NEW YORK – Father Thomas Hopko, beloved author, theologian, and Dean Emeritus of the St. Vladimir’s Seminary, whose eloquence, integrity, compassion, and glowing faith made him a beloved figure in the world of American Orthodoxy and beyond, fell asleep in the Lord at 3PM on March 18.
All services and visitations will be at the Orthodox Monastery of the Transfiguration, Ellwood City, PA.
Father Thomas’ body will be ushered into the monastery church at 10:00 PM on Friday morning, March 20. The Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will continue throughout the day on Friday, with the celebration of Matins for the Departed at 6:00 p.m. followed by a Panikhida at 7:30 PM. Visitation will close at 9:00 PM. that evening.
On Saturday, March 21, the Memorial Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m. followed by a Panikhida. Visitation will continue throughout the day. The Vigil on Saturday evening will begin at 5:30 PM. Visitation will close at 9:00 PM. that evening.
On Sunday, March 22, the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 9:30 AM. followed by visitation throughout the afternoon. Vespers will be celebrated at 5:00 PM. followed by a Panikhida at 6:00 PM, with visitation continuing until 9:00 PM.
On Monday, March 23, the Funeral Service for a Priest will be celebrated at 10:00 PM, followed by interment in the monastery cemetery and a memorial meal.
All of his five children and Matushka Anne spent time with Fr. Hopko at the hospice where he saw his final days.
Fr. Hopko married Anne Schmemann in 1963. They have a son and four daughters and 15 grandchildren. In recent years he and Matushka Anne lived in Ellwood City, PA
According to his St. Vladimir’s biography, “Fr. Hopko was born on March 28,1939 in Endicott, NY where he was educated in the public schools. He graduated from Union-Endicott High School in 1956. He was baptized and raised in St. Mary’s Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek-Catholic Church.”
He was a Protopresbyter in the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) and served as pastor of churches in Warren, Ohio (1963-68), Wappingers Falls, NY (1968-1978), and Jamaica Estates, NY (1978-1983).
“From 1968 to 2002 he taught courses in Dogmatic Theology, Practical Theology, Homiletics and Spirituality at St. Vladimir’s Seminary. He served as Dean of SVS from September 1992 until retiring from this office in July 2002. He was given the title of Dean Emeritus by the SVS Board of Trustees,” according to the bio.
Fr. Hopko was baptized and raised in St. Mary’s Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek-Catholic Church, Endicott, NY.
“After graduating from high school, Thomas enrolled at Fordham University in New York, graduating in 1960 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian Studies. He continued his education at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, from which he received his Master of Divinity degree in 1963. At St. Vladimir’s Seminary, Thomas studied with such renowned Orthodox theologians as Fr. Alexander Schmemann, Fr. John Meyendorff, Nicholas Arseniev and Serge Verkhovskoy. Later in 1968, he earned a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy from Duquesne University. In 1982, he earned a PhD in Theology from Fordham University,” according to Orthodox Wiki.
He began teaching at St. Vladimir’s in 1968 while he was serving at St. Gregory the Theologian. He eventually succeeded Verkhovskoy as professor of dogmatic theology. In addition to dogmatic theology he also taught practical theology, homiletics, and spirituality.
After his election as Dean he was elevated to Archpriest and was raised to the rank of Protopresbyter in 1995.
Orthodox Wiki notes that “Fr. Hopko is a prominent Orthodox Christian lecturer and speaker, well-known both in Orthodox and ecumenical circles. He served as a member of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and as a delegate from the Orthodox Church in America to the Assemblies of WCC in Uppsala, Sweden; and Nairobi, Kenya. He was also President of the Orthodox Theological Society in America from 1992 to 1995.”
Source: The National Herald