My 2 postings so far on this:
Further on this topic, based on the responses I have received - a few common concern\question that stands in the way of us helping our Seminarians in the US seems to be
1) Why don't they go to either of our Seminaries in India?
2) Are they not losing out on the Oriental Orthodox\ Syriac tradition when they are trained in the Seminaries of the Byzantine Orthodox tradition?
I am hoping that these postings will result in some meaningful discussions about this subject, so that there is more awareness about the situation and more support for our young leaders.
Based on my interactions with a few people, here is what I understand:
I will try to provide an initial answer the first question above in this message and will try to address the second question in a future posting:
1) Why don't they go to either of our Seminaries in India? (The cost would have been much lesser that way)
The decision on
to go to is arrived at by these young people after deep contemplation, prayers and discussion with their spiritual father, family, Metropolitan and also at times the Principals of the Seminaries in India, and other fathers of the Church (sometimes even including the Bava) . It is not a decision taken lightly by these young people. Based on these discussions, and advices, each prospective Seminarian arrives at a decision to choose a Seminary most suitable for him\her. Some thus have also gone to India as a result of this process, for their entire training or for part of their training.
The Seminaries in the US train these young people to pastor to the community in America. Those living here will attest to the fact that pastoring to the community in America is a little bit different than pastoring elsewhere. No offense to any of our dedicated priests but one important question to consider : We are in the US for around 45 years now as a community,
so we have been raising the community, pastoring
to them since then here - yet we don't find many people around 40 born and raised in the US still in the Church - what went wrong??
Hope this discussion picks up.
Mathew Samuel, Albany, NY