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On November 13, 2022, with loving gratitude to God, the Orthodox Church in America celebrates the 10th anniversary of His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon as primate of OCA.
Celebrations begin November 12 with the All-Night Vigil at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Church followed by a concert for His Beatitude at Saint Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral, Wilkes-Barre, PA where a new piece will be debuted in his honor.
On Sunday, November 13 His Beatitude will preside at the celebration of a Synodal Divine Liturgy at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Church. The anniversary celebrations will conclude later that afternoon with a private banquet. Joining His Beatitude will be the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops, Chancery staff, representatives of the stavropegial institutions and monasteries, as well as His Beatitude’s family members and personal friends.
His Beatitude was born in Boston, MA on July 15, 1966 to Francois and Elizabeth Mollard. His family settled in Reading, PA after living for a time in Connecticut, France, and Missouri. He graduated from Wyomissing High School in 1984 and subsequently enrolled in Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA earning a degree in French and Sociology.
In 1989 he was received into the Orthodox Church and began study at Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. Soon he became a novice at Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery and completed his Master of Divinity degree in 1993. His Beatitude was then appointed as an Instructor in Old Testament at Saint Tikhon’s and served as Senior Lecturer in Old Testament. In addition, he worked in other capacities at the school including working with His Eminence Archbishop Alexander (Golitzin), who was an Igumen at the time, to publish The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain.
In 1995 His Beatitude was tonsured to the Lesser Schema with the name Tikhon, in honor of St Tikhon Patriarch of Moscow and Enlightener of North America. Later the same year he was ordained to the holy diaconate and priesthood. In 1998 he was raised to the rank of Igumen and in 2000 to Archimandrite.
He was elected to the episcopacy by the Holy Synod of Bishops in 2003 and consecrated bishop in 2004, after which he served as Auxiliary to the Metropolitan. In 2005 he was elected to rule the diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania and was installed as ruling hierarch at St Stephen Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA. He served the diocese as Bishop and later Archbishop until his election as Primate of the Orthodox Church in America at the 17th All-American Council, Parma, OH on November 13, 2012. His Beatitude was enthroned as Metropolitan of All America and Canada on January 27, 2013.
On September 14, 2015 His Beatitude was bestowed with the Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa, by Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary.
On June 29, 2018 His Beatitude released a 60 page document entitled “Of What Life Do We Speak? Four Pillars for the Fulfillment of the Apostolic Work of the Church” in preparation for the 19th All-American Council, St. Louis, MO. This document set out four areas of the Orthodox Tradition—Spiritual Life, Stewardship, Relations with Others, and Outreach and Evangelism—and related them to the life of the Church and its people facing the challenges of the 21st century.
Under his care and pastoral leadership, His Beatitude has brought much needed stability and after a number of years of unrest in the Orthodox Church in America.
During his tenure as Metropolitan, he has presided at the gathering of three All-American Councils in Atlanta, GA, St. Louis, MO, and Baltimore, MD. At the 18th All-American Council in 2015, His Beatitude oversaw a major update to the OCA Statute.
In 2020, the difficult decision was made to go ahead with relocation of the Primate and Chancery offices to the canonical territory of the Archdiocese of Washington. His Beatitude has overseen this relocation effort which has now placed him geographically within his diocese to better serve the people and wider church.
During his primacy, His Beatitude has made thirteen official visits abroad to the various Orthodox Churches including trips to Russia, Constantinople, India, and Rome attending the enthronement of Pope Francis.
His Beatitude has also made innumerable pastoral visits around the various dioceses of Orthodox Church in America and its parishes in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Likewise, he has been on many pilgrimages such as the Saint Herman Pilgrimage in Alaska and the Memorial Day Pilgrimages to Saint Tikhon’s Monastery.
On behalf of the hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and faithful of the Orthodox Church in America we thank His Beatitude for his first decade of loving service serving Christ’s holy Church. His Beatitude’s untiring labors during his first ten years as Primate has built up the Orthodox Church in America and we look forward to the future under his leadership. We pray that our Lord will continue to bless His Beatitude’s archpastoral ministry and ask that God grant him many years!