Deacon Andrei Psarev Lives of Bishops

Archbishop Theodosii (Putilin): A Man Who Waited for God’s Call

Seminarian Sergei and later Archbishop Theodosii (Putilin)

A graudate of 1918 Class of Voronezh Seminary, who became a ROCOR ruling hierarch in Australia

Sergei Putilin was born on August 6, 1897, into the family of a rural priest of the Diocese of Voronezh. He first attended a parochial school and graduated from Voronezh Seminary with the last class of 1918. In August 1918, the Bolsheviks confiscated the seminary building in the city’s center. After the White Army took over Voronezh in September 1919, the bodies of many executed by the Reds were exhumed from the seminary garden. Sergei joined the White Army. Although clearly, the times in Russia did not favor the clergy, Sergei sought to get ordained. In 1921, Archbishop Arsenii (Smolenets) of Taganrog advised Sergei to wait until God called him for ministry. This call happened in Germany, where Nazis displaced Sergei as an Ost-Arbeiter during World War II. There, he became close to the Kievan Archpriest Adrian Rymarenko, and in 1948, Sergei was ordained presbyter in a DP camp near Wendinglen. In 1951, Fr. Sergei Putilin arrived in Australia and succeeded in building Sts. Peter and Paul church in Perth, Western Australia. In 1968, his wife passed away, and Sergei became a monk named Feodosii. The following year, he was consecrated a vicar bishop of Melbourne in the ROCOR Diocese of Australia and New Zealand. In 1971, he became an archbishop ruling the entire diocese of Australia and New Zealand. It was a difficult time. Following WWII, many parishes registered their proprieties as belonging to them and not to the diocese. A dispute over St. Peter and Paul Cathedral ownership in Strathfield ended in court. A group of parishioners left the ROCOR, and the Orthodox Church in America received some of them into its jurisdiction. The wounds caused by these and other circumstances began to heal when Archbishop Feodosii passed away on August 12, 1980.


Gernot Seide, “Part IV, Chapter 1.9. The Dioceses of Australia & New Zealand,” “Part VI. Comprehensive Index of the Bishops of the Church Abroad with Short Biographies,” in History of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia from Its Beginning to the Present. Historical Studies of the Russian Church Abroad.;

Aрхиепископ Феодосий, Религиозны деятели русского зарубежья.

Священник Владислав Наумкин, История Епархиального центра Австралийско – Новозеландской епархии Русской Зарубежной Церкви, РПЦЗ:Обзор.

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