Holy Synod Elects Archimandrite Nikolai [Soraich] to the Episcopacy

— At their spring session at the Chancery of the Orthodox Church in America here March 19-22, 2001, members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America elected Archimandrite Nikolai [Soraich] as Bishop of Baltimore and Auxiliary to His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America.

Archimandrite Nikolai is currently Rector of Saint Paul the Apostle Church, Las Vegas, NV and Chancellor of the OCA’s Diocese of the West.

Born April 9, 1949, Archimandrite Nicholas received his Bachelor of Theology degree from Christ the Savior Seminary, Johnstown, PA in 1972. In August 1970 he received monastic tonsure and was ordained to the Holy Diaconate. He was ordained to the Holy Priesthood on June 4, 1972. In 1979, he completed graduate studies at the University of Belgrade, for which he was awarded the Doctor of Theology degree.

In October 1988, Father Nikolai was received into the ranks of clergy of the Orthodox Church in America from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North and South America.

In December 1988, Father Nikolai founded Saint Paul the Apostle Mission, Las Vegas, NV, which grew rapidly under his pastoral leadership. During his pastorate the mission achieved parish status and erected a church and other facilities. In August 1994, His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of San Francisco appointed him Chancellor of the Diocese of the West, while the following year he was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite. In 1997, he was named Dean of the diocese’s monasteries. The following year he was named Abbot of the Monastery of Saint John of Shanghai and San Francisco.

Archimandrite Nikolai has especially distinguished himself in the ongoing missionary efforts conducted throughout the Diocese of the West and was instrumental in the formation of the diocese’s Missionary Deanery.

While plans for Archimandrite Nikolai’s consecration to the episcopacy are incomplete as of the time of this writing, it has been announced that the consecration will take place on Saturday and Sunday, April 21 and 22, 2001 in conjunction with the consecration of the recently-completed Saint Seraphim Cathedral, Dallas, TX. His first hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Sunday, April 29, at Saint Paul the Apostle Church, Las Vegas, NV.

Further details on the consecration will be posted on the web site of the Orthodox Church in America, www.oca.org, as they become available.