Bishop Basil is Featured Speaker for St. Vladimir's Anniversary Gala
On November 7, 2013, His Grace Bishop Basil of Wichita and Mid-America addressed the 430 guests gathered for St. Vladimir's Seminary's 75th Anniversary Gala, a black tie dinner hosted by the Board of Trustees at Glen Island Harbour Club, New Rochelle, NY. A 1973 alumnus of the Seminary, Bishop Basil noted that in speaking for the event, he had come home to "the place that made me all that I am."
The Seminary, he continued, has had a "sustained impact in Orthodoxy throughout the world." Most of the Archdiocese's hierarchs are alumni of St. Vladimir's Seminary, and the current student body numbers many Antiochian students as well.
St. Vladimir's launched the "Bishop Basil Program in Byzantine Liturgical Music" in 2010, when the Board of Trustees presented His Grace with an honorary doctorate and announced the creation of the program in his name. The Seminary's Alumni Association Board Chair Gregory Abdalah (Class of '08) has noted that, "Bishop Basil has had a great influence on the development of Byzantine Music in English. Sayidna was a pioneer in translating the hymns into Western form, thus ensuring that the music would be accessible to America and in turn, teaching generations of seminarians who then taught their parishioners."
Other Antiochian bishops in attendence at the St. Vladimir's anniversary celebration included His Grace Bishop John, Diocese of Worcester and New England, and His Grace Bishop Nicholas, Diocese of New York and Washington D.C. Bishop Nicholas is the hierarch responsible for overseeing the education of students enrolled in seminaries, and in particular, for overseeing the Ordination Review Board of the Archdiocese, and he regularly visits with students at St. Vladimir's. Bishop John is an alumnus of St. Vladimir's (M.Div., Class of 1984) and visited the Seminary's Yonkers campus in January of 2013 for the Feast of the Three Hierarchs. The Very Rev. Dr. John McGuckin, The Ane Marie and Bent Emil Nielsen Professor in Late Antique and Byzantine Christian History, Union Theological Seminary, and Professor of Byzantine Christian Studies, Columbia University, also spoke at the banquet.