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NEW YORK: February 21, 2011
The First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad Celebrates Liturgy at the Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” on the Sunday of the Prodigal Son 

On Sunday, February 20, 2011, the Sunday of the Prodigal Son, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion celebrated Divine Liturgy at the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York. His Eminence was joined in the service by His Eminence Archbishop Philipp of Poltava and Mirgorod and the cathedral clergy. At the end of the service, the two hierarchs exchanged greetings, then partook of a brotherly trapeza, joined by the cathedral’s clergymen and congregants.  

Archbishop Philipp was born in Dnepropetrovsk to a military family. In 1973, he finished high school and enrolled in Kharkov State University to study biology, which he graduated from in 1979. On September 11, 1980, he was ordained to the deaconate, on September 28 of that year to the priesthood, and appointed to Kazan Cathedral in Kursk, where he managed the Kursk Diocesan Administration office, later becoming its secretary.  

In 1985, he became the Secretary of the Irkutsk Diocesan Administration and Rector of St Nicholas Church in Listvyanki, Irkutsk oblast. In 1986 he was appointed a cleric of the Poltava Diocese. In 1987, he was transferred to the Church of the Nativity of St John the Forerunner in the town of Dudkin Gai of Novosanzharsk region in Poltava oblast.  

In 1988, then-Father Philipp graduated Moscow Theological Seminary. In 1990, he was appointed Rector of St Nicholas Church in Komsomolsk. In 1993, he was tonsured a monk, and retained the rectorship of St Nicholas Church while also appointed Prior of Mgarsk Transfiguration Monastery and the Dean of the Kremenchugsk Deanery of Poltava Diocese. He was also elevated to the rank of hegumen. In 1994, he was promoted to the rank of archimandrite. In 1997, he was assigned to be Rector of Poltava Theological School and Editor-in-Chief of the daily Orthodox Kremenchug

In 1999, he finished Kiev Theological Academy as a correspondence student. On December 30, 2001, he was ordained Bishop of Poltava and Kremenchug in St Anthony-St Theodore Refectory Church in Kievo-Pecherskaya Lavra. On July 29, 2006, he was elevated to the rank of archbishop. 

On November 14, 2007, the Holy Synod of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church decided to reorganize the Poltava and Kremenchug Diocese, carving out Kremenchug and Khorolsk Diocese. The Synod decreed that Archbishop Philipp would retain the position of Administrator of the new Poltava Diocese, and continue as Rector of Poltava Missionary Theological Seminary and Prior of Holy Transfiguration Mgarsk Monastery, giving him the title “of Poltava and Mirgorod.”  

By decision of the Holy Synod of the UOC of May 8, 2008, Archbishop Philipp was appointed President of the new Synodal Missionary Department of the UOC.  

By decision of the Holy Synod of the UOC of February 10, 2011 (Journal No. 6), Archbishop Philipp was appointed Chairman of the Synodal Department of Religious Education and Catechization.  

On February 19, 2011, Archbishop Philipp was appointed temporary administrator of the Kremenchug Diocese.