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“My Heart Is Light and Filled With Gladness”

SFI’s new rector is Professor Alexey Borisovich Mazurov, JD, a well-known Russian scholar and specialist in the history and archeology of the middle ages in Russia.
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“If we live in one spirit and understand life’s meaning and significance in the same way, then we are close relatives,” said SFI Founder and Rector since the time of the Institute’s founding, Fr. Georgy Kochetkov, as he introduced the new SFI Rector. “And Alexey Borisovich is a close relative to us all in this very way. I am thankful that you have agreed to take on the post of Rector of our University, and we all want you to feel that you are where you belong here. We hope this will be not only a workplace for you, but a place where you feel at home, in which you take pleasure and where you find fellowship. And may our Institute flourish under your leadership!”

“Saint Philaret’s Institute is unique institute – an institute created by one man, in the image of that man,” said new SFI Rector Professor Alexey Mazurov. “It’s an institute of higher learning with its own well-defined and brightly expressed personality, which is a rarity in our day and age.  For ten years, I have had the pleasure of serving as the chairman of the State Examination Commission at SFI, and have had ample opportunity to acquaint myself with the Institute’s internal practices and with the way in which theses and dissertations are prepared: more than anything, I’ve continuously been amazed by the freedom and motivations of the people who work and study here.”

“Education is, first and foremost, tradition and people,” added Alexey Borisovich. “As is well-known, western European universities were formed as fellowships of teachers and students, who had come together to gain knowledge, and we come together here to bring people to God and the perception of Him. Dear Fr. Georgy, I ask specifically for your personal prayers for me, for doing my job well – so that the unique face of St. Philaret’s Institute might be preserved, and that we might all continue your work in a worthy fashion.” 

“For many years I’ve had the pleasure of fellowship with Fr. Georgy, and this fellowship is, in the first place, spiritual, and related to our work on the Physics and Theology seminar,” remarked SFI Trustee, scholar Alexey Starobinsky. “I’ve had the opportunity to evaluate his leadership – both as Rector of the University and as head of the Brotherhood, and this is the highest level of leadership, under which everything runs so smoothly that the administrator himself is barely visible. Today, Fr. Georgy is relieving himself of this tedious, yet essential administrative work, though without doubt he remains the spiritual leader of our Institute. I have even had the thought that in the same way in which a former director is given the title of Academic Advisor upon leaving his post, that in your case we should create the title of Spiritual Leader.”

Alexey Starobinsky, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Alexey Starobinsky, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences

“My heart is light and filled with gladness, because I know that this work is going to continue; and while you are all here, it will continue as it should,” said Fr. Georgy. “Everything always depends upon people. God acts through people. This is reaffirmed every time we step through the door of this Institute. Everything that we see here is the result of organic growth; nothing was done “from above” according to a project plan. Everything here bears the stamp of that spiritual freedom which we all value so much, and that love which we place at the centre of our life. I am very thankful to God for all these years of service, but I see now that there are people who have grown to be able to replace me in all the functions I needed to perform for the Institute. My wish for you is that you never lose your sense of wonder before God’s revelation and the mysterious life of man and the world, which we encounter every time we interact with another person. Would that you all feel at home in this place – free to breathe deeply and say precisely that which is on your mind.” 

Alexey Mazurov was appointed as Rector of St. Philaret’s Orthodox Christian Institute on the 15th of January, 2020, by a decision of the Institute’s trustee, Sretenye – regional NGO for supporting personal spiritual development. Alexey Mazurov has authored over 100 works, and is honoured in the field of higher professional education in Russia. He is a laureate of the Makarievsky Prize, the Deputy Chairman for Education, Culture and Tourism of the Duma of the Moscow Region, and a member of the Patriarch’s committee for culture. Alexey Mazurov is also the President of the Moscow Region State Institute of Humanities and Social Studies.