Bishop Nicholas (Olhovsky) (Russian: Николай (Ольховский)) is a hieromonk of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and Caretaker of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God of the Sign, who was nominated on December 9, 2013 by the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR as a candidate for the vacant Manhattan cathedra of the Diocese of Eastern American and New York. This was confirmed on March 19, 2014 by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church.
Nicholas Alexandrovich Olhovsky (Russian: Николай Александрович Ольховский) was born on December 17, 1974 in Trenton, New Jersey to Soviet refugees Alexander Nikolaevich and Evdokia Grigorievna (née Rusinovich) Olhovsky fleeing the USSR during World War II. The Olhovsky family were parishioners of the Church of the Holy Dormition. He graduated from the St. Alexander Nevsky Parochial School in Howell, NJ, in 1991; and from Hamilton West High School in 1993. Nicholas received a Bachelor of Theology degree from Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, New York, in 1998, during which time he executed obediences in book-binding, iconography, and typography until 2002. In 1994, Nicholas was tonsured a reader by Bishop Hilarion (Kapral) of Manhattan on the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos in Trenton. He received a Bachelors in Communication & Information Design from the State University of New York Institute of Technology in 2000.
Reader Nicholas served as the cell-attendant for Archbishop Laurus (Škurla) of Syracuse from March 1999 to March 2008. He accompanied him in May 2004 on the first official visit of ROCOR to Russia, after which he married the granddaughter of Mitrophan (Znosko-Borovsky) of Boston, Elizabeth Panteleymonovna Shohov, on November 14. Metropolitan Laurus ordained him to a subdeacon on January 8, 2005. In May, they visited Metropolitan Laurus's homeland of Carpathian Russia in Slovakia. In May 2006, Subdeacon Nicholas served as a delegate to the IV All-Diasporan Church Council and on Pentecost of that year, June 11, was ordained to the diaconate and assigned to Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanvile, NY. Fr. Nicholas participated in the celebrations of the Act of Canonical Union with the Moscow Patriarchate in Moscow, Russia, and accompanied Metropolitan Laurus on a pilgrimage to the Diocese of Kursk and Church of Ukraine. He was awarded the double orarion on June 16, 2006.
From July 9-11, 2008 he accompanied the reliquary of the hand of Sts. Elizabeth the New Martyr in the capacity of its caretaker to the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand. In September 2008, Fr. Nicholas was assigned to the staff of the Synod of Bishops in Manhattan, New York.
Fr. Nicholas was appointed in May 2009 to the organizing committee for the first return visit of the Kursk-Root Icon to Russia since the Revolution, and formed part of the official delegation with the icon in September. He again accompanied the icon in 2010, visiting Keiv and Sumy in Ukraine, and finally Kursk, Russia. On September 8, Matushka Elizabeth unexpectedly reposed in the Lord, and a memorial fund was set up in her name to assist the frescoing of her home parish of St. Seraphim of Sarov in Sea Cliff, NY.
In December 2010, Fr. Nicholas was appointed Caretaker of the Kursk-Root icon, and in January 2011, appointed a clerlic of the Synodal Cathedral of the Mother of God of the Sign in Manhattan and granted residence in the Synod building. He again accompanied the icon to the Diocese of Kursk and also the Metropolia of Kazakhstan in September 2011, traveling in November again to Australia, and on December 11 was elevated to protodeacon. Within a year on August 1, 2012, Fr. Nicholas was ordained to the priesthood by Metropolitan Hilarion at the dedication of the Church of St. Seraphim of Sarov as a Memorial Church to the Re-Establishment of Unity in the Russian Church and was awarded the nabedrennik.
The Kursk-Root icon traveled a third time to Ukraine and Russia in September 2012 with Fr. Nicholas, visiting with Archbishop Mark (Arndt) of Berlin the Dioceses of Samara, Kursk and Perm; and in December to Seattle and Hawaii of the Diocese of San Francisco and Western America. He was awarded the kamilavka and gold pectoral cross on January 6, 2013, by the Synod of Bishops, and a few months later accompanied the Kursk-Root Icon to the Montreal and Canadian Diocese. In November 2013, was a delegate accompanying the Icon to Japan and to the Primorsk Metropoliate of the Russian Orthodox Church. In 2013, he accompanied Archbishop Kyrill (Dmitrieff) of San Francisco and the Kursk Root Icon to the Diocese of Montreal and Canada, the Church of Japan, and the Metropolia of Primorye.
