Born in 1947 in Huntington, WV, Fr. Patrick Cowles graduated from Marshall University with BA and MA degrees, worked for three years, and then entered doctoral studies in Political Science at UMass-Amherst. Obtaining his PhD in 1979, he taught for four years, and then became Senior Research Associate for the Center for Urban Affairs at the University of Alabama-Birmingham. During this time, he discovered the Orthodox faith, and entered the Church in 1987. His love for his new faith led him to enroll in seminary in 1990.
He married Mary Sweazey, a graduate of St. Vladimir’s, in 1991, received his M.Div. from Holy Cross in 1993, and spent a year in Greece as a deacon in 1993-94. Ordained a priest in Thessalonica in 1994, he served first at Assumption Greek Orthodox Church in Louisville, KY, and then in 2001 went to his current assignment with Holy Spirit Greek Orthodox Church in Rochester, NY. He and Presvytera Mary adopted their wonderful daughter, Jennifer, from Hogar Rafael in Guatemala also in 2001. Jennifer enters Hellenic College as a freshman this fall. In addition to being a full-time mother, Presbytera Mary works extensively with youth music and OCF ministries. She holds four masters degrees. During the Divine Liturgy for the Sunday of Orthodoxy on March 1, 2015, Fr. Patrick was bestowed the Offikion of Economos by His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas. He is currently retired.