America – Orthodox Church


Mission Statement of the Orthodox Church in America

The Mission of the Orthodox Church in America, the local autocephalous Orthodox Church, is to be faithful in fulfilling the commandment of Christ to “Go into all the world and make disciples of all Nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all [things that He has] commanded” so that all people may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth:

–  To preach, in accordance with God’s will, the fullness of the gospel of the Kingdom to the peoples of North America and to invite them to become members of the Orthodox Church.

–  To utilize for her mission the various languages of the peoples of this continent.

–  To be the body of Christ in North America and to be faithful to the tradition of the Holy Orthodox Church.

–  To witness to the truth, and by God’s grace and in the power of the Holy Spirit, to reveal Christ’s way of sanctification and eternal salvation to all.

–  Adopted by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, 1990.


[Statute of OCA: Article 5 – The Metropolitan Council] – The Metropolitan Council is the permanent executive body of the Church Administration which exists for the purpose of implementing the decisions of the All-American Council and continuing its work between sessions. It consists of the Metropolitan as Chairman, the Chancellor, the Secretary, the Treasurer, two representatives from each diocese, one priest and one layman elected by the Diocesan Assemblies, three priests and three laymen elected by the All-American Council. Vacancies occurring among diocesan representatives are filled by the respective dioceses. Two alternates are elected by the All-American Council, one priest and one layman, to fill vacancies occurring among members elected by the All-American Council. All elected members, whether representing the several dioceses or those elected by the All-American Council, succeed themselves in office for one term only.

The Holy Synod of Bishops Orthodox Church in America



The Primate


Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada – Locum tenens of the Archdiocese of Canada

 P.O. Box 675 Syosset, NY 11791, Office: 516-922-0550, Email:
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada was born Marc R. Mollard in Boston, MA on July 15, 1966, the eldest of three children born to Francois and Elizabeth Mollard. After brief periods living in Connecticut, France, and Missouri, he and his family settled in Reading, PA, where he graduated from Wyomissing High School in 1984.  In 1988 he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Sociology from Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA, after which he moved to Chicago. In 1989 he was received into the Orthodox Church from Episcopalianism and, in the fall of the same year, he began studies at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA. One year later he entered the monastic community at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery as a novice.  He was awarded the Master of Divinity degree from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary in 1993, after which he was appointed Instructor in Old Testament and subsequently Senior Lecturer in Old Testament, teaching Master level courses in the Prophets and the Psalms and Wisdom Literature. He also served as an Instructor in the seminary’s Extension Studies program, offering courses in the lives of the Old Testament saints, the liturgical use of the Old Testament, and the Old Testament in patristic literature. He collaborated with Igumen Alexander [Golitzin]—now Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese of the Orthodox Church in America—in the publication of “The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain” by Saint Tikhon’s Seminary Press. In 1995, he was tonsured to the Lesser Schema with the name Tikhon, in honor of Saint Patriarch Tikhon, Enlightener of North America. Later that year, he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate and Holy Priesthood at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery. In 1998 he was elevated to the rank of Igumen, and in 2000, to the rank of Archimandrite. In December 2002, he was named Deputy Abbot of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery.  Two years later—on February 14, 2004—he was consecrated to the episcopacy at Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery Church.  On May 9, 2012, he was elevated to the dignity of Archbishop. On November 13, 2012, Archbishop Tikhon was elected Primate of the Orthodox Church in America at the 17th All-American Council.

Diocesan Bishops

bioabpnathanielOCA, Portraits, Nov. 18, 2010.

The Most Reverend Nathaniel – Archbishop of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate

