In Focus Interviews Metropolitan Hilarion

First Hierarch of the ROCOR on ROCOR Studies Website

First Hierarch of the ROCOR on ROCOR Studies Website

Your Eminence, Dear Vladyka Metropolitan! The site “Historical Studies of the Russian Church Abroad” has existed, with your blessing, since 2008. What is your impression of the materials on the site, if in fact you’ve had the chance to visit it.

The first version, the previous version, was very valuable for everyone who is interested in the history of the Russian Church Abroad, since the site had many materials that are hard to get ahold of — photographs, biographies and so on, of hierarchs, clergymen, and events surrounding the Russian Church Abroad. In this regard the site has a persistent value. I hope that the new site will continue in this way, and that it will do an even better job of preserving the history of the Russian Church Abroad.

Thank you, Holy Master. Further, what materials would you like to see us publish? What sort of materials would you like to see with regard to history or to the present day? Because the site is also dedicated to calm, thoughtful conversation about both the past and the present of our Church.

It would be interesting to see materials about the earlier history of the Church in America, about the years in which there occurred the schisms of Metropolitan Platon, the departure of many parishes from the Russian Synod Abroad, and then their return to unity in 1935 under Metropolitan Feofil, and then their departure in 1946. There are many interesting documents from this period, which our side employed during a lawsuit in Mayfield. Many people immersed themselves in these documents. Isaac Lambertsen, for example, translated all of them into English for the sake of the legal proceedings. There is a lot from the earlier history of the church in America that would be interesting.

It would be interesting to study the Russian-American Orthodox Messenger, since it is very valuable, a real treasure trove of material, devoted to contemporary history of the ROCOR and the Orthodox Church in America, and no one has studied this perspective on the Church Abroad.

Yes. There was a certain Fr. Jacob Korchinsky, about whom nothing in particular is known. He was a missionary.  He accompanied Patriarch Tikhon in Canada, while he was traveling there. He served in Alaska, then was sent to Brisbane, Australia, because a certain Nikolai the “self-ordained”, who had been a layman, had simply started serving as a priest and baptizing people. So the Synod sent Fr. Korchinsky there. It was difficult for him there; the climate is very hot. So he returned to Russia from there. Then he was shot in the Soviet Union, in Odessa, and died there…

And we might present him for canonization, yes?

Our Fr. Michael Protopopov is advocating for this very strongly, and I’ve given him some information about him, straight out of the Russian-American Orthodox Church Messenger.  And we submitted a request to the commission on canonization a couple of years ago. But Fr. Damascene responded that there is a lot about him that isn’t known: was he serving in some church in the years between his return and his execution? And so he rejected the request. But Fr. Michael believes all the same that we should continue. There is even the thought that there should be a joint glorification with the Orthodox Church in America. He asked me to speak about it with Metropolitan Tikhon, if I have the chance, and see if he is interested. But I do think that Fr. Michael would agree to contribute to an article about him.

If he was in the ROCOR — that is the criterion of the materials that I put on the site. If he had relations with the Russian Church Abroad, then that would be perfectly sufficient. Thank you, Vladyka.

What impression do you have of the interviews that are on our site?

They are very interesting and there is a lot in them.

Thank you, Vladyka.

You must continue, and search extensively for interesting people.

I thank you, Holy Master, that for all these years I’ve been able to work peacefully. I’ve really felt your support through the years.

Thank you.

Do you have any wishes for the readers and visitors of the site?

I wish you all good health, and that you might continue in your interest and love for the history of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad. And if you know of any materials, please share them.

Eis polla eti despota. Thank you, Holy Master.


  • There are a number of monk priests and married priests as well as laymen buried in the semi abandoned Russian Orthodox cemetery in Sifton, Manitoba, Canada. Abp Arseny who had been consecrated by the Synod in Belgrade as bishop of Canada, founded an orphanage, pastoral school as well as there being a parish there. Most of this property as well as Abp Arseny went with the Metropolia after the Cleveland sobor. It gradually was abandoned from the 1950s on as Abp Arseny moved to St Tikhon’s and the serving monks died out. The parish church nearby the monastery burned down in the early 2000s. The knowledge of the local people about this local ‘centre of Orthodoxy’ is gradually being lost although someone is maintaining the cemetery grounds. There are 8 monastic & married priests currently buried there from that period. We have a list of these clergy that we pray for.

    • Dear Father Raphael,

      Thank you very much for this post. I just had a chance today to mentioned about this cemetery to Vladyka Hilarion. His Eminence asked me to request you to send him some information about that place.

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