Archpriest John Garvey

Archpriest John Garvey
Archpriest John Garvey

Archpriest John Garvey, 70, who in retirement was attached to Holy Resurrection Church here, fell asleep in the Lord on Tuesday, January 20, 2015.

Born in Decatur, IL on May 8, 1944, he was the eldest of eight brothers and sisters.  His father was a journalist and publisher, as was his brother.  He received his B.A. from Notre Dame University in 1967.  He married the former Maria Regina Carbonell on June 10 the same year.  He was received into the Orthodox Church at Archangel Michael Church, St. Louis, MO in 1984, while his wife was received at Saint Anthony Greek Orthodox Church, Springfield, IL, in 1990.  He completed his Master of Divinity degree at Saint Vladimir’s Seminary, Yonkers, NY, in 1993, having been ordained to the priesthood the previous year.  He served as Pastor of Saint Nicholas Church, Jamaica, Queens, NY, after which he was assigned Assistant Pastor at Holy Trinity Church, East Meadow, NY.  Wishing to live near children and grandchildren, Father John and Matushka Regina retired to Washington State, where he continued to serve and preach at Holy Resurrection Church.

Father John was an accomplished and well-regarded writer and a long-time columnist for Commonweal.  His publications included Seeds of the Word: Orthodox Thinking on Other Religions [SVS Press, April 5, 2006]; Death and the Rest of Our Life [Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, June 20, 2005]; Orthodoxy for the Non-Orthodox: A Brief Introduction to Orthodox Christianity [Templegate Publishing, November 30, 2002]; and Saints for Confused Times [Thomas More Press, 1976].  He also served as a member of and consultant to several OCA committees.  According to Archpriest Alexander Garklavs, Rector of Holy Trinity Church, Parma, OH and former OCA Chancellor, “he was a pastor with modern sensibilities and traditional values.  His journey to Orthodoxy was a process of deep introspection and discernment, but becoming an Orthodox priest was a privilege which he treasured with humble honor.  He was a conscientious pastor, an engaging preacher, a wonderful conversationalist and a great colleague to priests and people from a wide spectrum.”

In addition to his dear wife, Matushka Regina, Father John is survived by two children, Hugh and Maria, both married; four grandchildren, Andrew, Timothy, Violet and Desmond; and six brothers and sisters.

On Thursday, January 22, Father John will lie in state at Holy Resurrection Church, 8710 28th Ave. E., Tacoma, where a Panikhida will be celebrated at 7:30 p.m.  On Friday, January 23, the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m., followed by the Funeral Service for a Priest at 10:15 a.m.  A meal will follow services.  Interment will be at the Wilkeson Town Cemetery at 2:00 p.m.  Memorial gifts may be made to Holy Resurrection Memorial Fund, PO Box 1332, Puyallup, WA, 98371.

May Father John’s memory be eternal!

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Please read the moving tribute to Father John, written by Peter Steinfels and posted on January 26, 2015, that appeared in Commonweal at