On Tuesday, September 22, 2009, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, meeting at its regular Fall Session at the OCA Chancery, elected Archpriest Michael Dahulich Bishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey.
Archpriest Michael Dahulich was born in Johnson City, NY, on August 29, 1950. From the age of 10 until he graduated from college and went to seminary, he served as an altar boy under the tutelage of his pastor, Fr. Stephen Dutko, who was the inspiration for his vocation.
He graduated from Binghamton Central High School in 1967. Two years later he graduated from Broome Community College, Binghamton, NY, and began studies at Christ the Saviour Seminary in Johnstown, PA. He completed his theological studies there in December 1972.
While in seminary, Michael met Deborah Sandak. They were married in January 1973. On Feburay 3, 1973, Michael was ordained to the Diaconate, and on February 4 to the Priesthood, in the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA. Later that month Fr. Michael and Matushka Deborah assumed their first parish assignment at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Homer City, PA, a small mission community that had not previously had a full time priest. Two days after beginning this assignment, Matushka Deborah was killed in a car accident.
Following the death of his wife, Fr. Michael was encouraged to pursue further studies. He attended St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, graduating with a degree in Philosophy, and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, graduating with a Master of Arts in Theology and later a Ph.D. in Theology.
Fr. Michael continued to serve Saints Peter and Paul Church for 13 years, seeing it grow from 60 to more than 130 members, and from mission to parish status.
For 16 years he served as pastor of Holy Ghost Church in Phoenixville, PA, during which time the parish grew from 256 to nearly 450 members, including more than 100 children.
In addition to his pastoral duties, Fr. Michael served as Prefect of Student Life at Christ the Saviour Seminary, where he also taught Ethics, Scripture and Homiletics. During his Ph.D. studies at Duquesne, he was also adjunct lecturer, teaching Scripture and Eastern Orthodoxy in the Theology Department.
Fr. Michael also served in the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA as Religious Education Director for the Johnstown Deanery and the Associate Editor of “The Church Messenger,” the official diocesan periodical. Additionally he was personal secretary to His Grace, Bishop John, Vice-Chancellor of the Diocese and Secretary to His Grace, Bishop [now Metropolitan] Nicholas of Amissos.
Additionally, Fr. Michael was Dean of the Carpatho-Russian Diocese’s Mid-Atlantic Deanery, Vice-Chairman of the Harvest 2000 Committee on Missions, Evangelization and Diocesan Growth, and served on the Study and Planning Commission and the Ecumenical Commission of SCOBA. He was also editor of the diocesan prayerbook, “Come To Me.”
In 1993, Fr. Michael was invited to teach at St. Tikhon’s Seminary in South Canaan, PA, where he has served on the faculty to this day. In 2001, he was released from the Carpatho-Russian Diocese and received into the Orthodox Church in America, serving full-time at St. Tikhon’s Seminary. He was first Administrative Dean and later Dean, as well as working as Director of Recruitment, Development and Fundraising at the school.
Fr. Michael was part of the team that earned national accreditation for St. Tikhon’s Seminary from the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada and helped work on a revised curriculum for the Seminary’s Master of Divinity program. He has served as editor of “The Tikhonaire,” “The Spirit of St. Tikhon’s,” “By the Waters,” and “St. Tikhon’s Theological Journal.” Fr. Michael also teaches New Testament, Old Testament, Homiletics, Pastoral Theology, and Ethics.
In other work, Fr. Michael served as a member of the Board of Theological Education of the Orthodox Church in America, OCA representative to the National Advisory Board of the American Bible Society, a member, and former National Secretary, of the Orthodox Theological Society of America, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology and Religion [OCAMPR].
The Holy Synod of Bishops has announced that the consecration of Bishop-elect Michael will take place shortly after the New Year. Further details will be announced as they become available.