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Fr. James G. Moskovites

Born: December 19, 1945
Died: March 2, 2010

How to summarize the life of a man in a few words? Those of us who loved Father Jim know of his many fine qualities. He was a Spiritual Father as well as a Priest to many of us. He was very serious about his responsibility for our souls, and often reached out to us to make sure we were growing spiritually, even if we had rebuffed him. He never blew his own horn, and preferred to work quietly, behind the scenes. He would say that he was not the best at human politics, but he sure knew about the wiles of the Adversary, and often warned us about them. (He was correct there, too!) If you were doing your best, and even if it wasn't very good, he would greet you with his big, infectious grin and warm words. If you weren't doing your best, he would look at you sternly and say, "We need to talk!" and you knew that he was correct there, too. He was a loving and devoted son, husband, father, father-in-law, and grandfather. Frequently he and Presvytera Diana would look at one another and you would see the spark fly between them, and you would know how fond they were of one another. He was not a "city boy", and would have preferred a quieter place to live. However, he understood the pressures of living in twenty-first century Manhattan; this was no cloistered cleric who dispensed the conventional wisdom and then dismissed you, saying merely, "Go, now, and sin no more". He was right there in the trenches with us, praying for us, advising us, cajoling and coaxing us to do what we needed to do to reach our ultimate goal - to arrive home safely at the end of our journey, whenever that time comes. He had a vision for our Parish, and he was always building it up: Sunday School, Greek School, Talent Show, Taverna Night, Cabaret Night - all were held ill the context of a growing, increasingly diverse community. He was a superb mediator, finding common ground among the disgruntled and unhappy more often than many of us knew, and reminding us that, no matter what our differences, as Christians, we must love one another, even if we don't always like or agree with one another. His love for children was palpable, maybe because he was somehow, through all his life and despite all his travails, able to maintain the little boy alive inside of him, the one who tolerated us Yankees and Knicks fans (knowing all the while that the Red Sox would win next year, and the Celtics have nothing to prove) with such good nature. Perhaps that was his finest quality: his ability to love us as we are, as a child loves. And "of such is the kingdom of heaven" (Matthew 19:14). May his Blessed Memory be Eternal.

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