Peter Kohanik

From OrthodoxWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Peter G. Kohanik (Russian: Пётр Юрьевич Коханик, Pyotr Yuryevich Kokhanik; August 22, 1880, village Becherov, Austria-Hungary - May 20, 1969, Passaic, New Jersey) was a protopresbyter of the Northern American metropolia, and a prominent representative of Carpatho-Rusyn movement in the U.S.


Peter Kohanik was born in house 108 on August 22, 1880, the son of George Kohanik a village farmer and Anastasia Lescsisin in the village of Becherov which is located in present day Slovakia.

He was baptized on August 27, 1880 in the Greek Catholic Church of Nativity of the Virgin Mary in Becherov by Father Michal Artim.

Peter received his early education in Uzhgorod, Ukraine.

In 1892, he moved with his family to the United States, where he converted to Orthodoxy.

In 1894, he moved to Russia and initially entered the St. Petersburg Theological Seminary before transfering to the Tauride Theological Seminary (situated in Simferopol, Crimea), graduating in 1902.

He married Eugenia Dimytrievna, a resident of Crimea, on July 27, 1902 in his native village of Becherov.

In the same year Peter was ordained deacon and subsequently was ordained into the priesthood on October 26ns/October 13os, 1902.

On January 20, 1903, Father Kohanik and his wife left for America from Cuxhaven, Germany, traveling on the [Auguste Victoria]. They arrived at the Port of New York.

In 1903, Fr. Kohanik was appointed rector of St. John the Baptist Church in Charleroi, Pennsylvania, where he served until 1905 when he was transferred to Archangel Michael Church in Pittsburgh, replacing Fr. John Nedzelinsky. He served there for five years.

He was dean of the Pittsburgh deanery, and then the Wilkes-Barre deanery. During his time as a priest of the Orthodox churches in the United States, he was engaged in missionary work among Carpatho-Uniates and established more than 10 new parishes.

In 1910, he was the vice-president and, from 1910 to 1923, chairman of the Russian Orthodox Mutual Aid Society in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

In 1913, he was appointed secretary of the North American Spiritual Board (Diocesan Council) and head of the New York exile home.

From 1916 to 1923 he was editor of the Mutual Aid Society newspaper "Light", and during the years 1916, 1917, and 1921-1923 of the "Russian Orthodox almanacs".

Since 1917, he is klyuchar of the New York cathedral.

In 1924, Fr. Peter accepted, with the blessing of Metropolitan Platon, an invitation to organize a new parish in Passaic, New Jersey thus becoming, on July 12, 1925, the first priest of the newly established Church of St. John the Baptist, a position he retained until his repose. In 1947, he was appointed Dean of New Jersey deanery.

In 1951 he was awarded the right to wear the miter, later elevated to the rank of protopresbyter.

Fr. Peter Kohanik died May 20, 1969 in Passaic and was buried in East Ridgelawn Cemetery in Clifton, New Jersey.