Deacon Michael Paul Tisma, age 69 of Duluth, died September 13, 2019. A Funeral Mass will be said 10:00 AM Monday September 16, 2019 at Epiphany of Our Lord Byzantine Catholic Church, Roswell, with Father Lewis M. Rabayda serving as Celebrant. Interment Arlington Memorial Park, Sandy Springs.
Deacon Michael was born in Uniontown, PA, and later attended high school and college in Cleveland, OH, before moving to Atlanta with his family. Michael traces his desire to serve God’s people back to the days when his “baba” would take him as a youngster to help her work at Mount Saint Macrina; he also remembers the many priests and sisters who educated, encouraged and inspired him throughout his life to answer God’s calling to a religious vocation. After graduating from college, his 45 year business career included positions as financial controller for major hotels in Atlanta, North Carolina and Florida, general manager and finance director for an international tour operator, and world-wide marketing, event planning, and European tour operations. He has been an active member of his parish for 30 years where he served as cantor and choir director, adult education instructor, altar server, and ministry to the sick.
Throughout these many years, Michael continued to experience a restless heart. He felt there was something missing in his life. He answered God’s call and entered the Deacon Formation Program in 2011. It was on the Third Sunday after Pentecost, with the imposition of Bishop Kurt’s hands, that he committed himself completely to God’s service.
When asked to reflect on his ordination, Deacon Michael recounted the deep emotion which came over him as Bishop Kurt placed his omophorion on Michael’s head: “As I knelt at the Holy Table at which our Lord was present, Bishop Kurt prayed ‘Divine Grace, which always heals what is infirm and supplies what is lacking, ordains the pious Subdeacon Michael to be a Deacon.’ At that moment I felt deeply connected with my Bishop and the entire Church as this incredible surge, which could only have been the Holy Spirit, came over me. I became overwhelmed with tears and realized in my heart what our Lord was telling me all these years. In order to be His Deacon, I must courageously follow and choose the same path as Jesus Christ and submit myself completely to Him so that He can transform me into the person He wants me to become in order to fulfill the purpose which He has in mind. That restless heart which I experienced my entire life finally found peace.” Deacon Michael now looks forward to serving his parish and the Eparchy in whatever capacity to which he is called.
Dcn. Michael Tisma was ordained to the Diaconate at Epiphany of Our Lord on June 5, 2016. He has served his church well as a deacon both liturgically and administratively, as he was also the parish administrative assistant and accountant. Dcn. Michael had a strong devotion to the Byzantine Catholic faith & Church shown most in his deep love for the Holy Eucharist, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and His Most Blessed Mother Mary. All the clergy and parishioners of Epiphany of Our Lord will greatly miss Dcn. Michael, and we pray for his blessed repose, and that his memory may be eternal!
The visitation hours are from 5 PM until 7 PM at Epiphany of Our Lord, Byzantine Catholic Church, 2030 Old Alabama RD, Roswell, GA 30076. At 7 PM the Parastas, A Memorial Service for the Faithful Departed, will be celebrated. The Office of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Bishop Kurt Burnette, Bishop of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic, NJ; Father Lewis M. Rabayda, Parochial Administrator of Epiphany of Our Lord; Father Stephen Galuschik, Parochial Administrator of All Saints in North Fort Meyers, FL; Deacon James Smith, and Subdeacon John Reed, both of Epiphany of Our Lord, Roswell.
He is survived by his brother, Steven Jon Tisma of Braselton; niece, Kari Tisma of Wartrace, TN; nephew, Jon Tisma of Destin, FL. He was preceded in death by his parents Michael and Rose Tisma.