Memory Eternal: Archpriest Michael Kovach (1918-2013), member of first graduating class

Author: 
Deborah (Malacky) Belonick

The Very Rev. Dr. Michael Kovach, the last surviving member of the first graduating class of St. Vladimir's Seminary in 1943, fell asleep in the Lord on Friday morning, July 12, 2013, at Mount Joy Hospice and Community Care, Mount Joy, PA. He was 94 years old.

After his marriage to the former Olga A. Hubiak (+2011), he was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood, going on to serve the Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church of North America (Metropolia) for 27 years and the Orthodox Church of America (OCA) for 42 years.  He also spent 26 years on the faculty at Millersville University, having earned his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Pittsburgh. Most recently, he was attached to Christ the Saviour Church, Harrisburg, PA.

Other community involvement included 20 years of service on Channel 12’s Board of Trustees, two terms on Governor Thornburg’s Pennsylvania Heritage Commission, and two years as president of the now defunct Cliosophic Society of Lancaster, PA. For 14 years, he served as spiritual advisor for the Orthodox Society of America and regularly wrote articles for the fraternal’s publications. He received numerous church-related honors, including the prestigious Saint Innocent Award in recognition of his outstanding ministry.

Father Michael was commissioned during WWII as a U.S. Army Military Chaplain. In 2010, he was honored at the Seminary's annual campus open house, Orthodox Education Day, which that year celebrated the theme, "For God and Country." The day honored Orthodox Christian serving in the U.S. Armed Forces, especially military chaplains.

In lieu of flowers, contributions for the establishment of a religious education fund may be sent to Christ The Saviour Church, 5501 Locust Lane, Harrisburg, PA 17109.

May his memory be eternal!