Deacon Professor Habtu Ghebre-Ab was ordained on Saturday, July 24, 2010 in the Greek Orthodox Church in Stamford, Connecticut and was given the name Fr. Athanasius. Fr. Athanasius was ordained by H.G. Bishop Makarios, General Bishop of the Coptic Orthodox Church and of the Eritrean Orthodox Church, North America Diocese, and His Eminence Metropolitan Seraphim of the British Coptic Orthodox Church. The solemn ceremony took place in the presence of several priests, a large choir of deacons and a multitude of the faithful from across North America. Fr. Athanasius comes from a family with a long line of Orthodox priests. He was ordained a deacon in his youth in the Holy Trininty Orthodox Church, the seat of the patriarchate in Addis Ababa by the late patriarch, Abune Theophlos. Later on, he came to America in search of better educational opportunities.
Fr. Athanasius holds three advanced degrees. As a highly respected scholar of history, he has, for the past 20 years, taught at the University of Cincinnati where he holds the highest academic rank of full professor. Prior to his ordination, he studied theology for four years at St. Athanasius Theological Seminary in Corpus Christi, a Coptic institution.
Fr. Athanasius has a unique gift of teaching and preaching. He is a man of humility, and well versed in theology. He is a visionary with a great zeal to serve the Lord. Fr. Athanasius is married with two children.
May the Good Lord receive his service and make it for the blessing of many.
We remind all the faithful to remember Fr. Athanasius in their prayers that God may use his servant for the glory of the Kingdom of God.