Many Russian-speaking inhabitants of Ireland are well aware of Fr George Zavershinsky, who was one of the first priests of the Russian Orthodox Church in Ireland, and for many years served in the Peter and Paul Church Patriarchal Compound in Dublin. The priest George (Yuri) A. Zavershinsky was born October 2, 1961 in Severodvinsk, in the Arkhangelsk region.
In 1979 he graduated from high school No 2 in physics and mathematics and entered the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute (MEPI), graduating in 1985 and staying a member of his department at the above Institute. In 1987 he enrolled in graduate school at MEPI and in 1990 he successfully graduated with the degree of candidate of technical sciences.
From 1990 he worked as a researcher at the International Centre for Informatics and Electronics and head of a laboratory at the Russian Institute of Information Technologies. In 1991 he founded a computer technology company, which lasted until 1995.
In the church Father George’s service began as warden of one of the parishes in Moscow. Then in 1998 he graduated from the theological-pastoral department of the Orthodox St. Tikhon Humanitarian University, was ordained a deacon and served in St. Catherine’s Church in Moscow. He taught at St. Tikhon’s University of the Holy Scriptures of the New Testament and completed graduate and postgraduate studies as a Master of Theology.
In 2002 Father George was appointed to the parish of the Church of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul Patriarchal monastery in Dublin, Ireland. Continuing to engage in theological research activities, he defended his master’s thesis, which received a prestigious award at Trinity College Dublin. At the invitation of the University Father George continues research and is writing his doctoral work on “The Theology of Dialogue: the Orthodox approach”.
In July 27, 2009 he was withdrawn from Ireland at the behest of the Chairman of the Department for External Church Relations, and was appointed head of the DECR Communication Service. Then by decree of the Holy Synod he was sent to the Sourozh diocese and was appointed dean of the parishes in Scotland and Northern Ireland. “I have now nourished six parishes. Four of them are located in major cities in Scotland – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee – and two in Ireland – Belfast and Stradbally”.
In his pastoral work Father George carries out missionary work, lectures and talks at various schools in Ireland, writes in the press and talks on radio. Rev. George Zavershinsky is the author of dozens of articles and translations on scientific and technical subjects, philosophy and theology, and the author of books on theology.
Believing the explanation of patristic tradition in contemporary language to be on one of the main tasks of theology of our time, Fr George keeps close to modern man in his sermons and talks and uses contemporary concepts and images. This makes for an appealing dialogue for people with different levels of theological knowledge and experience of the Church, touching many hearts.
And in the future Father George wants to open a full-Orthodox cultural and pilgrimage centre in Stradbally, where there is the only church in Ireland built by all the Orthodox canons.