Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann

Ivan M. Czap
d. Febr. 10, 1973

In Memoriam

With the passing away of Ivan M. Czap another of St. Vladimir's "Founding Fathers" has left us for the "day without evening" of God's eternity.

Son of a priest, he preserved -- and this in spite of a brilliant secular career -- the Church and Orthodoxy at the very heart of his interests and preoccupations. He served for many years on her administrative bodies. He defended her in hours of need as a lawyer. He made the Holy Mountain Athos a special object of his care. He enthusiastically promoted the knowledge of and love for, the Orthodox icon. He lectured and wrote, preached and witnessed. And, last but not least, he practised his faith; I personally know many people, especially immigrants with no roots and connections in America, who received from him generous help and support.

The seminary owes Ivan Czap a special debt of gratitude. He was one of those very few who, at a time when the Church at large cared very little for education, took the initiative for the establishment here of theological education. Since then and until his death he served on the Seminary's Board of Trustees, taking an active part in all aspects of Seminary life, caring especially for its Library: some years ago he founded the Father Michael Czap Memorial Library to which he contributed precious books and money. Such was his interest in the Seminary, that in December 1972, only a few weeks before his death, hospitalized and virtually unable to move, he wrote to me expressing his desire to attend the Board's Annual Meeting.

As we stood around his body on the day of his funeral, there was in the Church a peaceful and even joyful attitude that this man -- whose ultimate treasure, and therefore heart, was in the Church -- shall truly be "where there is no sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting."

- Alexander Schmemann

St Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, 1973, Vol. 17, No. 4, p. 290