July 23, 2014

In Memoriam: His Eminence Archbishop Job, Archbishop of Chicago and the Midwest

Posted 12/18

SYOSSET, NY [OCA Communications] — On Friday, December 18, 2009, His Eminence, Archbishop Job of Chicago and the Midwest unexpectedly fell asleep in the Lord.

Bishop Job

His Eminence, Archbishop Job was born Richard John Osacky in Chicago on March 18, 1946. He completed university studies at Northern Illinois University and, after graduating from Saint Tikhon Seminary, South Canaan, PA, in 1970, he served as cantor and youth director at Saint John the Baptist Church in Black Lick, Pennsylvania. He assumed responsibilities in leading Divine Services in the prescribed manner for readers, conducting religious education and youth work, and painting icons. It was his extraordinary affinity with Orthodox youth that gained him the recognition of the Church at large.

In 1973 Reader John was ordained to the holy diaconate and consequently to the holy priesthood by Bishop Theodosius of Pittsburgh [later Metropolitan Theodosius of All American and Canada]. He was assigned to the parish in Black Lick, where he also served as spiritual director for the Orthodox Christian Fellowship at nearby Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

As a celibate priest, he maintained a zeal for the monastic life in all his endeavors. In 1975 he was made a riasaphor monk, and later was tonsured a monk in the Lesser Schema by [then] Bishop Herman in August of 1982. In November of that year he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite.

Recognizing that zeal and spirit of dedication to Church service in Father Job, the Diocese of New England nominated hieromonk Job as their diocesan bishop. The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America ratified the nomination and elected him Bishop of Hartford and the Diocese of New England. He was consecrated to the episcopacy on January 29, 1983, at All Saints Church in Hartford, Connecticut.

At its session of November 5, 1992, the Holy Synod of Bishops elected Bishop Job as Bishop of Chicago and Diocese of the Midwest. He was enthroned as Bishop of his native city at Holy Trinity Cathedral on February 6, 1993.

In his years in the See of Chicago, the Diocese of the Midwest experienced tremendous growth. This was witnessed in–but certainly not limited to–the establishment of numerous new mission parishes in the diocese.

In addition to his regular duties as the ruling hierarch of the Diocese of the Midwest, His Eminence enjoyed his long-standing and excellent reputation as an iconographer and iconologist. He was often called upon to offer lectures on this subject, and he was willing to assist and encourage other iconographers.

In recognition of his more than twenty years of “good and faithful” service as archpastor, at the March 2004 Session of the Holy Synod, Bishop Job was elevated to the rank of archbishop.

Information about funeral services for Archbishop Job will be posted as they become available.

May His Eminence, Archbishop Job’s memory be eternal!

Comments

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    Jolynn Ruggerio says:

    May His Memory Be Eternal!

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    John Couretas says:

    From Ancient Faith Radio. Link to podcast is here.

    December 18, 2009 Length: 9:43

    On Friday, December 18, 2009, His Eminence Archbishop Job of Chicago and the Midwest unexpectedly fell asleep in the Lord. Details about his death are now available in our interview with Fr. John Zdinak, Chancellor of the Midwest Diocese of the Orthodox Church in America. Fr. John spoke to His Eminence only 2 hours before he died.

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    John Couretas says:

    Source: OCA Diocese of the Midwest

    FUNERAL SERVICES FOR ARCHBISHOP JOB

    Monday, December 21
    Place: Christ the Savior Church, 927 N LaSalle Blvd, Chicago, IL 60610
    1- 4 PM Viewing.

    Body then transported to Holy Trinity Cathedral

    Place: Holy Trinity Cathedral, 1121 N Leavitt St, Chicago, IL 60622
    6-11 PM Viewing. Panikhida at 7 PM

    Tuesday, December 22
    Place: Holy Trinity Cathedral
    11 Am to 11 PM. Funeral Vigil at 7 PM

    Wednesday, December 23
    Place: Holy Trinity Cathedral
    Funeral Liturgy at 9 AM

    After Liturgy body is transported to St. Theodosius Cathedral,
    Cleveland.

    Place: St. Theodosius Cathedral, 733 Starkweather Ave,
    Cleveland, OH 44113
    7:30 – 10 PM. Panikhida with viewing at 8 PM

    Saturday, December 26
    Place: St. John the Baptist Church, 785 Blaire Rd, Blairsville, PA 15717 (Black Lick, PA)
    Funeral Liturgy with internment at 10 AM

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    John Couretas says:

    Source: Chicago Breaking News


    Orthodox Archbishop Job of Chicago dies

    December 19, 2009

    Archbishop Job, the head of the Orthodox Church in America in Chicago and the Midwest, died unexpectedly Friday morning, according to a church official. He was 63.

    The archbishop rose to national prominence in recent years as he took a stance against alleged financial mismanagement and corruption among the church’s national leaders. One church leader called for his discipline simply because he asked for an investigation into wrongdoing.

    A probe was conducted that led to the resignations of several church officials from the national governing board.

    “He truly believed what he preached. He believed in honesty and integrity,” said Fr. John Adamcio, rector at Holy Trinity, the seat of the Chicago diocese. “These things he did were indeed noble and honorable.”

    Still, those efforts took a great toll on Archbishop Job, and he planned to retire next year to southwestern Pennsylvania, Adamcio said, “in his own words, to look after the salvation of his own soul.”

