St. Vladimir Seminary hosts High School Juniors at Summer Institute

The Saint Vladimir Seminary Youth Institute was held the week of June 22 and ran currently with the annual Liturgical Institute of Music and Pastoral Practice. The Youth Institute provided full scholarships to six high school juniors to learn about their Orthodox Christian faith in an intense program in a seminary environment.

The students attended lectures by prominent Orthodox teachers, researched a topic of interest to them by using the seminary library, presented their completed papers, toured the archives and the grounds of the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America, and visited a Greek Orthodox Church known for its incredible mosaics. The students also visited “Ground Zero” in New York City, helped unload a food truck to a monastic community that feeds and ministers to the poor in the South Bronx, and experienced the workings of New York’s Covenant House, which ministers to runaway teens.

Institute participants included Rachel Cattell, Port Matilda, PA; Leah Lieberman, Cayce, SC; Maria Liberovsky, Rockville Centre, NY; Juliana Mecera, Plain City, OH; Nicholas York, Pittsburgh, PA; and Mircea Geana, Romania. Ann Mitsakos, an SVS alumna pursuing doctoral studies at Boston College, and the Very Rev. Steven Belonick, Director of Recruitment and Public Relations at Saint Vladimir’s, acted as supervisors to the group.

“The students were encouraged to use their experience to make a difference in their own communities,” said Father Belonick at the conclusion of the Institute. “They agreed that the week at St Vladimir’s was one of the best experiences of their life.”

The seminary will be looking for six motivated participants for next year’s Institute. Interested persons may contact Father Steven Belonick at 914/961-8313, ext. 328 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Because of the success of the Youth Institute, the seminary is considering developing a similar program for college juniors. Information will be forthcoming on the seminary’s web site,