After the retirement of Bishop Jerome (Shaw) from the See of Manhattan on July 10, 2013, the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR deliberated during a meeting that December and on the eve of the feast of the Kursk-Root icon, decided upon the candidacy of Fr. Nicholas Olhovsky to become the next vicar bishop of Manhattan. On March 19, 2014, the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church confirmed this election in Journal No. 10:
- “HEARD: “The report of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, President of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, interceding for the confirmation of the election of Priest Nicholas Olhovsky, a clergyman of the Eastern American Diocese, to the cathedra of Bishop of Manhattan, Vicar of the Eastern America Diocese.
- “DECREED: To confirm the election of Priest Nicholas Olhovsky, clergyman of the clergyman of the Eastern American Diocese, to the cathedra of Bishop of Manhattan, Vicar of the Eastern America Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.”
- As it is known, on July 10, 2013, the cathedra of the Manhattan Vicariate of the Eastern American Diocese was vacated. On Monday, December 9, 2013, the eve of the feast day of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God "of the Sign," the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia made a decision on the successor to this cathedra. The Synod of Bishops decided that Priest Nicholas Olhovsky is a suitable candidate. As a result, the Synod of Bishops decreed: “To seek the response of the Eminent Members of the Council of Bishops with regard to the possibility of consecration, upon tonsure to monasticism, of Priest Nicholas Olhovsky as Bishop of Manhattan, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese.”
- The Synod of Bishops, having deliberated upon the results of the questionnaire sent to the Eminent Members of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia during its meeting on February 19, 2014, decided:
- 1) To deem Priest Nicholas Olhovsky unanimously elected by the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia as Bishop of Manhattan.
- 2) In accordance with the Act of Canonical Communion, to send an appeal addressed to His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church to confirm this election.
- 3) In case of a positive resolution by His Holiness and the Holy Synod, to consecrate, after the tonsure into monasticism and elevation to the rank of archimandrite, Priest Nicholas Olhovsky to the episcopacy in the Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in San Francisco on Sunday, June 29, and on the eve, to perform the rite of nomination in the same cathedral.”
On April 4, 2014, after co-serving an akathist before the icon of the Protection of the Mother of God containing a relic of the Theotokos's belt, Fr. Nicholas was tonsured into the Little Schema at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY. He was given the name 'Nicholas' in honor of St. Nicholas of Japan.
- ↑ The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church Confirms the Election of Priest Nicholas Olhovsky as Bishop of Manhattan by the Council of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad
- ↑ Moscow: Holy Synod of Russian Orthodox Church approves Election of New Bishop of Manhattan, Vicar of Eastern American Diocese
- ↑ ЖУРНАЛЫ заседания Священного Синода от 19 марта 2014 года
- ↑ Elizabeth Olhovsky Passes Away
- ↑ His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus Officiates at Nativity Services at Holy Trinity Monastery and the Synodal Cathedral
- ↑ His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus Visits His Homeland
- ↑ His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus Officiates at the Solemn Pentecostal Services at Holy Trinity Monastery
- ↑ The Hand of St Elizabeth Continues Its Travels Throughout the Parishes of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand
- ↑ Matushka Elisabeth Olhovsky reposed in the Lord
- ↑ Schedule of Services For the Late Elizabeth Olhovsky
- ↑ Sea Cliff, NY: Work Continues on Iconography in the Memorial Church to the Re-Establishment of Unity in the Russian Church
- ↑ "Faith Lives in the People, Therefor the Nation Lives"
- ↑ Sea Cliff, NY: Metropolitan Hilarion led the Patronal Feast of St. Seraphim Memorial Church to the Re-Establishment of Unity in the Russian Church
- ↑ Samarans Venerate the Main Holy Icon of the Russian Church Abroad
- ↑ The Kursk-Root Icon Will Visit the Perm Diocese
- ↑ "Люди открыли свои души..."
- ↑ A ROCOR Delegation Meets With Students of Vladivostok Theological School and Local Society
- ↑ Jordanville, NY: Priest Nicholas Olhovsky, elected Bishop of Manhattan, Tonsured a Monk in Holy Trinity Monastery