Orthodox Church in America Eastern PA Diocese issues appeal for Fr. John Nightingale

Photo: http://stbasilsimpson.org/ Photo: http://stbasilsimpson.org/
Following the celebration of a Presanctified Liturgy during Great Lent 2016, Priest John Nightingale—then Acting Rector of Saint Basil Church, Simpson, PA—experienced a tragic accidental fall. While he regained sensation in his arms and legs, he was unable to walk and had minimal use of his arms and hands and, according to His Eminence, Archbishop Mark of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, he is considered a quadriplegic.

“Father John was not feeling well and went out to the porch for fresh air,” Archbishop Mark related in a January 2017 letter to the clergy and faithful of his diocese, in which he appealed for financial assistance for Father John and his wife, Matushka Kyra. “At some point he passed out and fell over the railing, injuring his neck, vertebrae and spinal cord. He has been in the hospital since that time.

“After months of therapy, Father John is now able to feed himself, but is still unable to walk,” Archbishop Mark added. “Due to the lack of strength in his arms and legs, he is unable to transfer himself from his bed to a wheel chair, necessitating nursing assistance and the installation of a lift in his home.”

Father John’s devoted wife, Matushka Kyra, has driven back and forth to the VA Hospital in Bronx, NY during the past year, in addition to caring for her elderly parents.

With the Nightingales’ medical and related expenses mounting, Archbishop Mark called upon the faithful to offer financial assistance to Father John and Matushka Kyra, in part to construct a doorway and ramp into their home, to make a first-floor rest room handicapped accessible, and to purchase a van with a lift.

“A Vietnam veteran, Father John lived in California and later Alaska, where he worked as a hospice chaplain for a number of years before enrolling in Saint Tikhon’s Seminary,” Archbishop Mark added. “After his ordination to the priesthood, he served regularly as a supply priest, turning over his stipends to the diocese without keeping a penny for his time and travel. While in the Bronx VA Hospital, he has provided pastoral care to other patients—while being a patient himself.

“Since the January appeal letter went out, we have received $33,778.00, for which the Nightingales are most grateful,” added Archbishop Mark. “From these donations, $25,855.05 went to pay off the remaining balance on a van and $750.00 related to the rest room upgrade.”

The Nightingales still need to install a lift to transfer Father John back and forth from his bed and wheel chair—an expense of some $6,000.00. The VA will pay for three days of nursing care per week, but all other days will be paid “out of pocket.”

Father John is slated to be discharged from the Bronx VA in the coming weeks.

Donations to assist the Nightingales, especially during this season of Great Lent, are being accepted with gratitude by the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania and may be sent directly to the Diocesan Office, 144 Saint Tikhon’s Road, Waymart, PA 18472, earmarked “Father John Nightingale.” All donations will be acknowledged by the Diocese.

Donations can also be made via the diocesan Paypal account.

Editor3/16/2017 10:31 pm
The diocese is updating its Paypal information, and it make take a day or two to take effect. Please try again in a day or two!

Abp. Mark has asked us to thank everyone for their love and concern!
dafney3/15/2017 5:59 pm
The link provided for PayPal isn't working, stating that seller's email address isn't verified..i hope this can be fixed soon!
Thomas3/15/2017 5:01 am
Your Eminence,
How do we access the Paypal account for Father John? Is there a link? Where do we go?

Archbishop Mark3/14/2017 6:19 pm
Dear to God

Christ is in our midst. I am moved by your concern for a clergyman and his Matushka of our Diocese. Forgive me for not realizing others may find giving difficult. You may use our PayPal Account and designate your gift for Fr John Nightingale. May it be blessed.

Archbishop Mark of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania
Editor3/13/2017 12:04 pm
Thank you all for your comments. We will pass them along to the Eastern PA Diocese.
Anthony3/12/2017 11:45 pm
Why is this appeal only open to Amerikans? Shouldn't there be an online appeal so those of us outside Amerika (yes there is actually a big wide world outside the USA) can actually also donate what we are able to??????
Barbara Hartwell3/12/2017 2:12 pm
There is a funding process on Facebook. That reaches so many people and you could raise more money for him faster. I am not a member of the church but found out about this via a friend of my son who is a priest in the Orthodox Church.

Barb Hartwell
Joanna kulesza3/12/2017 4:22 am
I think that the fund raising the church is doing for Fr John
Is amazing but Maybe they should start a go to fund
So you will be able to enlist more people to help
Fr John, From what I have read he has a long journey
ahead of him and as time goes on there will be
Unexpected expenses It is just a thought my prayers
And thoughts go out to Fr John and his family
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