A Tribute to an Exemplary Pastor: + Mitred Archpriest Michael Koblosh

By Archpriest John Shimchick

On Wednesday I learned of the “falling asleep” of one of the OCA’s most remarkable priests, Fr. Michael Koblosh (also, one of my favorites). Growing up in Yonkers, he attended both St. Tikhon’s and St. Vladimir’s Seminaries and served established and mission parishes, including: Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral, Los Angeles, CA; Holy Trinity, East Meadow, NY; SS. Cyril and Methodius Church, Terryville, CT; Holy Ghost Church, Bridgeport, CT; Christ the Savior Mission, Southbury, CT; and St. Nicholas Church, Whitestone, NY; and finally All Saints of America Mission, Alexandria, VA (which he started). During his time in Connecticut, Fr. Michael was Dean of the Connecticut Deanery.

I grew up in New Britain, CT — not far from Terryville — and I was so impressed with how Fr. Michael had encouraged and instilled within what seemed to be a dying parish the courage both to be renewed and to build a new church structure, which was designed by Fr. Alexis Vinogradov (our architect!).

My mother attended the parish while he was there and was grateful for his care and ministry. One person said about him that “he was a deeply faithful priest, who loved the Church with all his heart, and he served his flock selflessly until the very end.”

Fr. Michael was married and served as a priest for 52 years.

Here is a link to the “In Memoriam” tribute to Fr. Michael on the the OCA’s website:

https://www.oca.org/in-memoriam/archpriest-michael-koblosh

Though Fr. Michael was no longer able to serve or attend church services, he continued to contribute articles for his parish bulletin. This is what he wrote recently about the Dormition:

On The Dormition — or “Assumption”— of the Mother Of God

Scripture is silent about the death of the Mother of God. The story of that death is found in various apocryphal writings of the Early Church. There, we learn that upon her death she was “assumed” by God into the heavenly kingdom of Christ in the fullness of her spiritual and bodily existence. The silence of Scripture, however, is a “noisy silence.” The death and physical glorification of the Theotokos is the fulfillment of the whole Biblical story and of the death and resurrection of Christ. For what other reason did Christ come than to save us and to bring us, bodily, into His Kingdom? In His Mother, His suffering and victory find completion. And, because she is as human as we are, her glorification gives us a true and living icon of our own destiny in Christ. In Him and through His spirit, the resurrection and transfiguration of the world has begun. In the great Feast of the death of the Mother of God, the final resurrection of all and everything finds glorious and incomparably beautiful prefiguration. Her death has been described by a writer as stepping outside of a dirty elevator and into a world full of nothing but joy, beauty, and infinite love. May such be the description of our deaths.

May Father Michael’s memory be eternal!

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