PO Box 309, Grass Lake, MI 49240-0309Office: 517-522-4800, Fax: 517-522-5907, Email:
His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel was born William George Popp in Aurora, IL, on June 12, 1940, to Joseph Popp and Vera [nee Boytor], a family of Romanian heritage who attended the Saint Michael the Archangel Romanian Greek Catholic Church in Aurora. Having gained from his experiences at Saint Michael’s a desire to serve the Lord as a priest, he attended Saint Procopius College, a Benedictine-operated liberal arts school, and the “Pontifical Eastern Rite Center” in LisleIL. Called to Rome, Italy, by the Romanian Byzantine Rite Catholic Bishop Vasile [Cristea], he studied at Gregorian University and resided at the Greek College of Saint Athanasius. Having completed his studies, he was ordained into the Holy Diaconate on July 17, 1966, at Colle de Tora, “San Anatolia” summer chapel of the “Collegio Greco” by Bishop Vasile. On October 23, 1966, he was ordained into the Holy Priesthood in the Romanian Catholic Church “San Salvatore” in Coppele, Rome, by the same hierarch. In January 1967, he returned to Aurora and appointed assistant priest of his home parish. The spirituality, theology, and mission of the Orthodox Christian faith, which had been dormant in him, began to beckon, and within a matter of months he decided to embrace Orthodox Christianity. Having left the Aurora parish, he visited with former classmates from Rome who had embraced Orthodox Christianity and were serving in various “jurisdictions” in North America. Through Father Vasile Hategan of New York, NY, and later Cleveland, OH, he was introduced to Archbishop Valerian [Trifa], who worked with him to be received into the ranks of the clergy of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America [ROEA]. He fully embraced the Orthodox Christian Faith in the Chapel of the Nativity of the Birthgiver of God at the Vatra Româneasca, Grass Lake MI, in the presence of Archbishop Valerian on February 15, 1968. For several years, he resided in a small monastic community on the Vatra property until he was appointed rector of Holy Cross Church, Hermitage PA. An author of numerous articles, speaker, and lecturer, he also taught at the Episcopate’s summer youth camps. He was confessor to the sisterhood of Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Ellwood City, PA, and was instrumental in the founding of an inter-Orthodox women’s association in the Hermitage area. In April 1978, he was one of two representatives of the Orthodox Church in America [OCA] at the conference on monasticism in Cairo, Egypt. He also had served as spiritual advisor to the American Romanian Orthodox Youth and an active member of the Episcopate’s liturgical commission, late vocations program, and Episcopate Council. In addition to these duties, he pursued the painting of icons on glass (”icoane pe sticla”) in the Romanian peasant style and collected historical art and artifacts. At the request of Archbishop Valerian for administrative assistance, he was called to the episcopacy at a special Congress of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate on September 20, 1980. On the feast of the Feast of the Transylvanian martyrs Sofronie, Visarion, and Oprea, October 21, 1980, he took the Lesser Schema at the Vatra Chapel, taking the name of the Holy Apostle Nathaniel, and elevated to the rank of archimandrite. His consecration to the episcopacy took place at Saint George Cathedral, Southfield/Detroit MI, on November 15, 1980. He was consecrated by Metropolitan Theodosius of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, Archbishop Valerian of Detroit and the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America; Bishop Kyrill of Pittsburgh [OCA-Bulgarian]; Bishop Dmitri of Dallas [OCA]; Bishop Christopher of the Eastern Serbian Diocese [Serbian Patriarchate]; Bishop Boris of Chicago [OCA]; and Bishop Mark of Boston [OCA]. He was installed the following day as Bishop of Dearborn Heights, with Saints Peter and Paul Church as his cathedral, and named an auxiliary Bishop for the Episcopate. Bishop Nathaniel assisted Archbishop Valerian in this capacity until 1984. On Sunday, November 17, 1984, after the retirement of Archbishop Valerian, Bishop Nathaniel was enthroned at Saint George Cathedral as ruling Hierarch of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America. Since then, he has overseen the tremendous growth and expansion of the diocese—39 new missions and parishes and monastic communities for women and men—carefully maintaining the Romanian tradition and integrating many recent immigrants into North American society. At the same time, he recognized the importance of a united Orthodox Christian witness in this land, and has remained at the forefront of the movement toward this end. Archbishop Nathaniel serves as Episcopal Moderator for the Pastoral Life Ministries Unit of the Orthodox Church in America; chairman of the V.D. Trifa Romanian American Heritage Center in Grass Lake MI; and organizer of the “Help for Romania Fund.” In 1990, he co-founded the “Help the Children of Romania” project and, since 1991, he served as chairman of the Congress of Romanian Americans [CORA]. He has also served as President of the Board of the Center for Orthodox Christian Studies in Detroit and Spiritual Advisor for Orthodox Christian Laity [OCL]. In 1994, Archbishop Nathaniel fulfilled a desire to make a pilgrimage to Romania. In 1995, at the invitation of Patriarch Teoctist, he was a guest of the Patriarchate at festivities marking the 110th anniversary of the granting of autocephaly to the Church of Romania and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Romanian Patriarchate. In May 2003, he traveled to Romania again, where he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from the University of Oradea in recognition of his leadership of the Romanian Orthodox community in North America and of his humanitarian efforts in post-communist Romania. Under his direction, members of the ROEA came to the aid of their brothers and sisters in Romania immediately after the fall of communism, and continue to this day to petition for their rights. Concurrently, the ROEA resumed a relationship with the Church of Romania, with Archbishop Nathaniel working for a greater understanding between the Patriarchate and the Episcopate. Archbishop Nathaniel has been an active member of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America since his consecration, and he has represented the OCA at numerous events in North America and Europe. On Wednesday, October 20, 1999, in its fall session, the Holy Synod elevated him to the dignity of Archbishop.

