Rev. Fr. R Joseph Collins
Father Joseph and Presvytera Melanie Collins grew up in Mauston, WI, a rural farm community in central Wisconsin, around an hour north of Madison. Father and Presvytera were married in February 2005, and in June of 2006 received Ty, their oldest child, into the world. One year later they moved to Brookline, MA to attend Hellenic College. Fr. Joseph and Presvytera Melanie were not yet orthodox at the time, but attended a non-denominational Christian church in Wisconsin, pastored by Presvytera’s father. They had no expectation of converting and intended for Father Joseph to earn his bachelor’s degree to facilitate a career as a church history teacher in a Christian school setting. During their first year in Brookline they fell in love with Orthodoxy and were received into the church in the summer of 2008. Their daughter Mikayla was born that spring. Father, Presvytera, Ty, and Mikayla lived in Brookline until the summer of 2013. While there, Father earned both his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees. While enrolled in Hellenic College Father Joseph majored in religious studies and minored in both Greek classics and Russian Literature. Upon graduating in 2013 they moved to Saint Basil Academy in Garrison, NY and served there until June of 2016. While at Saint Basil Academy several major events happened. First, in 2014 their youngest child, J.D., was born. Then, on Evangelismos (the Annunciation), March 25th of 2015, Father Joseph was ordained to the holy diaconate by the hand of His Grace Bishop Andonios of Phasiane at the Church of Our Savior in Rye, NY; where he served on Sundays and major feast days as a deacon until spring of 2016, under the guidance of Fr. Elias Villis. On May 15th, 2016 Father Joseph was ordained to the holy priesthood by the hand of our former Archbishop, Demetrios of America, at the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New York, NY. That particular Sunday, by God’s wondrous grace, was the Sunday of the Myrrh Bearing Women, which is also a feast day of Father’s patron saint, Joseph of Arimathea. Beginning in June of 2016 The Collins’ were assigned to the church in Poughkeepsie, NY. A church dedicated to the Kimisis (Dormition) of the Holy Virgin, where they served until now. As a family they are dedicated to the Holy Church of Jesus Christ, to love His church, to care for it, and to grow it by faithfully and fearlessly preaching the Gospel of the crucified and resurrected Lord. As a family they try to, as St. Francis of Assisi said, “preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.” Working to live lives exemplary of their Christian faith and values, wanting to be beacons of faith and love in all that they do and say.