Yukon Mission Leader Ordained to the Priesthood

March 2, 2014

On Sunday March 2, 2014, His Grace Irénée, Bishop of Quebec City, Administrator of Archdiocese of Canada, ordained Deacon John Gryba to the Holy Priesthood. The Ordination took place during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy for the Sunday of the Expulsion of Adam from Paradise (Cheesefare), at Annunciation Orthodox Cathedral in Ottawa. Axios! Axios! Axios!

Back Row, Left to Right: Priest Nikolay Melnik, Priest Stelian Liabotis, His Grace Bishop Irénée, Archpriest James Griggs, Protodeacon Nazari Polataiko; Front Row, Left to Right: Mrs. Sylvia Gryba (Fr. John's Mother), Newly Ordained Priest John Gryba, Matushka Sharon Gryba.

Currently studying at St. Tikhon’s Seminary in Pennsylvania, Father John and Matushka Sharon Gryba have been dedicated leaders in the St. Nikolai Mission in Whithorse for over a decade. The Mission is the only Orthodox Church community in the Yukon, and has been established since 1997, but has never had a resident priest. Over the years, the community has been served primarily by clergy travelling up from Alberta and B.C. Upon their return from Seminary, the community will have fellow Yukoner, Father John.

Father Matthew Francis, the Mission’s current Priest-in-Charge, commented: “In order for the people’s faith to mature, they need to be nourished with the Holy Mysteries on a regular basis. This can happen more naturally when there is local pastoral care. For years, the people of Whitehorse have been praying for a resident priest. Now, one of their own has been chosen by our Lord Jesus Christ. Seeing Father John ordained is truly an answer to prayer. Glory to God!”

The Grybas' prayerful vision is that the light of the Orthodox faith may take strong root and grow, not only in Whitehorse, but across Yukon, as the Lord blesses. Upon completion of this term at Seminary, Father John and Matushka Sharon will return to Whitehorse for service to the to the Lord there.

May the Lord grant Father John and Matushka Sharon many years!