Byzantine Catholic Church in America: News

Father Andriy Chirovsky, Ukrainian Catholic founder of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies and mitred protopresbyter, to be keynote speaker at "Learning the Language of Icons" Eastern Churches seminar 


SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio - (20060910) Notre Dame College and seminar co-sponsors announce the annual Eleanor Malburg Eastern Churches Seminar for 2006, "Learning the Language of Icons," Oct. 6 and 7. Now in its 22nd year, the seminar provides an opportunity for all to learn more about the Eastern churches. The Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Parma, the Romanian Byzantine Catholic Diocese of Canton and the Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of St. Josaphat are all co-sponsors of the seminar. 

This year the program begins Oct. 6 at St. Stephen Byzantine Catholic Church, Euclid, with a prayer service at 7 p.m. followed by Nicholas Loya, co-owner of Eikona Studios, Inc., Cleveland, presenting: "Creating Heaven on Earth: The Process." Eikona Studios designed and executed the renovation of the parish temple 1988-1990. 

The completion of the seminar takes place Oct. 7 on the campus of Notre Dame College, beginning with registration at 8:30 a.m. and concluding at 2:30 p.m. Mitred Protopresbyter Andriy Chirovsky, S.Th.D., founding director of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies, St. Paul University, Ottawa, will be the keynote speaker for the day. Father Chirovsky is also a professor of Eastern Christian theology and spirituality at the institute and adjunct faculty for the Department of Religious Studies at Arizona State University.  

His morning talk is entitled: "Iconographic Cheekbones: Looking under the Skin of an Icon to Understand its Beauty." Father Chirovsky stated, "This presentation will examine some of the highlights of Byzantine iconography that are sometimes not immediately evident because they lie beneath the surface, lending the icon its harmony, its elegant juxtaposition of the static and dynamic, and expressing the 'Logos' - everything the Father ever wanted to say to the human race - in color, line and the exquisite balance between expression and silence: a delicately symbolic language of immense eloquence."  

Father Chirovsky's afternoon talk is entitled: "A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place: Parts of Speech in the Highly Inflected Language of Icons."  He explained: "This presentation will introduce the clues that help one to read the message of an icon starting with the most external cues: a 'deisis' or prayer-position icon is easily differentiated from an icon of the same holy personage with scenes from their life. A festal icon depicting an event in salvation history involving the Mother of the Lord is readily distinguished from such general types of icons of the Theotokos with the Child Jesus as the 'Platytera,' the 'Hodeghetria' or the 'Eleousa.' In addition to visual indicators, participants will be equipped with handouts that assist one in reading the sometimes cryptic Greek and Slavonic inscriptions on icons which repeat most often.

Rounding out the program, a panel of respondents will offer their views on each of the presentations. The panelists are Dennis Bell, iconographer; Ursuline Sister Donna Kristoff, graphic designer, Catholic Diocese of Cleveland Foundation; and Subdeacon Bishoy Mikhail, ecumenical officer of the Coptic Orthodox Archdiocese of North America. 

Registration for the seminar, which includes lunch on Saturday, is $30 before Sept. 28 or $35 after that date. For more information or a registration form, phone Notre Dame College Center for Pastoral Theology and Ministry at (216) 373-5389 or e-mail

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