The Most Reverend Nikon

   OCA, Portraits, Nov. 18, 2010.bionikon

Archbishop of Boston, New England, and the Albanian Archdiocese – Locum tenens of the Diocese of the South

PO Box 149 Southbridge, MA 01550 Office: 508-764-3222 Email:
Archbishop Nikon was born in New York City on October 9, 1945, the son of the late Evans J. and Helena P. Liolin. He was raised in a family nurtured in the Orthodox Christian faith and active in the Albanian Archdiocese of the Orthodox Church in America. His father had served as lay chairman and founder in 1947 of the Diocesan Theological Student Fund. For many years, his mother served as choir director at the family’s home parish of Saint Nicholas, Jamaica Estates, New York. His brother John, now deceased, served on the parish council of Saint George Church, Trumbull, Connecticut, his brother Billy gave his life serving in the armed forces during the Korean War, while his youngest brother, James, served as lay chairman of the Jamaica Estates parish and member of the Archdiocesan Council’s Student Fund. His elder brother, Father Arthur, is Chancellor of the Boston-based Albanian Archdiocese. Archbishop Nikon pursued his elementary and secondary studies in New York City, where he developed an abiding interest in the theatre arts, securing leading roles in several high school productions, and in the biological sciences. Tonsured to the Order of Reader by His Eminence, the late Metropolitan Theophan [Noli], Archbishop Nikon studied at Saint Vladimir Orthodox Theological Seminary, Crestwood, New York; Iona and Concordia College, New Rochelle, New York; and the New School for Social Research and Political Science, New York City. In 1967, he married the former Sarah Arthur, his childhood sweetheart. Together they shared a ministry in which she devotedly served as choir director after his ordination to the Holy Diaconate by the late Bishop Stephen [Lasko] on July 5, 1969, and to the Holy Priesthood the following day. During his 33 year ministry, Bishop Nikon was well-known for his pastoral acumen and broad-based ministerial sensitivity and experience, having served as rector of two parishes of the OCA’s Albanian Archdiocese: Saint Nicholas Church, Southbridge, Massachusetts, and Saint Thomas Church, Farmington Hills, Michigan. In addition to his pastoral ministry, Archbishop Nikon served as President of the Greater Detroit Council of Orthodox Churches and Chaplain for the Wayne State University Orthodox Christian Fellowship. He is also credited with administrating a health and hospitalization insurance plan for area clergy. He also appeared on numerous live television and radio programs, broacasting to the faithful and those interested in the Orthodox faith. Notably, he was a project coordinator for “The Voice of Orthodoxy,” established by New England’s Russian Orthodox Layman’s League, and he served as editor of “The Vine,” the newspaper of the Albanian Archdiocese, and Dean of the Great Lakes Deanery. On July 25, 2000, his wife, Sarah, reposed in Father Nicholas’s arms following a bout with cancer. His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius presided at her funeral. Prior to his consecration, Bishop Nikon spent time at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary and Monastery, South Canaan, Pennsylvania, extending his studies, where he was tonsured to monastic orders prior to his episcopal consecration. Archbishop Nikon was consecrated Bishop of Baltimore and Auxiliary to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, on Friday and Saturday, May 24 and 25, 2002, in conjunction with the annual pilgrimage to Saint Tikhon Monastery. Archbishop Nikon was nominated as Bishop of Boston at the Albanian Archdiocesan Assembly at on October 10, 2003 and the Holy Synod elected him Bishop of Boston on October 22, 2003. He served as administrator of the Diocese of New England and was elected ruling bishop during the fall session of the Holy Synod in October 2005. He was installed with a new title as Bishop of Boston, New England and the Albanian Archdiocese by His Beatitude Herman at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Boston on December 16 and 17 2005. Archbishop Nikon was elevated to the rank of Archbishop on May 9, 2012.

The Most Reverend Benjamin

OCA, Portraits, Nov. 18, 2010.biobenjamin

Archbishop of San Francisco and the West

1520 Green St San Francisco, CA94123  Office: (415) 567-WEST (9378)  Email:
Archbishop Benjamin was born Vincent Peterson in Pasadena, CA on June 1, 1954 and was baptized and chrismated at Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral, Los Angeles, CA on April 27, 1972. In 1982 he was awarded a Master of Divinity degree and Certificate in Liturgical Music from Saint Vladimir Seminary. A prolific musician, he served as choirmaster at parishes in Detroit, MI and Los Angeles and as chairman of the Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Liturgical Music. He was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on November 15, 1987 by Bishop Tikhon at his home parish, which he served for 10 years as deacon and youth and education director. The following year he was tonsured a riasophore monk by Bishop Tikhon and further tonsured to the lesser schema by Archbishop [now Metropolitan] Herman at Saint Tikhon Monastery, South Canaan, PA. In 1991 he was elevated to the rank of archdeacon. On July 19, 1997, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Bishop Tikhon. In 1999, Igumen Benjamin was was transferred to the Diocese of Alaska, where he served as dean of Saint Innocent Cathedral and later as administrative dean of Saint Herman Seminary, Kodiak, AK. He was elevated to the rank of archimandrite in 2002. In January 2004 he was reassigned to Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral, Los Angeles, and appointed Chancellor of the Diocese of the West. Archbishop Benjamin was elected to the episcopacy by members of the Holy Synod of Bishops at their Spring Session in March 2004. His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN presided at the consecration of Archbishop Benjamin [Peterson] to the episcopacy at historic Holy Trinity Cathedral on Saturday, May 1, 2004. Archbishop Benjamin was elevated to the rank of Archbishop on May 9, 2012.

