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Rt. Rev. Romanos (Richard) Vincent Russo

Brief Biography of Rt. Rev. Romanos (Richard) V. Russo

Fr. Romanos was born on May 9, 1942 (Jersey City, NJ) and born to eternal life on Thursday, June 8, 2023 (Brooklyn, NY).

He received an A.B. in Classical Languages and Literatures and Philosophy (1965) and a M.A. in Russian Language and Literature (1968) from Fordham University, a M.A. in French Language from Université Laval (1966), and was A.B.D. in Italian and Comparative Literature (1971) at the University of Connecticut. He studied Arabic at Hartford Seminary Foundation (now Hartford International University for Religion and Peace, 1978) and Ohio State University (1992-1994), and Syriac at St. Nersess Armenian Seminary. He completed his seminary studies at St. Basil (1974).

For over sixty years (1967-2019) he taught classical and modern languages, literature, history, theology, ESL and linguistics at the high school and collegiate levels and was the recipient of several NEH and Rockefeller Foundation grants and fellowships. He spoke and read over a dozen modern and ancient languages.

He was ordained to the diaconate (1974) and priesthood (1977), served as Director of Religious Education for the Diocese of Newton (1975-1978), and as parochial vicar, pastor, and rector at various Melkite and Eastern Catholic churches in the New York metropolitan area (1978-2023). His ecclesiastical honors include the Patriarchal Cross (1980), Patriarchal Order of the Holy Cross of Jerusalem (1998), Grand Economos of the Patriarchate of Jerusalem (1995), and Eparchial Cross (1999). Fr. Romanos authored numerous articles on Eastern Christianity for Catholic Near East Welfare Magazine (now CNEWA One).

He is survived by his loving wife Khouriyeh Frances (née Grecco), his sons Luciano-Reader Romanos and Nicholas-Reader Alexios (Ardea), and grandsons Justin, James, and GianMatteo.

His last prayer was that of Simeon the Just: Now You shall dismiss your servant, O Lord, according to your word in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which You have prepared before the face of all peoples: a light of revelation to the gentiles and the glory of your people, Israel.