Fr. Leo Scheffe

clergy-portrait

Fr. Leo Schefe was born into a Roman Catholic family. At the early age of 12, he felt a calling to serve the Living God as a priest. At that time, his only knowledge of Christianity was the Roman Catholic expression. During his teen years, he began investigating Protestantism. At age of 19, he had what he describes as a "born again" experience in the company of Baptists. Not long after, he met the woman who would become his wife, Presbytera Candace. Soon after marriage, he explored his calling to the ministry as a full-time student of the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. He studied there for four years and graduated with a Diploma in dual majors, Bible-Theology. As a Protestant Christian, Father didn't sense a leading to serve God in any professional way. Rather, he became highly active as a layman, focused on evangelism and home Bible studies. He was satisfied serving God in this way for 15 years.

 

In 1991, Father and Presbytera Candace were challenged to consider the claims of Eastern Orthodoxy. They read the most ancient literature of the Church for two years before making any formal inquiries. Their initial encounter with the Church after research occurred at Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Portland, Oregon. They were catechized there and received into the Church on Lazarus Saturday, 1993.

 

As an Orthodox Christian, Father responded to the Lord by following a renewed call to the priesthood. With the encouragement of Rev. Fr. Elias Stephanopoulos, of blessed memory, they prepared for seminary. They moved to Thessaloniki for a few months to experience life in an Orthodox country and to gain a greater understanding for the spoken language. Although it was not the original plan, things fell into place for Father to study Modern Greek and enroll in Aristotle University’s theology school. With four years of undergraduate studies and diploma in theology, prior to completing the program at the university, Father was approved for ordination.

 

Father was ordained to the diaconate on May 25, 1996 and elevated to the priesthood on August 18, 1996. He served as a priest in Thessaloniki and its environs from 1996 until his departure for New Zealand in 1998. Father also served as Ephimerios at the Monastery of the Holy Trinity on Halki for seven weeks in the spring of 1998. He completed two terms of service in New Zealand, between the years 1998-2002. In 2003, he applied to be transferred to be the parish priest at Holy Transfiguration Greek Orthodox Church in Anchorage, Alaska. Father served there until August 2011. Father moved to the Boston area to finish his Master of Divinity at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology where he graduated in 2013. After graduation, he served in Keene, NH for 1.5 years. He is now at St. George in Bangor, Maine.