Memory Eternal: Archpriest Michael Kovach (1918-2013), Member of First Graduating Class

13 July 2013 • In Memoriam

Archpriest Michael Kovach (left), alumnus of the first graduating class of St. Vladimir's, at Orthodox Education Day 2011, with god-daughter Claudia Bazil, and friend and fellow priest and chaplain, Archpriest Daniel Ressetar.Archpriest Michael Kovach (left), alumnus of the first graduating class of St. Vladimir's, at Orthodox Education Day 2011, with god-daughter Claudia Bazil, and friend and fellow priest and chaplain, Archpriest Daniel Ressetar.The Very Rev. Dr. Michael Kovach, the last surviving member of the first graduating class of St. Vladimir's Seminary in 1943, fell asleep in the Lord on Friday morning, July 12, 2013, at Mount Joy Hospice and Community Care, Mount Joy, PA. He was 94 years old.

After his marriage to the former Olga A. Hubiak (+2011), he was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood, going on to serve the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of North America (Metropolia) for 27 years and the Orthodox Church of America for 42 years.  He also spent 26 years on the faculty at Millersville University, having earned his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Pittsburgh. Most recently, he was attachedFr. Chad, chancellor/CEO, presents a commendation for service to Fr. MichaelFr. Chad, chancellor/CEO, presents a commendation for service to Fr. Michael to Christ the Saviour Church, Harrisburg, PA.

Father Michael was commissioned during WWII as a U.S. Army Military Chaplain, as the first Orthodox chaplain in the Army. In 2011, he was honored at the Seminary's annual campus open house, Orthodox Education Day, which that year celebrated the theme, "For God and Country." The day honored Orthodox Christian serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, especially military chaplains.

Services for Fr. Michael will be as follows:

  • Sunday, July 14, visitation at Christ the Saviour Church, Harrisburg, PA, from 4:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., at which time the Funeral Service for a Priest will be celebrated
  • Monday, July 15, visitation will resume at 8:00 a.m., followed by the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at 9:00 a.m., followed by interment at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Cemetery, South Canaan, PA.


In lieu of flowers, contributions for the establishment of a religious education fund may be sent to Christ The Saviour Church, 5501 Locust Lane, Harrisburg, PA 17109. More information may be found on the Website of the Orthodox Church in America.