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Fr. Michael Barna

The Archimandrite Ilya is past rector of St. Michael’s Orthodox Church of Redford, Michigan and has just observed the 60th Anniversary of his sacred Ordination of the Holy Priesthood on July 2, 2010.

Archpriest Michael has had a full and eventful career, having been born on July 2, 1918, while his priest-father was rector of St. Mary’s Dormition Orthodox Church in Benld, Illinois .  He is a 1937 graduate of Reading High School, Reading, Pennsylvania, studied engineering at Muncy, Indiana, and served during World War II in the U. S. Navy in the South Pacific on the battleship “ U.S.S. Colorado”.  He received three battle stars for engagements in the battles of Saipan, Tinian, and Guam.

He was entered among the candidates for Holy Orders beginning in 1946, when he returned from military service and was tonsured a reader and ordained a Sub-deacon in St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Reading, Pennsylvania by Archbishop Adam (Phillipovsky).  He continued his ecclesiastical studies at St. Nicholas
Cathedral in New York City for a period of four years.  On July 1, 1950, Archbishop Adam ordained him to the Diaconate at St.. Nicholas Cathedral, New York City, and the next day, July 2nd, Archbishop Adam ordained him to the Holy Priesthood and assigned him to be assistant priest to his father, the Rt. Rev. Archimandrite Ignatius (Barna) at St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Reading, Pennsylvania.

On December 17, 1966, Metropolitan John (Wendland) appointed Father Michael as rector of St. Nicholas Russian Orthodox Church, Reading Pennsylvania, upon his father’s retirement.  The following month,
January 6, 1967, His Eminence Metropolitan John assigned him as rector of St. Michael the Archangel Russian Orthodox Church, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  On January 29, 1969. Fr. Michael and his family took up permanent residence in Philadelphia and continued to serve the St. Michael’s Church there for another 5 1/2 years until his appointment to St. Michael’s Orthodox Church, Redford, Michigan on August 31, 1975, by Bishop Job (Tyvoniuk).

Father Michael has received almost every priestly distinction and award the Patriarchate can bestow upon a priest:  beginning with the Nabedrennik and Skouphos granted by Archbishop Germogen on April 3, 1954;  Kamelaukon by Metropolitan John on December 23, 1963; the golden cross on Holy Pascha in 1964, elevated to Archpriest at St. Nicholas Cathedral on May 30, 1965, by Metropolitan John; Palitza and the privilege of wearing the ornate (jeweled) cross on July 8, 1967, by Metropolitan John; received the Mitre by Metropolitan Nikodim of Leningrad and Novgorod on Sunday of Adoration of Cross, March 29, 1970, at St. Michael Russian Orthodox Church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where Father was then rector; Patriarchal awards by His Holiness Patriarch Pemen are: the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh 3rd class on August 11, 1980. the Order of St. Vladimir 3rd class of March 14, 1984, a Grammota for 35 years anniversary serving the Orthodox Church on November 10, 1985, and the Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh 2nd class on May 10, 1988.

During his priestly life, Father Michael had the distinction of serving the church as Dean of the Atlantic States Deanery, appointed to this important post by His Grace Bishop Makary on November 1, 1970.  He held this post for five years until appointment to St. Michael’s Orthodox Church in Redford, Michigan.


Rt. Rev. Mitered Archpriest Michael E. Barna was tonsured Monk Ilya by His Emminence Archbishop Justinian on Friday, April 20th, here to read more and view photo album