Alumnus Deacon Joseph Gall Ordained to Priesthood

Deborah (Malacky) Belonick

© Lisa Marie Goudey© Lisa Marie GoudeyOn Saturday, February 20, 2016, seminary alumnus Deacon Joseph (Tristan) Gall was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by the hand of His Eminence the Most Reverend Nikon (Liolin), archbishop of Boston, New England, and the Albanian Archdiocese. The ordination took place during a hierarchical Divine Liturgy at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church, Pittsfield, MA, where Father Joseph is now assigned to serve as priest of the parish.

Father Joseph (Master of Divinity, ’15) hails from Erie, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Ss. Peter and Paul Orthodox Church in Crossingville. He earned a Bachelor of Arts, a teaching credential, and a Masters in Education, all from Edinboro University. Before attending seminary, he worked as a first-grade teacher. His wife, Mary, is a doctoral student of Ancient Christianity at Yale University.

Concelebrating at the Divine Liturgy were several St. Vladimir’s Seminary alumni who serve as rectors in parishes within the New England Diocese, including: Archpriests John Kreta, David Koles, Michael Westerberg, Steven Belonick, Vladimir Aleandro, and Dennis Rhodes, and Priest Michael Korolev. In attendance from St. Vladimir’s Seminary were Priest David Mezynski, associate dean for Student Affairs, and Hierodeacon Father Herman (Majkrzak), lecturer in Liturgical Music.

© Lisa Marie Goudey© Lisa Marie GoudeyAlso in attendance to offer prayers and encouragement were Archpriest Athanasius Farag, father of Matushka Mary and a St. Vladimir’s Seminary alumnus, and Priest Bishoy Lamie Mikhail, brother-in-law of Matushka Mary. Both Fathers Athanasius and Bishoy are priests within the Coptic Orthodox Church, and serve at St. Antonious and St. Mina Church, East Rutherford, New Jersey.

Of special significance was the participation in the service by another seminary alumnus, Archpriest Dennis Hendershot, who was Father Joseph’s parish priest in PA, as he was growing up. At a special reception following the Divine Liturgy, Father Joseph acknowledged that his desire to become a priest had been sparked and influenced by his observation of Father Dennis, as a model to emulate. Further, Father Joseph emphasized his overwhelming gratitude for the encouragement and love of family and friends, and his new parish family, as he begins his new ministry.

View more photos by Lisa Marie Goudey
Read about Father Joseph’s seminary experience as a “Young Preacher” here.