    He was found unconscious behind the wheel of his car in the parking lot of a hotel in Maumee, Ohio, about 10:30 a.m. Friday. Archbishop Job was in the area speaking with clergy members about what to expect when he retired, Adamcio said. His car was packed up and he was about to head back to Chicago.

    The archbishop had been suffering a bad cough and shortness of breath in the weeks before his death and was scheduled to see a doctor this morning, Adamcio said.

    Archbishop Job was born Richard John Osacky in Chicago and studied at Northern Illinois University and St. Tikhon Seminary in South Canaan, Penn., according to a statement on the church’s Web site. He was ordained in 1973.

    About 10 years later he was elected bishop of Hartford and New England, and a decade after that he became the bishop of Chicago.

    According to the Web site, several memorial services have been scheduled for next week.

    – Manya A. Brachear and Andrew L. Wang

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    John Couretas says:

    From Fr. Oliver Herbel. Posted on the St. Andrew House Discussion Forum (12/19/2009, 5:20 pm):

    May Archbishop Job’s Memory Be Eternal

    On Friday morning, many of us in the American Orthodox world learned of the untimely repose of His Eminence, Archbishop Job, bishop of Chicago and the Diocese of the Midwest in the OCA. This is sad news for both the OCA and the Orthodox Churches in America across jurisdictional lines. As the member of the executive board of SOCHA who is in the OCA and as one whose life has been directly affected by him, I have decided to write a personal reflection on what his ministry means to me and what I hope it can mean to us in America as we move forward.

    On January 18, 2003, Archbishop Job ordained me to the priesthood at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in St. Paul, Minnesota. Following this liturgy, knowingly in the presence of extended family who were not Orthodox, he gave basic but important pastoral advice that I remember to this day­a priest must love his parishioners. Love must come above all other feelings. Everything must be done out of love for them. I am sure I am hardly alone. I would think that all priests remember the advice given to them on the day of their ordination. Perhaps, this was Archbishop Job’s standard admonition at priestly ordinations.

    Regardless, this advice speaks of the concern His Eminence had for the life of the Church. It must be founded on love because that is how people are to know that we are the true followers of Christ. That is our evangelism! If a person wants to know how to succeed in parish life, both in terms of sustaining the life already there and increasing the life of the parish, one need only read St. John the Theologian’s epistles. We don’t need schemes and programs. We need love.

    Not long after my ordination, he showed me that love personally. I had applied to a few doctoral programs in the Midwest, but had heard negatively from all but one. Therefore, I was likely soon to be assigned to a mission in the Upper Midwest. Not long after +Job and I had begun discussing the details, Saint Louis University, the only school from which I had not yet heard, accepted me and offered me a research assistantship to cover my costs. I did not know what to do, so Lorie and I received counsel from two priests whom we trusted. They suggested we lay it out before +Job, which we did.

    His Eminence, being reasonable and prudent, agreed with the perspective of these priests, that academic doors do not open often, and gave me his blessing to attend SLU. He knew of our commitment to being in the Diocese of the Midwest and he spoke of how things are directed by God’s providence. Not all bishops would have done this, but Archbishop Job did. He has done much more for other priests, for I have seen that as well. Mine is but a small example of how he loved his priests.

    As a pastor who has spent several years attached to another parish, where I assisted the rector in his ministry, and who has been pastoring a mission with its own turbulent yet admirable history, I have come to see the full dimensions of what it means for a priest to love his congregation.

    When times are difficult, we are there. When times are good, we are there. When people cower in the sight of parish life and run, we remember that love entails free will and allow them such freedom, all the while keeping the door open for their return. When parishioners struggle with aspects of Church life or tradition, or even something we have said, we show patience and endurance. In rare cases, we even know that loving the congregation means the vine must occasionally be pruned, painful though this process is to all. We also know that when the times are difficult, we are the ones who must step up and take the blame, for we will receive it, and when times are joyous, we praise the parish.

    Archbishop Job himself knew of the struggles of loving the flock under his care. I have seen him in deanery meetings, providing solutions to problems. We have all seen him as he stood up and asked whether the allegations of financial misconduct were true or false. Yes, it is true that it took behind-the-scenes cajoling and much support to encourage him but he did it. He asked the question all other OCA bishops were too scared to ask or refused to ask. What he did was not miraculous, but it was episcopal, it was what a bishop must do­ultimately, when push comes to shove, stand for what is good and true. Would that the Churches in America would have many bishops willing to ask such questions and take such stands!

    We have also seen His Eminence demonstrate extreme humility even when there was no need to do so. We know he prostrated before Bishop Nikolai and asked forgiveness. This was unnecessary, but in the heat of the moment, Archbishop Job chose to forego any pretense, even though there would have been no sin at all not to have done this.

    Recently, I and the parishioners here in Fargo, North Dakota, also benefited from his willingness to stand firm and further the development of Orthodox Christianity within the diocese of the midwest. Archbishop Job responded to the actions and appeals of the faithful themselves. Not every bishop would have done this, but he did what he felt was best for the growth of Orthodoxy in the Upper Midwest.

    Ultimately, it is this concern for the ongoing health of Orthodoxy that I hope we take from his memory. He cared about the health of Orthodoxy in the Midwest. We must care for the health of Orthodoxy wherever we are. Without good health, it will not matter what methods are devised for uniting Orthodox jurisdictions in America. Without good health, it will not matter what we enact in our parishes to build them into even more loving communities. Without good health, we will fall far too short of the glory of God to attract others or save ourselves. Archbishop Job has served Christ’s Holy Church to this end. May we do the same, and may his memory be eternal!

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