OCA Diocese of Alaska nominates episcopal candidate

Sitka, Alaska, August 17, 2021

Photo: doaoca.org Photo: doaoca.org The Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of Sitka and Alaska nominated a candidate to fill the vacant see at a special Diocesan Assembly held earlier this month.

The Assembly was presided over by His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of Washington and All America and Canada, who was also in Alaska for the 51st annual St. Herman of Alaska Pilgrimage.

By unanimous vote of the Diocesan Assembly, His Grace Bishop Alexis of Bethesda was chosen as the candidate to take up residence in Sitka, reports the Orthodox Church in America. He has been serving as Locum Tenens since His Eminence Archbishop David reposed in the Lord in November.

Met. Tikhon will present the nomination to the Holy Synod at its upcoming fall session for canonical election.

Bp. Alexis was consecrated as the hierarch of Bethesda, auxiliary to Met. Tikhon, on January 25 last year after returning from several years on Mt. Athos and in Greece.

During His Beatitude’s trip. Bp. Alexis concelebrated with him and His Grace Bishop Daniel of Santa Rosa for the feast of St. Jacob Netsvetov on August 7, at Holy Resurrection Cathedral, where the relics of St. Herman are enshrined, on Sunday, August 8, and at Spruce Island the next day for the feast of St. Herman.

During a trip to the Holy Mountain in July, Bp. Alexis became the first OCA hierarch to ordain Athonite fathers to the diaconate and priesthood.


Bp. Alexis is a Great-schema monk who returned from Greece to the United States on His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon’s invitation and with the blessing of his abbot, Archimandrite Philotheos, in order to serve the Orthodox Church in America. He was received into the Orthodox faith at the St. Tikhon’s Monastery where he became a monk and lecturer in Patristics. After 10 years at the monastery, he went to the Monastery of Karakallou on the Holy Mountain in order to deepen his experience of the monastic life. There, he immersed himself in the life of community and was ordained to the holy priesthood. He also wrote In Peace Let us Pray to the Lord, translated several Greek books into English, and edited other books in both Greek and English for publication. For health reasons, he was transferred to a women’s monastery that was also a dependency of Karakallou. There, the local bishop blessed him to be a spiritual father for the community that also served as a parish for many Greeks in the area. At this time, he completed his doctoral dissertation in Greek at the University of Thessaloniki which was later published in Greek and English as Ancient Christian Wisdom and Aaron Beck’s Cognitive Therapy. He has also engaged in further studies in clinical psychology, but his chief work has been pastoral, building up the parish growing around the monastery and offering one-on-one assistance to those in need through the mystery of holy Confession and counseling. Since 2019, Bp. Alexis has been in residence at St. Tikhon’s Monastery.

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Eddie8/17/2021 9:25 pm
That's a fantastic resumé. However the OCA's problem in Alaska since Archbishop Gregory (Afonsky's) demise has been bishop after bishop that does not grasp native culture. Russophobes, New Calendar agitators, "This is 'Merica and we're gonna use all English" types don't endear themselves to the flock. Neither will this bishop if he tries pushing hellenism. If the OCA was smart they'd look to Russia or Ukraine for an energetic Bishop for Alaska. And finding one that speaks English wouldn't be hard.
Stephen Browning8/17/2021 7:08 pm
Hierarchs of the OCA take heed, of the life and ministry of service of His Grace Bishop Alexis of Bethesda; a true spiritual father, and Good Shepherd to his flock. One, who continually builds-up his growing parish around Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, where he resides; by offering one-on-one assistance to those parishioners, in need, through the mystery of Confession and counseling; and, thus saving his own soul by saving others. Amen, amen, amen. +++
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