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Ordinations and Elevations

Our prayers and congratulations for all our newly-ordained priests and deacons, and for those elevated to the dignity of Archpriest!

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Bishop Basil Ordains Deacon David Sebits

His Grace Bishop Basil writes:

AXIOS! HE IS WORTHY! Subdeacon Trenton David Sebits of St. George Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas was ordained to the holy diaconate On Wednesday March 20, 2013 at the Cathedral during the first Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts of this Great Fast. Deacon David is assigned to the Cathedral.

Recent Elevations + March 2013

From the March 2013 issue of The Word:


MA’AE, John, to the Holy diaconate by Archbishop JOSEPH on February 3, 2013, at St. Barnabas Church, Costa mesa, California. He is assigned to that parish.


BABA, Priest Paul, to the dignity of Archpriest by Archbishop JOSEPH on January 27, 2013, Holy Virgin Mary Church, West Sacramento, California.

Dn. A. Gregory Roeber Ordained to Priesthood

The former Deacon A. Gregory Roeber of St. George Orthodox Church in Altoona was elevated to the priesthood as Father Anthony in services on Saturday, February 9, 2013.

The Right Reverend Thomas Joseph, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland, and the Mid-Atlantic in the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese was the ordaining hierarch. The ordination occurred during the bishop’s annual visit to the Altoona parish. He was assisted by priests and deacons from his diocese, the Diocese of New York and Washington, D.C., the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania, Orthodox Church in America, and the Carpatho-Russian Diocese of North America. The Very Rev. Anthony G. Yazge, Interim pastor of St. George, and the Very Rev. Donald E. Shadid, pastor of St. Mary Church, Johnstown were the sponsors for the new priest. Priests and deacons who concelebrated included The Very Rev. Nicholas Alford, Washington, D.C., The. Rev Joseph Gereige, visiting from Lebanon, The Very Rev. Nicholas Ferencz of Scranton, Pa.,The Rev.Deacon Glenn McIntyre, Brownsville, The Rev. Deacon David Jacobs, Antiochian Village, and The Rev. Deacon Alexander Cadman, State College. These clergy were assisted by Subdeacon Todd Mokhiber, Antiochian Village, Bolivar; and St. George members Subdeacon Joshua Kollat, Reader James Johns, and Acolyte Ethan Kollat.

Recent Elevations + February 2013

From the February 2013 issue of The Word:


MURPHY, Priest Gregory, to the dignity of Arch-Priest by Bishop ALEXANDER on October 28, 2012, at St. Michael’s Church in Geneva, NEW YORK.


HABIB, Michael, to the Holy Diaconate by Archbishop JOSEPH on December 25, 2012, at St. John Cathedral in Eagle River, Alaska. He is assigned to that parish.

Bishop Anthony Celebrates Ordinations and Theophany at St. Nicholas Church + Cedarburg, WI

The parishioners of St. Nicholas Church in Cedarburg, Wisconsin, enjoyed a multitude of blessings the weekend of January 4-6, with the first visit of our new beloved spiritual leader, Bishop Anthony of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest. Saedna Anthony came to meet his cherished flock for the first time, celebrate with them the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of St. Basil and the Great Blessing of Water, ordain two parish members, and bless the church's beautiful new iconostasis.

Members of parish council enjoyed a dinner with the bishop on Friday evening, and many met with Saedna Anthony on Saturday afternoon for an open, informal meet-and-greet and question-and-answer session. The friendly, edifying discussion covered a wide range of topics, from politics to the place of men and women in the church, to the growth of secularism and radical Islam throughout the world, to genetically modified organisms and the environment, to daily prayers and study. Parish members delighted in and found inspiration in the bishop's gentleness, warmth, wisdom, and good humor.

On Saturday during the celebration of Hierarchical Great Vespers, parish member Curtis John Dowling of Menomonee Falls was ordained as subdeacon, with laying on of hands by the bishop and repeated calls by parishioners of "he is worthy" in English, Greek and Arabic. All celebrated a banquet afterwards in the fellowship hall. On Sunday during Hierarchical Divine Liturgy of St. Basil, Dn. David Moga was ordained to the priesthood with more calls of "he is worthy." With His Grace Bishop Anthony and the Very Rev. Fr. William Olnhausen, the newly ordained Fr. David celebrated the Eucharist as priest for the first time. Bishop Anthony and the clergy and people next celebrated the Great Blessing of the Waters, sanctifying them again through the baptism of our Lord. Finally, the new iconostasis was blessed with holy chrism. A festive coffee hour and reception afterwards was enjoyed by all. Saedna Anthony stayed and presided from the throne as Fr. David celebrated Divine Liturgy on Monday morning.

