John (Bērziņš) of Caracas
His Grace John (Berzins) (Latvian: Jānis (Bērziņš), Russian: Иоанн (Берзинь)) is Bishop of Caracas, Venezuela and administrator of the diocese of South America for the ROCOR.
His Grace was born Pēteris Bērziņš on March 16, 1957 in Cooma, Australia, of Latvian Orthodox refugees, Leonid (1921-1996) and Margarita (1924- ) Bērziņš. He grew up in Cooma and graduated with a philological degree from the Australian National University. Vladyka John is fluent in Ancient Greek and Latin.
In 1982, he entered Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, and enrolled in Holy Trinity Seminary. He graduated from the seminary in 1985. He was tonsured to the mantle on March 16, 1985 by Archbishop Laurus of Syracuse and Holy Trinity and ordained hierodeacon on April 12, 1987, also by Archbishop Laurus. From 1992-1996, he served as father-confessor at Gethsemane Convent in the Holy Land. In 1994, he was awarded the gold pectoral cross by Archbishop Laurus. From 2001-2005, he served again as father-confessor at Gethsemane Convent in the Holy Land. In September 2005, he was elevated to the rank of hegumen by His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus. From 2005 to 2008, he ministered to SS Sergius and German of Valaam Community of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America. In May 2008, the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia designated him as candidate of Bishop of Caracas.
Hegumen John was ordained Bishop of Caracas on June 21, 2008, at the Old-Rite Church of the Nativity in Erie, Pennsylvania.