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Bishop Antony (Dashkevich)

Future Bishop Anthony (the one without pectoral cross) is behind the bishop. Photo: Alaska State Library

A ROCOR Bishop in Alaska

Bishop Antony of Alaska passed away on this day in 1934. The following is an abridged version of the biography of Bishop Antony written by Michael Woerl; the full-length text can be retrieved by visiting the link below.

Bishop Antony (Dashkevich) is perhaps the least known Bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. This is due to the fact of his short service as a Bishop in the earliest years of the existence of ROCOR, and, as well, that not a great deal is known about his life, except his service in Alaska during the late 1890s and early 1900s. Consecrated as Bishop of Alaska & the Aleutians by ROCOR in Belgrade late in 1921, at the behest of Patriarch Tikhon, his consecration and travel to America caused a great deal of friction inside ROCOR, with Metropolitans Platon and Evlogy both rather vehemently opposed to his appointment. Retired in 1922 due to illness, he faded into obscurity, and was rarely mentioned afterwards.

The future Bishop Antony was born in the Province of Volhynia in the Russian Empire, to a clergy family, on 21 February 1858 (or 1861).

The young Andrei Dashkevich studied at the Volhynia Theological Seminary. Upon graduating, he was ordained to the priesthood, and sent to teach at the Simferopol Theological School.

In 1896, Father Andrei Dashkevich was sent to serve in the North American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church, where he served in Alaska until 1906. He held responsible positions in the Church in Alaska, and, seemingly enjoyed the trust and respect of both Bishop Nikolai (Ziorov, 1851-1915), and his successor, Bishop Tikhon (Bellavin, later Patriarch, and New Confessor; 1865-1925). Father Andrei Dashkevich was tonsured into monasticism in 1898 with the name of Antony, and in 1903 was elevated to Igumen. From 1896 to 1906 he served as Rector of the Cathedral of the Archangel Michael in Sitka, and Dean of parishes in Alaska.

In 1903, troubles arose for the Church in Alaska due to claims on various Church properties in Sitka and on Spruce Island made by Protestant missions. As a result, Bishop Tikhon instructed “the clergy and sextons in Alaska to stand firm in defense of Orthodox Mission boundaries during the American land surveys scheduled for the summer of 1904,” in an “Announcement” in the American Orthodox Messenger. Hieromonk Antony (Dashkevich), and the Alaskan Priest Andrei Kashevarov, were assigned by Bishop Tikhon to oversee surveys of Church property in Alaska. As a result of their work, 62,783 acres of Church property were transferred to Church Missionary committees in Alaska.

Judging by letters and records left behind, Hieromonk Antony was, apparently, well conversant in English and involved in the community in Sitka. He returned to Russia in 1906, assigned to the Naval Chaplains, and served for a time on the Imperial Yacht. That same year, he was elevated to Archimandrite, and assigned as Dean of the Chaplains of the Baltic Sea Fleet, serving in that position until 1917. After the Bolshevik takeover of Russia, Archimandrite Antony emigrated to Germany, and moved on to Denmark, serving as Rector of the Saint Alexander Nevsky church in Copenhagen from 1919-1921, as well as confessor to the Empress Maria Feodorovna during that time. His sojourn in Copenhagen was brought to an end by another call for duty in America. In 1922, on behalf of the Patriarch and the Supreme Church Administration Abroad, he conducted the audit of the Diocese of Alaska [discussed in my report from January 25], and became embroiled in the ensuing controversies when Metropolitans Platon and Evlogy resisted the audit.

In 1924, Bishop Antony (Dashkevich) was retired due to illness. There is no information available concerning him after that date, except that he reposed due to a “brain hemorrhage” on 15/28 March 1934, in Kazanlik, Bulgaria, in a public hospital. He was buried in the cemetery of the Russian Memorial Church of the Nativity of Christ, part of a complex in memory of the Russian and Bulgarian soldiers who died for the liberation of Bulgaria from the Ottomans in the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878.

Grant rest, O Lord, to the soul of Thy departed servant!


Michael Woerl (d. 2019), “Bishop Antony (Dashkevich, d. March 1934) of Alaska and the Aleutians,” Historical Studies of the Russian Church Abroad.

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