Archbishop Sylvester of Canada Dies in Retirement

His Eminence, Archbishop SYLVESTER [Haruns], retired Archbishop of Montreal and Canada of the Orthodox Church in America, reposed peacefully here at 2:00AM Thursday, May 18, 2000 after a lengthy illness. Archbishop Sylvester was 85 years old.

On Tuesday, May 16, Archbishop SYLVESTER was anointed and received the Eucharist.

Born October 19, 1914 in Latvia, Archbishop SYLVESTER became a member of the Russian Student Christian Movement during his high school years. In 1934 he went to Paris to study at the Saint Sergius Theological Institute. Upon graduation four years later, he was tonsured a monk, ordained, and assigned to parish ministry in the vicinity of Paris. When Russian workers were sent to France by the Germans of the occupation of France, he obtained permission to minister to them. After World War II, he was appointed rector of a large Paris parish, at which he organized an Orthodox school.

Consecrated to the episcopacy in 1952, Archbishop SYLVESTER was appointed a vicar bishop with responsibilities in Southern France and Italy. In 1963 he arrived in North America and was elected Bishop of Montreal and Canada. He was also temporary administrator of the Diocese of New England from 1963 until 1972. In 1966 he was elevated to the rank of archbishop.

Throughout his tenure, Archbishop SYLVESTER held a number of important positions, including chairmanship of the Preconciliar Commission for several All-American Councils. He also served as chairman of the OCA Department of Church History and Archives.

In 1974, due to the failing health of His Beatitude, Metropolitan IRENEY [Bekish], Archbishop SYLVESTER was named temporary administrator of the Orthodox Church in America, a position he held until the election of His Beatitude, Metropolitan THEODOSIUS in October 1977. During this period, he fulfilled many of the functions normally conducted by the Primate.

Archbishop SYLVESTER retired as Archbishop of Montreal and Canada on July 1, 1981. After his retirement he continued to serve OCA communities in Montreal and Rawdon.

On Saturday, May 20, the Divine Liturgy and Parastas will be celebrated at Saint Seraphim Chapel, 3495 15th Avenue, Rawdon, QC at 10:00 AM, after which Archbishop SYLVESTER’s remains will be transferred to Montreal. On Sunday, May 20, a Parastas will be celebrated at Saints Peter and Paul Sobor, 1151 rue de Champlain, Montreal, QC at 2:00 p.m., after which the Archbishops body will lie in state. On Monday, May 22, a Parastas will be celebrated at 7:00 p.m. On Tuesday, May 23, the Divine Liturgy and Rite of Monastic Burial will be celebrated at Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, after which the Archbishop’s remains will be transferred to Saint Seraphim Cemetery, Rawdon, for interment.

May the memory of Archbishop SYLVESTER be eternal!