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On August 22, 2021, at Saint Mary Orthodox Church, in Wilkes-Barre, PA, His Grace Bishop Thomas of the Antiochian Archdiocese ordained our second-year seminarian Subdeacon Kristopher (Cody) Vest to the Holy Diaconate, and gave him the name, Ephraim. 

Serving together with Bishop Thomas were Father George Alberts (pastor of Saint Mary’s), Father David Hester (former pastor of Saint Mary’s and former professor at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary), Father John Parker (Dean of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary), and Father David Hyatt (assistant pastor of Saint John Chrysostom Orthodox Church, in York, PA).  Joining them in attendance were Deacon Ephraim’s wife Erin and their six daughters, his parents and in-laws, many of his classmates, and the whole parish of Saint Mary’s.

Parish assignments are an integral part of the Antiochian seminary formation.  For the past year, Deacon Ephrem has served under the guidance of Father George at the richly historical church of Saint Mary’s, which was established by one of the founders of Saint Tikhon’s – Saint Raphael of Brooklyn, the Patron Saint of the Antiochian Archdiocese in North America.  

The Saint Tikhon community shares in the joy of all the assembled witnesses, acclaiming, “He is Worthy!  Mustaheq!  Axios!”