Bishop Nicholas Ordains Seminarian to Holy Diaconate
10 December 2013 • Off-Campus • Ordination
Second-year Seminarian Burke Vair was ordained as "Deacon Mark" on November 3, 2013, by His Grace Nicholas (Ozone), auxiliary bishop for Brooklyn and assistant to His Eminence Philip, archbishop of New York and metropolitan of All North America, of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The ordination took place at St. Stephen's Antiochian Orthodox Church in South Plainfield, NJ, where Dn. Mark is fulfilling his parish assignment requirement as a seminary student. The Very Reverend Fr. Stephen Tawfik, rector of the parish, and a third-year seminarian, Dn. Scott Miller, served alongside His Grace.
Earlier this year, on March 17, 2013, Bishop Nicholas blessed Dn. Mark to be a sub-deacon at St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church in Brooklyn, NY, where The Very Reverend Fr. Michael Elias is pastor. The newly ordained deacon considers both Holy Cross Antiochian Orthodox Church in Linthicum, MD, pastored by The Very Rev. Gregory Mathewes-Green, and St. Ephraim the Syrian Antiochian Orthodox Church in San Antonio, TX, pastored by The Very Rev. John Mefridge, as his home parishes.
Deacon Mark earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Studies from Towson University in Maryland and worked for seven years in hospital administration before deciding to attend St. Vladimir's Seminary in the fall of 2012. His wife, Shamassy Vasilia Jankovich, holds a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Maryland and currently practices as an Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) for a high school in the Bronx.