John Nehrebecki

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The Archpriest John Nehrebecki is Pastor Emeritus of the Church of Christ the Saviour in Paramus, New Jersey of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. He was among those priests who during the late 1950s and early 1960s pioneered the establishment of parishes within the Russian Mission, especially in the northeastern United States, that conducted liturgical services in English.


Father John was born on May 4, 1928 in Donora, Pennsylvania, the eleventh child of Michael and Veronica Korsh Nehrebecki. He grew up in Donora, attended the public schools and was a devoted member of St. Nicholas Church in Donora. After graduating from high school in 1946, John entered St. Tikhon's Theological Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania graduating in 1950. He then continued his education at Davis and Elkins College in West Virginia from which he received a Bachelor of Art degree. Later, while Fr. John was the Orthodox Chaplain at Columbia University in New York, he received a Master's Degree in Russian Studies from the City University of New York. He continued his education at St. Vladimir's Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York and in Russian literature and history in a doctoral program at Fordham University.

Fr. John met his future wife, Eugenia Yankovsky, in West Brownsville, Pennsylvania where he had been ask to help organize a "R" Club chapter in 1945. They married on May 22, 1952, and Fr. John was ordained a priest on July 4, 1952 at St. Mary's Church in Lynn, Massachusetts by Bp. Dimitry Magan of New England.

His first parish assignment was at Nativity of the Theotokos Orthodox Church in Osceola Mills, in central Pennsylvania. In 1953, Fr. John was assigned to Three Saints Church in Garfield, New Jersey. In 1960, Fr. John left the Garfield parish to found the parish of Christ the Saviour in Paramus, New Jersey that was to conduct its liturgical services in English. On August 15, 1960, Father John was assigned as the permanent rector at the request of the parishioners of the new parish. Over the next forty years at Christ the Saviour, Fr. John, as Dean of the Orthodox clergy in New York and New Jersey, took part in the organization and establishment of nine parishes in New Jersey as well as the Orthodox Chapel at the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York.

During the late 1960s, Fr. John participated with the Commission of Bishops that received the Tomos from the Church of Russia granting autocephaly to the Orthodox Church in America.

On October 5, 2003, Fr. John and his wife Eugenia were honored at his retirement from active service as a parish priest when he became Pastor Emeritus of the Christ the Saviour parish. Although in retirement, Fr. John continues an active presence in the Diocese of New York and New Jersey with his appointment as a member of the Diocesan Council of Presbyters in 2010.


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