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Summer 2017 Newsletter
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Saints Cyril & Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary

Saints Cyril & Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary

The Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Saints Cyril and Methodius has the distinction of being the only freestanding, English-speaking, Byzantine Catholic Seminary in the nation. In its almost 63 years, it has prepared more than 400 priests to serve the church and its people.

Until the Second World War, most local seminarians trained in Presov or Uzhorod in Eastern Europe. In the early 1950s, Bishop Daniel Ivancho set aside plans for a new cathedral and instead established this seminary, which was dedicated October 18, 1951. The chapel, completed on February 23, 1952, features design and artwork by the Rambusch Company of New York. Christina Dochwat, a Ukrainian émigré iconographer from Philadelphia, redid most of the icons in a more traditional style in 1974.

The goal of Byzantine sacred architecture is to reproduce an experience of heaven on earth. The iconostasis, a focal point of the nave, features icons arranged in a strict pattern. The deacon uses the side doors; only the bishop or priest may pass through the central doors. The peacock design on these doors is an ancient symbol of the Resurrection. Icons of the 12 evangelists grace the altar.

Over the altar is a canopy-like structure called the baldacchino. This traditional feature is usually made of wood or marble, but ours is unique in being metallic. In the four corners are the animals found in the prophecies of Ezekiel and used since ancient times as symbols of the Gospels: man, for Matthew; ox, for Luke; lion, for Mark; and eagle, for John.

The central window shows the episcopal coats of arms of Bishop Basil Takach, first Byzantine Ruthenian bishop in the United States, and of Bishop Daniel Ivancho. Many other windows throughout the building combine art with historical realism. Look for the one that features a depiction of our seminary!