Diocesan Seminarian Ordained to the Holy Diaconate
CRESTWOOD, NY [SVS Communications] – Deacon Andrew Cuneo was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah during the Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Annunciation at Three Hierarchs Chapel at St Vladimir’s Semianary here.
Formerly known around campus as “Dr. Cuneo,” having obtained both a Master’s degree and Doctorate in English Literature at Oxford University. He taught in the English Department at Hillsdale College in Michigan for six years prior to coming to the seminary.
Additionally, he holds an undergraduate degree, a BA in English from Stanford University, and his avocation is studying the works of C.S. Lewis. To fulfill his community volunteer assignment, he acts as Director of the Writing Center on campus, where he not only tutors fellow seminarians but also coordinates a team of student peer tutors.
This past February, Metropolitan Jonah, primate of the OCA, presented Dn. Andrew with the St. Basil the Great Award for Academic Achievement, which was established in 2003 by an anonymous benefactor who wished to recognize and encourage students who have excelled in their studies at St. Vladimir’s. The award bears the name of St. Basil the Great, one of the Three Holy Hierarchs for whom the seminary chapel is named. With St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom, St. Basil is lauded as a “harp of the Spirit,” a “trumpet of truth,” a “flowing river of wisdom,” a “teacher of the universe,” a “pillar of the Church.”
Like St. Gregory and St. John (to use words from one of the hymns in honor of the Three Holy Hierarchs), St. Basil “approached the meadows of books like a bee, gathering well the flowers of virtue.” He excelled in the study of philosophy and rhetoric, the two most prized areas of intellectual accomplishment of his day. He demonstrated how such intellectual pursuits help to edify the Church and enlighten the universe. In doing so, St. Basil has given a noble example for all who dedicate themselves to the study of Orthodox theology—and Dn. Andrew well demonstrates this thirst for God’s word and instruction.
As well, Dn. Andrew takes in the nitty-gritty of life by serving as a pastoral intern at St. John’s Riverside Hospital, in Yonkers, under the direction of Rev. Dr. Sarah Fogg— “Who,” says Dn. Andrew, “is the supervisor, and is brilliant at what she does.” Moreover, he has a homey side: he came to SVS from a small parish, Holy Ascension, Albion, Michigan and “loves” homemade jam. His wife, Erika, and he have three girls, Lucy, Bridgette, and Emma, who act in the seminary chapel as “Handmaidens”—serving the antidoron after Holy Communion and holding collection baskets at the end of Divine Liturgy.