Met. Joseph elevates alumnus to archpriest, ordains seminarian to diaconate in Levittown, NY

Clergy with the newly ordained and elevated deacon and archpriest

The St. Vladimir's Seminary community is celebrating the great blessings bestowed upon two of its own over the weekend: the elevation to archpriest of Alumnus Fr. Charles Baz and the ordination to the diaconate of Seminarian Andrew Salvia. The elevation and ordination took place Sunday, January 16 at Saint John the Baptist Antiochian Orthodox Church in Levittown, NY, by the hand of His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph.

Met. Joseph presents a cross to Fr Charles

Archpriest Charles Baz graduated from St. Vladimir's Master of Divinity (M.Div.) program in 2000, and he returned years later to his alma mater as faculty to teach Byzantine Liturgical Chant Theory and intensive courses in the Arabic language for liturgical use. He currently serves as pastor of St. John in Levittown.

Following the elevation of Fr. Charles, His Eminence said that wearing the cross of the archpriest is a big responsibility, as the prayer of elevation says he must set a good example for his fellow servitors in the priesthood.

“The priesthood is not an employment, but a sacrifice,” said His Eminence.

Attending the elevation of Fr. Charles and ordination of Dn. Andrew were several fellow Antiochian Orthodox seminarians from St. Vladimir's and Seminary professor Fr. Bogdan Bucur.

At the conclusion of the diaconal ordination, His Eminence said that this lowest degree of the major orders is no less important than the priesthood and episcopacy.

Scene from ordination of Dn. Andrew

“Our being in church counts a lot in the eyes of God,” His Eminence said. “If you are obedient to God, people will respect you regardless of your degree. People will respect you because you are godly, not because you are smart or eloquent.

“We said many times, ‘axios,’ ‘he is worthy,’ ‘moustahiq.’ If we think about who is worthy, then no one is worthy next to God. But God, with His grace and with His love and with His mercy, makes us worthy.”

The Rev. Dn. Andrew Salvia is in his second year studying in the M.Div. program. He and his wife, Alethia, are parents of Giuseppe, Romano, Costa, and Giovanni.

May God grant Fr. Charles, Dn. Andrew, and their families many years! AXIOS!

Photos and sections of this article have been reprinted from Antiochian.org