CHICAGO, IL [DOM Communications] – During the Divine Liturgy on Bright Wednesday, May 5, celebrated at his Diocesan Cathedral, Holy Trinity Cathedral, His Eminence Archbishop Paul vested Priest Jan Cizmar and received him into the ranks of Orthodox clergy. Fr. Jan comes from the Byzantine Catholic tradition and has been in the United States for five years after moving from Slovakia.
The evening prior, Archpriest John Zdinak, former Chancellor of the Diocese of the Midwest, received Fr Jan and his family into the Orthodox faith by Holy Chrismation. Archpriest Paul and his Popadia Christina Monkowski were the family’s sponsors for their reception into the Orthodox Church.
Concelebrating with Archbishop Paul at the Divine Liturgy on Bright Wednesday was Fr Paul Jannakos, Diocese of the Midwest Chancellor, together with Priest Alexander Koranda, Cathedral Dean, Archpriest John Zdinak, Archpriest Paul Monkowski, Archpriest Matthew Butrie, and Priest Jonathan Lincoln.
After the singing of the Cherubic Hymn and the placing of the Holy Gifts on the altar, Fr. Jan was presented to His Eminence. He received the archbishop’s blessing and was then vested with the priestly vestments. This Rite of Vesting comes from the practice of the Russian Orthodox Church. It was instituted by St. Philaret of Moscow (1832-1867) specifically for one already ordained to the priesthood in, for example, the Unia. It is distinguished from ordination to the priesthood in the following manner: “After the Cherubicon and the placing of the holy gifts on the Holy Table, the candidate is led by Subdeacons, but not through the Holy Doors, rather within the Altar [the candidate has already entered the Altar informally at the beginning of the service] to the Holy Throne (Altar Table) and to the Hierarch, and he reverences him in the manner of one being brought to Ordination. And the Priestly vestments are brought and put on the one being received into the community of the Priesthood. The Hierarch blesses each piece of the vestments, and the one being vested kisses the Hierarch’s hand. And the Deacon says the verses for Priestly vestments, not as exclamations, but so that the one being vested can hear him. After this the one received into the community of the Priesthood receives the kiss of peace from the Hierarch and the rest, in the manner of one just ordained, and he stands with the rest of the Priests and takes part in the Liturgy and in the Communion of the Holy Mysteries. And from thence he has the same power to liturgize as an Orthodox Priest. (Collection of the Opinions and Judgments of Metropolitan Philaret, volume V, pp. 952‑953.)”
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Archbishop Paul greeted the newly received Fr Jan and his family and welcomed him warmly into the Midwest Diocese. Fr Alexander presented an icon of St Tikhon, Enlightener of North America, to Fr Jan on behalf of the cathedral community.
Fr Jan begins his assignment immediately as the Acting-Rector of St. Theodosius Cathedral in Cleveland, OH.