Hieromonk Peter (Didun), 49, suddenly, and unexpectedly, fell asleep in the Lord in the Emergency Room of Kaiser Hospital in Fremont, CA on the afternoon of Saturday, July 4, 2020.
Father Peter (Didun) was born in Shumina, Ukraine (near Lviv) on April 21, 1971. He is survived by his parents, Volodymir Petrovich Didun and Maria Andriivna Didun, his sister, Vira, his brother, Ruslan, as well as by nieces and nephews—all living in or near Lviv, Ukraine.
He came to America in 1990 at the age of 19 to visit his grandfather in Wisconsin, who convinced him to stay. Soon afterwards, he entered St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary in South Bound Brook, New Jersey. He was ordained to the subdiaconate on July 28, 1993 by Archbishop (now Metropolitan) Antony of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA. On May 27, 1997, he graduated and received his Licentiate in Sacred Theology from St. Sophia’s Seminary.
Thereafter, he became the driver and assistant for Metropolitan Constantine of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA and served in that capacity for several years. In February of 2000, he arrived in California to assist Hieromonk Sviatoslav (Kowalow), who had been his seminary classmate and who at that time was the parish priest of St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church located in San Francisco, CA.
On April 8, 2001 Hieromonk Peter joined the monastery of the Holy Cross and on July 5, 2009 was ordained a deacon by Metropolitan Jonah. Hieromonk Peter was ordained a priest on April 14, 2010, by His Eminence Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh.
During his 20 years at the monastery, Father Peter faithfully served the Lord and His people—not only liturgically as a monastic subdeacon, deacon, and priest—but also as a “lover of labor” who demonstrated the technical skills of a wonderworker. He was a veritable “Renaissance man” when it came to practical projects at the monastery, whether he was renovating buildings, repairing roofs and tractors, splitting logs, using a backhoe or any number of power tools. He has truly “left his mark” on the monastery and his handiwork and expertise are everywhere to be seen.
In a eulogy delivered on July 12, 2020, the current abbot of the monastery, Igumen Stephen (Scott), said among other things: “In 2014, I lost a spiritual father, a monastic brother, and my very best friend, when our monastery’s founding abbot, Archimandrite Theodor of thrice-blessed memory, departed this life. He had been my spiritual father for 44 years. Last Saturday, I lost a spiritual son, a monastic brother, and my very best friend, when Hieromonk Peter of thrice-blessed memory departed this life. He had been a member of our monastery’s brotherhood for 20 years. I used to call him our monastery’s “wonderworker”, because he worked so many marvelous wonders in the development of our monastery.”
The Most Reverend Alexander, Archbishop of Dallas, the South and the Bulgarian Diocese presided over Fr. Peter’s funeral on Monday, July 13, 2020 at Holy Cross Orthodox Monastery, Castro Valley, CA. Hieromonk Peter was buried at the Serbian Orthodox Cemetery in Colma, CA, near the monastery.
May Father Peter’s memory be eternal!