Fr. David is available to speak on: In the Eyes of Your Creator. Learn more »
Fr. David Fontes (M.S., M.Div., Psy.D) is both an Orthodox Priest and a Licensed Clinical Psychologist. His knowledge of both gives him a unique perspective to work with a wide range of issues people bring to him. He has been an adjunct psychology professor at National University. Also, he has spoken on the topic of male victims of domestic violence, and is one of the leading experts in this field. His work has brought him to the attention of the producers of ABC 20/20 and Oprah Winfrey. His new work is on the topic of knowing your own personal value in the eyes of God; a real knowing, and how to gain it. In 2015, he wrote and published his book, In the Eyes of Your Creator.
Father Fontes was born in Oakland, California, in 1953. He grew up in a Roman Catholic family and attended mass regularly. After graduating from high school, he was accepted to the University of California in Davis. During orientation week, prior to his first week of college, he recommitted his life to Christ and started attending a non-denominational church in Davis. Over the next several years, the pastor of the church felt called to investigate the teachings of the Orthodox Church, and eventually started a new parish after he had been ordained in the Syro-Chaldean Rite from India. Father Fontes began his Master’s degree in Divinity at St. Justin’s Theological Seminary in Davis (Chaldean Rite) while also finishing his Bachelor’s degree from U.C. Davis. After completing his course studies at St. Justin’s Theological Seminary, he was ordained to the priesthood on February 11, 1978. He served as Associate Pastor of Gates of Praise Eastern Catholic Church from 1978 to 1982, when he accepted a mission parish in Colby, Kansas. He, his wife Alice, and young son Paul moved to Colby in 1982. Father Fontes served this mission parish for six years, and was elevated to Archpriest in 1984. He was asked to return to Davis to assume the Senior Pastorate at Gates of Praise Eastern Catholic Church in 1988. During the following year, he learned more about the canonical Orthodox Church during his visits with a local Orthodox priest in Sacramento.
On December 24, 1989, Father Fontes, with his wife and son, were chrismated in the Antiochian Orthodox Church at St. Athanasius Church in Sacramento. Father Renfree shared his wish to have Father David become his Associate Pastor once he was ordained to the priesthood in the Antiochian Orthodox Jurisdiction. On July 10, 1991, Father David was ordained to the Deaconate, and on June 11, 1992, he was ordained to the Priesthood in the Antiochian Orthodox Jurisdiction under Metropolitan PHILIP. After Father David was ordained a deacon, Father Renfree began to express his desire to no longer be the senior pastor of St. Athanasius. So when Father Fontes was ordained to the priesthood, he became the new Senior Pastor of St. Athanasius.
For 26 years Father Fontes worked full-time for the California Department of Social Services as their Employee Assistance Program manager. He asked for a Leave from his pastoral duties at the St. Athanasius parish so he could pursue his doctoral degree in Psychology. The Leave was granted to him by Metropolitan PHILIP. He received his doctoral degree in Psychology in 1998, and became a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in 2002. He still works in private practice at Creekside Counseling Associates in Elk Grove. He transferred to the Orthodox Church in America (OCA) on September 1, 2015. He is now attached as a priest to the Elevation of the Holy Cross (OCA) in Sacramento, California.
- In the Eyes of Your Creator
Many of the ills of our society can be traced to the sense of worthlessness that afflicts so many people today. If we only understood in the depths of our being how valuable we are in the eyes of our Creator, we could learn to obey Christ’s commandment to love our neighbor as ourselves. Priest and Psychologist David Fontes marries the best insights of psychology with those of the spiritual tradition of the Orthodox Church to point the way toward this understanding. His presentation explores that difference between the secular sense of self-esteem and the Church’s teaching on how valuable we are as a child of God. It is not “what” we possess that makes us valuable, but “who” created us. The presentation then explores how to value our spouse, our children, our church community, those in the world, and finally, how to value God Himself. This thoughtful presentation will help you understand your value to God in the depths of your heart, or as one pastor expressed it, “know in your knower” (heart) how valuable you truly are.