The Mitrophoric Archpriest Roman Galadza and Family
Our Pastor, Fr. Roman and his wonderful wife Irene, the "Panyi Matka" of our parish.
Within the Byzantine Tradition of the Church, we have conserved the tradition of married priests. This sacred tradition stretches back to Biblical commandments (Titus 1:6, etc.). It is witnessed to by the continuous practice of the Church throughout the ages.
Father Roman and Irene are the parents of six children, grandparents of four, and are retired from full-time teaching and chaplaincy at the local Catholic high school.
"Panyi Matka" is one of the terms used to both address and refer to the priest's wife. It means roughly "Reverend Mother.” Other names used in Byzantine Churches for the priest's wife are: Panyi Dobrodyka (also Ukrainian), Presbytera (Greek), Preotessa (Romanian), Matyushka (Rusyn) - indicating that the priest's wife is not only tireless in good works, but also in a very real sense shares in the priesthood of her husband.
Together, Father Roman and Panyi Matka Irene have not only raised their own family, but have also fostered the growth of Saint Elias Parish from its beginnings of only a few families to the large community that it now is. This is a testament to their hard work and dedication to each other and the Church. Like any parents, their tasks too often go unnoticed, but have been essential to the pastoral care and nurturing of the parish. Their efforts in liturgical life, fundraising, community events, and spiritual guidance are much appreciated and much beloved.
At the Baptism of grandson Orest Galadza, October 2010. Front Row: Fr. Roman, Pani Iryna, grandson Nikolai, son Nikolai, grandson Orest, daughter-in-law Jacqueline, grandson Finnian, daughter Larisa & granddaughter Taisa. Back row: Daughter Anastasia, daughter Sofia, son-in-law Adam, son Ilya, daughter-in-law Sarah, son-in-law Kenneth and daughter Valentyna.