The Most Reverend Alejo

OCA, Portraits, Nov. 18, 2010.

Archbishop of Mexico City and Mexico
Av Rio Consulado E Iruapato #53 Col Penon De Los Banos Mexico, DF 15520 
Office / Fax: 5784-5198  Email:


The Right Reverend Mark


Bishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania
144 St Tikhon’s Road Waymart, PA18472 Office: 570-937-9331 Email:
His Grace Bishop MARK was consecrated to the Holy Episcopacy on December 5, 2004. His consecrating bishops included His Beatitude IGNATIUS IV at the Patriarchal Cathedral in Damascus, Syria as well as numerous Metropolitans of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch. He was enthroned at St. George Cathedral in Toledo, Ohio on August 25, 2005 and served as Bishop of the Diocese of Toledo and the Midwest of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of America. Bishop MARK served as priest of St. John the Evangelist Church in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania from 1997 to 2000. In January of 2001, he was assigned to St. George in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Bishop MARK was born on June 22, 1958 in New Albany, Indiana. He was baptized in Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church in 1958 and confirmed when he was nine. He attended elementary school at our Lady of Perpetual Help and graduated from New AlbanyHigh School in 1976. He completed his Bachelor of Arts degree at OralRobertsUniversity in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1985. In 1987, he was awarded a Master of Arts degree in Biblical Literature from Oral Roberts University and accepted the position of Adjunct Professor of Old Testament at Oral Roberts University. Having been introduced to the Orthodox Church by the V. Rev. George Eber, pastor of St. Antony in Tulsa, Oklahoma and his professors of Church History, Dr Jerry Sandidge and his Old Testament professor, Dr Howard Ervin at Oral Roberts University, Bishop MARK was received into the Church through Holy Chrismation on Great and Holy Wednesday 1989. He attended St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Seminary, receiving his Master of Divinity degree at St. Vladimir’s in 1991. From 1993 – 1997, His Grace worked in mental Health as a Mental Health worker at Mercy Psychiatric on a dual diagnosis unit and from 1997 – 2000, as a crisis worker in the emergency room at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Aliquippa, PA. Bishop MARK was ordained a deacon on August 17, 1997. On September 7, 1997, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood.  Bishop MARK was received into the Orthodox Church in America on January 1, 2011, and given the title of Bishop of Baltimore. On January 17, 2014, he was nominated to fill the vacant Episcopal See of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania at a special Diocesan Assembly at Saint Nicholas Church in Bethlehem, PA—he had served as the Diocese’s Administrator since 2012. On March, 18, 2014, he was elected by the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America to fill the vacant Episcopal See of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania. He also presently serves as the Synodal Liason to the various commissions and departments of the OCA.

The Most Reverend Melchisedek


Archbishop of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania
PO Box 1769 Cranberry Township, PA16066-1769  Office / Fax: 724-776-5555   Email:
His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek, was born Thomas Alexander Pleska, in DaytonOH, August 20, 1942. His father, Alexander Peter Pleska, was born in Byelo-Russia near Brest-Litovsk, and immigrated with his parents to the US in 1925. His mother Johanna (Eugenia Stachuk) Pleska was born in Cleveland, Ohio, of Ukrainian immigrant parents, and baptized in St. Theodosius Cathedral. At the time he was growing up in Dayton there was no Orthodox parish present, and he and his sister received their Christian formation in local Protestant parishes and taken to the “Russian” Church in Cleveland for important Holy Days, and other visits. It was as an adult that Fr. Melchisedek describes himself as becoming a member in the Orthodox Church at Christ the SaviourChurch in Cincinnati, OH, under the pastorship of Fr. Daniel Rentel. After High School, Thomas Pleska first attended the University of Michigan School of Music and then MiamiUniversity in Oxford, OH, where he completed a BA with a major in Philosophy, with aspirations to eventually receive a doctorate and teach. After graduating he entered the business world, first in a stock brokerage and later in real estate. In the early 1980s, he made the decision to take a Master of Divinity degree at St. Vladimir’s Seminary. During his studies, under the deanship of Protopresbyter John Meyendorff, Thomas was encouraged to consider ordination. Through several encounters with monastic spiritual fathers, including Elder Dionysios of the Simono-Petras Monastery on Mount Athos and Archimandrite Dimitry Egouroff, a monk of Old Valaam, he also made the decision to take the monastic tonsure after ordination. Thomas Pleska was ordained to the Diaconate in 1985, on the feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple, November 21, by His Grace, Bishop Job. In 1986, on the Feast of the Annunciation, March 25, he was ordained to the Priesthood by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius. In the Fall of 1986, Fr. Thomas accepted the position of Instructor of Dogmatic Theology at St. Tikhon’s Seminary. During his time teaching at St. Tikhon’s, he served as chaplain at the Holy Myrrhbearers Women’s Monastery in Otego NY, and as interim pastor at the Churches of the Holy Trinity in Pottstown, PA, St. Michael in Old Forge, PA, and St. Basil in Simpson, PA. It was also at this time that he made his acquaintance with the Elder Sophrony and his monastery in Essex, England. From 1989 to 1998 Fr. Thomas served as rector of Saints Peter and Paul Church in Meriden, CT. In 1998, Fr. Thomas traveled to Greece where he served first at the Monastery of the Holy Cross, an international women’s community in Thebes. In 2003, he was transferred to serve as chaplain at the women’s monastery of St. George the Great Martyr and to serve his own brotherhood at the Monastery of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Petras. In 2004, he was tonsured to the Great Schema, taking the name Melchisedek, and raised to the rank of Archimandrite. On April 2, 2009, Archimandrite Melchisedek was elected Bishop of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America. He returned to the US. On Saturday, June 27, 2009, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah and the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America consecrated Archimandrite Melchisedek Bishop of Pittsburgh and the Diocese of Western Pennsylvania at St. Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Allison Park, PA. Bishop Melchisedek was elevated to the rank of Archbishop on Friday, March 21, 2014.

