Seminary Awards Two Degrees


On the morning of May 3, 2010 faculty, staff, family and friends gathered in the chapel of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary for a Moleben (Prayer Service) in honor of SS. Cyril and Methodius, the patrons of the Seminary.  At the conclusion of the service, Metropolitan Basil conferred diplomas upon two graduates of this spring, Deacon William Rupp and Maria Freishyn Chirovsky.

William Rupp, a seminarian from SS. Peter and Paul parish in Erie, PA completed four years of theology and received his Master of Divinity degree (MDiv) - magna cum laude.  When asked what his thoughts were upon completing his years of study and formation, he replied, “In my seminary years I was able to meet a variety of people who were my support: faculty, spiritual director, clergy, field education supervisors and fellow seminarians. They were always there for me, and I am grateful to them.”

    Maria Chirovsky and Deacon Will Rupp.

Will was quick to say to he knows almost every priest and deacon in the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh which occurred through the many clergy who visited during his years at the Seminary and also by visiting various parishes.  He also pointed out: “My parochial ministry in the summers were very important to me.  They enabled me to work at diverse parishes in different areas of the Archeparchy; Portage and Uniontown, PA and Warren, OH.”

When asked to sum up his four years of theology at the Seminary, Will quickly answered: “My time here increased my desire to learn and to serve.”  Will looks forward to his ordination to the presbyterate in May.

Pani Maria Freishyn Chirovsky received a Master of Arts in Theology degree (MAT) - magna cum laude - with a concentration in Liturgy and Scripture.  She has the distinction of being the first woman to receive a degree from the Byzantine Catholic Seminary.  She commented enthusiastically on this characteristic; “I am happy to be the first woman, but I certainly hope that I am not the last!”

Pani Maria is the wife of Fr. Ivan Chirovsky who is pastor at St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Southside Pittsburgh. She and her husband have two teenage children, Antony and Taisa.

It took Maria four years to obtain her degree while raising a family and serving with her husband in the parish.  Maria said, however, “It didn’t seem like work at all, in fact, going to classes was like raising a child, all joy.” When asked what her favorite course of study was, Maria replied that she didn’t have one class that she didn’t like!

Maria’s future plans are to train to be a hospital chaplain.  She will begin her studies for this position at the end of May.