Fr John Jillions was born in Montreal, Canada, in 1955, and was baptised at Sts Peter and Paul Cathedral, Montreal (a parish of the Metropolia – which later became the Orthodox Church in America). He moved with his family in 1963 to the USA. He graduated from McGill University in 1977 with a degree majoring in Economics. In the same year, he was tonsured a reader by Abp Sylvester (Haruns) of Montreal and entered St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, graduating in 1980. He then worked as administrator of Sts Cosmas and Damian Adult Home on Staten Island, NYC.
In 1979, Rdr John married his wife, Denise; in 1981 he was ordained a deacon, and then to the priesthood in 1984. Metropolitan Theodosius (Lazor) of Washington, primate of the OCA, appointed Fr John to his first parish assignment, which was Holy Annunciation Orthodox Church, Brisbane, for a 3 year term, which he did from October 1984. Fr John Jillions was young and energetic, and in 1986 introduced English as the primary language for worship in the parish – a first for any Orthodox parish in Australia. He was also heavily involved in pan-Orthodox activities in Brisbane.
He returned to the United States in October, 1987, and was assigned to serve at Holy Trinity Church, New Jersey. He later received his Ph.D in 2002, was elevated to Archpriest, and is currently serving as Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America.
Note: Fr John Jillions continued service within the Orthodox Church beyond his tenure at Holy Annunciation. A fuller biography is available on OrthodoxWiki.