Fr. Ronald Barusefski appointed as B.C.S. Rector
On Tuesday, September 19, 2023, Fr. Ron Barusefski was appointed the 16th Rector of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Ss. Cyril and Methodius. The President of the Seminary, Metropolitan William Skurla, made the appointment having received the approval of Fr. Ron’s Eparchial Bishop, the Most Reverend Kurt Burnette of Passaic.
Fr. Ron Barusefski is a vocation of Holy Ghost Byzantine Catholic Church, Jessup, Pennsylvania. He entered B.C.S. in the fall of 1981 and was graduated cum laude from Duquesne University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Philosophy and Theology in 1985. After completing four additional years of theological study at the Seminary, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 14, 1989.
In the fall of 2011, after many years of parochial ministry, Fr. Barusefski began canon law studies at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He graduated with his licentiate in canon law on May 17, 2014, after completing his thesis entitled “The Competency of the Council of Hierarchs of the Byzantine Ruthenian Metropolitan Church USA Sui Iuris.” Fr. Ron was then named pastor of St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church in Bayonne, New Jersey, and administrator of St. Mary’s Byzantine Catholic Church in Jersey City, New Jersey, and administrator of St. George Byzantine Catholic, Newark, New Jersey. He was also appointed Vice-Chancellor and Adjutant Judicial Vicar of the Eparchy of Passaic.
In the summer of 2015, Fr. Barusefski was sent for doctoral studies in canon law at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas. After completion of his first year of doctoral studies, Fr. Ron was appointed the Director of Apostolic Formation and member of the External Formation Faculty at the Pontifical North American College in June 2016. While being responsible for the many different pastoral ministries afforded to the seminarians including parish and campus ministry, catechesis, and care for the poor and sick, he also shared the Byzantine Tradition with regular celebration of the Divine Liturgy and other liturgical services, as well as discussions and presentations. After completing his five-year term of office at the NAC in June 2021, Fr. Barusefski returned to full-time doctoral work. He has published his dissertation entitled “The Role of the Council of Hierarchs with special reference to the Byzantine Ruthenian Metropolitan Church sui iuris in the United States,” having defended it in June 2022.
On August 1, 2022, Fr. Ron was appointed the Director of Human Formation at B.C.S. He has served in that capacity and as personal formational advisor to seminarians in the configuration stage of formation since that date.
Outgoing rector, Fr. Robert Pipta, welcomes Fr. Ron with prayers for growth and fruitfulness in his new ministry. The challenges of Seminary formation leadership are met while being inspired by the faith and fervor of those students who are being formed as leaders for the Church.
Upon his appointment, Fr. Ron stated, “Our faculty, staff, and seminarians are all very grateful for the wonderful service that Bishop-elect Robert Pipta has faithfully given as rector for ten years, and I am especially grateful to have served this past year at our seminary with him. It is with a deep sense of humility and honor that I have received the appointment to succeed him as rector, and I ask for your continued prayers and support for myself and for our seminary community.”
Let us raise up Fr. Ron in prayer, asking that God grant him many blessed years in health and happiness.