Dr. Constance Tarasar, Alumna and Education Pioneer, Reposes

7 November 2014 + In Memoriam + Dr. Constance Tarasar

From Oca.org: Funeral services for Dr. Constance Tarasar will be celebrated at St. Mary Cathedral, 1629 Fifth Street NE, Minneapolis, MN at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, November 12, 2014. Visitation will be held at the Kozlak-Radulovich NE Chapel, 1918 University Avenue NE, Minneapolis, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 11, with the celebration of a Parastas at 6:00 p.m. Visitation will continue at 9:00 a.m. on the morning of the Funeral, after which interment will take place at Saint Mary Cemetery.

Dr. Constance Tarasar, a pioneer in the field of Orthodox Christian education and the first woman to enroll in one of St. Vladimir's degree programs, fell asleep in the Lord on Friday, November 7, 2014.

A native of Minneapolis, MN, Dr. Tarasar graduated from seminary in 1965 after finishing coursework for a Bachelor of Divinity degree and submitting a thesis on the role of women in the Church. Her years at St. Vladimir's proved eventful, even determinative, for her life; there, she met Fr. Alexander Schmemann, who became her theological inspiration and lifelong mentor.

Later, she returned to the Seminary to serve as Lecturer in Christian Education.

"She was a real leader and model for our women students," notes Dean The Very Rev. Dr. John Behr. "As a towering figure for many years in the field of Orthodox education, she served as Executive Director of the Orthodox Christian Education Commission (OCEC) and Chair of the Orthodox Church in America's Department of Religious Education. Throughout her outstanding career, she mentored generations of seminarians while producing an immense amount of curriculum. Many of the student and teacher manuals used in church school programs today, originated with her."

Metropolitan Tikhon leads the St. Vladimir's community in a Panikhida for Dr. TarasarMetropolitan Tikhon leads the St. Vladimir's community in a Panikhida for Dr. TarasarIn addition to her work in Christian Education, Dr. Tarasar contributed significantly to broader dialogue. In 1976 she was selected to represent the United States at an international "Orthodox Women's Consultation" at Agapia Monastery in Neamt, Romania. The consultation sought to dialogue and explore the role of women in the Orthodox Church in modern society. As a representative to the World Council of Churches, she served as a regular participant and leader in ecumenical discussions on women's roles and issues.

Prior to her retirement and return to Minneapolis, Dr. Taraser helped develop an Orthodox Christian curriculum used in Romania, Russia, and other central and eastern European countries. In these same years, she also helped to bring Orthodox education online, making curricular materials available on the internet.

“Above all, Dr. Tarasar loved the Church and devoted her entire life to the ministry of Christian Education,” says Fr. John Behr. “The Seminary is indeed grateful for her many contributions. May her memory be eternal!”

View Dr. Tarasar's biography and bibilography