Archpriest Andrey Somow

Archpriest Andrey Somow
Archpriest Andrey Somow

Archpriest Andrey Somow, 89, retired rector of Holy Resurrection Sobor here, fell asleep in the Lord on March 28, 2012.

He was born in 1923 in Constantinople, to which his parents, Ivan Y. Musatov, a lieutenant in the White Army, and the former Tatiana Bourda, fled after their evacuation with Denikin’s army from Crimea in 1920.  He was raised in France and Czechoslovakia and was adopted by his stepfather Pavel Somow.

He began serving as an altar boy in Brataslava, Czechoslovakia, under Hegumen Nikon (deGreve) in 1930.  He received his secondary education at the Russian Residential High School in Moravska Tshebova and Prague (1933–1941), where he served with Bishop Sergius (Korolyov) of Prague.

During World War II, he studied engineering, architecture and town planning at the Technical University in Bratislava.  With the establishment of the communist regime in Czechoslovakia in the late 1940s, his aspirations to ministry were postponed, and he pursued a career in architecture.

In 1968, when Czechoslovakia was occupied by Warsaw Pact troops, he and his wife and children fled Czechoslovakia, leaving all their belongings behind and claiming political asylum in neighboring Austria.  As refugees, the Somows were granted “landed immigrant” status by the Canadian Embassy in Vienna, and on October 6, 1968, they arrived in Canada, settling in Ottawa.

He worked as a technologist for the University of Ottawa’s Planning and Design Department for the next two years, after which he was employed by the Federal Government with the Department of Indian Affairs as an architect.

In Ottawa, the Somows were members of Holy Trinity Bukowinian Orthodox Sobor.  From the beginning, he was deeply involved parish life as a reader and Sunday School teacher under Archpriest George Pokrowsky.  In 1974, he was ordained to the diaconate at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, Montreal, by Archbishop Sylvester.  Later that year, he was transferred by the Federal Government to Vancouver, BC, where he was attached to Holy Resurrection Church.  He served regularly throughout the years, assisting Bishop Joasaph, Hegumen Cyril, and other clergy.  He also accompanied Bishop Joasaph on his trips to Alberta and served with other bishops at Saint Spiridon Cathedral, Seattle, WA, and elsewhere.  He also conducted services at Holy Resurrection Church in the absence of an assigned rector from June 1987 until April 1988.  In 1989, he was elevated to the rank of Protodeacon.

In 1992, he was ordained to the priesthood and served as a supply priest for the British Columbia Deanery.  He was appointed Interim Rector of Holy Resurrection Church on August 1, 1993, and confirmed as Rector in 1994.  He served in this capacity until his retirement in December 1999.  In 2005, he was elevated to the rank of Archpriest.

Additional biographical information and the schedule of services for Father Andrey will be posted as soon as they are received.

May Father Andrey’s memory be eternal!