On January 1, 2020 thesis review and defense, and comprehensive final examinations were held for graduating students of the Pastoral School of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America. Since offering this mid-academic year graduation several years ago there have always been fewer students that choose to graduate at this time than at the annual spring graduation. This year two students defended their theses and passed their final examinations: Priest Matthew Floyd and Subdeacon Thomas Nichols. Fr. Matthew’s thesis was based on original research and covered the topic of what resources are required to found a successful mission parish in the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America, while Subdeacon Thomas’ thesis compared the concept of the knowledge of the Essence of God in the theology of Thomas Aquinas and the Orthodox fathers of the Church. Both theses were accepted by the examination committee (made up of His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago & Mid-America, President of the Pastoral School; Archpriest Andre Papkov, Vice President of the School; Archpriest Martin Swanson, Dean Emeritus of the School; Archpriest Gregory Joyce, Dean of the School; and Archpriest John Whiteford, Assistant Dean for Operations of the School), and both students passed their oral final examinations. Subdeacon Thomas graduated with Honors.
Later that day Vigil for St. John of Kronstadt, the heavenly patron of the Pastoral School, was held in the Diocesan Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God in Des Plaines, IL. Both graduates participated in the Divine Service. The next day (January 2, 2020) Divine Liturgy was held in the cathedral, after which His Eminence Archbishop Peter awarded the graduates their diplomas.
We congratulate the new graduates and their families on their significant accomplishment. God willing the theses of the new graduates will soon be published for the edification of all.