On Sunday, January 28th, Holy Trinity Church in Wilkes-Barre celebrated the retirement of their pastor, Archpriest David Shewczyk, after twenty-two years. His Eminence, Mark, Archbishop of Philadelphia and the Diocese of Eastern Pensylvania, led the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, together with His Grace, David, Bishop of Sitka and the Diocese of Alaska, who surprised Fr. David. Concelebrating were Archpriest Steven Voytovich, Seminary Dean, and Archpriest Joseph Martin, St. Tikhon’s Board Member and retired pastor of Holy Resurrection Church, also in Wilkes-Barre. Frs. David and Joseph began serving their respective parishes in Wilkes-Barre only months apart from one another. Protodeacon Sergei Kapral also served from Holy Resurrection Church in Wilkes-Barre.
Later the parish treated Fr. David to a testimonial dinner! Many came together to join in this celebration. Gregory Polk, parish Choir Director, served as Toastmaster. Both Fr. David and Matushka Sharon were remembered with love. Fr. David was asked to join the choir in singing the Great Prokeimenon, as his tenor voice is as strong as ever. Matushka Sharon was also recognized with a bouquet of flowers for her active role in parish life in addition to her service as a nurse. Their sons Nicholas and Timothy were also part of the celebration.
Fr. David served as Senior Lecturer in Pastoral Theology at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, since 1989. He is a graduate of St. Tikhon’s (1975), also holding degrees from: Siena College (Bachelor of Arts in Psychology), and Marywood University (Master of Arts in Counseling). Fr. David has served as Assistant Director of Field Education, serving as seminary liaison to both Wayne Memorial Hospital and Wayne Woodlands Manor where students carry out visits. He has also co-led the Integrative Seminar each year.
St. Tikhon’s celebrated Fr. David’s retirement with a dinner including faculty and administrative team members on Monday, January 15th. He was presented with a jeweled cross from the seminary that he wore during the above Liturgy and testimonial dinner. He has impacted on the lives of many students over the years and will certainly be missed.
Fr. David has sung in a number of choirs over the years: Bicentennial Choir, Podoben Male Chorus, and Wyoming Valley Orthodox Choir. He joined alumni, led by Archpriest Daniel Kovalak, in singing at the Molieben to the Theotokos and Anointing of pilgrimage participants at the Memorial Day celebration at St. Tikhon’s.
He and Matushka Sharon will reside in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. May God grant them many years in celebration of all they have collectively offered in service to the Orthodox Church in America!