The Right Reverend Michael

OCA, Portraits, Nov. 18, 2010.biomichael

Bishop of New York and New York and New Jersey

33 Hewitt Ave Bronxville, NY10708 Office: 914-779-6580  Fax: 914-779-6581  Email:
The son of Ann (Rosics) and the late Peter Dahulich, Bishop MICHAEL was born in Johnson City, N.Y., on August 29, 1950. He grew up in Binghamton, N.Y., and has one brother, retired US Air Force Captain George Dahulich, who presently works for Lockheed Martin and lives in Centreville, Va.; and a sister, Barbara Knighton, who lives in Binghamton and works as a secretary at the State University of New York at Binghamton. He was baptized in the Orthodox Faith as an infant at St. Michael’s Church in Binghamton, where his parents had been married in 1948. His father was a convert from the Byzantine Catholic Church, while his mother was cradle Orthodox. Michael’s mother, together with her parents, nurtured him in the Faith by their example, and his mother read to him Bible stories and the lives of the Saints from his earliest childhood. From the age of ten until Michael graduated from college and went to Seminary, he served as an altar boy under the tutelage of his pastor, Fr. Stephen Dutko, who was the inspiration for his vocation. At the age of 14, praying before the Icon of the Theotokos on the Feast of her Dormition, he pledged himself to serve the HolyChurch in whatever capacity God would direct him, asking the protection and guidance of the Holy Mother. He attended BinghamtonCentralHigh School in 1967. His senior paper was a biography of Ecumenical Patriarch ATHENAGORAS. He graduated two years later from BroomeCommunity College, and set out to pursue his dream to serve the Church by attending Christ the Saviour Seminary in Johnstown. He completed his theological studies there in December of 1972, having been privileged to be mentored by His Grace, Bishop JOHN of Nyssa. While a student at the Seminary, he met Deborah Sandak, a parishioner of Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Johnstown. They were engaged on the Feast of the Protection of the Theotokos in 1972 and were married on January 21, 1973 in the Johnstown Cathedral. He was ordained by Bishop John, first to the Diaconate on February 3, 1973, in St. Peter the Apostle Chapel in Johnstown; and then to the Holy Priesthood the following day, in Christ the Saviour Cathedral. Father Michael assumed his first parish assignment at SS. Peter and Paul Church in Homer City, Pa., a small mission community which had never had a full time priest, on Sunday, February 18, 1973. Two days later, en route to dinner at his best friend’s home in Jenners, Pa., he and his wife were in a car accident; she was killed instantly, and he was hospitalized for three months. He struggled for a long time afterward with her loss. In June of 1973, he returned to serve the HomerCity parish, while living at Christ the Saviour Seminary. His wife’s death had had a profound effect on the young priest, and after months of spiritual struggle, Bishop John decided it best for him to pursue further studies, reasoning that he “did best in the classroom.” His Grace applied for Fr. Michael’s admission, provided him with a vehicle for commuting, and funded his education personally. Bishop Michael has never forgotten his mentor’s generosity, and has striven to provide scholarships for his students to this day in memory of what was given to him. Over the next few years, Father Michael attended St. VincentCollege in Latrobe, Pa., graduating with a degree in philosophy, and DuquesneUniversity in Pittsburgh, graduating with a Master of Arts in Theology and later a Ph.D. in Theology, with a concentration in New Testament studies. Upon his graduation from St. VincentCollege, he was named Prefect of Student Life at Christ the Saviour Seminary, a position he held for five years, until SS. Peter and Paul Church achieved parish status, and Father Michael became its first full-time pastor. He was also assigned as instructor of Ethics at the Seminary, where he also taught Scripture and Homiletics, until he was transferred from the area in 1985. During his Ph.D. studies at Duquesne, he was also adjunct lecturer, teaching Scripture and Eastern Orthodoxy in the Theology Department at the university. For nearly 13 years, Father Michael served SS. Peter and Paul Church. He was privileged to see it grow from 60 to more than 130 members, and from mission to parish status. The physical facilities of the parish grew during Fr. Michael’s tenure there as well: the church building was brick-encased, its interior was decorated, and a rectory was built. During that time, Fr. Michael also served as Religious Education Director for the Johnstown Deanery and as Associate Editor of The Church Messenger. In 1982, he was elevated to the rank of Archpriest, and named Vice-Chancellor of the Diocese. In addition, until Bishop John’s untimely death in 1984, Father Michael was privileged to serve as His Grace’s personal secretary. He continued