23 December 2012 • Off–campus Ordination
Two days before the Feast of the Holy Nativity, 3rd–year St. Vladimir's Seminarian Deacon James Parnell was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence the Most Rev. Nikon, archbishop of Boston, New England, and the Albanian Archdiocese, on behalf of His Beatitude the Most Blessed Tikhon, archbishop of Washington and metropolitan of All America and Canada. The ordination took place at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in New Britain, CT , the Parnell family's home parish and Fr. James' place of assignment for parish service during his final year of studies.
Clergy celebrating with Archbishop Nikon included the parish rector, The Very Rev. David Koles; The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr, dean of St. Vladimir's; The Very Rev. Steven Voytovich, also attached to Holy Trinity; and Pdn. Paul Nimcheck of Saints Cyril and Methodius Church in Terryville, CT.
The newly ordained Fr. James was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on January 29, 2012 in Three Hierarchs Chapel. He is a Chaplain Candidate in the New York Army National Guard, and has served as SVOTS Student Council President.
Father James joined the U.S. Army in 2002 and served as an Arabic linguist. He deployed twice to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom; first from 2005–2006 and again from 2007–2008 before being commissioned as a Chaplain Candidate in 2009. While in the military, Fr. James received an A.A. in Arabic from the Defense Language Institute – Foreign Language Center and a B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies from the American Military University. He is currently a First Lieutenant assigned to the 101st Expeditionary Signal Battalion in Yonkers, NY and hopes to continue serving his Church and his country as an Army Chaplain. He and his wife Holly, also an Army veteran and former Arabic linguist, have two children, Samuel and Ariane.