Jerome (Shaw) of Manhattan
Revision as of 14:57, December 21, 2008
Bishop Jerome (John Robert Shaw) was born on Dec. 21, 1946, and grew up in a small New England town. He came of an old American family, of "Anglo" ancestry, and was raised in the Episcopal (Anglican) Church. Interested in languages from an early age, he began learning Russian and Greek from the time he was 14.
At first, he did not see the connection between these languages and religion, but as he became more curious about the Anglican Church, he found that just as the Church of England had broken away from Rome, so in turn had the Church of Rome originated as one of the Orthodox Patriarchates, but separated and made changes in its teachings.
From age 16, his curiosity about these things began to turn into a serious quest for the True Church. That year, he began immersing himself in everything he could read about Orthodox Christianity, and discovered that one of his schoolmates, Dimitri Rimsky, was of Russian Orthodox background. Dimitri's father, Feodor K. Rimsky, was a parishioner of the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign in Manhattan, and although he did not attend services too often, he recommended the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia to John, and promised to take him there the next time he went.
Then, on April 6, 1963 (which was Lazarus Saturday that year), John made a visit to the Chapel of St. Sergius in Southbury CT, and met the future Bishop Daniel (Alexandrow) of Erie, who took him that evening to the Night Vigil service in Mahopac NY. That first experience of Orthodox worship made a lasting impression.
John spent that summer in Greece, staying with the Yiannouzis family in a suburb of Athens, and, surrounded there by the Orthodox Church, made a firm decision to embrace Orthodox Christianity as soon as possible.
After attending Russian Orthodox services for most of that year, he was received into the Orthodox Church by chrismation, on the day after he turned 17: on Sunday, Dec. 22, 1963.
The future Bishop Daniel (who at that time was Rd. Dimitri B. Alexandrow) was away from Southbury for some time, working with the newly-arrived Old Believer Cossacks who had emigrated from Turkey, and John was received into the Orthodox Church by the V. Rev. Fr. Michael B. Draovitch, of Waterbury CT.
For a few months, John attended St. Mary's Russian Orthodox Church in Waterbury, but was soon involved again in ROCOR, and has remained a ROCOR member ever since.
After graduation from high school, John studied at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in Russian linguistics, with a minor in East European history. He graduated "cum laude" in the spring of 1968, and entered Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville NY, where his classmates included the future Bishop Peter of Cleveland, Fr. Alexander Lebedeff, Fr. Stefan Pavlenko, Fr. Vitaly Kichakov, Bro. Adam Krotov and others. As a seminarian, John's "obedience" was at the linotype. He was tonsured a Reader on Sept. 27, 1970, by Archbishop Averky of blessed memory.
After graduation from Jordanville in the class of 1971, Rd. John Shaw served as a helper, translator, subdeacon and chauffeur to Archbishop Nikon of blessed memory, and, on the recommendation of his father-confessor Archimandrite Kiprian (Pyjoff), was ordained to the subdiaconate, diaconate (on April 11, 1976) and priesthood (April 25, 1976) by Vl. Nikon. He was assigned to St. Vladimir Memorial Church, in Jackson NJ.
On Saturday, Sept. 4, 1976, Archbishop Nikon suddenly reposed in the Lord, and Fr. John was reassigned at the request of Archbishop Seraphim (Ivanoff) to Holy Virgin Protection cathedral in Chicago, IL where he served from November of 1976 till March of 1991. On the feast of the Ascension in 1984, Fr. John was elevated to the rank of archpriest.
Then, when a priest was suddenly needed at Holy Trinity church in Milwaukee, WI, Archbishop Alypy (who had succeeded Archbishop Seraphim) assigned Fr. John to that parish, where he served from March 17, 1991, till November 30, 2008.
During that period, Fr. John also translated two books into English: Vladyka Alypy's Slavonic textbook, which is now published in both Russian and English editions by Holy Trinity Mlonastery in Jordanville, and Monk Mitrophan's "How Our Departed Ones Live", which was published in both languages by the efforts of Fr. Stefan Pavlenko and his parishioners in Burlingame CA.
Fr. John was one of the delegates to the 4th All-Diaspora Sobor in 2006, and was a member of the delegation to Russia in 2007, for the restoration of communion between the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and the Moscow Patriarchate.
On May 13, 2008, Fr. John was asked by the newly-elected Metropolitan Hilarion to serve as Bishop of Manhattan. After this decision was made by the ROCOR Synod of Bishops immediately afterward, it was confirmed by the Patriarch and Holy Synod of Russia. Fr. John Shaw was tonsured a monk in Jordanville on Friday, Dec. 5, 2008 by Bishop Ioann (Berzins), and given the name "Ieronim" ("Jerome").
He was then elevated to the rank of Archimandrite by Bishop Peter of Cleveland, on Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008, and consecrated Bishop of Manhattan on Dec. 10, 2008, in the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign, on Dec. 10 of the same year.