as Vice-Chancellor and Secretary to Bishop NICHOLAS of Amissos, until December of 1985, when he was transferred to Holy Ghost Church in Phoenixville, Pa., where he served as pastor for 16 years. During that time, the parish grew from 256 to nearly 450 members, including more than 100 children. Several improvements in the temple and the 20-acre facility were successfully undertaken, and more than half a million dollars was raised toward the building of a new educational facility. A pre-school and day care was established, with the intent to grow into an Orthodox school. During that time, Father Michael was also named to the Study and Planning Commission and the Ecumenical Commission of SCOBA. He served for more than a decade as the Dean of the Mid-Atlantic Deanery parishes of the Carpatho-Russian Diocese, and Vice-Chairman of the Harvest 2000 Committee on Missions, Evangelization and Diocesan Growth. He also edited the Diocesan Prayerbook, Come To Me. He was especially honored in 1998 to be named Protopresbyter by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and elevated to that rank by His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas of Amissos, in his parish in Phoenixville. In 1993, Father Michael was asked by His Eminence, Archbishop HERMAN, to teach at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, where he has served on the faculty to this day. In 2001, he was released from the Carpatho-Russian Diocese to the Orthodox Church in America, and came to serve full-time at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, first as Administrative Dean (2001-2002) and then as Dean (2002-present). His field of expertise in teaching is New Testament, and he has also taught Old Testament courses, Homiletics, Pastoral Theology, and Ethics at St. Tikhon’s. During the past nine years, God has blessed St. Tikhon’s by more than doubling its enrollment. Father Michael was privileged to be a part of the team that earned national accreditation for the Seminary from the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. He helped work on a revision of the curriculum for the Master of Divinity program, and has served as Editor of the Tikhonaire; The Spirit of St. Tikhon’s; By the Waters; and St. Tikhon’s Theological Journal. He also works as director of recruitment, development and fund-raising at the school. Also during this time, he served as a member of the Board of Theological Education of the Orthodox Church in America, OCA Representative to the National Advisory Board of the American Bible Society, a member (and former national secretary) of the Orthodox Theological Society of America, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Orthodox Christian Association of Medicine, Psychology and Religion (OCAMPR). Bishop Michael has tried to bring to the Office of Dean a pastoral sensibility borne out of 28 years of parish ministry. He believes that the Lord has commanded clergy to do two very important things: to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28), and to assist those in need (Matthew 25). He has sought to recruit into the Seminary men who share that vision and to promote that vision beyond Ordination through the Seminary’s efforts in continuing education for clergy. His goal has been for every student to be able to study for the priesthood without having to worry about financial concerns. The two top priorities of his Deanship toward that end have been scholarships for deserving students and assistance for married students and their families. Additionally, Bishop Michael has published a number of articles in theological journals, magazines and newspapers. He has had a recurring column in The Orthodox Herald on “Sobornost.” He has presented several papers, delivered numerous talks, lectures, and keynote addresses, and led many seminars and retreats in schools and parishes throughout the country, as well as teaching week-long seminars in Scripture in both Brazil and India. On August 24, 2009, Father Michael was selected as a nominee for Bishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey, by clergy and lay delegates at a Special Diocesan Assembly. On September 22, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America elected him to the episcopacy, for the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. Bishop-Elect Michael was tonsured as a Riasophor Monk on October 23, 2009 at St. Tikhon’s MonasteryChurch by Metropolitan JONAH. He was then tonsured into the Lesser Schema at the Monastery Church on Holy Tuesday, March 30, 2010, by His Beatitude. The following day he was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite and awarded the mitre by the Metropolitan. Bishop Michael’s philosophy of life is taken from St. Paul the Apostle: to do his best to fight the good fight, and to run the race of salvation, by working as hard as he can, as fast as he can, for as long as he can, until the Lord calls him to pass the baton on to someone else (II Timothy 4).

