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Fr. Cassian (Samuel) Sibley was born in Ft. Worth,TX, but moved to Malawi, East Africa at age 8, where his parents were Protestant missionaries until their retirement. He returned to Texas after his graduation from Rift Valley Academy in Kijabe, Kenya, and received an undergraduate degree in Social Studies and English from Houston Baptist University. He was awarded a Presidential Scholarship to Rice University where he pursued graduate studies in Philosophy and Religion.
He and Matushka Olympia were married in 1991, and their daughter, Madeline, was born in 1993. The family converted to Eastern Orthodox Christianity in 1994. After a decade long career as a social worker, working with the homeless in Houston and as a juvenile caseworker for the Texas Youth Commission, he was ordained a priest in 2001. He was the founding rector of this parish, which he has served since 2004. For several years he was a Chaplain at Texas A&M, and has served on the Spiritual Court for the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Deeply concerned about environmental sustainability, social ethics, and distributive justice, Fr. Cassian's lay vocation includes being the principal gardener for a small organic CSA (consumer supported agriculture), raising food for his family and parishioners, and working his way off the grid.
Matushka Olympia was born Pamela Sentman in Mason City, Iowa, and raised in Minnesota, but spent her senior year of high school at Rift Valley Academy in Kenya, where she met Father Cassian for the first time. She earned a bachelor's degree in English and Religious Studies from Northwestern University in Roseville, MN. After marrying Father Cassian, she continued her education, completing an M.A. in English at the University of Houston, and a Ph.D. in English at Texas A&M University. A published poet, Matushka Olympia is a full-time faculty member at Blinn College, where she teaches composition, literature, and creative writing courses. She is the fond mother of three grown daughters: Kaitlyn, Brianna, and Madeline, and has two lovely granddaughters: Hannah and Jael. Matushka serves as the primary chanter for the parish.