On October 6, 2022, the feast of the Conception of the Holy Prophet and Baptist John, after a short illness, one of the senior-most clerics of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Archpriest John Kassatkin, rector emeritus of the Elevation of the Cross Church in Hackettstown, NJ, reposed in the Lord at the age of 82.
The Chancellor of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Archpriest George Konyev, performed the Sacrament of Unction and the Canon for the Departure of the Soul over the newly-departed just prior to his repose.
Archpriest John was born on September 28, 1940, into a priest’s family of Priest Constantine and Matushka Josephine Kassatkin in Export, Pennsylvania.
Having lost his father early, John took care of his mother and younger brother and sister, combining work with schooling.
Despite a difficult childhood, John never abandoned his desire to receive a spiritual education and devote his life to serving God and the Holy Church. In his autobiography, the future priest wrote about it this way: “After the death of my father, I was more and more possessed by an ardent desire to become a priest. I saw that in our material age, few of my peers were ready to devote themselves to the Church. And I understood that the priesthood was more of a burden than a blessing, but my love for the Church put those fears into hindsight.”
In 1962, John Kassatkin entered full-time study at the Holy Trinity Theological Seminary in Paris. Due to family circumstances, he was unable to complete his studies. Returning to the United States, he married a parishioner of Sts. Peter & Paul Cathedral in Passaic, NJ, Maxine Bernhardt.
In 1972, the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, Bishop Macarius of Uman (+2007) ordained John to the holy diaconate, and in 1974 he was ordained a priest, being assigned to serve as a full-time cleric of St. Nicholas Cathedral in New York City.
In 1976, he was accepted for the distance learning program at the Leningrad Theological Seminary, where he completed his spiritual education under the rector, then-Bishop Kyrill, the current Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia.
In 1982 he was appointed rector of Elevation of the Cross Church in Hackettstown, New Jersey, where he served until the end of his days.
Due to Fr. John’s zealous and meritorious service, he was awarded by the hierarchy all the priestly awards, medals and orders of the Russian Orthodox Church including the right to wear the mitre in 1992.
Father John was an unsurpassed connoisseur of the liturgical rubrics, generously sharing his experience of serving with the younger generation of clergy of our Church, actively participating in all diocesan events, and for many years was a member of the Bishop’s Council of the Patriarchal Parishes in the United States.
The Interim Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA & Canada, Bishop Matthew of Sourozh, as well as his hierarchal predecessors, express their sincere condolences to the families and friends of the newly departed Archpriest John and pray for the repose of the sol of the faithful servant of the Church in the mansions of the righteous.
Memory Eternal to Archpriest John!
SCHEDULE OF SERVICES FOR THE NEWLY-DEPARTED ARCHPRIEST JOHN KASSATKIN
all services to be held at Elevation of the Holy Cross Church
909 County Rd 517, Hackettstown, NJ
Sunday. October 9
9:00am Arrival of the body of the newly-reposed Archpriest John
9:30am - Divine Liturgy with visitation afterwards
7:00pm - Rite of the Funeral of a Priest
Monday, October 10
10:00am - Divine Liturgy, Litiya
Interment at Sts. Peter & Paul Cemetary in Saddle Brook, NJ
2:00pm - Repast