The Right Reverend Alexander


Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese – Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Chicago and the Midwest
519 Brynhaven Dr. Oregon, OH 43616 Office: 419-693-9540 Fax: 419-693-9541 Email:
Raised at Saint Innocent Church, Tarzana, CA, Bishop Alexander received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master of Divinity degree from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary. He spent seven years pursuing doctoral studies at OxfordUniversity in England under His Eminence, Metropolitan Kallistos [Ware]. During this time, he also spent two years in Greece, including one year at Simonos Petras Monastery on Mount Athos. After receiving his D.Phil. in 1980, Bishop Alexander returned to the US. He was ordained to the diaconate in January 1982 and to the priesthood two years later. In 1986, he was tonsured to monastic orders. He served OCA missions in northern California and headed the Diocese of the West’s mission committee. In 1989, Bishop Alexander took a teaching position with the Theology Department at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, a position which he left at the end of April this year. While teaching at Marquette University, he had been attached to Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, Milwaukee, WI. For 22 years he preached, taught and served at Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, and witnessed to the Gospel and to Orthodox Christian theology at Marquette University. He helped attract a dozen Orthodox Christian students to doctoral work in theology at Marquette. In June 2010, the Bulgarian Diocese initiated a search for a candidate to succeed His Eminence, Archbishop Kirill who reposed in the Lord in 2007. “Of the 22 possible candidates reviewed in the first phase of the search, after an intensive review process, two candidates were presented to the diocese’s Fifth Congress-Sobor in June 2011,” noted the diocesan Consecration Committee Chair, Archpriest Andrew Jarmus.  “Bishop Alexander was the candidate elected by the Congress-Sobor’s clergy and lay delegates.” In October 2011, the members of the OCA’s Holy Synod of Bishops elected Archimandrite Alexander Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese. On Saturday, May 5, 2012 he was consecrated Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese during a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Saint George Orthodox Cathedral in Rossford, OH. Bishop Alexander becomes the second Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese. He succeeds His Eminence, the late Archbishop Kirill [Yonchev]. Archbishop Kirill had overseen the diocese from 1964 to 2007; in 1976, Archbishop Kirill brought the diocese under the omophorion of the Orthodox Church in America.

The Right Reverend David


Bishop of Sitka and Alaska
7031 Howard Ave Anchorage, AK99504-1899 Home: 907-677-0224  Work: 907-538-9318  Fax: 907-677-0646 Email:
Born in Altoona, PA in 1952, Father David was received into the Orthodox Christian faith in 1975, two years after his marriage to the former Karen Meterko.  He received his Master of Divinity degree from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA in 1997.  In 2003, he graduated from the University of Scranton with Bachelors degrees in Theology and Philosophy.  Two years later, he received his Master of Arts degree in theology from the same school. He was ordained to the diaconate in 1981 and served throughout the Diocese of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania.  After his ordination to the priesthood in 1993, he served as rector of Saint Michael Church, Old Forge, PA until 2006, when he assumed the pastorate of Holy Trinity Church, Pottstown, PA.  In 2009, he was assigned rector of Saint Nicholas Church, Bethlehem. He and his wife, who fell asleep in the Lord in 2007, raised four children. Father David served as a graduate assistant in the Theology Department of the University of Scranton, adjunct lecturer at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, and adjunct lecturer in theology and philosophy at Alvernia University, Melrose Park Campus, Philadelphia, PA.  He has served in a wide variety of capacities in the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, including dean of the Philadelphia Deanery. Delegates to the Assembly of the Diocese of Alaska on September 15, 2012 had nominated Father David, who has been serving as the diocese’s Administrator and Chancellor, to fill the vacant See.  His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin, Locum Tenens of Episcopal See of Sitka and Alaska, presented his name to the Holy Synod for canonical election. Archimandrite David [Mahaffey] was elected by the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America to fill the vacant Episcopal See of Sitka and Alaska on Wednesday, October 16, 2013. On Friday, February 21, 2014, he was consecrated Bishop of the Diocese of Sitka and Alaska during a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Saint Innocent Orthodox Cathedral in Anchorage, AK.

