Anchorage, Alaska, April 1, 2022
His Grace Bishop Alexis (Trader) was enthroned as the Orthodox Church in America’s Bishop of Sitka and Alaska on Sunday, March 27.
The service at St. Innocent Cathedral in Anchorage was led by the primate of the OCA, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of Washington, together with His Grace Bishop Gerasim of Forth Worth, the OCA reports.
Bp. Alexis had been administering the diocese as its Locum Tenens since the repose of his predecessor Archbishop David in November 2020.
A special Diocesan Assembly then nominated Bp. Alexis to fill the vacant see last August, and on March 15, the Holy Synod “canonically elected His Grace Bishop Alexis, formerly Bishop of Bethesda and Auxiliary to the Metropolitan for Stravropegial Institutions, Bishop of Sitka and Alaska.”
His Beatitude offered a homily on the Gospel reading for the Sunday of the Cross during the Liturgy.
Following the service, he welcomed all the guests and offered a word of exhortation to the new Bishop of Alaska, calling upon him to follow the example of great Alaskan saints such as St. Herman and St. Innocent.
Met. Tikhon then presented the archpastoral staff to Bp. Alexis, who then blessed all those gathered in the cathedral. A luncheon together with the presentation of gifts to Bp. Alexis then followed in the church hall.
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. He was consecrated as the Bishop of Bethesda, auxiliary to Met. Tikhon, on January 25, 2020.