Father Michael Ibrahim
A new era began at St. Anthony’s when Father Michael Ibrahim became our Pastor, in 2019. Father Michael came to us in 2016 to assist the late Father Joseph Allen in ministering to our active parish. Before that, he served as a Deacon and later, Assistant Priest at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Little Falls, NJ.
A native of Damascus, Syria, Father Michael grew up the son of a priest. He graduated from Damascus University with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. After immigrating to the United States, Father Michael began a career in sales, before opening a restaurant, King of Shish Kabob, where he served as owner and chef for sixteen years.
While working in the restaurant business, Father Michael began studying at the Antiochian House of Studies. He obtained his Bachelor of Applied Theology in 2006, and his Master’s Degree a year later. He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood in 2012. Since arriving at St. Anthony, Father Michael has become a beloved member of our spiritual family, especially with the youngest members of our parish, the Church School students and Teen SOYO. And even though he’s no longer working as a chef, you can still find Father Michael in the St. Anthony’s kitchen, adding his special touch to our famous food.
Father Michael and his wife, Khouria Rula, are the proud parents of daughter Catherine, a medical school student.
Archdeacon Peter Boulukos
Without a doubt, Deacon Peter, as he’s affectionately known, is the heart and soul of St. Anthony’s. A member of the parish since 1972, Deacon Peter was ordained in 1988, and has been with us ever since.
Deacon Peter was born and raised in Merrick, New York, attended Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology, in Brookline, MA and later studied at Rizzarios Divinity School in Athens, Greece. When he returned to the United States, Deacon Peter served as a youth advisor and Greek School teacher in Detroit, Minneapolis, and New Rochelle.
When he’s not helping out in just about all aspects of parish life, Deacon Peter works as a chiropractor.
Stratos J. Mandalakis
Every team needs a good utility player. At St. Anthony’s, that would be none other than Stratos, or “Strat” as he’s affectionately known. This beloved and hard-working Sub-Deacon is involved in almost every aspect or parish life, from directing the choir and serving as Head Chanter, to co- chairing our In-and-Out-Reach committee, to advising our teen SOYO members, to giving inspiring homilies.
Basically, Strat has done it all. A graduate of Fordham University with a Bachelor of Arts in Byzantine Studies and Music History/Composition, Strat went on to earn a Master of Arts in Eastern Christian Theology from the John XXII Institute/Maryknoll School of Theology. His graduate education included coursework with such influential theologians as Fathers John Meyendorff, Stanley Harakas, Robert Taft, SJ, and George Maloney, SJ, as well as Archbishop Joseph Raya.
Strat continues his education by studying the ancient art of Byzentine Psaltic Music. He studied voice with Donna Jeanne Schutz and participated in choral and conducting master classes with Robert Paige, Mallory Thompson and Robert Shaw. If that’s not enough, he’s even performed at Carnegie Hall, under the direction of composer John Leavitt! An in-demand speaker, Strat has published and has lectured in a number of areas including Orthodox Theology, Choral Technique, and Byzantine Church History.
Under Strat’s direction, the St. Anthony choir and chanters recorded a CD, With an Open Heart: Sounds of Worship at St. Anthony Orthodox Church in Bergenfield, New Jersey, showcasing St. Anthony’s tradition of combining the best in Byzantine and Slavonic musical traditions. He serves as Artistic Director of The Spirit of Orthodoxy Choir, a select ensemble of singers from the NY/NJ metropolitan area who perform sacred and folk music from a variety of Orthodox cultures.
Strat and his wife Suzanne are the proud parents of daughter Kathryn, son Christopher, and soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Allie.
Got a question about, well, just about anything that has to do with Orthodoxy? Nick’s your man.
Nick has delivered many informative sermons in his years at St. Anthony. He also maintains our library, which has more than a thousand volumes. He and his family were also instrumental as our parish began to stream its services. A graduate of St. Vladimir’s Seminary where he studied under Fathers Alexander Schmemman and John Meyendorff, Nick contributed to the book Vested in Grace, a study of priesthood and marriage in the Orthodox Church. He and his wife, Debbie, are the proud parents of daughter, Nicole, now in grad school, and the doting grandparents of Bunny, Nikki’s dog, a Dachshund/Spaniel mix.