Recent Elevations + November 2012

Fr. Stephen HERNEY was elevated to the dignity Archpriest by His Eminence Archbishop Joseph on September 30, 2012, at St. Michael Church in Whittier, California.

Fr. Gabriel KARAM of Forty Holy Martyrs of Sebaste Church in Sugar Land, Texas was elevated to the dignity of Archpriest on Thursday, November 8th.

Recent Ordinations and Elevations + September 2012

from the September 2012 issue of The Word:


HATZOPOULOS, Christos, to the holy diaconate, by Bishop JOHN on June 30, 2012, at St. John of Damascus Church in Dedham, Massachusetts. He is attached to the parish.

IBRAHIM, Deacon Michael, to the holy priesthood, by Bishop NICHOLAS on March 4, 2012, at St. George Church, Little Falls, New Jersey. Father Michael is attached to the parish.

SWEIS, Niphone (Nishan), to the holy diaconate, on July 1, 2012, by Archbishop JOSEPH at St. Nicholas Church in San Francisco, California. He is assigned to the parish.

WOOLLEY, John Saturus, to the holy diaconate by Bishop BASIL on July 1st, 2012, at St. George Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas. He is assigned to St. Mark Church in Denver, Colorado.


AARAJ, Priest Antoun, to the dignity of Archpriest, by Bishop ANTOUN on March 4, 2012, at the Mission of St. Ignatius of Antioch, Boca Raton, Florida.

BULLOCK, Priest Gabriel, to the dignity of Archpriest, by Bishop ANTOUN on May 13, 2012, at the Church of St. Nicholas, Myrtle Beach, Florida.

Seraphim (Ron) Moslener Ordained to Holy Diaconate

His Grace Bishop Thomas writes:

Many years to Deacon Seraphim (Ron Moslener) who was ordained to the holy diaconate by his Grace Bishop John at the Chapel of Ss. Peter and Paul at the Antiochian Village Heritage and Learning Center. Deacon Seraphim is assigned to St. John the Evangelist Church in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania.

Dr. J.S. Luke Stauffer Ordained to Holy Deaconate

His Grace Bishop Basil writes:

HE IS WORTHY! On May 6th, 2012 Dr. J.S. Luke Stauffer was ordained to the holy diaconate at St George Cathedral in Wichita, Kansas. He is assigned to Holy Mother of God Mission in Fredericksburg, Texas.

Bishop Thomas Visits St. Nicholas Church + Beckley, WV

L to R:  Bishop Thomas; Fr. Samuel Haddad receiving the cross at his Elevation to Archpriest; Abbott Seraphim, Hermitage of the Holy Cross MonasteryL to R: Bishop Thomas; Fr. Samuel Haddad receiving the cross at his Elevation to Archpriest; Abbott Seraphim, Hermitage of the Holy Cross MonasteryWith great joy the congregation of St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Beckley, WV and its priest, Fr. Samuel Haddad, were pleased to receive His Grace Bishop Thomas for a visit to the Parish on the weekend of the Third Sunday of Pascha, April 27 – 29, 2012. The congregation had especially awaited this visit with eager anticipation, as it was to mark the elevation of Fr. Samuel to the dignity of Archpriest.

The busy weekend schedule got underway Friday evening when Sayidna met with the Parish Council. Members had the opportunity to tell His Grace about progress that St. Nicholas has made during the previous year, especially focusing on the congregation’s growth in numbers. Bishop Thomas encouraged the parish council and congregation to continue in their efforts. He also took some time to explain the ongoing efforts of FOCUS (the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians United to Serve). FOCUS works throughout North America as an expression of Christ’s love, serving the hungry, thirsty, naked, stranger, sick and imprisoned.

On Saturday His Grace met for lunch with the Women of the Holy Myrrh Bearers. Members of the Parish women’s group enjoyed a wonderful time of inspiration and fellowship with Sayidna. The women reviewed their own activities over the past year, and then listened eagerly as Bishop Thomas shared his thoughts concerning the ongoing crisis in Syria and how it is impacting the Orthodox Christians there. Sayidna also gave an update on the Archdiocese’s new Bishops, highlighting the many ways they are now serving in their new capacity.