DIOCESE OF EASTERN AMERICA AND NEW YORK: June 20, 2008
At The Conclusion of the Orthodox Conference, Hegumen John (Berzins) Will Be Consecrated Bishop of Caracas, Venezuela, to Head the Parishes of the Russian Church Abroad In South America
Decreed by the Council of Bishops:
During a meeting of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on May 7/20, 2008, a decision was made regarding fulfilling the ranks of the episcopate of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad:
Decreed: To send the curriculum vitae of Hegumen John (Berzins) along with a corresponding appeal to His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia with the request to confirm his candidacy for episcopal consecration. Upon the confirmation of his candidacy by the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate, to determine the time and place of his consecration.
After consulting with the Most Reverend members of the Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate, His Holiness Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia confirmed the selection of Hegumen John on June 19. The consecration of Hegumen John will be performed in the Old Rite Church of the Nativity of Christ in the city of Erie on Saturday, June 21 of this year.
Curriculum Vitae of Hegumen John:
Born Peteris Berzins on March 3/16, 1957 in Cooma, Australia, of Latvian Orthodox refugees, Leonid (1921-1996) and Margarita (1924- ) Berzins. Grew up in that city. Graduated with a philological degree from Australian National University. Fluent in Ancient Greek and Latin. Entered Holy Trinity Monastery and enrolled in Holy Trinity Seminary in 1982. Graduated HTS in 1985. Tonsured to the mantle on March 16/29, 1985 by Archbishop Laurus of Syracuse and Holy Trinity. Ordained hierodeacon on March 30/April 12, 1987, by Archbishop Laurus. From 1992-1996, served as father-confessor at Gethsemane Convent in the Holy Land. In 1994, awarded the gold pectoral cross by Archbishop Laurus of Syracuse and Holy Trinity. From 2001-2005, served as father-confessor at Gethsemane Convent in the Holy Land. In September 2005, elevated to the rank of hegumen by His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus. Since 2005, ministers to SS Sergius and German of Valaam Community of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America. In May, 2008, the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia designated him as candidate of Bishop of Caracas. Hegumen John is a member of the brotherhood of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.