It is with great sadness that the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of San Francisco conveys to you news of the passing of a beloved brother priest, Rev. Father Matthew Gilbert, age 58, on September 7, 2016 following a diagnosis of terminal cancer less than three months ago. Father Matthew was serving in the Metropolis of Denver but spent the last few months in the Metropolis of San Francisco seeking medical care in Phoenix, Arizona. Father Matthew reposed peacefully surrounded by family at Saint Anthony’s Monastery in Florence, Arizona.

“I first met Father Matthew when he was newly enrolled at Hellenic College in 1975. Our paths crossed throughout his ministry, and I knew him to be a devoted and faithful servant of the Lord,” stated His Eminence Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. “I had the opportunity to visit with Father Matthew a few weeks ago and though he was physically weak, he was spiritually strong and prepared for his ultimate journey to the Lord’s Kingdom. I extend my deepest sympathies to his family whom he loved and cherished with all his heart, and who now greatly mourn his departure from this earthly life.”

Father Matthew had been serving the communities of Holy Trinity Cathedral/Prophet Elias Church in Salt Lake City, Utah from 1999 until his passing. He also served at the Assumption Church in Price, Utah from 1994 – 1999. Prior to that, Father Matthew served three parishes in the Metropolis of San Francisco – Saint Basil in Stockton (1993 – 1994), Saint Demetrios in Camarillo (1988 – 1993), and Holy Trinity in Spokane (1984 – 1988). His first parish assignment was as the Assistant Priest at Saint Demetrios in Chicago, Illinois (1982 – 1984). The common threads throughout Father Matthew’s ministry were love, compassion, gentleness and forgiveness.

Father Matthew was born to Vincent and Eleanor Gilbert on January 24, 1958 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. His mother passed away when he was nine years old. He lived in Bethlehem until he enrolled in Hellenic College in 1975 to study for the priesthood, graduating with his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979. He then continued his studies at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1982.

Father Matthew was ordained to the Holy Diaconate in his home parish of Saint Nicholas in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania on December 13, 1981 by His Grace Bishop Maximos of Pittsburgh. He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Grace Bishop Gerasimos of Abydos at the Holy Cross Chapel in Brookline, Massachusetts on May 16, 1982. 

He married Denise (Bruskas) on August 16, 1981 and they were blessed with 35 years of marriage. Father Matthew is survived by Presvytera Denise, their six loving children: Father Chrysostomos Gilbert (New York, NY), Christina and Stephan Kakis (Des Plaines, IL), Christian Gilbert (Salt Lake City, UT), Andrew Gilbert (Salt Lake City, UT), Aaron and Kyriaka Gilbert (Modesto, CA), and Anthony Gilbert (Salt Lake City, UT). He is also survived by his grandchildren Angelo and Sia Kakis, and was eagerly anticipating the birth of his third grandchild due this November to Aaron and Kyriaka Gilbert. He is also survived by his stepmother, Thespina Stelyn Gilbert, his sister Judy Gilbert, and stepbrothers John and Bill Stelyn. In addition, he is survived by Presvytera Denise’s parents, Chris and Rita Bruskas (Tempe, AZ), and sisters-in-law Diane Berry and family (Glendale, AZ), and Kristen Bruskas (Phoenix, AZ).

His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America will preside at the Funeral Service for Father Matthew Gilbert on Friday, September 9 at 11:00 a.m. at Saint Anthony’s Monastery in Florence, Arizona. Also participating in the funeral will be His Eminence Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver, and His Grace Bishop Apostolos of Medeia.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memory of Father Matthew Gilbert to Saint Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Monastery, 4784 N. St. Joseph’s Way, Florence, AZ 85132-9399.

May his memory be eternal!