Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov

Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov (1927–2018)

Proto­pres­byter Valery Lukianov, senior cler­ic of the East­ern Amer­i­can Dio­cese of the Russ­ian Ortho­dox Church Out­side of Rus­sia, reposed in the Lord on the morn­ing of May 12/25, 2018. A child of the Russ­ian dias­po­ra, Valery Sime­onovich was born in Shang­hai on Decem­ber 8/21, 1927. From his ear­li­est days his spir­i­tu­al for­ma­tion and future ser­vice to the Church was guid­ed by the great hier­ar­ch and won­der­work­er of the Russ­ian dias­po­ra, St John of Shang­hai and San Fran­cis­co. Valery was among the flock that fol­lowed St John to the Philip­pine island of Tubabao after the Com­mu­nist rev­o­lu­tion in Chi­na. After immi­grat­ing to the Unit­ed States, Valery grad­u­at­ed in 1955 from the Brook­lyn Poly­tech­nic Insti­tute with a degree in Engi­neer­ing. Despite his own reluc­tance, he was ordained to the Holy Dia­conate by St John in 1963 and to the Holy Priest­hood in 1967 by Met­ro­pol­i­tan Phi­laret of Blessed Mem­o­ry, the third First Hier­ar­ch of ROCOR.

A year lat­er, Fr Valery was appoint­ed rec­tor of the St Alexan­der Nevsky parish in Lake­wood, NJ, a com­mu­ni­ty with which his mem­o­ry is  insep­a­ra­ble. Here, uti­liz­ing his pro­fes­sion­al skills as an archi­tect and engi­neer, Fr Valery designed and over­saw the build­ing of a mag­nif­i­cent and God-pleas­ing tem­ple, as well as a parish school, church hall, and rec­to­ry. Most impor­tant­ly, Fr Valery embod­ied the virtues of the Good Shep­herd and the words of St Paul in his Epis­tle to Tim­o­thy: be thou an exam­ple of the believ­ers, in word, in con­ver­sa­tion, in char­i­ty, in spir­it, in faith, in puri­ty.1

Photo of Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov and Matushka Irina
Pro­to­pres­byter Valery Lukianov and Matush­ka Iri­na, March 3, 2013 at the cel­e­bra­tion of Fr Valery’s 50th anniver­sary of cler­i­cal service.

Togeth­er with his sto­ried and mul­ti-faceted eccle­si­as­ti­cal lega­cy, Fr Valery and Matush­ka Iri­na built togeth­er a per­son­al lega­cy as well: a fam­i­ly of faith­ful and active priests, dea­cons, church servers, singers, and bene­fac­tors. Tru­ly, the Lord grant­ed unto his faith­ful ser­vant the bless­ings described in the 127th psalm.2 In the last days of his life, as Fr Valery was strick­en by the cru­el neu­rode­gen­er­a­tive dis­ease, ALS, his fam­i­ly and parish became a bul­wark of sup­port and com­fort in his final earth­ly struggle.

Fr Valery was known through­out the Church Abroad as a skilled ora­tor, litur­gist, and author. We are con­fi­dent that his many writ­ings and record­ed talks in Russ­ian and Eng­lish will con­tin­ue to be a source of study and guid­ance for the Church, even as we are left orphaned and bereft of his phys­i­cal pres­ence and guidance.

On behalf of the broth­er­hood of Holy Trin­i­ty Monastery and the staff of Ortho­dox Life, we express our deeply felt sym­pa­thy espe­cial­ly to Matush­ka Iri­na, Fr Valery’s entire fam­i­ly, and the parish of St Alexan­der Nevsky Cathe­dral. In the words of anoth­er gift­ed ora­tor of the Church of God, may this wise pas­tor “…rejoic­ing, enter into the joy of his Lord.” 3

May the Lord grant him eter­nal blessed­ness in His Heav­en­ly kingdom! 

Mem­o­ry Eternal!