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The Rev. Gabriel Rochelle, who with his wife, Pani Susan Steinhaus, established St. Anthony of the Desert Mission in October 2007, will retire this month from the parish.
St. Anthony of the Desert began with two people and, despite losses over the years, has a current congregation of 70, St. Anthony of the Desert said in a news release. It has produced two deacons, three readers and four subdeacons over the years. One subdeacon, Theophan Mackey, went on to complete his seminary training and now serves as priest of St. Job of Pochaiv parish in Los Alamos.
Rochelle will continue as professor in the New Mexico State University Honors College and as professor (online) of biblical studies at St. Sophia Orthodox Seminary, South Bound Brook, New Jersey.
Archbishop Daniel Volodymyr Zelinsky of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA will install the Rev. Mark W. Phillips as pastor of the parish at the liturgy at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, at which time Rochelle will be designated emeritus priest. Phillips will serve his first divine liturgy at 9:30 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 24.
Phillips comes to Las Cruces from Clymer, Pennsylvania. He has served in Altoona, Pennsylvania and most recently at St. Vladimir Orthodox Church in Pittsburgh. Phillips has four adult children and several grandchildren. He is a graduate of the St. Stephen theological program and attended Christ the Savior Seminary in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.
St. Anthony’s meets in Kendrick Chapel, 418 N. Alameda Blvd.