Reflections on the Falling Asleep In The Lord of Protodeacon John Youhas

DIOCESAN CHANCERY -- Protodeacon John Youhas returned home to the Lord and entered into eternal rest with his family at his side early Friday morning, July 20, 2012, after a year long battle with cancer.

Born May 17, 1950, in Central City, PA, the son of John and Kathryn (Pribish) Youhas, he was a lifelong member of St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church, Ambridge, PA. Preceding him in death were his grandparents, Andrew (Katren) Pribish, and Michael (Mary) Youhas; and many aunts and uncles. In addition to his parents, he is survived by his sister, Bonita (Ronald) Raible of Callawassie Island-Okatie, SC; niece, Tamara (Danny) Wilson of Boynton Beach, FL; along with several uncles, aunts and cousins.

Fr. Deacon John graduated from Hopewell High School  in the Class of 1968, then attended Robert Morris University. He was then called by the Lord and entered Christ the Savior Seminary, Johnstown, PA, followed by a two year stay at the Annunciation Monastery, Tuxedo Park, NY. Upon leaving the Monastery, he returned to a staff position as Prefect at Christ the Savior Seminary, Johnstown, PA. He was ordained a deacon in 1985 by the newly enthroned  Metropolitan Nicholas (Smisko) and served as his personal deacon, until his repose in 2010.

The ordination of Deacon John ushered in the return of the active diaconate within the diocese.  It is fitting that Deacon John was elevated to the dignity of protodeacon, as he was the first deacon ordained by Metropolitan Nicholas and more importantly, he was a mentor and exemplary role model for countless other men who ascended the ranks of the diaconal and priestly orders in the diocese.  

Protodeacon John will be forever remembered not only for  his angelic voice and the beauty and piety of his service at the Altar of the Lord, but also the character of his soul.  He was a patient and highly competent instructor of  those preparing for the diaconate, and one whose entire life and service to the Church was marked by his humility and love for the Lord.  He will also be remembered for his patient, Christ-like endurance of illness over the years and especially, most recently, his struggle with cancer.

Deacon John, throughout his life had but one goal; to glorify God. As we were fond of hearing him sing at Hierarchichal Divine Liturgy, he indeed gave "Glory to Him, Christ our God..."  with every fiber of his being. 

While our dear Protodeacon John will be sadly missed by the members of his immediate family and the family of the Diocese,  we give thanks to God, that he has been released from his suffering.  It is our prayer that he will, once again, be at the side of +Metropolitan Nicholas in the Heavenly Mansions     at the throne of Almighty God.

May Almighty God Rest the Soul of His Newly Departed Servant, the Protodeacon John, in a Place of Brightness and Repose, Where There is Neither Sickness or Suffering, But Life Everlasting! 

May His Memory Be Eternal.

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