Fr. John is available to speak on: Ecology, Ecclessiology and Poetry & Literature, among others. Learn more »
Fr John Hainsworth was born in a grocery store in Mbeya, Tanzania. His parents named him Kaleeg, a Swahili name which derives from ‘Caleb’. This may make Fr John one of the few Orthodox converts to exchange a really strange birth name for an easy-to-understand baptismal name.
His parents continued to live, teach and travel in Africa until their son was five years old, when they returned to Canada. Kaleeg grew up in Halifax, Calgary, and Tallahassee. At the age of twenty he moved to Vancouver, his mother’s birthplace, to enroll at the University of British Columbia. It was during this time that he met his future wife Jenny and encountered the Orthodox Church, in the form of then-mission St Herman of Alaska Church in Langley. He was baptized and chrismated John (the Theologian) in 1991 and married in 1994.
John and Jenny completed their studies at UBC in 1997 in English Literature and Linguistics, and headed to Edinburgh, Scotland for Jenny’s graduate studies. John worked in the drawing office of an oil company, and the couple spent two very formative years in an Ecumenical Patriarchate parish, St Andrew’s in George Square, with Fr John Maitland-Moir. Services were held twice daily, an excellent education in liturgics, as John attended as often as possible before and after working hours, reading and serving Orthros (Matins) and Vespers. John and Jenny traveled extensively with Archimandrite John and the parish’s other two priests, helping to serve and sing in far-flung Orthodox communities throughout Scotland.
In 1999, when the price of oil collapsed (anyone remember that??), John was laid off from his job, and the Hainsworths decided to head back to North America so that John could pursue studies at St Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. They took some to travel to Greece ‘on the way home’, another formative and deeply significant experience.
Fr John attended St Vladimir’s from 1999 until 2002, being ordained deacon in his second year and priest in his third. He graduated cum laude in 2002, and after many discussions and the blessing of then Bishop Seraphim (now Archbishop), moved to Victoria, Canada to found the mission of All Saints of Alaska.
In 2007 the mission, which had started with only four people in 2002, was elevated to the status of parish with over 100 members five years later, having successfully completed the OCA Church Planting Grant program.
Fr John also worked tirelessly to establish the BC deanery Orthodox summer camp. The camp is very successful and continues to grow and develop with the help of countless volunteer hours, the dedication of its staff and organizers, and the blessing of God. He has also established the St Maria (Skobstova) Orthodox Outreach Centre (a ministry to the homeless and to all seeking Christ) in the downtown area of Victoria.
Fr John has written numerous articles on many subjects. His seminary thesis on Meletios’ Peri Pascha was published in the St Vladimir’s Quarterly, and his extensive essays on infant baptism and the ever virginity of the Mother of God were published by Conciliar Press. Fr John is a regular contributor to Again Magazine and hosts a popular podcast on Ancient Faith Radio called Paradosis.
He lives in Victoria with his wife and three daughters, nicknamed “The Deaconesses.” They have two fish, Odysseus and Self. Yes, that’s a weird name.
- Orthodoxy + Ecology
- Orthodox Youth Ministry
- Orthodoxy + non-violence
- The Parish Bible Study
- History and development of the Scriptures
- The Prophets
- Orthodox Evangelism
- Marriage and the Single life
- Orthodox outreach to homeless and underprivileged
- Poetry + Literature (Orthodox and otherwise)
- Building a church youth camp
- How churches can use technology and the evolving media
- The Fatherhood of God / The Fatherhood of Man