Paul Jaroslaw, and Simeon Oskolkoff; the Rev Michael Dunaway; Messrs Robert Andrews, Clifford T. Argue, and Elary Gromoff, Jr.; and Ms Irene Barinoff. Father Gerasim serves as an ex officio member of the board, while Mr. Edgar Blatchford was appointed as a board consultant. The Diocese of Alaskas lay board representatives will be elected at the dioceses forthcoming assembly.

Prior to the close of the meeting, the trustees expressed their gratitude to the Rev Peter Bourdukofsky and Mr Ben Ardinger for their many years of service to the seminary and its trustees. This announcement was made by His Grace, Bishop INNOCENT of Anchorage, at a meeting of the seminary’s Board of Trustees here October 7, 1999.

Board members attending the meeting included His Grace, Bishop INNOCENT, SHS Rector; Protopresbyter Robert S. Kondratick, OCA Chancellor; the Very Rev Nicholas Molodyko-Harris, Former Chancellor, Diocese of Alaska; the Very Rev Simeon Oskolkoff; the Rev Nicolai Jaroslaw; Dr. Richard John Dauenhauer; Messers Robert Andrews and Clifford T. Argue; and Ms Irene Barinoff. Guests included Messers. Edgar Blatchford, Elary Gromoff, Jr., and Paul Hunchak, Assistant to the Chancellor; and Mrs. Elizabeth Yanowsky-Slanta. Trustees unable to attend the meeting included His Beatitude, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS, SHS President; the Rev. Nicolai Larson; Deacon John Larson; and Messers Ben Ardinger and Moshe Zorea.