St. Vincent Latrobe Seminarians visit B.C.S.
By Seminarian Allen Blehl
On Thursday, March 23, 2023 the Byzantine Catholic Seminary community welcomed the rector and twelve seminarians from St. Vincent Seminary in Latrobe, PA for an evening of prayer and fellowship. The event marked the return of a tradition which had been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After a tour of the seminary facilities led by B.C.S. seminarians, attendees gathered in the Seminary Chapel for an impromptu presentation on Eastern spirituality by Fr. Ivan Chirovsky, Director of Spiritual Formation, and for the celebration of a Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, celebrated by Fr. Robert Pipta, Rector. In his homily, Fr. Robert addressed some of the variations between Eastern and Western Lenten liturgical practices, and also preached on the parables of the Good Samaritan and the Weeds. For some St. Vincent seminarians, this liturgy represented their first experience of Eastern worship.
Following the conclusion of the divine service, seminarians and members of the B.C.S. Rector’s Council assembled in the refectory for a Lenten supper. Many students expressed their appreciation for the ceremonies and beauty of Byzantine worship, as well as their desire for greater understanding and mutual enrichment between East and West.