Holy Ghost Welcomes Father John Jillions

5 Aug

Today marked another chapter for Holy Ghost.  Father John Jillions served his first Divine Liturgy as the parish’s new priest.  It was with great joy that Holy Ghost welcomed Father John Jillions and his wife Matuska Denise to the community.  Holy Ghost has been without a permanent priest since Fr Steven Belonick retired in October.  Fr David Mezynki has graciously served as our interim priest for the past 9 months.  A delicious brunch was prepared by a few members of the parish followed by a cake to celebrate the special occasion. Holy Ghost is very excited and blessed to have Fr John as its new priest!

A few words on Fr John, taken from the SVS Press website.

He joins the church after serving as Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America since 2011 and has been a member of the clergy for 34 years.  Before his role as Chancellor he was Associate Professor at the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies at Saint Paul University in Ottawa, where he was a member of the Faculty of Theology since 2003. He taught courses in Orthodox Theology, 20th Century Orthodox Thought, New Testament, East-West Ecumenism, and Pastoral Theology. He also directed the DMin program there for several years.

Throughout his priestly and academic career he has taken an active interest in promoting inter- Christian and interfaith understanding, most notably as a vice-president of the Canadian Council of Churches and in the UK as a member of the Cambridge Theological Federation.

Father John was born in Montreal in 1955 and is a life-long member of the Orthodox Church. He has a B.A. in Economics from McGill University, and theological degrees from St. Vladimir’s Seminary (M.Div. ’80, D.Min. ’05), and the University of Thessaloniki (Ph.D., New Testament, ’02). Ordained a deacon in 1981 and priest in 1984, he served parishes in New York City, New Jersey, Australia (Brisbane), Greece (Thessaloniki), the UK (Cambridge), and Canada (Ottawa and Brockville, ON). He is currently rector of St. Sergius Chapel at the OCA Chancery in Oyster Bay Cove, New York.

Father John was founding director of the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies in Cambridge and served as its first Principal (1997–2002). Early in his career, he served as administrator of Ss. Cosmas and Damian Adult Home and as a bank officer. In 1990–92 he served a brief stint as a chaplain (Captain) in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. He is married to Denise (Melligon) and has three adult sons, Andrew (Alice and granddaughter Eloise), Alexander and Anthony.

Welcome Father John!  God grant you many years!

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