The Mitred Archpriest Daniel D Ressetar fell asleep in the Lord on the morning of January 20, 2021. He was born March 28, 1927 in Edwardsville, PA to Archpriest Dimitri and Matushka Margarita Ressetar. He married Theodora (Prislopsky) in 1958. A graduate of Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by Archbishop John (Garklavs) of Chicago and to the Holy Priesthood by Archbishop Dmitri (Magan) of Philadelphia in 1958. Father Daniel served parishes in Eastern Pennsylvania and as a United States Air Force Military Chaplain. Continuing in his family’s tradition, he was an accomplished church musician and singer. He was awarded the Saint Innocent Award (Silver Class) by the Holy Synod in 2003 and the Mitre in 2017. He retired in 2006 and remained active at Christ the Savior Church in Harrisburg, PA as pastor emeritus.
He is survived by his wife, Matushka Theodora, and his three sons, Nicholas, Gregory, and Alexander.
May Father Daniel’s memory be eternal!
On the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Lord, 2020, the faithful of Saint Tikhon’s gathered to celebrate the birth of Christ, as well as to honor one of their own: Archpriest Daniel Donlick, a faithful priest of the Orthodox Church for over fifty-five years, was led by Archimandrite Sergius, Abbot of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, and Archpriest John Parker, Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, to stand before His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon. Father Daniel prostrated, arose, and bowed his head before the hierarch.
Current seminary students easily recognize Father Daniel from his role as the primary confessor at Sunday morning Liturgies and Presanctified Liturgies. Though COVID-19 has complicated things a bit, Father is nevertheless a familiar face. Walking into the Monastery Church before almost anyone else has arrived, the sound of his footsteps and his white cane--familiar signals of his presence--are almost as comforting as his joy-laden countenance and his greeting to everyone he encounters: “Glory to Jesus Christ!” Father Daniel has served as the spiritual father for a host of seminarians (past and present), but also for parishioners of the Monastery. They go to him knowing that, through his simple ministry, they will have a powerful experience of the Spirit. This is because they can see that Father Daniel has a genuine and pious soul, a soul that desires the Lord. By his counselling, Father conveys living hope to his spiritual children. He encourages each one of them lovingly. He speaks from the heart and he listens with a palpable concern and a focus that is unmistakable. Kneeling at the Panikhida table before the Gospel and the Cross, God’s healing presence and forgiveness are received--and Archpriest Daniel conveys it to each penitent with the prayer of absolution.
But Father Daniel’s ministry extends beyond this service to his spiritual sons and daughters. At the Little Entrance of the Christmas Liturgy, the Metropolitan took the opportunity to give a word of summary about Father Daniel’s contributions to the Church:
“It is my joy and honor to present to you this miter [...] in recognition of your fifty-five years of service as a priest, which you have offered--not only as a priest in the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania, serving Olyphant and Jermyn, and being a significant contributor to the mission in Stroudsburg (which now is a thriving parish)--but above all to present this award to you here at the Monastery Church of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk in the midst of the communities that you have so faithfully served throughout your priesthood, especially as a professor, as the Registrar, and as the [Academic] Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, wherein you were instrumental in bringing the seminary to achieve [...] accreditation, both on the state level, and with the Association of Theological Schools. But above all, in whatever role you served, you were indeed a Father to those that you served, inspiring them to become good priests, deacons, and lay workers in the vineyard of our Lord. And since your retirement, you also continue that ministry as a confessor and spiritual father for many here in the Monastery Church, especially those who are here to serve as seminarians and are on the path to ordination. In all these things, Father Daniel, you have shown yourself to be full of Christ-like humility, of Christ-like love, and as Saint Paul instructs: you never gave milk, but you always gave solid food to those that [have] come to you for direction and guidance, including the Primate of the Orthodox Church of America, who is here because of your original encouragement to come to seminary and follow the Lord--and not to delay.”
His Beatitude was honored to present Father Daniel’s name to the rest of the Holy Synod as a potential recipient of the miter, the highest award for presbyters in the Orthodox Church in America. The Synod recognized Father’s worthiness and unanimously approved the bestowing of this dignity on Father Daniel. This priest, who has touched so many lives over the course of his vocation, is a 1965 graduate of the seminary he still ministers to as a beloved pastor, mentor, and friend. His myriad contributions continue, and the faithful ministry of the Mitered Archpriest Daniel Donlick, along with his wife, Matushka Dolores, will surely be felt for generations to come.
By Priest Peter Simko
Memory Eternal! Archpriest James (Iakovos) Doyle, who served as the STOTS professor of Patristics and Old Testament from 1975 until 1979, fell asleep in the Lord this week. Please keep Father James and his loved ones in your prayers. Christ is Risen!
Visitation and Funeral Services will be at:
Assumption Greek Orthodox Church
13631 S Brainard Ave, Chicago, IL 60633
Monday, Jan. 18, 2;00 to 9:00PM
Tuesday, January 19, 8:00AM
Interment Elmwood Cemetery, Hammond, IN
Due to Covid restrictions space is limited for funeral service on Tuesday, Jan 19th. Please contact 773-646-2999 by 5pm Sunday, Jan 17th to leave a message for a reservation and a member of the church counsel will call back to confirm.
