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The heart of the beloved pastor simply stopped in his sleep. It’s terrible to imagine what his wife and children went through when they found their beloved husband and father dead in the morning.
Thus the Lord called His faithful servant: He quietly departed to the Lord, just as he had always lived in the quietness of his heart.
Three years have passed, and Matushka Olga and their three children live just as quietly, remembering their papa and husband every day. It’s very hard for a widow with three children, especially when the eldest child needs medical treatment. Matushka works to feed the children, but her pension and small salary are only enough for food and clothing. All other needs—such as speech therapy classes for the younger daughter, treatments for the older daughter (quite expensive even for the disabled), tutors, and everything else needed for a normal upbringing—are luxuries they can’t afford.
We can help make their life easier, so Matushka doesn’t have to worry about the future and about how to provide her family with the necessities, but can instead focus on giving them a good upbringing, as they are still quite young.
The future priest Artemy Sergeevich Pronichev was born to a working-class family on April 17, 1983. He was baptized at the age of four at the insistence of his religious great-grandmother. There were many baptisms that day, and according to Artemy’s mother, the elderly priest rubbed his head and said: “This boy will go far.”
Artemy’s parents were not church-goers, but his great-grandmother secretly took the children to church. It was perhaps in his childhood that his faith and desire to serve God were born.
Artemy’s father passed away early, so the young man had to work in addition to school, and help his mother raise his younger brothers. This difficult period tempered the character of the future pastor, teaching him to take care of things on his own, which proved useful in his future pastoral ministry—short-lived, but intense.
Artemy started regularly going to the local Church of St. Nicholas, and the priest quickly realized his talents as a responsible and serious young man burning with fervent faith. First he learned to ring the bells, then he became the head altar server and began to read in the services. It was there in church that he met his future wife Olga.
Their relationship came about over the course of many years. Their initial friendship gradually faded over three years and eventually came to an end. They neither saw nor communicated with one another for a whole year. But the Lord had His own plans, and when they ran into one another at the Vologda Seminary, it was clear that God had intended for them to meet again.
They got married in 2006. Artemy had already firmly decided to follow the priestly path, though Olga was not ready for such a life. Thus, the bishop decided to postpone Artemy’s ordination indefinitely, allowing Olga time to mature.
The birth of their first child was a real trial and had a major impact on the family for the rest of their life. Hypoxia and brain hemorrhaging during childbirth left the girl with cerebral palsy and other disabilities. Doctors were stunned that she had survived.
Though it was hard for Artemy and Olga to accept, it also strengthened them and assured them that the Lord was directing them to the path of ordained ministry, where their interests must take second place. They found courage in the Lord, and Artemy was ordained a deacon on February 2, 2007.
Four years later, their second daughter Yulia was born, and three years after that, Anna was born. Life was difficult but joyous. Matushka took care of the children, including attending to the eldest daughter’s special needs, while Fr. Artemy labored at the parish.
They saw each other less and less and had less time to talk, which is a common struggle for priest families, who must put family matters in second place after fulfilling their ministry to the Lord. Matushka took it all in stride. Fr. Artemy was very worried about all sorts of parish problems, though he kept everything to himself, not wanting to bother his wife about it.
Despite his youth, his health was rapidly deteriorating. He developed diabetes and his blood pressure rose so high that they had to call an ambulance. He preferred to keep quiet about his health.
Священник: Fr. Artemy Pronichev
Матушка: Pronicheva Olga Yurievna
Pronicheva Elena Artemovna, 09/03/2007
Pronicheva Julia Artemovna, 06/01/2011
Pronicheva Anna Artemovna, 08/07/2014
Место жительства: Vologda st. Pskovskaya house 6B apt. 13.