With his assignment by His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph, beginning August 1, 2020, St. Paul’s will welcome our fourth pastor, the Rev. Fr. Joseph Landino along with his wife Kh. Mary and their five children: Gabriella, Katerina, Mario, Rosalia and Sophia.
Fr. Joseph was born to Italian immigrant parents in 1968 in Brooklyn, New York, with the name Giuseppe (“Joseph”) Mario Landino. When he was nine years of age, after several moves, Giuseppe’s family finally settled in San Jose, California. He graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in 1986. Following high school, he spent six years serving in the United States Marine Corps.
Giuseppe was raised Roman Catholic, but felt strongly that the church of his youth lacked something. Eventually, he began reading the Bible on his own and started to attend Protestant churches. After some years attending those churches he realized something was missing there, too — 1500 years of history. He was searching for the historic Church and its worship, where Christians were first called “Christians.”
By God’s grace, Giuseppe met some Orthodox Christians from the Antiochian Orthodox Church of the Redeemer in Los Altos, California, where he eventually met Fr. Thomas Ruffin (of blessed memory) and His Eminence, Metropolitan Joseph, in 1995. The Christians he met at this parish had something he truly desired — true, unbroken continuity with the ancient Church in both doctrine and practice. This brought about his entrance into the Orthodox Church. Giuseppe was joyfully chrismated by Fr. Thomas Ruffin on Holy Saturday in 1997.
In fall of 2000, Giuseppe met Mary Sabbagh (daughter of V. Rev. Anthony and Kh. Minerva Sabbagh) and decided to leave the family Italian restaurant business to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religious Studies. Giuseppe and Mary married on June 24, 2001.
He graduated from Hellenic College in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 2003 with valedictorian honors. His wife Mary graduated with a Masters in Theological Studies from Holy Cross. At that time, he was the father of two young daughters — Gabriella and the soon to be born Katerina.
Following graduation they moved back to California to help his father successfully operate a pizzeria restaurant business. It was there where they became the parents of two more children — Mario and Rosalia. In 2010, Giuseppe decided with his family to leave their home, family and careers to petition His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip (of blessed memory) for a blessing to attend St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.
In May 2011, Giuseppe was granted a blessing to attend seminary for the purpose of preparing for ordination to the holy priesthood. During his studies, Giuseppe and Mary brought another daughter, Sophia Theodora, into the world on March 23, 2013. During seminary, the Landino family were assigned to St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
On July 7, 2013, Metropolitan Joseph ordained Giuseppe to the holy diaconate through the laying on of hands. And on January 12, 2014, he was ordained to the holy priesthood at St. George Church in Allentown by Metropolitan Joseph, with the assistance of His Grace, Bishop Nicholas. After seminary graduation in May 2014, Fr. Joseph was assigned as assistant pastor at St. George Church.
He and his family look forward to becoming part of the St. Paul’s community this August.