Memory Eternal! + Fr. Matthew MacKay


Your prayers are requested for the repose of the soul of Archpriest Matthew MacKay, 54, proistamenos of St. Joseph Church in Houston, TX, Dean of East Texas and member of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America Council of Presbyters, who fell asleep in Christ yesterday morning, July 26th. Fr. Matthew is survived by his wife Khouriya Lynn and their sons Patrick and Sean.

His Grace Bishop Thomas writes:

It was with great shock and with sadness that I heard of the passing of Fr. Matthew. Fr. Matthew and I have been good friends since he was assigned to St. Joseph’s. For a good period of time, he heard my confession. He shared the altar with me at St. Joseph’s for many Fridays during Great Lent as we celebrated the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. We renewed this practice during this past Great Lenten period when I visited Houston and once again celebrated the Presanctified Liturgy with him on Friday morning. 

Fr. Matthew was a priest who loved the holy Orthodox Church with his whole body and his whole soul. He celebrated the divine services diligently and with great joy. He loved God, and he loved the parishioners God gave him to minister to. I can remember many times when we visited together he talked about the concern that he had for the salvation of the parishioners of St. Joseph.

He was a man of great courage. He was not afraid to speak the truth, even if it meant that he would personally suffer because of it. The most important thing to him was that he did what God wanted him to do. In my humble opinion, he ministered faithfully and diligently, always seeking to do God’s will.

I will miss him greatly. He was usually one of the first calls I made when I came into Houston. Seeing him and speaking to him was always one of the highlights of my visits. I know that he will be greatly missed at St. Joseph’s. He was the only pastor St. Joseph’s has ever had. Please know that you are in my prayers.

This evening, I went and prayed for him very close to the grave of St. Raphael and asked intercession for his soul. Fr. Anthony Bahou remembered him this evening at Great Vespers here at the Antiochian Village. Fr. Anthony and I will be remembering him here with all the priests who are gathered with the counselors and campers in our daily services. We will be serving the Trisagion service here in his memory.

May God give you the strength to bear his departure from this life. May his memory be eternal.

His Grace Bishop Basil instructs:

Members of our Clergy Brotherhood (as well as the clergy of our sister Orthodox jurisdictions) are invited to serve at the following divine services which will be offered for the repose of Father Matthew's soul.  Please bring an exorasson and a full set of black - or in lieu of black, purple - vestments.

Wednesday, July 28th

Anointing and Vesting of Father Matthew by the Clergy at the mortuary at 2:00PM

Thursday, July 29th

Transfer of Fr. Matthew to St. Joseph Church and start of the Vigil with continuous reading from the Gospels (which is only interrupted during divine services).

The special Funeral Service for a Priest will be served at 7:00PM (clergy will meet at 6:30PM in the parish's fellowship hall).

Friday, July 30th

A Concelebrated Presbyteral Divine Liturgy will be served at 10:00AM (clergy will meet at 9:30AM in the parish's fellowship hall) followed by the usual Funeral Service, Interment and Meal of Mercy.

Clergy who plan to attend and serve any or all of the above-listed divine services must inform Fr. Richard Petranek of St. Paul Church in Houston, TX at frrichardpetranek@yahoo.com. Condolences to the family may also be sent c/o Father Richard's e-mail address. 

Biographical details for Fr. Matthew are available here. May he be granted Paradise and may his memory be eternal!