Born Robert Allen Parent in 1943 in Woonsocket, R.I., Reader Stephen held the position of Choir Director at Holy Trinity Cathedral from 1977-2023. He continues to faithfully serve in the Church as Reader.
After graduation from Middlebury College and Michigan State University, while studying Russian Literature at the University of Pittsburgh, he received instruction in Russian Orthodox liturgics and choral music from the late Mitered Archpriest Vitaly Sahaydakovsky of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, after which he served as choir director in several Russian parishes, including Christ the Saviour Church in San Francisco, where services were conducted mainly in Church Slavonic. In 1977, he began conducting at Holy Trinity.
During their Spring Session in 2020, the Holy Synod of Bishops awarded the Order of Saint Romanos to Reader Stephen. Established by the Holy Synod of Bishops at its Spring 2014 session, the Order is awarded to influential arrangers, composers, teachers, and conductors in recognition of their extraordinary contributions to the field of liturgical music in the Orthodox Church in America. The bishops only award one or two of these a year.
Bob was honored by the Archbishop, clergy, and Cathedral Community on Pentecost Sunday, June 4, 2023, as he concluded his ministry as Choir Director. He will continue to serve as Church Reader in the Cathedral Parish he loves.