NORWICH, CT – Rev. Matthew Baker, presiding priest of the Holy Trinity parish in Norwich, CT died in an automobile accident on Sunday afternoon returning home with his six young children from church.
The 37 year-old priest was traveling West on Route 2 in Norwich at approximately 4PM when he lost control of his 2002 Dodge Caravan just west of Exit 25 in Norwich, according to an accident report.
Police said the vehicle drifted into the snow-packed center median and rolled several times, striking the center beam of a guide rail before coming to rest on its roof in the eastbound lane. Fr. Baker was ejected from the vehicle and sustained fatal injuries, police said. His children were transported to the William W. Backus Hospital in Norwich with minor injuries.
Metropolitan Methodios of Boston communicated immediately with Presvytera Katherine conveying to her the love, support, and condolences of the entire Metropolis.
Calling Hours were scheduled for March 6 5-9PM at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 247 Washington Street in Norwich. The Funeral Services were set for March 7th at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church 175 Oaklawn Avenue, in Cranston, RI: Liturgy 8:30AM, Viewing 10AM, and Funeral Service11AM.
The Metropolis of Boston has established a special fund to help the family with the expenses they face immediately as well as in the long term. Those wishing to contribute may do so by sending a check to:
Metropolis of Boston
c/o Fr. Matthew Baker Fund
162 Goddard Avenue
Brookline, MA. 02445
Fr. Baker grew up in Cranston and attended Cranston public schools – Waterman Avenue Elementary, Park View Junior High and Cranston High East. He was the son of Evelyn Baker and the late Howard Baker. He was converted to the Orthodox Church in 2001 after his search for theological truth while working as a high school literature teacher in Virginia. He converted at a Carpatho-Russian Orthodox parish there. Since that time he has been a continuous student at various Orthodox Theological schools, in fact 3 of them and already is a respected theologian in church academia. He married his wife, Katherine, in Virginia in 2002 and they were blessed with six beautiful children: Isaac, 11; Elias, 9; George, 7; Eleftheria, 5; Cyril, 3; and Matthew Jr., who is almost 1 year old. The Bakers live in Cranston.
Baker received theological degrees from St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Seminary in Pennsylvania, St. Vladimir’s in New York and Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School in Brookline, MA. For the past three years he has been working on a doctorate in systematic theology at Fordham University in New York. His scholarly articles have been published and translated in a variety of languages.
He was ordained into the Holy priesthood by Metropolitan Methodios of Boston on January 19, 2014 at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Cranston.
Metropolitan Methodios told the parish that “Fr. Matthew was a good priest and a brilliant theologian. I ordained him just over a year ago. He was working on his doctoral dissertation at Fordham University. Thank God the children weren’t injured.”
Source: The National Herald