In Memorium - Fr. Jon-Stephen Hedges

V. Rev. Jon-Stephen Hedges

December 24, 1947—February 25, 2021

Archpriest Jon-Stephen Hedges reposed in the Lord at Sarah House-Santa Barbara after a brief illness. Fr. Jon was the son of a naval officer, and as such spent his youth moving about. He was raised in Long Beach, California, considered Colorado "home" and came to Isla Vista in 1968. Fr. Jon graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in cultural anthropology, and also completed a Masters in Orthodox Theology from St. Athanasius Academy.

Father Jon-Stephen served as an Assistant Pastor at St. Athanasius for many years, in addition to serving widely within the Santa Barbara community. He served as volunteer Chaplain with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department, the Isla Vista Foot Patrol, and several other agencies. Father was a Board-Certified Crisis Chaplain with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress; Certified Trauma Responder (CTR); and Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-B).

Father collaborated and consulted with several Santa Barbara County agencies on crisis, trauma, and disaster issues. He was frequently deployed by Red Cross and International Orthodox Christian Charities to serve as a chaplain and mental health worker for hurricanes, disasters, and other local and national tragedies. Fr. Jon helped develop the St. Brigid Fellowship of St. Athanasius Church which serves the unsheltered in our community and collaborated with Doctors Without Walls and many others to encourage his friends on the streets.

In his last few years, he worked for Santa Barbara Behavioral Wellness and Housing Authority of Santa Barbara County.

Fr. Jon-Stephen was known for his smile, his kindness and great love for all he encountered.  

May his memory be eternal!

“In the worst moments, there is infinite capacity for good.”

- Fr. Jon Stephen Hedges