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Crestwood, NY - On 23 January 2010, a delegation from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological seminary (New York, USA) took part in the All-Night Vigil at the Church of the “Joy to All Afflicted” Icon of the Mother of God in Bolshaya Ordynka Str., Moscow. Archbishop Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for external church relations and rector of the church, officiated at the Divine Service.

After the All-Night Vigil Archbishop Hilarion extended cordial greetings from the ambo to archpriest John Behr and archpriest Chad Hatfield, dean and chancellor of St. Vladimir’s Seminary respectively.

His Eminence remarked that distinguished representatives of the Orthodox Church in America were in Moscow on the occasion of awarding St. Vladimir’s Seminary the prize of the Foundation for the Unity of Orthodox Christian Nations. The ceremony took place at the Hall of Church Councils in the Cathedral of Christ the Saviour on January 21. The Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev are among the prizewinners; His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia delivered the prizes.

Archbishop Hilarion underscored that for several decades St. Vladimir’s Orthodox seminary had been a major scholarly and missionary centre in North America. The theological school teaches students from different countries, Russia included. His Eminence told those present that he had visited St. Vladimir’s seminary more than once, meeting with the faculty and lecturing the students.

The eminent guests presented the DECR chairman with the icon of St. Raphael of Brooklyn, canonized by the Orthodox Church in America, to commemorate their communion in prayer. St. Raphael was vicar and assistant to St. Tikhon during his ministry on the North American continent.

During the dinner that followed, Archbishop Hilarion, the dean and the chancellor of St. Vladimir’s seminary discussed cooperation of the Russian Orthodox Church with the Orthodox Church in America, and between St. Vladimir’s seminary and the Ss Cyril and Methodius Post-Graduate and Doctoral Programme of the Russian Orthodox Church.