Rt. Rev. Archimandrite John Mangels (Pastor)
The Right Reverend Archimandrite John A. Mangels was born in Casper, Wyoming on March 15, 1952, the son of John W. Mangels and Marie E. (La Clair) Mangels. He attended St. Anthony Parochial School K-8 where he developed a love for the Church and felt the first inklings of a call to the priesthood. This being recognized by his pastor, arrangements were made with the bishop to send him to St. Laurence of Brindisi minor seminary in Mt. Calvary, Wisconsin. Upon graduation John continued his studies at St. Thomas Theological Seminary in Denver, CO were he completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in Philosophy and Theology. During the same time he worked towards his music degree at the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver.
During the unsettling years following the Second Vatican Council, the young man began to look at other options and was subsequently ordained a priest in the Old Catholic Church in 1977. He was sent back to Denver to establish a parish. Saint Augustine’s congregation began meeting in the homes of the congregants then in rented space and at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Denver. Finally, the parish had grown to such a number that it became feasible to purchase a building. In 1982, the congregation moved to their new home, a fine Edwardian Gothic Church built in 1912, originally the home of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Congregation.
Old Catholics had always desired union with the Orthodox, and Father Mangels, with his Old Catholic bishop began to approach the various Orthodox Jurisdictions in the USA. At first the Russian Synod Abroad, then the Carpatho-Russin Diocese and finally at the suggestion of then Bishop Hilarion of ROCCOR, an approach was made to the Antiochian Archdiocese. In 1990, St. Augustine’s, its clergy and laity were received into the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese by Bishop Antoun. St. Augustine’s became the first “convert parish” in Denver and soon were followed by St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, and members of St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church in Boulder (now St. Luke’s Antiochian Orthodox Church) and St. Columba’s Antiochian Orthodox Church. In August of 1994, he was elevated to the rank and dignity of Archimandrite by Metropolitan Philip.
In 1996, Archimandrite John was asked by Metropolitan Philip to take charge of St. Mary’s Antiochian Orthodox Church in St. Paul, MN. Once in St. Paul, he was able to renew his friendship with Archpriest John Khoury. After three years, the unhappy schism between St. Mary’s and St. George was resolved and the two congregations were joyously reunited with Father John Mangels as the pastor and Father John Khoury as pastor emeritus! At last, there was one strong united Antiochian witness in the Twin Cities. The properties of St. Mary’s were liquidated and it was now possible to begin a large building project at St. George which would represent the two untied communities. The new facility was constructed under the leadership of Fr. John, the building committee and Parish Council to serve the needs of the growing community. Working with all of the organizations of the parish, a new vitality was seen to develop in the Antiochian Community in the Twin Cities
A number of ordinations took place during Archimandrite John’s tenure as pastor, not the least of which was “Rick” Michaels—now Bishop Anthony of the Diocese of Toledo! Father John Chagnon was also ordained at that time. Father John also served as Dean of the Midwest and under Bishop Mark, he was appointed Protosyngellos of the Diocese of Toledo. He served two terms as president of MEOCCA and was active in the organization for his entire tenure.
Sadly, after 11 years of happy ministry at St. Mary’s-St. George, Father was called back to Denver to minister to the congregation he began so many years before. Having served in Denver for twelve years, Father John was approached by Bishop Anthony and Father Thomas about the possibility of returning to St. George as Father Begley was beginning to suffer some health issues and knew that he needed to retire. In May of 2018, Archimandrite John received news of his transfer to St. George. He arrived in June. Father John continues to work with the other clergy, council and staff to build the parish. He also serves as Dean of the Upper Midwest Deanery of the Diocese of Toledo and works with Bishop Anthony in a number of capacities.
V. Rev. Archpriest Thomas Begley (Retired)
V. Rev. Fr. Thomas Begley is the retired pastor of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in West St. Paul , MN a He is a graduate of Hope College in Holland , MI , (BA 1974) and Oral Roberts Seminary, (MDiv. 1980). He attended St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary, Crestwood , NY (1983-84). Fr. Thomas served at St. Thomas Orthodox Church in Sioux City, IA from June of 1984 through July 2006. Fr. Thomas was the pastor of St. George Orthodox Church from August 2006 until his retirement 2018.