Held at the Greek-Russian Church Yesterday Morning.

A Young Man Born in San Francisco Is the First American to Take the Vows in That Faith - An Impressive Ceremony.

A very impressive service was held in the Greek-Russian Church on Powell street at 9 o'clock yesterday morning, and the church was filled to overflowing.

The occasion was the ordination of Sebastian Dabovich, the first American-born to be admitted into the Russian priesthood.

Priests have been ordained in Alaska who were born there, but their birth took place when that country was a Russian colony.

The services were conducted by Bishop Nicholas [Ziorov], assisted by Father [Paul] Greenkevich as priest and Father [John] Soboleff as deacon. The opening chant was from the liturgy of St. John and sung by the choir of eight boys.

The Russian church differs from other Christian churches by having the services held in the body of the church as well as in the pulpit.

After the first part, which was about the usual Sunday morning service, the Bishop marched to a small dais in the center of the church, followed by the candidate for admission into the priesthood, and other functionaries, who formed a line on either side.

The Bishop asked for blessings on the candidate, after which the Cherubic hymn was chanted. At the conclusion of the singing the Bishop laid his hands on the head of the young man, who was then kneeling at his feet, and the assistant put over his shoulders the robes that he will wear in future whenever he officiates at service.

After a blessing was asked the usual morning service was proceeded with and the new-made priest took part as an assistant.

Sebastian Dabovich, the new priest, was born in San Francisco of Slavonic parents in 1863 and received his early education in a private school. Later in life he studied with Fr. Johannes [should be: Bishop; Mitropolsky] and Bishop Nestor [Zass].

It was his intention from childhood to become a priest and he has never thought of anything else. In November, 1890, he left this country for Russia, visiting several of the cities in that country for a few months, but eventually settling down to study in St. Petersburg. He also spent some time at Kieff, one of the holy towns of Russia and a place to which all the devout members of the church make pilgrimages. He returned to this country on the 20th of June last and has spent most of his time since in retirement and preparations for the obligations he was soon to take.

Fr. Dabovich will preach his first sermon next Sunday morning, in English. His subject will be "Love According to Christian Doctrine." Next Monday he will leave for a missionary tour of the coast, to be gone several months. He will visit every town between Victoria and San Diego and says there are over 2000 of his countrymen that he will talk to.

The [San Francisco] Morning Call, Monday Morning, August 29, 1892, p. 2. Reprinted in the Holy Trinity Cathedral LIFE, Vol.1, No.6, February 1994.

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Modified 3/23/97 -