Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Ordination and Tonsure of Pastoral School Students

Our student, Deacon Daniel Warren reports the following:

“On Sunday, 5/18 February, 2024, we received an archpastoral visit from His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America at St. Seraphim of Sarov Orthodox Church in Boise, Idaho. During the reading of the Hours, Seraphim Denno [my godfather and fellow Diaconate Preparation Program student] was tonsured a Reader and I was ordained to the Subdiaconate. On the same day during Diving Liturgy I was ordained to the Diaconate.”

We congratulate our students and ask the prayers of our community for their fruitful ministry!

Fr. Gregory Joyce, Dean

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Pastoral School Liturgical Practicum Held in Houston

With the blessing of Archbishop Peter, the third Liturgical Practicum of the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America took place at St. Jonah parish in Spring, Texas February 22-25, 2024. The two previous practicums were held at the Diocesan Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God in Chicago. Archbishop Peter, President of the Pastoral School, felt it was important that the practicum be offered in the southern part of the diocese as well, which is experiencing much growth, and where many new clergymen have recently been ordained. God willing, the practicum will be held annually in the north and annually in the south going forward. The Pastoral School is very thankful to the St. Jonah parish for hosting the practicum.

The practicum began with registration and introductions on Thursday, February 22, quickly followed by a group meal and the first of the Divine Services of the practicum. After vigil that night a “postmortem” was held, reviewing the evening’s services in the light of the standard liturgical practices of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. The postmortem was held in a constructive atmosphere of learning and sharing, where questions were welcome and instruction was positive. A postmortem of this type was held after each of the Evening Services and Divine Liturgies of the Practicum, led by the instructors of the Practicum:

  • Archpriest Gregory Joyce
  • Protodeacon Alexander Kichakov
  • Protodeacon Alexander Petrovsky
  • Larissa Kaminsky-Sander

Between the Divine Services lectures were held on the following topics:

  • Using the Voice to the Glory of God: A Workshop for Clergy
  • The Divine Liturgy
  • The All-Night Vigil
  • Matching the Choir’s Pitch/Common Practices in ROCOR
  • Authentic ROCOR Liturgical Practices

Additionally, all participants in the Practicum received one on one instruction in the appropriate use of the voice for clergymen by Larissa Kaminsky-Sander, Chair of the Diocese Liturgical Music Committee.

Following the All Night Vigil on Saturday evening a festive banquet was held at a local restaurant. All participants took part in the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, February 25. Shortly thereafter the participants returned to their parishes, ready to put into practice the new information they had learned at the practicum.


Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Students Admitted to the Pastoral School Spring Semester

The Pastoral School Spring semester begins on February 12, 2024. We are pleased to announce that the following students have been accepted for this semester:

Balashov, Andrei
Coveart, Matthew
Donohoe, Reader Cyril
Farley, Subdeacon Paul
Fletcher, Patrick
Lawrence, John
Quilty, Kenneth
Sheehan, Adam
Vuckovic, Reader Victor
Yonan, Anderious

We congratulate these students on their acceptance to the Pastoral School! And we ask your prayers for success in their theological academic pursuits. Most will be studying in the Pastoral Theology Program, others in our other PROGRAMS

The next application deadline for the Pastoral School is September 1, 2024. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, so those who would like to apply are welcome to do so at any time for the next semester. The application form can be found here:


We welcome your application! If you have questions, please contact me.

Fr. Gregory Joyce, Dean
Cell/SMS/What's App/Viber/Telegram/etc.: +1-734-649-5746

Thursday, December 21, 2023

Pastoral School Graduate Fr. Paul Siewers Ordained to the Priesthood

Somehow we missed this great news, but perhaps it is providential because it allows us to not only share the news, but share with our Pastoral School family the fundraising that Fr. Paul's parish is doing now too. 



Thursday, December 14, 2023

Graduation Weekend 2024 Set

With the blessing of the President of the Pastoral School, Archbishop Peter of Chicago & Mid-America, the Spring Graduation weekend for 2024 has been set for June 15-16. On June 15 comprehensive examinations and thesis defense will take place at the Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in Des Plaines, IL. On June 16, following the Divine Liturgy, diplomas will be awarded to the graduates. Graduating seniors are expected to be present at all the activities on June 15 and 16. Flights out of O'Hare should not be scheduled before 6:00 p.m. on June 16. Please contact me with questions or concerns. Further communication will be forthcoming to graduating seniors. Those who plan to graduate at the June 16 graduation should be in touch with me as soon as possible to finalize any outstanding details.

Very Rev. Fr. Gregory Joyce, Dean

Monday, December 11, 2023

Pastoral School to Accept Applications for Spring 2024 Semester

The Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America is committed to making high quality Orthodox theological education as accessible to as many interested students as possible. Based on this commitment we have made it possible for students to study either full time or part time in our school, have instituted summer courses, and accept applicants in both the fall and spring semesters.

Applications for admission for the spring semester are due February 1, 2024. Classes begin February 12, 2024. Applications and further information on the Pastoral School programs can be found at our web site.

Questions should be directed to the Dean of the Pastoral School, Priest Gregory Joyce:


Thursday, December 7, 2023

Liturgical Practicum South is February 22-25, 2024

Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America Offers Practical Training Seminar for Deacons & Priests in Southern States

With the blessing of Archbishop Peter, the Pastoral School is pleased to announce an important opportunity for present and future clergymen. The Liturgical Practicum aims to teach the practical application of the liturgics that is studied in the classroom. Participants will learn how to serve according to the traditional practices of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. The topics covered will range from how a clergyman interacts with the choir during the Divine Services, to how to appropriately use the censer, to how to serve the Hierarchal Divine Services, and all else that every Deacon and Priest needs to know. In addition, all participants will receive voice coaching to allow for the proper use of the voice in chanting and singing. The Liturgical Practicum is designed and highly recommended for new clergymen in the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America, but ALL ARE WELCOME. Limited space is available so please register as soon as possible. Registration deadline is February 1, 2024. The dates of the practicum are February 22-25, 2024. The location of the practicum is St. Jonah Parish in Spring, Texas.

For more information and to register: fr.gregory.joyce@orthodoxtheologicalschool.org ~ 734-649-5746