Repose and Funeral of Protodeacon Joseph Jarostchuk
Repose and Funeral of Protodeacon Joseph Jarostchuk

Fr. Protodeacon Joseph Jarostchuk was one of those rare people who combined within himself a very skillful way of serving at the divine services with a very humble and amicable character.  He served very carefully and also prayerfully.  And he loved to serve at all opportunities.  The older brethren of the monastery remember how for over 50 years he would spend all of his free time serving in the monastery for the special days of commemorating the dead, and who can forget his awesome voice, serving at the festal services of Pascha, Holy Nativity, Pentecost as well as the very special Holy Week services?

Fr. Joseph was born in Belarus to Ukrainian parents.  However, his whole life was lived within the canonical Russian Orthodox Church, to which he was completely dedicated.

            After World War II, he and his family ended up in Morocco, where he learned the French language.  At this time, he had as his spiritual father Archpreist. Mitrofan Znosko-Borovsky, the future Bishop Mitrophan, who would be his elder the rest of his life.  Later on, coming to America, he entered the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary.  Upon completion of this, he was ordained a deacon in 1969 by Archbishop Averky, after marrying his beloved Irina.  They started a family in Utica, New York, where he was attached to the St. John of Kronstadt Memorial Church, where he served faithfully for over 50 years.  Besides serving, he basically was responsible for keeping the church in order and also was active in the St. John of Kronstadt Fund, helping many needy Russian families all over the world. 

            Fr. Joseph all this time, until retirement, taught French in the Utica School system. He often served at the services in the nearby Holy Trinity Monastery and accompanied Metropolitan Laurus in his pastoral visits to parishes.  None of the brethren of the monastery will ever forget his prayerful serving at the monastery whenever he could get away from his parish responsibilities.  He especially loved the Holy Week services and often brought his sons to pray with him. 

            Fr. Joseph received many church awards and was known and respected by all.  He was active in his younger years in the Russian youth organizations.  He and his matushka raised four children, including Protodeacon Alexander Jarostchuk and were blessed with many grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

            Especially touching was Fr. Joseph’s dedication to pray for his reposed relatives and loved ones.  He never failed to serve at the monastery for all the several special “ancestral” Saturdays, when the Church prays for the dead.  We shall sorely miss his presence at all of these services.  It is so rare to see such pious dedication to one’s faith and loved ones.

            For all of this, after reposing on April 11, the Church gave Fr. Joseph a wonderful farewell on April 15. After a sumptuous commemorative meal given by his family, His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas and His Grace Bishop Luke served his funeral with many clergy serving together.  The church was FILLED with those touched by Fr. Joseph, family, fellow believers, fellow parishioners.  Archpriest Victor Boldewskul, Fr. Joseph’s last spiritual father, gave a very moving speech pointing out his Christian virtues of humility and love.

            The process of the last kiss took a long time as there were hundreds of people in attendance.  Thereupon, Fr. Joseph’s body was taken in procession to the monastery cemetery, where he was laid to rest next to his wife’s relatives. 

            Without a doubt, Fr. Joseph prepared himself for his last journey.  He served as long as he could, right up until his last illness.  One can never forget with what tears he often received the Holy Mysteries during his countless divine liturgies.  His matushka shared that right up until the end he had prayers on his lips.

            May Fr. Joseph be an inspiration for his family and all of the many people who held him in high regard.  It is our duty to always remember him in our prayers as assuredly he will be praying for us at the throne of God Almighty.

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Holy Trinity Monastery
1407 Robinson Rd.
PO Box 36
Jordanville, NY 13361
Telephone: (315) 858-0940
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