Effective August 23, 2020 Fr. Christopher Dillon is assigned as pastor of Ss Peter & Paul church
About the Dillon Family
Fr. Christopher, son of David and Shirley Dillon, grew up at St. Athanasius Orthodox Church in Santa Barbara, California. As a child he was chrismated with the EOC parishes in 1985. Fr. Christopher attended UC Davis receiving a BA in History. He then continued his education at UC Santa Barbara and earned an MA in Education and his teaching credential. He taught two years of high school and nine years of middle school as a History/Social Science teacher.
Growing up, Fr Christopher attended many Parish Life Conferences, Teen SOYO events, and Camp St. Nicholas. At these events, as a teen, he met his future wife, Claire. Kh. Claire is the daughter of Fr. David and Kh. Caryn Kruse and grew up at St. Raphael AOC in Thousand Palms, California. They started courting after the PLC in Portland, Oregon in 2007 and were married in August of 2008. Fr. Christopher moved down to Orange County, and Kh. Claire finished her BA in Comparative World Literature and Russian Studies at CSU Long Beach. They attended St. Barnabas AOC in Costa Mesa until they left for seminary.
In August 2010, James Dillon was born. Fr. Christopher continued his education with the St. Stephen’s Course through the Antiochian House of Studies (2011-2013). In September of 2012, Alexander was born. Peter was born in March of 2016. The question of “When will you go to seminary?” started to become a rather common topic of conversations and prompted much discussion with his spiritual father and Kh. Claire. In January of 2017, Metropolitan Joseph directed Fr. Christopher to apply to seminary. In the summer of 2017, the Dillon family moved to St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Yonkers, New York where Fr. Christopher began his seminary education that fall. Boy number four, Isaiah, was born in November of that year. Fr. Christopher graduated with his Master of Divinity in May 2020.
The seminary life was a wonderful season of growing and living in community. The Dillons loved the daily services and a life centered around the parish. Kh. Claire coordinated many children’s activities and women’s group evenings. She also homeschooled James and Alexander and plans to continue to do so. Their patron saints are St. Christopher of Lycia, St. Tatiana of Rome, St. James the Persian, St. Stephen the Protomartyr (Alexander), St. Peter the Aleut, and St. Ignatius the God-Bearer (Isaiah). Their family saint is St. Cuthbert, Bishop of Lindisfarne.
As a family, the Dillons enjoy hiking, being outdoors, and exploring. Their four boys are extremely active and always looking for fun. James (9) loves inventing and playing games. He plays the piano and is an avid bookworm. Alexander (7) is a goofball and is always up for anything with energy. He plays the violin and also loves to read. Peter (4) is the sensitive one and loves deeply. His favorite thing to do is play with friends and make crafts. Isaiah (2.5), a.k.a. “The Destroyer”, gets into everything and keeps the family continually on their toes; he is always trying to keep up with his older brothers.
On August 9th Fr. Nathan Thompson and family took a new assignment to serve in San Diego at St. Anthony’s alongside Fr. John Reiman. Their family has been an integral part of our parish for the last 5 years and will be greatly missed.
Fr. Nathan has truly been a blessing to our community, serving humbly and lovingly. Kh. Mandy has been invaluable alongside Fr. Nathan in pre-marital counseling, serving as head of Church School and the women’s book study, as well as a friend to many. Chloe, Rebecca and Micah were very active in our youth group and Church School as well, and were known for their dramatizations of the Bible in class.
San Diego is a homecoming for them; Kh. Mandy grew up there and her mother and sister’s family still live in the area. They attended St. Anthony’s when they first converted to Orthodoxy, and their decision was made to go to seminary while attending the parish as well.
We prayerfully wish the biggest blessings on them on their move and settling in. We are so thankful for their leadership, guidance and friendship and look forward to visiting them while in San Diego.