Chronology of Major Events, 1905-2005
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Chronology of Major Events, 1905-2012
1905 (May) - At the 6th convention of the Orthodox Mutual Aid Society in Cleveland, plans are laid to found the monastery and orphan's home. Hieromonk (later Archbishop) Arseny, pastor of the Mayfield, PA. parish, is placed at head of construction of the monastery and orphanage, having been so appointed by Archbishop Tikhon of the North American diocese. A committee seeks land in the Wilkes-Barre area, and, after visits by Archbishop Tikhon and Fr. Arseny, acquires the Wagner farm in So. Canaan, near settled families of the Mayfield parish.

1905 (July) - Monastery and orphanage established simultaneously, co-founded by Archbishop Tikhon and Hieromonk Arseny. From the first, the monastery is stavropighial (that is, coming directly under the authority of the metropolitan rather than the local bishop). The institutions are at first managed together; later the orphanage became a separate unit. The first monastery pilgrimage is held July 31, and the monastery and orphanage land is consecrated by Bishop Raphael (Hawaweeny) of Brooklyn. The first brothers of the monastery are Constantine Chupeck (later Igumen Kiprian) and Andrew (later Archimandrite Anthony) Repella. Aug. 26 (old style) is the first patronal feast of the monastery, the feast of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk. Archbishop Tikhon celebrates the liturgy and tonsures Br. Andrew Repella as a monk, giving him the name Anthony. Monastery construction begins in the fall, by Theodore Vachna from Mayfield. Cornerstone laid by Bp. Tikhon in December. In the same month, Hieromonk Tikhon (Rostovsky) arrives from Hartshorne, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) and is appointed as spiritual guide of the monastery by St. Tikhon, and as acting superior in the absences of Fr. Arseny. With Fr. Tikhon present to serve as a priest, a more regular service schedule is adopted.

1906 - Construction of the monastery being complete, the second pilgimage is held May 30, during which the monastery church is consecrated and the residence blessed by Bp. (St.) Tikhon. Present are Bp. (St.) Raphael and Bp. Innocent along with many other clergy and faithful, including future martyr St. Alexander Hotovitsky and St. Alexis Toth. Hieromonk Arseny appointed Igumen (Superior) of the monastery. St. Tikhon remains at the monastery all summer, living with the brothers and attending the services, except on weekends when he serves neighboring parishes.

1907 - On Jan. 25 St. Tikhon is transferred back to Russia. In March he visits the monastery for the last time before leaving North America. From Russia he continued to help finance the completion of the monastery's construction.

1908 - Fr. Arseny transferred to Canada to minister to parishes there.

1909 - Fr. (St.) Alexis Toth reposes and is interred in the monastery cemetary.

1914 - Orphanage moved to Brooklyn, NY (later moved to Springfield, VT, and then back to South Canaan)

1915 - Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos Church is built on the monastery grounds; destroyed by arson in 1928 and never rebuilt.

1916 - St. Alexis's remains transferred to a newly-constructed mausoleum at back of monastery church.

1922 (Aug). Archimandrite Luke (Cirkun) assigned to St. Tikhon's Monastery as the Superior, a post he holds for well over 30 years. Legal guardian of the orphans. Archimandrite Luke was born June 18, 1880 in Russia; arrived NY in 1911 and ordained as hieromonk (priestmonk).

1938 - St. Tikhon's is established as a pastor's school by Archbishop Arseny, with the consent and blessing of Metropolitan Theophilus and according to the decision of the Cleveland Sobor (1937). Abp. Arseny, who was also the first Orthodox bishop for Canada, holds the post of seminary rector till his death in Oct. 1945.

1940-41 - Two story brick building constructed for the orphanage by ROCMAS (Russian Orthdoox Mutual Aid Society). This building still stands, now used as faculty and staff apartments

1947 (Oct) - Bishop Nikon appointed seminary rector and official church representative at monastery.

1948 - The pastor's school becomes a seminary by proclamation of the Council of Bishops. Classes being held in the original quarters of the orphanage. Course of study increased to four years. The orphanage is now managed by a Guardianship Committee, a corporation set up by the late Archbishop Arseny. Bishop Nikon serves as president and there are 5 clergy directors. Orphanage superintendent is V. Rev. Nicholas Bellavin; his wife, C. I. Bellavin, is directress. The orphanage children receive education from the So. Canaan elementary school and the Waymart or Lake Ariel high schools. The youngest and most celebrated orphan is a baby boy left in a small basket on the seminary doorstep on Nov. 8, 1948 with a note from his mother, of whom no trace had been found as of 1950; he was baptized in the monastery church as Dimitri Tikhon Zadonsky, after the patron saint of the monastery and seminary.

1950 - V. Rev. Basil Moussin-Pushkin is supervisor for the orphanage (Fr. Bellavin now pastors a parish in Springfield, Vt.). Fr. Basil is assisted by his matushka and by nurse Tatiana B. Arseny. The upstairs of the orphanage building is the seminary dormitory. Bishop Nikon is appointed seminary president. V. Rev. Protopresbyter Gregory Lomako serves as dean. Prof. Robert Wilson, principal for 20 years at Waymart High School, teaches philosophy at the seminary.

1951 - In the fall, Bp. Nikon is relieved as seminary rector due to illness. On Nov. 5, Bishop Vyacheslav becomes the new rector. He was born in 1893 in Volynia, Russia. On Sept. 25, Metropolitan Leonty consecrates the new seminary building, built by Walter Barna. Still standing today, it is the front part of the seminary and houses administration and faculty offices. The church directory states that the monastery building was "recently" brick veneered. The monks still reside in the upper floor of the church building. The orphanage has 22 orphans. A playground, with playground equipment, is built for the children. Bishop Nicholai Velimirovich (St. Nicholai of Zhicha) takes up residence in St. Tikhon's Monastery and begins teaching in the seminary.

