Archimandrite Alexander [Pihach], 64, unexpectedly fell asleep in the Lord on the night of October 7, 2016 while visiting the rectory of Christ the Savior Sobor here, where he was the guest of Archpriest Vasyl and Matushka Oksana Kolega.
Archimandrite Alexander had faithfully served as Dean of the Orthodox Church in America’s Representation Church of Saint Catherine the Great Martyr and as OCA Representative to the Patriarchate of Moscow since his appointment by the Holy Synod of Bishops on November 30, 2012.
Born Dennis Alexander Pihach in Saskatoon, SK, on June 27, 1952 and raised in an Orthodox Christian family, Archimandrite Alexander graduated from Saint Andrew’s College, Winnipeg, MB, in 1973. He continued his studies in Sociology and Slavic Studies and graduated from the University of Saskatchewan, after which he was employed with Social Services. In 1986, he was ordained to the priesthood in the OCA’s Archdiocese of Canada and assigned to plant a mission in Yorkton, SK—now Saint Mark’s Church—while continuing his employment with Youth Addictions Services.
He was elected Dean of the Manitoba-Saskatchewan Deanery and appointed Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Canada in 1996. Two years later, he was assigned Rector of Saint Herman of Alaska Sobor, Edmonton, AB.
On July 11, 2009, he was tonsured to monastic orders and elevated to the dignity of Igumen of Saint Elias Skete, Dickie Bush, AB. On September 1 of the same year, he was appointed Interim Dean of Annunciation Cathedral, Ottawa, ON. He was elevated to the dignity of Archimandrite and returned to Saint Herman Sobor on a full time basis in May 2011.
Archimandrite Alexander is survived by two brothers, Terry and Murray Pihach, and his nieces and nephews Andria, Jesse, Bryan, Chantelle, and Genna-Rae.
His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and His Eminence, Archbishop Irénée will concelebrate the Funeral Service for a Priest at Christ the Savior Cathedral, 823 Manning Avenue, Toronto, ON at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 12. The Divine Liturgy, followed by a Panikhida and memorial meal, will be celebrated at the cathedral at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, October 13. For additional information please contact Archpriest Vasyl Kolega at 416-522-5237.
Following the services in Toronto, Archimandrite Alexander’s body will be taken to Saskatoon, SK, his home town. He will lie in state at Holy Resurrection Sobor, 2202 Lorne Avenue. A Funeral Service will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 17. The Divine Liturgy, followed by interment at Woodlawn Cemetery, Saskatoon, will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 18. In order to accommodate the anticipated large number of clergy and faithful—Holy Resurrection Sobor is quite small—services will be held at Holy Family Roman Catholic Cathedral, 123 Nelson Road, Saskatoon. For additional information please contact Priest Leonard Herrem at 306-652-2847.
On Sunday, October 9, a Panikhida was celebrated at the OCA Representation Church of Saint Catherine, Moscow, at which time the following message of condolence from Metropolitan Tikhon was read.
“Beloved clergy and parishioners of St. Catherine’s Church:
“The falling asleep of Archimandrite Alexander has deprived you of a loving and gentle pastor. The Orthodox Church in America is deprived of a faithful representative and wise counselor. Father Alexander’s spiritual authority came from a peaceful heart, quiet manner, and steadfast faith. He radiated genuine good will. These qualities shone brightly in his church ministry in Canada and in Moscow. As we join with you in prayer for the repose of Father Alexander’s soul, we are confident that the Risen Christ embraces him with love and greets him with the words, ‘well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Master.’
“May the blessing and consolation of the Lord be with you, through His grace and love for mankind.”
A tribute to Archimandrite Alexander by Archpriest Lawrence Farley of Saint Herman of Alaska Church, Langley, BC, also appears on-line.
May Archimandrite Alexander’s memory be eternal!