At the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy for the feast of Holy Theophany (6 Jan. 2020), Reader Anthony Saunders was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by His Grace, Bishop Alexis of Bethesda, locum tenens of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery.
Deacon Anthony is from the Diocese of the Midwest under his Eminence, Archbishop Paul. His wife and his two daughters were in attendance for this joyous occasion.
By Nathanael Belt
On the joyous feast of the Entrance of the Holy Theotokos (Nov. 21, 2020), Deacon Peter Simko was elevated to the Holy Priesthood as Presbyter Panayiotis. Father Peter was ordained by His Grace, Bishop Alexis of Bethesda, locum tenens of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery. He was joined by his family and the local seminary and monastery communities.
Father Peter is set to graduate in spring 2021 and plans to return to his home Diocese of the Midwest under His Eminence, Archbishop Paul.
By Deacon Jeremiah McKemy
Nativity is a time full of joy, but in such a trying year, it is wonderful to have the added joy of an ordination on Christmas. Recent St. Tikhon's graduate, Herman Garrison, was ordained to the priesthood on Nativity by Archbishop Alexander (Golitzin) in St. Seraphim Cathedral in Dallas. Also serving in the liturgy were Archimandrite Gerasim (Eliel), cathedral rector and Administrator of the Diocese of the South, Archpriest John Anderson (STOTS alumnus '95), Deacon Theophan Warren, and (a current seminarian of St. Tikhon's) Deacon Michael Rehmet.
Fr. Herman's family and some special guests were able to attend: his wife, Ruth, as well as his three daughters, Josephine, Catherine, and Anastasia, along with his parents Russell and Helen Garrison. Fr. Herman was sent to seminary by and will now be serving in St. Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church in Denison, whose long-time priest, Archpriest Michael Storozuk, reposed in 2018, while Fr. Herman was in seminary. Fr. Michael's wife, Matushka Patricia Storozuk, was also present, putting a beautiful and fitting "Axios" on Fr. Herman's ordination.
Fr. Herman says:
"There are so many I could thank for all their wonderful support while journeying through seminary and preparing for this calling. Just a small few to mention are my family, my home parish of St. Paul, the Holy Nativity parish in Shreveport, Archpriest Daniel Donlick, and all those who interceded for us with their prayers. I am forever indebted to the kindness shown to us by Archbishop Michael, Archpriest Dionysius, and all the administration at St. Tikhon's seminary who gave us such peace as we labored at seminary. I am also grateful for my professors, teachers, and classmates who challenged me, encouraged me, and endured my short-comings. St. Tikhon's seminary and monastery will forever hold a special place in my heart for their guidance and care. I give thanks to God for all things and I am humbled to serve in this new frontier of Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma."
Priest Herman is currently serving the parish of St. Paul in Denison, Texas and is involved in assisting Archpriest John Anderson in aiding missions in Northeast Texas and Southeast Oklahoma.
"Axios", Fr. Herman!
By Deacon Ignatuis Strange
On Thursday, December 31, 2020, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America has issued an encyclical entitled, “We Rejoice Even in Tribulation”: An Encyclical of Hope. The Holy Synod offers this work out of love and gratitude to its faithful at the end of this year. The Synod also intends for the encyclical to be seen as an encouragement for the year to come. In the encyclical, the Synod seeks to find meaning in the year that has past, which has been marked by a pandemic, political polarization, economic anxiety, and civil unrest, and calls the faithful to a renewed faith and hope in Jesus Christ, and service to one another.
Presently the encyclical is available as a PDF for download. In January 2021, printed copies will be mailed to all parishes, monasteries, and institutions of the Orthodox Church in America.
SOUTH CANAAN, PA – Today, St. Tikhon’s Seminary proudly celebrates the 45th Anniversary of Archpriest John Kowalczyk’s Ordination to the Holy Priesthood. Father John is the longest-serving adjunct faculty member of our theological school, teaching in the Department of Pastoral Praxis since 1987, and serving as Director of Field Education.
Father John is a graduate of St. Tikhon’s Seminary (1975), Marywood University (M.S. in Religious Education in 1981), and the Moscow Theological Academy (Candidate of Science in Theology in 1996).
He received full privileges for group psychotherapy from Fairview Hospital and Medical Staff in 1994, and serves as contract chaplain at S.C.I. Waymart’s Forensic Treatment Center, where he has completed over 7,500 Preliminary Religious Assessments on forensic inmates for the Treatment Team since 1987. Through his efforts, St. Tikhon’s seminarians are able to pursue semester internships in prison ministry at the S.C.I. Center in nearby Waymart as part of their field education.
He was recently appointed executive member of the Board of Directors of Orthodox Christian Prison Ministry, having previously served as secretary of the organization for ten years. He has traveled extensively throughout the country on behalf of OCPM, advocating for prison inmates in need of Christ and pastoral care. He has addressed the All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America, the National Convention of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, and the Clergy-Laity Congress of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, on behalf of OCPM.
