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Vasily Martysz

32 bytes added, 12:46, July 22, 2009
Upon reaching the United States Fr. Vasily was assigned to Afognak [[parish]] in the Territory of Alaska, a parish that covered Spruce and Woody islands near Kodiak. At Afognak he built the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Virgin. In order to service the large area of his parish he traveled by kayak and was away from home much of his time. Yet he continued to teach in the parish school. Through these difficult times his wife, Olga, gave birth to two daughters. Because of the harsh life in Alaska and concern for the education of his daughters, in 1906, Fr. Vasily was transferred back to the United States, to Osceola Mills, Pennsylvania. In Osceola Mills, Fr. Vasily and Olga were blessed with a son. In the following years Fr. Vasily and his family accepted assignments in succession at Old Forge, Pennsylvania, where his youngest child, a daughter, was born, then at Edmonton before serving in Vostok, Canada. In 1912, Fr. Vasily and his family returned to Poland.
In Poland, Fr Vasily returned to be with relatives in Sosnowiec. Here, he became the rector of the local parish and a teacher at the girls’ high school. The outbreak of World War I, however, disrupted their lives again. To escape the war front, the [[clergy]] were moved to safety in Russia. Taking up an offer of his Archpastor, Vladimir of Alaska, Fr. Vasily and his family took refuge within the St. Andronik [[Andronikov Monastery (Moscow)|Andronikov Monastery]] in Moscow. After the Bolshevik takeover, in 1919, as Polish refugees they were allowed to return to their old residences in Poland.
Having gained its freedom following World War I, Poland began to organize an army. In September 1919, Fr. Vasily received an assignment to a position in the Religious Ministry of the War Department in which he was placed in charge of Orthodox Affairs, with responsibility for forming an Orthodox military chaplaincy. With the new assignment Fr. Vasily and his family moved to Warsaw. In 1921, he became head of the Orthodox military chaplaincy, and he was promoted to the rank of colonel. Paralleling his military promotion the Church elevated him to [[archpriest]]. He continued in this position until he retired from it in 1936.

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