Carpatho-Russian Orthodox will ordain install 5th bishop
November 21, 2012
Carpatho-Russian Orthodox will ordain, install fifth bishop
TOM LAVIS TLAVIS@... The
Wed Nov 21, 2012, 01:00 AM EST
JOHNSTOWN — The Right Rev. Gregory Tatsis, who is to be consecrated as the
fifth bishop of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA, said
he finds Johnstown to his liking.
His ordination and installation will be
held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Christ the Saviour Cathedral, 300 Garfield St.,
He replaces Metropolitan Nicholas Smisko, who died of cancer
in March 2011.
Prior to being elected bishop in July, Tatsis visited
Johnstown and was impressed by the mountains. They reminded him of the Blue
Ridge Mountains and the mountain towns in his native North Carolina.
love mountains and the things I found in Johnstown impressed me,” Tatsis said in
a telephone interview from New Orleans, where he is dean of Holy Trinity Greek
Orthodox Cathedral in New Orleans and vicar of the Western Conference of
“I visited and discovered the cathedral, administrative
building, the seminary and a residence were within a block of each
While he is eager to begin his new duties, Tatsis’ path to the
priesthood was a long one.
“As a teenager, I got a calling to the
priesthood,” he said.
As he matured, he was torn between theology and
He is a 1981 graduate of the University of North Carolina at
Chapel Hill and a 1989 graduate of the University of North Carolina.
wanted to be a doctor,” he said. “I earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, but
failed three times to be admitted to medical school.”
His conclusion: “I
don’t think God wants me to be a doctor.”
He worked for 21 years in
cardiovascular research at the Carolinas Medical Center in
“Through the years, I stayed close to the church,” he
In his youth, he was an altar server, and later taught Sunday
school for 13 years and served n leadership roles, including parish council
After taking part in two mission trips to Alaska, he could no
longer ignore God’s calling.
“As I served the needs of about 100
villagers, all of whom were Eskimos, I felt close to God,” he
“After my second mission, I knew I wanted to be a
He left is secular job in 2003 after clearing research projects
and ensuring everyone in his department got another job.
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology in Brookline, Mass., and graduated
in 2006 with a master’s degree of divinity. He was ordained a priest at
Annunciation Orthodox Church in Atlanta in 2007.
He has no regrets about
waiting decades to become a priest.
“As a scientist, I know about the
physical aspects of the heart, and as a priest, I’m now dedicated to the
spiritual aspects of the heart,” he said.
Following the Liturgy, it will
conclude with the installation of the new bishop.
The celebrant and
ordaining bishop is Archbishop Demetrios of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of
America. He represents Patriarch Bartholomew of
Co-consecrators will be Archbishop Antony of the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta and
Metropolitan Savvas of Pittsburgh.
Other Orthodox hierarchs are expected
to attend, including Bishop Daniel of the Ukrainian Orthodox
Ecumenical guests expected to attend are Bishop Mark L. Bartchak
and Bishop emeritus Joseph V. Adamec of the Altoona-Johnstown Roman Catholic
Diocese; Bishop Gregory R. Pile of the Allegheny Synod of the Evangelical
Lutheran Church in America; Metropolitan Archbishop William Skurla of the
Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh; and Bishop emeritus Basil Losten
of the Ukrainian Catholic Diocese of Stamford.
Liturgical responses will
be sung by the congregation in the traditional plainchant led by a group of a
hundred diocesan priests and deacons, in addition to choral responses provided
by Christ the Saviour Cathedral choir, directed by Helen Spanovich.
banquet will be held at 2:30 p.m. at the Pasquerilla Conference Center, 301
Napoleon St., Johnstown. The banquet will be preceded by a social hour at
Tatsis will oversee 81 parishes in 13 states and
“For 18 months, the diocese has been without a shepherd,” he
“But it remained unified under the leadership of Father (Frank)
Miloro and six other priests of the consistory who held things
Tatsis said during the interim without a bishop was a perfect
opportunity for the “viper of evil to strike.”
“But the faithful unified
and remained close to the church,” he
What: Ordination of the Right Rev.
Gregory Tatsis as fifth bishop of American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of
Where: Christ the Saviour Cathedral, 300 Garfield St. in the
West End section of Johnstown.
When: 10 a.m. Tuesday.
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]