HONORARY DOCTORATE - Honoris Causa
New York, NY - During his visit to the Eastern American coast and by the invitation of St. Vladimir's Seminary on Saturday, Bishops Atanasije and Maxim visited this school on Saturday July 23, 2007. They were greeted by the Dean, Fr. John Erickson and a few professors, after which the guests visited thechurch and the library. That evening at six o’clock Vespers was served by His Bishop Tikhon of Philadephia and Eastern Pennsylvania (OCA) after which dinner followed. The delegation was accompanied by Fr. Stamatis Skliris, abbot Sava, Fr. Nicholas Ceko, Hieromonk Jovan and Mr. Brian Gerich.
On Sunday, June 24, 2007 at 9:00 am the Holy Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the Chapel of St. Vladimir's Academy by Bishops: Tikhon of Pennsylvania, Maxim of Western America and Atanasije, retired bishop of Zahum and Hercegovina. At the end of liturgy Bishop Atanasije expressed his gratitude for the invitation, the services, the reception and the hospitality.
The Serbian bishops also visited the nearby cemetery where Archpriest John Meyendorf is buried and served a memorial service at this grave site.
In the afternoon hours in the faculty hall Bishop Atanasije spoke for about an hour to the collegiate professors of St. Vladimir's Academy on the subject of Orthodox theology today.
On the same day at 7p His Grace Bishop Atanasije (Jevtic) was granted the Honorary Doctorate -
Honoris causa of St. Vladimir's Academy in New York in the auditorium in presence of Bishops Tikhon and Maxim, the clergy and many guests, among whom was a small group of Serbs from New York and other cities.
The dean of the school, Fr. John Erickson, in his address, read the decision of the faculty of the
academy. Professor Paul Meyendorf read the reasons for bestowing this honor to His Grace the bishop, which were, among other things, the extensive pedagogical works of Bishop Atanasije (Jevtic) in the subject of Patrology and to his activity as dean of the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Church. At the same time it was noted that His Grace Bishop Atanasije had authored many books, text books, studies and articles on many historical and theological subjects (patrology, history of the church, canon laws, liturgics, etc.) for which he greatly influenced the development of contemporary theological thought and on the generation of young Serbian and pan-Orthodox seminarians. The plaque was given by Fr. Erickson and a cross was given by Bishop Tikhon. After which Bishop Atanasije, with warm words of gratitude, thanked the school, it's patron St. Vladimir, the professors and students for the recognition which he
experienced as a recognition to his people, the Church and his teachers, Fr. Justin Popovic and St. Nikolai of Zicha. At the end Bishop Atanasije expressed his desire for the many successes of the school, praising its mission in witnessing Orthodoxy in America.
After the bestowing of the doctorate the official annual summer institute at St. Vladimir's Academy began with a lecture given by Fr. Gregory Wolfenden, professor of liturgics at St. Sophia Seminary in New Jersey on the liturgical topic Learning from the Past, We Search for the Future.
We note that among those that have received the Honorary Doctorate – Honoris causa from St. Vladimir's Seminary, besides Archimandrite Justin Popovic there are many famous church figures, some of whom are the ecumenical Russian and Serbian patriarchs, the Archbishop of Albania Athanasios, His Grace John Zizioulas, Metropolitan of Pergamon and others.
Guided from his youth by the Serbian Orthodox Church, and standing firmly in the tradition of the Fathers, His Grace The Right Reverend Atanasije (Yevtic) has worked tirelessly for the truth. A student of Archimandrite Justin (Popovic) of blessed memory, he taught many others as Professor of Patrology and as Dean of the Orthodox Theological Faculty in Belgrade, and yet others through his numerous and diverse books. Consecrated to the episcopacy, Bishop Atanasije shepherded his flock through times of troubles, always holding fast to his convictions.
By word and deed, Bishop Atanasije became a father in the faith for many, reaping harvest both in his own country and, through his disciples, in our own. With admiration, therefore, and with deep respect, St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary is honored to bestow upon him the degree of Doctor of Divinity honoris causa.
Crestwood, New York. June 24, 2007