Saturday, May 25, marked the one-year anniversary of the repose of Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov, the beloved long-time pastor of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ.
Commemorating this event and Fr. Valery’s life, which he had dedicated to the Church and to missionary activity, to strengthening the Orthodox Faith and furthering theological education, Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary officially named its main hall after Fr. Valery on Saturday, May 18, in perpetuity.
Following a panihida for Fr. Valery at Archbishop Averky (Taushev’s; +1976) grave, served by Bishop Luke of Syracuse, monastery abbot and seminary rector, the ceremony continued in the newly named hall with presentations and videos. Bishop Luke began the event by explaining how events in Fr. Valery's life illustrate how St. Dionysios’ divine energies of Goodness, Truth, and Beauty manifest in the world through actions. Bishop Luke connected Fr. Valery’s gentle, loving pastorship to goodness, his defense of ROCOR during the reunion council in 2007 to truth, and his building of one of the most beautiful ROCOR churches to beauty.
Archpriest Serge Lukianov, Fr. Valery’s son, provided a detailed chronology of his father’s impressive life – his birth in China, his tutelage under St. John of Shanghai & San Francisco, the difficulties he faced in the emigration, his move from the Philippine island of Tubabao to San Francisco, his success as an engineer, and his steady rise through the ranks of the Church to become Dean of New Jersey and President of the Synodal Arts & Architecture Commission.
Fr. Valery;s eldest son, Alexis, emphasized why this hall dedication is appropriate to his father’s legacy. With a deep loyalty to Holy Trinity Seminary and an appreciation of its mission to train priests as the only seminary in ROCOR, Fr. Valery dedicated himself to helping provide scholarships for seminarians who maintain rigorous academic and church-attendance standards. In 2014, he initiated a scholarship program, thus far granting 45 seminarians a tuition-free education at the Seminary.
Those presentations culminated with the unveiling of the portrait of Fr. Valery by his widow, Matushka Irene, and Archpriest Alexander Webster, Dean of the Seminary, and Bishop Luke’s blessing of the portrait (painted by Alisa Kalpus) and the large bronze plaques with Fr. Valery’s, which that will be fastened above and below the portrait.
The ceremony concluded with two poignant videos, one dedicated to Fr. Valery’s hopeful dream of Christ’s love shortly before his death and the other a recording of his final Paschal homily – a truly moving and memorable moment of a caring shepherd speaking of Christ's love to his flock.
All attendees then shared a catered meal with excellent wine sponsored by Alex and Katya Lukianov.
Jordanville, NY: Holy Trinity Theological Seminary holds Naming Ceremony of Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov Hall - 05/18/19