1952 - Bishop Vyacheslav, rector, falls asleep in the Lord. Bishop Nicholai (Velimirovich) begins teaching at the seminary. (Bp. Nicholai was glorified as a saint by the Church of Serbia in 1978.) Rev. Serge Seminin is supervisor of the orphanage, assisted by Matushka Nina Seminin.

1953 - Metropolitan Leonty is rector (probably honorary, as he is not in residence). Bishop Jonah (Stahlberg) becomes rector; born in 1894, he was tonsured as a monk at St. Tikhon's in 1942. Fr. Basil Martinson is dean. There are 23 children in the orphanage.

1955 - Bp. Jonah and Fr. Martinson repose. St. Nicholai becomes rector. The orphanage has 17 children, aged 3 to 14.

1956 - St. Nicholai reposes on March 18. Igumen Gennady is dean. Archimandrite Andronik is abbot of the monastery. Archimandrite Luke, former monastery superior who was ill, reposes June 17.

1959 - Archimandrite Andronik reposes after an illness. Igumen Vasily is abbot of the monastery.

1960 - New monastery refectory is built. Fr. Basil Stroyen is dean of the seminary.

1961 - New monastery dormitory constructed, including a small chapel and refectory. The original monastery building, which had contained monastic cells, is renovated to be solely a church. Archimandrite Gabriel (Sokoloff) becomes monastery abbot.

1962 - Bishop Kiprian is seminary rector and monastery abbot. New wing of seminary completed to the left of the present administration section.

1963 - Metropolitan Leonty is head of the monastery; his vicar, Bishop Kiprian, supervises the monastery. Seminary curriculum is 4 years, but 3 years for college graduates. Second phase of seminary construction (new office and dormitory wing) carried out Oct. 10 to May 29, 1964.

1965 - Metropolitan Leonty reposes. Main monastery church is enlarged and redecorated with icons.

1966 - Metropolitan Iriney, as primate of the Church, is head of the monastery. Bishop Kiprian is his local representative. Rev. Joseph Swaiko is seminary secretary and registrar.

1967 - Fr. Sergei Seminin, supervisor of the orphanage, reposes. Third seminary construction phase begins (classrooms and gymnasium-auditorium). Seminary chartered by Commonwealth of PA. Academic program expanded from 4 to 5 years (for non-college graduates).

1968 - Construction completed; dedicated Sept 14, 1968. The orphanage is renamed as St. Tikhon Russian Orthodox Children's Home. Mr. and Mrs. Michael Sekela are administrators of the children's home.

1970 - On Dec. 4, Fr. Joseph Swaiko tonsured as a monk, receiving the name Herman.

1971 - Last year that the children's home is listed in the church directory.

1973 - Fr. Herman consecrated bishop on Feb. 10 and becomes vice-rector of the seminary.

1980 - Archbishiop Kiprian reposes, Dec. 14.

1981 - Bishop Herman becomes rector of the seminary.

1982 - Metropolitan Theodosius, primate of the Orthodox Church in America, is abbot and Bishop Herman is deputy abbot of the monastery.

1987 - St. Nicholai of Zhicha canonized by the Church of Serbia.

1988 - Many shrines are built and improvements to the grounds made in honor of the Millennium of the Baptism of Russia.

1990 - St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow and monastery co-founder, is canonized by the Church of Russia.

1994 - St. Alexander Hotovitsky canonized by the Church of Russia. St. Alexis of Wilkes-Barre canonized by the Orthodox Church in America; his remains are translated to the monastery church.

1994-95 - Monastery bell tower replaced; the new one includes a repository for the Guzey Icon Collection.

2000 (April 22) - Hieromonk Tikhon is elevated to Archimandrite. St. Raphael of Brooklyn canonized at St. Tikhon's during the monastery pilgrimage.

2002 - Archbishop Herman elected Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, succeeding Metropolitan Theodosius, who retired due to ill health. As Metropolitan, he also holds the office of Abbot of St. Tikhon's Monastery. On December 13, Archimandrite Tikhon becomes Deputy Abbot.

2004 (February 14) - Archimandrite Tikhon consecrated Bishop of South Canaan and Auxiliary to the Metropolitan

2004, Memorial Day - 100th annual Memorial Day Pilgrimage takes place

2005, Memorial Day - Orthodox Church in America joins St Tikhon's Monastery in celebrating the Centennial of the monastery's opening, which took place in the summer of 1905. On July 31, 2005 we observed the 100th anniversary of the blessing of the land by St. Raphael of Brooklyn and of the first Divine Liturgy celebrated on the site of the future monastery building.

2005 - Deputy Abbot Bishop Tikhon of South Canaan is elected and installed as bishop of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania of the Orthodox Church in America.

2008 - Fr. Sergius becomes the 16th Abbot of the Monastery and is enthroned the following year.

2009 - The Brotherhood of the Monastery begins to take over the daily operations of the Monastery, starts producing candles, icons and oversees the STS publishing house. A new house is built to hold more monks.

2011 - The brotherhood grows to record number of Fathers and Novices topping 18 at its peak.

2012 - The monastery finishes major renovations of all buildings, including painting, insulation, and new floors and rooves.

Monastery of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk
175 St. Tikhon's Road
Waymart, PA 18472
570-937-4067 (Phone)
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