Deacon Don Bolls’ Ordination

Metropolitan Archbishop William officiated at the Divine Liturgy with Ordination to the Holy Diaconate as Subdeacon Donald Bolls became the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh’s newest deacon Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014 at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Munhall, PA.

Along with clergy and religious present, family, friends and faithful witnessed the diaconal ordination of the former Presbyterian minister whose love for God, His church, and His people have led him on a journey or prayer and service for over 35 years.

Following the Divine Liturgy and Ordination, a dinner was held in honor of the new deacon at the Cathedral Center.

Deacon Don shares some of his life’s story and other thoughts and recollections among photos captured during his ordination…

Bolls 1“I was born and raised in Virginia.  My father was a Presbyterian minister, as was my maternal grandfather, so as you might imagine, I was brought up in that tradition for which I remain immensely thankful to this day.”

“I received a BS in Mathematics from Virginia Tech in 1975, and a D.Min. from Union Theological Seminary in Virginia in 1979.  After I became interested in the Eastern Church, I earned a Masters in Eastern Studies through the Antiochian House of Studies in 2003.”

Bolls 2“I was unsure of my initial call to ministry as I was readying to graduate college, decided to enter seminary to see where it would lead, and never really have had any second thoughts.  I love it and have felt the Holy Spirit guiding me in it to this day, though there were many times when the exact was not entirely clear.”

“My wife Barbara and I were married in 1986; we have a son who lives in Cleveland, Ohio.  An added bonus of coming into the Byzantine Catholic Church is all of the wonderful ethnic foods.  Barbara and I are big fans of potato/onion pirohy and nutrolls.  We have noted that Eastern rite Christians find occasions to celebrate with food even more than the Presbyterians, which we didn’t think was possible.”

Bolls 3“I became Byzantine Catholic after 20 years of study and prayer in part because of a lifetime love of the great liturgical traditions of the Church.  I began by studying the Orthodox tradition, took a number of years “off” when the church I was serving burned to the ground and we had to rebuild, but eventually with the help and encouragement of many people, retired from Presbyterian ministry and am now a Deacon in the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh.”

Bolls 4“The journey has been long for a number of reasons, but one is that I always believed God wanted me to do ordained rather than lay ministry – and that’s much harder to work out canonically, especially being married, and having been a Presbyterian pastor for 35 years.  My wife and son have been very supportive of my move and without their understanding it would have been impossible.”

Bolls 5

Scroll to Top