On Sunday, January 23, 2022 His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon presided at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at Holy Ghost Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in Bridgeport, CT in honor of Archpriest John Jillions, former Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America and rector of Holy Ghost Orthodox Church. During the Liturgy, His Beatitude ordained Justin Griffing to the Holy Diaconate.
Glory to God for all things!
Even a few days after the ordination, I’m still trying to let it sink in. It was a beautiful Liturgy in the oldest Orthodox Church in New England. I’m grateful to Holy Ghost Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church (OCA) in Bridgeport for sharing their special day of honoring their pastor emeritus, Fr. John Jillions after his retirement. I’m grateful to Fr. John Kreta, for all of his mentorship and advocacy getting to this point. I’m grateful to His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON for the laying on of hands to bring me into the clergy of the Orthodox Church, that a new chapter of my service to Christ could begin.
I’m grateful to the faculty, administration, and staff at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary during my three years at the seminary for their role in my preparation. I’m thankful to my classmates for their prayers, their support, and their brotherhood, both during our time at St. Tikhon’s and since. I’m thankful to the parishioners at St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Pittsfield, MA, for their love and support since we moved here during Great Lent of 2021. I’m thankful to all of my family and friends, for their prayers and support.
Finally, I’m thankful for my wonderful wife, Matushka Zoe, without whom I couldn’t have done any of this. She has been, and continues to be, my support and my helpmate and I couldn’t imagine any of this journey without her.
The morning of my ordination was another lesson of living in the time of the pandemic. The day before the ordination, as my wife and I were getting ready for vespers, we realized we both had elevated temperatures. We contacted Fr. John Kreta, our diocesan Chancellor, and told him. He said he’d bring COVID tests. Friends went into prayer mode. Thank God, we woke the next morning with temperatures back to normal and the tests were negative. God is good.