Air Force Academy
by Archpriest Andrew Harrison
Father Andrew returned to the Air Force Academy to participate in the
blessing of the Eastern Orthodox Chapel altar tables and vestments. This was a fitting
end to his 27 years as a reserve chaplain, which began at the Air Force Academy in 1973.
Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, was the presiding hierarch. Other
participants were Bishop Dimitrios and clergy from the Greek Archdiocese. Chaplains'
James Jadick, Matthew Olson, Fr. Paul Fedec, and Lay Leader Kharatonoff represented the
Orthodox Church in America. Chaplain Mark Sahady of the Antiochian Orthodox Church hosted
the solemn festivities.
The service began with the arrival of the hierarchs at the main door
of the cadet chapel. Fr. Mark, Fr. Andrew, and Fr. Matthew greeted the Bishops and
processed down the central aisle. Metropolitan Isaiah then blessed the new appointments
with the words. "O Holy of Holies fill them with Glory and Grace, Bless, purify and
sanctify them for the offering of the bloodless sacrifice of the body and blood of
Christ". In his remarks Metropolitan Isaiah spoke of the need for Orthodox unity stating
"it will come when the people demand it". He said the clergy could help bring this about
by working together such as in events like this. The senior Protestant staff chaplain
welcomed everyone and said what a great honor it was to be present for this event. He
stated it celebrated the diversity of the student body and the contribution the Eastern
Orthodox Community has given the Academy and this Country. (Lance Sijan a Vietnam War
hero was a member of this community. Memory Eternal !) The festivities included a
tour of the Academy, dinner with the Orthodox Cadets in the Cadet Dining room and a
reception for the hierarchs, visitors and chapel staff. Cadet Gregory Dandeles, in his
first year at the Academy and member of St. Lukes, was not able to attend due to the
intense schedule for new cadets.