Dr. Sandra Collins holds a PhD in Religious Studies from the University of Pittsburgh as well as a master’s in Church History and an M.L.S. degree. She has taught a variety of courses on biblical history, early Christianity as well as the Bible and comparative religion at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh as well as introductory technology courses at Duquesne University. She is a frequent reviewer for Library Journal as well as a contributor to The Cambridge Dictionary of Judaism and Jewish Culture (2011). Currently she serves as faculty in Biblical Studies at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary as well as library director and director of Byzantine Online.
Fr. George Gallaro was ordained to the Melkite priesthood in 1972. He holds a canon law degree from the Pontificial Oriental Institute in Rome as well as an STL from the Pontifical University of St Thomas Aquinas (Rome) and a Certificate in Liturgical Theology from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute (Rome). He has served as the Vicar Judicial for the Melkite Eparchy of Newton, MA as well as for the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. He is also faculty in Canon Law as well as Coordinator of Student Life at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh.
Fr. Valerian Michlik is pastor of St. George’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Pittsburgh, PA. He holds advanced degrees from the Pontificia Universita San Tommaso d’Aquino in Rome and is host of the weekly radio program, “Christ Among Us,” heard in Pittsburgh on WPIT-AM. Fr. Valerian currently teaches liturgical practicum to seminarians at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary.
Jeff Mierzejewski is a graduate of West Virginia University with degrees in math and computer science as well as a Master’s in mathematics. He is currently webmaster as well as an instructor for the Metropolitan Cantor Institute of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Pittsburgh. Jeff also serves as cantor for St. Elias Byzantine Catholic Church in Munhall, PA. Furthermore, he is also a candidate in diaconal formation for the Eparchy of Pittsburgh.
V. Rev. Dr. Stelyios Muksuris a priest in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese, has also taught at St. Anselm College, Manchester, NH, the University of Pittsburgh’s Russian and Eastern European Studies Department and the Byzantine Catholic Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA. Currently he serves as editor of the Greek Orthodox publication, Illuminator, as well as Protopresbyter of Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church in Pittsburgh.
Fr. Johannes M. Oravecz was born in Slovakia. He is a 1989 graduate of Sou-E, Trnava High School in Trnava, Slovakia. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy in 2002 and a Bachelor of Arts in Theology in 2006 from the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselmo in Rome. Oravecz also earned his Licentiate of Sacred Theology (STL) from the Monastic Institute of St. Anselmo and defended his STD there in 2010. Currently, Fr. Johannes is parochial vicar at St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Church in Pittsburgh, Penn.
V. Rev. Archpriest David M. Petras holds an SEOD degree from the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome as well as a philosophy degree from Duquesne University and an STL from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. Ordained to the Byzantine Catholic priesthood, Fr. David has served churches as well as various administrative roles throughout the Eparchy of Parma, OH. A frequent contributor to Horizons, Fr. David is also author of For the Lord to Act: a Catechetical Commentary on the Divine Liturgy (2005). Fr. David is also faculty in liturgical theology at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA since 1995.
Rev. Fr. Elias Rafaj holds a Licentiate in Eastern Christian liturgical studies from the Universita Gregoriana in Rome as well as degrees from Pontificia Universita San Tommaso d’Aquino and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Fr. Elias has been writing icons for over 20 years and teaching the Theology of Icons all over North and South America. He is currently Protopresbyter of the South and Pastor of St. John Chrysostom Byzantine Catholic Church in Houston, Texas.
Father Kurt Burnette was ordained a priest for the Byzantine Catholic Church in 1989 to serve the Eparchy of Phoenix, formerly called the Eparchy of Van Nuys. He served as a pastor in Fontana, California, Portland, Oregon, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Albuquerque, New Mexico between 1989 and 2013. Other ministry includes service as a police chaplain with the Fontana Police Department until 1998. While in Albuquerque, Father Kurt helped start CAFE, a Catholic student group at University of New Mexico, which now has branches at other universities in the Southwest.
Father Kurt is a graduate of Rice University, and also has a PhD in Mathematics, a Juris Doctor, and a Licentiate in Canon Law from the Pontifical Oriental Institute. He has served as a tribunal official for the Eparchy of Phoenix, the Diocese of Phoenix, the Diocese of Gallup, and Archdiocese of Santa Fe, and is a licensed attorney in the State of California and a member of the California Bar Association. He also served as Economos and Consultor for the Eparchy of Phoenix.
Father Kurt has taught mathematics, physics, engineering, and computer science at University of Utah, California State University, University of California, and University of Portland between 1978 and 2004. He taught one of the first courses in the world on quantum computing for the computer science senior class at University of Portland.
He was appointed Rector of Ss. Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in October 2012, where he himself studied for the priesthood from 1985 till 1989 under Msgr. Raymond Balta.