Burlington, VT Priest is A.W.O.L.

Author: Theodore Kalmoukos
Date Published: 12/02/2015
Publication: The National Herald
Metropolitan Methodios with Fr. Ephraim Ehrs
Metropolitan Methodios with Fr. Ephraim Ehrs

BURLINGTON, VT – The Dominion of the Mother of God Greek Orthodox parish in Burlington Vermont is stunned by the sudden disappearance of its priest, Fr. Ephraim Ehrs.

He had requested one-month leave of absence, which was granted by Metropolitan Methodios of Boston according to a, October 29 letter he addressed to Parish Council President Georgia Maheras, and the Church Stewards.

The letter stated that “in a telephone conversation today, your parish priest, Fr. Ephraim Ehrs, requested a one-month leave of absence to attend to personal family matters. He was granted that request with the hope that he can resolve those issues. I ask that you consider allowing him to remain in the parish house for a period of time that you and he agree upon). I have asked Fr. Bob Athas to attend to the pastoral and liturgical needs of the community during this time. Please keep Fr. Ephraim and Presbytera Aimee and their daughter in your prayers.”

No other explanation was given to the parish and as a result, many and different rumors have been circulating and actually nobody knows what is going on.

TNH sent the following written questions to Metropolitan Methodios:

  • What exactly is going on at the Burlington Vermont parish?
  • Why have you placed Fr. Ephraim Ehrs on leave of absence?
  • Why you haven’t given any explanation to the parish thus far?
  • Is Fr. Ephraim going to return to his priestly duties, and when?
  • Did you ordain him to the holy priesthood?

Methodios didn’t respond, and neither has message. Ephraim and Maheras also did not also respond to TNH’s request for comment.

In a telephone conversation with Presbytera Aimee, who works at the Archdiocese’s Religious Education Department at Holy Cross Theological School said “Fr. Ephraim is not available,” and said she would let him know that we called.

Fr. Ehrs was born and raised is Sweden. He graduated from Holy Cross Theological School in May, 2012. He was ordained to the Diaconate on August 26, 2012 by Metropolitan Methodios of Boston at Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Webster, MA, who assigned him to the Dormition Church, a parish of roughly 60 to 100 families.