Very Rev. Archpriest Dennis Michael Bogda, a retired priest of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, Sept. 21 at St. Barnabas Nursing Home, Gibsonia, Pa. where he had been a resident.
Archpriest Dennis was born the only son to Michael and Mary Kushner Bogda in Homestead, Pa. on June 7, 1941. For his early education he was taught by the Sisters of Saint Basil at St. John Cathedral School in Munhall, Pa. A graduate of St. Michael High School on the South Side of Pittsburgh, he went on to earn the Master of Arts degree in Theology from Duquesne University during his Seminary years at SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary in Pittsburgh. Later, as a pastor, he attained the Master of Arts degree in Community Counseling from Youngstown, Ohio State University.
He was ordained to the Diaconate by Archbishop Nicholas T. Elko on December 4, 1966, and to the priesthood by Archbishop Stephen J. Kocisko on April 3, 1967. Archbishop Basil M. Schott elevated him as Archpriest on Sept. 9, 2007. In Ohio, Archpriest Dennis served the following parishes: St. Stephen, Euclid; and St. Nicholas, St. George and St. John, Youngstown. In Pennsylvania his assignments included: St. Nicholas, Brownsville; SS. Peter and Paul, Duquesne; as the first pastor of the Church of the Resurrection, Monroeville; St. John, Lyndora; Nativity, Pittsburgh; and finally as rector of his home parish, St. John Cathedral, Munhall from where he retired on April 8,
Archpriest Dennis taught at Byzantine Catholic Central School in Parma and his ministries also included administrator and teacher at the Byzantine Catholic Central School in Youngstown, both in Ohio. An active member of both the fraternal organizations United Societies and Greek Catholic Union, he worked for a time as the editor of Prosvita, the newspaper of United Societies.
Through the years, his Archeparchial responsibilities included Consultor, Vocation Director, Syncellus for Priests, Syncellus for Deacons, and member of the following: Presbyteral Council, Commission for Revitalization, Intereparchial Commission for Vocations, Vocation Committee, Interview Board for Vocations, Youth Commission and Director of Youth Ministry, Seminary Advisory Board, Seminary Board of Directors, Uniontown Pilgrimage Committee, and St. Nicholas Celebration Committee.
Archpriest Dennis is survived by his sister Elaine and cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Mary Ann, grandparents Andrew and Anna Kushner and John and Ann Bogda, and uncles Reverend Father Michael Kushner and John Bogda. His grandfather Andrew Kushner was the cantor at St. John Cathedral in Munhall for many years.
He lay in state at the cathedral on Greentree Road in Munhall beginning in the afternoon of Sunday, Sept.29. The funeral service for a priest was celebrated that evening by Most Reverend Kurt Burnette, Bishop of the Eparchy of Passaic, N.J. Most Rev. John M. Kudrick, Bishop Emeritus of Parma, Ohio, was in attendance. Concelebrants were: Very Rev. Andrew J. Deskevich, rector of the Cathedral, Very Rev. Frank A. Firko, and Rev. Fathers Robert J. Karl, Kevin E. Marks, Vitalii Stashkevych, and Stephen J. Wahal.
Most Rev. William C. Skurla celebrated the funeral Divine Liturgy on Monday, Sept. 30. Concelebrating with him were: Most Rev. Kurt Burnette, Archpriest Eugene P. Yackanich, Archpriest John G. Petro, Very Revs. Frank A. Firko and Ronald P. Larko; and Rev. Fathers Robert J. Karl and Kevin E. Marks. Very Rev. Andrew J. Deskevich was the Master of Ceremonies. Deacon Paul M. Simko assisted as did Seminarians Luke Iyengar, Nathaniel Tapsak, John Welch, and Kyprian Wojciechowski. The altar servers were Martin Bovee Sr. and Riley, Ian and Aiden Muncie.
The Archeparchial Choir under the direction of Darlene Fejka led the responses of the congregation, and George Janocsko, cathedral cantor, chanted the epistle. A large number of priests and deacons were in attendance at both services. In his homily, Archbishop William thanked Bishop Kurt and all who attended. He noted that in his illness, Father Dennis was a wonderful witness to the suffering of Christ. He mentioned his hard work and great participation in his ministry and in the many Archeparchial offices which he fulfilled.
He added that, “Whatever I or the Archbishops who preceded me requested of him, he always responded. Whenever he had a plan in his head, he always diligently looked to have it work and to make it happen.” Archbishop William extended special gratitude to Father Dennis’ sister Elaine, Father Robert Karl and to Karen Trapp for their help and care of him.
He closed with the thought that Father Dennis had come full circle, with his life beginning and ending at St. John the Baptist Cathedral. Interment followed in the priests’ section of the Cathedral Cemetery. In blessed repose grant O Lord eternal rest to the soul of your servant Archpriest Dennis and render eternal his memory!