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Neil Tadken Named Rector of St. Luke's Episcopal Church



On September 4, the Vestry of The Parish of St. Luke the Physician, Episcopal Church in Monrovia unanimously called the Rev. Neil A. Tadken, to serve as Rector, starting immediately.  A public institution and celebration of new mutual ministry led by the Right Reverend Mary Glasspool, Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, will be held at the church on Sunday, October 19, at 3 p.m.

Born and raised in New York, the Rev. Tadken earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Episcopal Theological School at Claremont/Claremont School of Theology.  He holds a bachelor's degree from Occidental College and a Master of Fine Arts in Theater/Acting from Cornell University.

Fr. Neil discerned his priestly calling while an active parishioner at All Saint's Church in Pasadena.  Upon graduation from seminary, Neil worked as Program Director for ACTION: AIDS CareTeams in our Neighborhoods, an interfaith non-profit pastoral care ministry housed at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Laguna Beach.  Following his ordination, he served as Associate Rector for Pastoral Care at St. James' in the City, Los Angeles.  He joined St. Luke's as "Priest in Charge" in Aug. 2013.  He is married to Frank Slesinski, an interior designer.

Locally, the Rev. Tadken serves as treasurer for the Interfaith Council of Monrovia, as well as the Monrovia Ministerial Association.  He is also working with Foothill Unity Center and Rebuilding Together, as well as other non-profits, to help repurpose church and other local property to serve as "Seeds of Hope" community gardens that provide produce for need-based distribution and nutrition education.   Neil has served on the board of the Episcopal Urban Internship Program, the Bishop's commission for HIV and AIDS Ministries, and currently serves on the Program Group for GLBT Ministries for the Dioceses of Los Angeles.

Prior to ordination, the Rev. Tadken was a professional actor, director and founding member of the Basic Theater Co. in NYC.  Between 1994 and 2001, soap opera watchers may have seen him recurring as "Don McTavish" on ABC's General Hospital and Port Charles.  In 1993, he founded and directed a national AIDS education and outreach effort for television called "Day of Compassion," which became an annual event.   He was honored with a "Ribbon of Hope Award" from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 1997 for that effort.

Source: St. Luke's press release

- Brad Haugaard

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