Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Election of a New Hierarch

Beloved Clergy and the Faithful of our Holy Church,

It is with great joy that I am sharing with you the decision of our Holy Synod about the consecration of a new Hierarch. 

The Holy Synod has chosen Hieromonk John (Zatonski), the Rector of the Parish of Saint Tatiana in New York, to be consecrated as the Suffragan Bishop of Woodside for the Metropolis of Boston. 

God helping us, we are planning to undertake the Consecration at the upcoming Annual Clergy Synaxis of our Church, October 2023.

Below, I attach a small biography that Bishop-Elect John wrote at my request.

May our Saviour grant strength and enlightenment to the Bishop-Elect John in his continued service in His Church, now as a Hierarch. 


In Christ,

+ Gregory, Metropolitan of Boston

President of the Holy Synod

4/17 February, 2023

Saint Isidore of Pelusium

~A Short Autobiography of Bishop-Elect John of Woodside~

“I was born November 24, 1956 in Elizabeth, NJ to lower-middle-class Catholic parents. I nearly died during birth due to a blood condition.

My father's parents were from Poland; they were not religious at all - however, they both died before I was born. My mother's parents were Uniates from Western Ukraine; Grandma Anastasia was a very pious woman, & a big influence on my mother & on myself. I have one sibling, my older brother Thomas.

I attended Catholic parochial school from grades 1 through 8, & public high school from grades 9 through 12, graduating in 1974.

In college I was variously interested in journalism & social work, but settled on psychology as a major. However, I quickly grew disappointed with the emphasis on Behaviorism that was prevalent in the curricula of the time, dropped out of college, & worked in a factory for 4 years, saving up money while I considered what direction my life should take. 

It's there that I decided upon a complete reform of all aspects of my life & a change into new, healthy directions. Socially, vocationally, nutritionally, spiritually - everything was undergoing change. I'd been reading Russian literature - Dostoyevsky's "Crime and Punishment" made a particularly powerful impression -  & I'd decided, contrary to the secular humanism that was (and is) the spirit of the times, that a serious spiritual life is an absolutely essential part of being human, and that I was going to have one!

I read a great deal, took my time, and not only read but went to see things for myself. 

In 1984 the factory closed, & I moved to New York City & began nursing school, graduating in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing. I found that working in psychiatry suited me best. At this point, I was comparing Roman Catholicism, the Ukrainian Catholic Church (Uniates), & Orthodox Christianity. It was at this critical juncture that I began working in the hospital with the man who would become my godparent in Orthodox Baptism. I was baptized by our Fr. Adrian at the ROCOR parish of the Holy Fathers of the Seven Ecumenical Councils on the Feast of Holy Protection, 1989.

I was immediately directed to go & chant in the choir; in 1991 I became choir director & was tonsured a reader by Bishop Gregory Grabbe in 1992. 

In 1999, Fr. Adrian left ROCOR & joined HOCNA. He had told me that he'd known the fathers at Holy Transfiguration Monastery literally his entire adult life, that everything they said was based on the Holy Fathers, & that they were always kind to everyone even when they were injured & slandered. So I followed Fr. Adrian without hesitation. I helped him establish our Holy Ascension Skete, but didn't stay there; instead I returned to New York City, continued hospital work, & began serving as reader & chanter at St. Tatiana's in Queens. 

I was tonsured into monasticism at the monastery by Fr. Isaac on August 7 (Old Style) 2005, & 3 weeks later ordained a hierodeacon by Metropolitan Ephraim at St. Tatiana's on Sunday, August 29 (Old Style). I served as deacon at St. Tatiana's until January 1, 2018 (Old Style), when I was ordained a priest at St. Mark's, & have served as a priest at St. Tatiana's since then. I retired from nursing in 2020, and from 2022 I began visiting prisons & bringing Holy Communion to prisoners.”