Fr. Dr. John Downie, Presiding priest
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 Masters in Biblical Studies in 2008. He received his PhD 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.
Preoteasa Camelia, his wife, was raised Orthodox in Valea Calugareasca near Ploiesti, Romania. She attended the Economics University of Bucharest (ASE), with a major in International Economics Relations. She has worked for many years in Human Resources in Romania and plans to continue her career here in the United States.
Fr. John and preoteasa Camelia met in 2001 and were married in 2003 and now have three children.