Auxiliary Bishops


The Right Reverend Irineu – Bishop of Dearborn Heights
2535 Grey Tower Rd. Jackson, MI49201 Office: 517-522-4800 Email:
Archimandrite Irineu [Duvlea] was born April 19, 1962 in Alba Iulia, Transylvania, Romania, the son of John and Aurelia Duvlea. In 1981, he entered the Theological Seminary in Cluj Napoca. After graduating from the seminary in 1987, he continued his studies at the Andrei Saguna Theologizcal Institute in Sibiu, from which he graduated in 1991. In 1980, he entered the Brancoveanu Monastery at Sambata de Sus, Brasov County, Romania, where he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by His Emimence, Archbishop John of Helsinki, Finland on behalf of His Eminence, Metropolitan Antonie [Plamadeala] of Transylvania on May 3, 1983. Three weeks later he was tonsured to monastic rank by His Grace, Bishop Lucian of Fagaras. He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Metropolitan Antonie in the Metropolitan Cathedral of Sibiu on November 17, 1984. On August 15, 1988, he was named Protosyngelos by Metropolitan Antonie. On January 1, 1993, he was appointed Hegumen of the Brancoveanu Monastery and was charged with overseeing the life of 15 neighboring monasteries and 10 sketes. In this capacity, he tonsured 30 monks and 15 nuns and installed most of the abbots and abbeses of the monasteries in the Sibiu Diocese. On August 15,1993, he was named Archimandrite of the monastery on the occasion of its consecration by His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Holiness, Patriarch Teoctist of Romania, and was presented with a patriarchal cross by the Ecumenical Patriarch. On September 24, 2000, the Holy Synod of Romania awarded him the right to wear a mitre. Archimandrite Irineu made two pilgrimages to Mount Athos and, in 1998, he visited monasteries in Bulgaria and Greece and made a pilgrimage to the tomb of Saint Nicholas in Bari, Italy. As head of the Brancoveanu Monastery, Father Irineu hosted several patriarchs, including His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew; His Holiness, Patriarch Parthenius of Alexandria; His Holiness, Patriarch Ignatius of Antioch; His Holiness, Patriarch Pavle of Serbia; and His Holiness, Patriarch Maxim of Bulgaria. Among the other ranking Church dignitaries he hosted there were Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit; His Eminence, Metropolitan Antonios [Schedrawui] of Mexico; and Archbishop John of Finland. Among the civic leaders whom he received at the monastery were His Majesty, King Michael; the presidents of Romania; and numerous prime ministers. When Archbishop Nathaniel established the Center for Orthodox Christian Studies at Saint Andrew’s House in Detroit in the late 1990s, it was his dream to provide a monastic presence. On February 23, 2001, Archimandrite Irineu and a group of monks from Romania were granted a canonical release from the Patriarchate of Romania in order to establish a monastic community at the Center, named in honor of the Holy Ascension. Archimandrite Irineu was appointed Abbot of the new community, where he has labored tirelessly to offer hospitality and comfort not only to the Romanian community, but to the entire Orthodox population of Greater Detroit and the Midwest. His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, presided at the consecration of Archimandrite Irineu [Duvlea] to the episcopacy at Saint George Cathedral on November 1-2, 2002. Concelebrating with His Beatitude were His Eminence, Kyrill Archbishop of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania and the Bulgarian Diocese, His Eminence, Nathaniel, Archbishop of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate, His Eminence, Christopher, Metropolitan of the Serbian Orthodox Church of Midwestern America, His Eminence, Nicolae, Archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America and Canada, His Grace, Seraphim, Bishop of Ottawa and Canada, His Grace, Demetri, Bishop of Jableh of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese, and His Grace, Nikon, Bishop of Baltimore Auxiliary to His Beatitude, Metropolitan HERMAN.

The Right Reverend Irénée

OCA, Portraits, Nov. 18, 2010.bioirenee

Bishop of Québec City – Administrator of the Archdiocese of Canada
15 Le Breton St. N. Ottawa, ONK1R 7H1 Canada Phone: 613-223-7780 Fax: 613-223-1931
Bishop Irénée was born in Montreal on December 25, 1948. In 1971 he received a BA in Slavic Studies from the University of Ottawa and began studies at Holy Trinity Seminary at Jordanville, NY. He was accepted as a novice into the holy Trinity Monastery and placed him under the spiritual guidance of Archimandrite Kiprian. In 1974 he was tonsured a Rassophore monk and in 1975 a Stavrophore monk and named Hieromartyr Irénée of Lyons and entered the minor orders tonsured a reader and sub-deacon. In 1978, he was blessed to serve in France, in May he was ordained a deacon in Brussels, and in August to the priesthood in Geneva. He served in France until 1982 and on his return to Canada in the French mission in Montreal. Hieromonk Irénée and the Mission were received into the OCA in 1986. In 1992, Hieromonk Irénée was elevated to Igumen by Bishop Seraphim of Ottawa, to care for the French language monastics in Quebec with additional duties as supply priest to the parishes in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Quebec City. In April 2009, the Holy Synod of the OCA elevated Igumen Irénée to the dignity of Archimandrite and elected him to be an Auxiliary Bishop in the Archdiocese of Canada with the title of Bishop of Quebec. In October 2009 ten bishops, led by Metropolitan Jonah participated in the Episcopal consecration of the Archimandrite at Annunciation Cathedral in Ottawa. On October 1, 2010 the Holy Synod appointed Bishop Irénée to be Administrator of the Archdiocese of Canada.