After 15 years as an Anglican priest, including six years as the rector of Trinity Church in Rock Island, the Rev. Thomas Janikowski is converting to Russian Orthodoxy.By the time he and his wife, Shelly, get back from a New York trip, he will be an ordained deacon and priest in the Russian Orthodox church’s Western Rite Communities.
He will celebrate the Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great on Sunday as a fully ordained priest of the St. Athanasius parish at 228 W. 15th St., Davenport. Sunday Matins will be sung at 8:15 a.m. with a Divine Liturgy at 9 followed by food and fellowship.
The church — once a tattoo parlor named “Joe’s Garage” — is a one-story building with plenty of parking next door, so no stairs are required, Rev. Janikowski said. Learning to speak Russian, he said, is not necessary; everything is in English.
Services are conducted largely by Gregorian chant or sung, with the church following the Julian calendar that has Jan. 7 as Christmas Day.
“We get all the nice days for Christmas shopping,” Rev. Janikowski said.
The church also practices more iconography, he said, and communion is served only to Russian Orthodox church members.
Rev. Janikowski was a choral scholar and said he feels extremely confident by chanting and singing everything. He said he’d always wanted to be in the Russian Orthodox Church body and particularly had felt drawn to it for the past 10 years or so.
The orthodoxy has remained undivided for 2,000 years, Rev. Janikowski said. It’s reverent and timeless, he said, yet remains mysterious.
For more details, visit qcorthodox.com; rocor-wr.org; synod.com/synod/indexeng.htm; and mospat.ru/en.
William E Bauer says
Fr Janikowski also operates Western Rite Orthodox Radio (wroradio.com) which features informative podcasts.
Davenport, Iowa ; )
I was raised there. It is part of the Quad-Cities, located on the Mississippi River.
“and communion is served only to Russian Orthodox church members”
And other orthodox church members cannot? Why?
Fr. John says
“Russian Orthodox” in this context is the same as “Roman Catholic”. Obviously Irish catholic and Polish catholics can receive communion at ‘Roman’ catholic churches, so all Eastern Orthodox can receive at “Russian Orthodox” churches.
Why was he so quickly ordained after conversion? He doesn’t even now how to be an Orthodox layman much so an Orthodox Priest.
Adam Sheehan says
I live 90 minutes from this ROCOR mission. This particular mission in Davenport, IA has a wonderful community. There are people from the Illinois and Iowa sides who drive long distances at attend Divine Liturgy on Sundays. Father Thomas and Matushka Shelly are very kind and inviting to newcomers to Orthodoxy and those Orthodox who are looking for a parish home.
Fr. John says
Not sure the circumstances, but if a heterodox clergyman, who obviously has a significant pastoral relationship with his flock, brings that flock over to Orthodoxy, it is not uncommon to ordain him shortly after his initiation into the Church so that he and his people may strengthen their bond of love as they learn together about Orthopraxis. In such cases, they are well guided and supervised until they have more experience.
Again, I don’t know the circumstances, but when it happens there are often good pastoral reasons for it.