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7.28.07 Turmoil At St. Herman'S


In a letter dated July 28th and sent to members of the St. Herman's Seminary Board of Trustees, Trustee Margaret Pysarchyk of Lorain, Ohio, raises questions as to the lack of communication by the Bishop with the Board, as well as the future of school given that it is without  a Rector, Dean or now the "capable hands" of Associate Dean Paul Sidebottom. Pysarchyk, an educator and journalist, writes:

"Dear Fellow Board Members,

I have read the e-mail of His Grace, Bishop Nikolai outlining the budgetary need to eliminate the position of Associate Dean at St. Herman Seminary and, Board member Ben Ardinger's letter expressing his serious concerns over the termination of Paul Sidebottom. After
prayer and careful consideration, I wish to comment on this situation.

Although I can appreciate the dilemma the Executive Board faced as they made their decision, I am in complete agreement with Ben that this move will be detrimental to our students and to the seminary

There are two related issues, though, that I find equally
disturbing. The by-laws of St. Herman Seminary (revised 2003) Article II Board of Trustees #5 states:

'The Board of Trustees shall appoint from their number anExecutive Committee constituted of three (3) members, including the President and the Chancellor of the Diocese, for the transaction of such business as may require their attention between the meetings of
the Board of Trustees. All business transacted by the Executive Committee shall be reported to and, to the extent required by the annual resolution of the Board appointing the Committee, ratified by a majority of the members of the Board. The Executive Committee
shall constitute a standing committee of the Board and have full power and authority to act on behalf of the Board, subject to ratification by the Board as provided above.'

As a member of the SHS Board of Trustees, I was never contacted to ratify the Executive Committee's decision to eliminate Paul Sidebottom's position.

In addition, two internet sites had news of the termination long before we, as Board members, were even informed of a meeting. If Ben had not written his letter, I wonder, would we still be waiting for an official response to this situation?

When I became a member of the Board of Trustees, I did so to be an advocate for St. Herman's and to serve for its continued betterment.  I, therefore, must protest the Executive Committee's decision and its
lack of communication with other Board members.

Even though we no longer had the strong leadership of Fr. Chad Hatfield at St. Herman's, I felt confident that the seminary had been left in the capable hands of Paul Sidebottom, who would ensure a smooth transition for the next dean. What, now, will be our next steps as a Board? My prayers and concern are for the students,
staff, and future of St. Herman Seminary.

May God strengthen and guide us through these difficult times.

In Christ,

Margaret Pysarchyk"


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