Alumnus Archpriest Michael Westerberg receives miter

Pradeep Hatcher

St. Vladimir’s Seminary (SVOTS) Alumnus Very Rev. Michael Westerberg (’75) has been elevated to the dignity of mitered archpriest.  Fr. Michael received the miter from the hand of The Most Reverend Nikon, archbishop of Boston, New England, and the Albanian Archdiocese (Orthodox Church in America) during Divine Liturgy Sunday, August 12, 2018 at Holy Transfiguration Church in New Haven, CT.

The beautiful occasion was attended by other distinguished SVOTS alumni, and diocesan clergy and guests. Watch a clip from the service below (courtesy of parishioner Thomas Crosby).

Fr. Michael is rector of Holy Transfiguration, where he has served for the past thirty-eight years. His wife, Matushka Lydia, is Holy Transfiguration’s choir director.

Before coming to New Haven, Fr. Michael served for six years as a parish priest at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, Berlin, NH. He has also served the New England Diocese and the greater Orthodox Church in America (OCA) in many leadership capacities, including as dean of the Northern New England Deanery for three years, dean of the Connecticut Deanery for six years, an elected member of the Metropolitan Council at several All-American Councils, and an appointed member of the OCA Pension Board.  Fr. Michael administered for numerous parishes as vacancies necessitated. He was appointed chancellor of the Diocese by the late Bishop Job, and served in that capacity for fifteen years while the New England Diocese did not have a resident hierarch.

Fr. Michael has also been incredibly active in ministries outside parish, diocesan, and church-wide responsibilities. He was Orthodox chaplain at the West Haven, CT, Veteran’s Hospital for thirty-five years until his retirement from the VA in December 2016, and he continues to serve as chaplain to the Orthodox Christian students at Yale University, which he has done since 1981. He has mentored numerous SVOTS seminarians, over thirty years, as part of the Seminary’s field work program. Additionally, Fr. Michael has been an active member of The Fellowship of Orthodox Churches of Connecticut, Inc. (FORCC) for twenty-five years.

Fr. Michael is also a veteran of the United States Army. He was drafted in 1966 while in college and served in both Germany and Vietnam.

Upon returning from Vietnam, he worked at a brokerage firm on Wall Street and completed his undergraduate studies at Salem College, West Virginia, after which he enrolled at SVOTS. In 1975, during his senior year at Seminary, he was ordained to the holy priesthood by then Bishop Herman (later Metropolitan Herman) and assigned to Holy Resurrection in Berlin.

Axios, and many years, Fr. Michael and Matushka Lydia!