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St. Siluoan Young Adult Fall Retreat 2022

Drops from the living words - Therapy for the soul

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Father Ieremia (Berbec)

Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley

His Story

Father Ieremia (Berbec) was born in Constanța, Romania, in 1978. As a young man, he was the spiritual son of Elder Arsenie Papacioc for 10 years. From 2002 to 2007, he was a Ph.D. student in the Math Department at the University of California, Berkeley.

Upon graduating in 2007, he moved back to Romania and entered the brotherhood of Holy Putna Monastery. He holds a Master’s degree from the “Dumitru Stăniloae” Theological Faculty in Iași.


In September 2020, with the blessing of his abbot and of his local hierarchs, he moved to the United States where he was assigned as the abbot of Sf. Dimitri Romanian Monastery in Middletown, NY.


Father John Downie

Studied Theology at the University of Bucharest 

Masters in Biblical Studies 

Ph.D. in Theology 

His Story

Fr. John Downie converted to Orthodoxy after many years of searching out various Orthodox faithful, nuns, monks and priests, meanwhile reading the writings of the ancient and modern Holy Fathers. The unceasing questions during this period of his life were, “what happened to the unity of the Church? And, what happened to the Holy Spirit?”


After several years of regular attendance at various Orthodox Churches in the United States, he spent a year and a half at Koutloumousiou Orthodox Monastery in Mount Athos Greece, to become more familiar with Orthodox Spirituality. The questions he had were resolved there and he was baptized Orthodox in 2001. Then he began his Theological Studies at the University in Bucharest and graduated in 2006.


He finished a master in Biblical Studies in 2008. He received his Ph.D. in Theology - The relation between Father and the Son in the Gospel of St. John - in 2018 at the same institution having Professor Dr. Fr. Constantin Coman as his research coordinator. All of the studies were completed in the Romanian language.


Fr. John and his family lived in Romania for 15 years, eight of which he served as an associate priest at the St. Nicholas University Chapel of Bucharest under the spiritual guidance of Fr. Vasile Gavrila. He moved back un US where he is the Parish Priest for the Holy Archangel Michael Church since 2016.

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