He has been a guest lecturer at Drexel University’s College of Medicine for the past three years, and most recently presented a workshop at the Annual Forensic Rights and Treatment Conference, entitled “Exploring the Spiritual Dynamic of Healing When Working through Bereavement, Especially When Dealing with the Trauma of Death Notification for the Mentally Ill Inmate.” He has also guest lectured at Marquette University, Villanova University, and the University of Scranton.
He has written numerous articles on Prison Ministry and has been interviewed several times by Ancient Faith Radio regarding the work of prison ministry and the OCN. He has also produced numerous teaching videos on prison ministry, available on the official OCPM website.
The son of Walter, of blessed memory, and Zofia Kowalczyk, Fr. John was born in Dresdenko, Poland. He immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1958 and grew up in Yonkers, NY. He was married to the former Katherine Labick on October 12, 1975; she has worked together with him throughout his career, as Matushka in the parish, and bursar in the finance office at the Seminary. They are the proud parents of two children, Sophia (married to Robert Wolf) and Nicholas.
Father Kowalczyk was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on December 14, 1975 by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Ireney, of blessed memory, at the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Yonkers, New York. Over the next ten years, he served as an assistant priest at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Minneapolis, MN; rector of St. Mark’s Church in Wrightstown, PA; and rector of Assumption of the Holy Virgin Church in Philadelphia, PA.
On February 1, 1985, Fr. Kowalczyk was transferred to St. Michael’s Church in Jermyn, where he has faithfully served the large parish family there for the past 35 years. His pastorate in Jermyn has been marked by significant improvements of the church complex: an expansion of the temple, the addition of numerous beautiful icons, and the renovation of the parish hall, as well as monumental spiritual and numerical growth of the community.
Over these many years, he has shepherded diverse flocks of immigrants from overseas, native-born North Americans, and those who have chosen Holy Orthodoxy as the one, true Faith. He has been personally committed to the growth of each one of his sheep, leading them in “The Way” of Christ, and to the growth of the parishes and dioceses he has served, as well as the entire Orthodox Church in America.
During the past four decades of service in the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, he has served as Diocesan Chancellor to three hierarchs (Archbishop Herman, Archbishop Tikhon, and Archbishop Mark). He also worked from 1987 to 2005 as the Editor of the Eastern PA publication, Your Diocese Alive in Christ. During that time, he provided the “Interview with the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church” and “Canonization of Fr. Alexis Toth by the Orthodox Church in America” in St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly, and “The Millennium Pilgrimage” in The Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate.
Father John has been one of the earliest members and a long-time champion of Orthodox Christians for Life, the pro-life movement of our Church in this country. He has appeared on the national stage for decades and walked with hierarchs, clergy and laypersons alike in the annual “March for Life” in our nation’s capital almost every year. He has authored An Orthodox View of Abortion, published in 1977 by Light and Life Publishing, Minneapolis, MN, and he has also written numerous articles on the Sanctity of Life.
Additionally, he has served as the Guest Speaker at the Brotherhood of St. Moses the Black, and at the Annual Christianity Conference.
On the world scene, he represented St. Tikhon’s Seminary at the SYNDESMOS International Theological Conference in Poland (1989), Moscow (1992), and Finland (1998). He is the recipient of four prestigious awards: the Order of St. Mary Magdalene, presented by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Vasily of Poland, of blessed memory; the Jeweled Cross and the Order of St. Innocent, awarded by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America; and the Jeweled Cross, presented by His Holiness, Patriarch Alexis II of Moscow, of blessed memory.
An exemplary priest, an outstanding professor, and a loving pastor, Father Kowalczyk is best known for his teaching on “the ministry of presence” – the need for those in ministry to be present, to “be there,” for those in difficulty – to listen with one’s heart as well as one’s ears – and to offer the empathy of Christ, the Good Shepherd Who loves us more than we love ourselves.
In congratulating Archpriest John on his 45th Anniversary, Archbishop Michael, Rector of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, lauded his remarkable service: “Your many and varied labors have not been for your own glory or personal gain, but that the Holy Church might be strengthened. We give thanks to the Lord for all you have done in His Name with excellence over the past 45 years, together with Matushka Kathy, who has been the consummate help-mate and co-laborer in your ministry.
“On this milestone anniversary, it is my joy to join with all those who love you throughout our Church in wishing you good health, much happiness, and continued success in your every effort on behalf of our Lord. May your work in the Vineyard of Christ continue to prosper, and may the Holy Spirit by whose grace you were ordained to the Priesthood continue to guide you for many blessed years to come. Mnogaya Lyeta!”
St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary is presently accepting admissions applications for the 2021-2022 academic year.
Information concerning admission to the Seminary, including application materials, can be accessed digitally HERE.
Interested applicants should forward hard-copy materials to the following address:
Seminary Admissions Committee
St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary
P.O. Box 130
South Canaan, PA 18459
Applicants wishing to present materials in digital form, may do so by emailing the Seminary at firstname.lastname@example.org
For those discerning applying to the Seminary, a recent presentation of the journey of one of our seminary families can be seen HERE.