Ordination to the Holy Diaconate

Deacon Matthew Markewich

His Grace, Bishop Michael, ordained seminarian Matthew Markewich to the holy diaconate on Saturday, 12 March, during a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Saint Basil’s Church in Watervliet NY.   Deacon Matthew was received into the Orthodox faith in 2006 at Saint Basil’s parish through the ministry of Father Peter Olsen and the faithful witness of parishioners.

Deacon Matthew is completing his second year of theological studies and formation at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan PA.  His wife, Rebekah, also came into the Orthodox faith through a growing friendship developed with Matthew while both were students at the State University of New York at Albany.  She, like Matthew, found the ministry of Saint Basil’s Church to be a welcoming expression of the Body of Christ. Having both entered into the Orthodox Church through the sacrament of Chrismation,  Matthew and Rebekah were married about a year later and, soon thereafter, answered God’s call to a pastoral vocation by going to Saint Tikhon’s Seminary in 2009.
Serving with His Grace at the Divine Liturgy were Archpriest Peter Olsen, Deacon Daniel Mackay, and several altar servers. The parish choir was directed by Reader Michael Mellin (Deacon Matthew’s sponsor/godfather).  Students from Saint Tikhon’s also sang with the choir. A celebratory brunch was served at Saint Basil’s Center following the service. At the scheduled Saturday Church School activity that afternoon, Bishop Michael met with the students and taught them about Great Lent.

Deacon Matthew and Rebekah have a daughter, Katherine, and a child (Daniel) on the way.  The faithful of Saint Basil’s rejoice with them and ask God to grant them “Many Years!”

The joy of Deacon Mathew’s ordination at Saint Basil’s was also experienced by the faithful of Saint John the Baptist Church in Rochester NY.  Although separated by over 200 miles, the two parishes are united in their support for the Markewich family.  As part of Bishop Michael’s “Vision for Our Future” initiative, the Rochester parish has responded to the Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors program by offering a $6,000 seminarian scholarship during 2011.  “Offering prayers and financial assistance to seminary students from our diocese is essential to our future,” said Father Ken James Stavrevsky (Rector, Saint John the Baptist Church). “His Grace has presented us an opportunity through the Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors program to designate donations to support seminarians, mission parishes, or struggling older parishes. Our parish feels blessed by God to have an opportunity to contribute to this effort by providing a scholarship to a seminarian family.”

All faithful parishioners, clergy, and parishes of our diocese are encouraged to consider participation in the “Vision for Our Future” and the Distinguished Diocesan Benefactors program.  Complete details and information are available on the diocesan website through a special “Vision for Future” link on the homepage. Or, simply click here!

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