Eternal Memory: +Very Rev. Protopresbyter Michael Slovesko (Updated 1/9/22)

JOHNSTOWN, PA - [Diocesan Chancery] -- With profound sadness the Diocesan Chancery announces that + Very Rev. Protopresbyter Michael Slovesko reposed in the Lord on January 4, 2021.

Born July 21, 1936, in Masury, Ohio, he was the son of the late Michael and Anna Gidik Slovesko.  Father Michael attended public schools in Sharon and was a graduate of Sharon High School, class of 1954. In September 1954, Michael entered the Diocesan Seminary of Christ the Savior, where he completed four years of study . On May 31, 1958, Seminarian Slovesko married Anna Marie Fetsko. He was ordained to the priesthood by the late Metropolitan Orestes P. Chornock, on June 8, 1958, and offered his first Divine Liturgy at St. Michael's Church in Youngstown, OH.

Father Slovesko was first assigned to serve at St. Michael's Orthodox Church, Chicago, IL. During his 12-year pastorate there, he continued his education at DePaul University, Chicago, receiving his Bachelor of Philosophy. On February 27, 1970, Father was transferred to Saints Peter and Paul Orthodox Church, Windber by the late Bishop John R. Martin.

By appointment of His Grace, the late Bishop Martin elevated him to dean of the Johnstown District, titled with Very Reverend and assigned him to the facility of Christ the Savior Seminary to teach Liturgics. He remained on staff for 18 years, where he taught church chant, patrology, liturgical theology and philosophy. In addition to these duties, he was diocesan treasurer for 18 years.

At the diocesan council in 1978, the late Bishop Martin elevated Very Reverend Slovesko to the rank of Protopresbyter, the highest rank a married priest could be given. The late Metropolitan Nicholas R. Smisko, assigned him to head the Vicariate of Diocesan Publications and Music. While in Windber, Protopresbyter Michael was very active in community affairs, and he was elected to the Windber Area Hall of Fame.  He was recognized with a Jefferson Award. He was instrumental with physicians from the area in the organization of the first Hospice Program in Pennsylvania.  

From 1990 to 1992, he ran the Annunciation Retreat Center, Tuxedo Park, NY and then was transferred to serve at St. George's Orthodox Church, Taylor until 1997. Over the next several years, Protopresbyter Michael was the chaplain at Manor Care Nursing Home, until he became the pastor of St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church, Edwardsville. After serving for 49 years in the priesthood, Protopresbyter Michael retired in 2007.  He continued to serve liturgies in the local Orthodox Churches.

Fr. Michael enjoyed music, singing, reading, trains and working on his sewing "Russian punch". He also loved to cook and bake. Protopresbyter Michael was a very loving, caring and devoted pastor to each of his Church parishes, giving them guidance and wisdom to grow not only as a church, but also as a family. He will be greatly missed by his family, but also his extended family in the Lord.  

He is survived by his devoted wife, Anna Marie Fetsko Slovesko; a daughter, Rebecca Ream and husband, David, Ephrata, PA; two beloved grandchildren, Justin Ream and wife, Danielle, Lynn Haven, FL; and Jesika Wilhelm and husband, Justin, Shillington, PA; a great granddaughter, Cora Wilhem; a sister, Theresa Ann Koast, Binghamton, NY.  He was preceded in death by a son, Basil Slovesko. 

Funeral arrangements are as follows: 

ALL SERVICES ARE AT SAINTS PETER AND PAUL CHURCH                              
141 Hoffman Farm Road
Windber, PA  15963

Sunday, January 9 – Vesting of Fr. Michael by Deanery priests in Taylor, PA

Monday, January 10 – Fr. Michael’s body will be received into Saints Peter and Paul Church, Windber, PA; Reception with Panachida

Monday. January 10 – Viewing/Visitation 3:00 – 5:00 PM; Funeral Service for a Priest at 6:00 PM

Tuesday, January 11 – Viewing/Visitation 9:00 – 10:00 AM; Funeral Liturgy at 10:00 AM; Interment in the Parish Cemetery.

May Almighty God grant Eternal Rest in Blessed Repose to His newly-departed servant, the Protopresbyter Michael, who has fallen asleep, in the Heavenly Mansions, where there is neither sickness, sorrow or pain, but Life Everlasting, and make his memory to be eternal!  Vicnaja jemu pamjat!