Michael (Khoroshy) of Toronto

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His Beatitude Metropolitan Michael (Khoroshy), (secular: Theodot Nykyforovych Khoroshy) was born in the village of Fedorivka, near Chyhyryn, Ukraine, on July 10, 1885. He reposed in the Lord, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on May 5, 1977, and is buried in the Prospect Cemetery in Toronto. He was a Bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada from 1951-1977, and the Church's Metropolitan from 1973 until his resignation in 1975.

Ukraine

Theodot Khoroshy began his early education in his village until moving on to the pedagogical seminary in the town of Shamivka in the Kherson region of Ukraine. Following that, he studied at the Theological Seminary and the Faculty of History-Philology of St. Vladimir's Seminary in Kyiv. In December 1912, Bishop Nicodemus ordained young Theodot a deacon, and during his few years as a deacon, he translated the Liturgical Psalter into Ukrainian. On April 24, 1920, Bishop Dimitrius (Verbytsky) ordained him a priest, and in the following month's was appointed Dean of the church in the village of Ternivka in the Cherkasy region.

The young priest was very hard at work with the Bolshevik occupation bringing terrible destruction to ecclesiastical life, and despite the pressure on clergy to deny their vocation, Fr. Theodot was a great soldier of Christ, and was unshaken. Due to his outstanding clergy work, in 1923 Fr. Theodot was appointed the Dean of the Cathedral in the city of Cherkasy.

With the final attack of the Bolsheviks on the Church, the communist authorities arrested Fr. Theodot in September 1929, and was condemned to 8 years in concentration camps in the far north; first on the Kola peninsula on the White Sea, then the "Island of Death"-Kond, and a year later-to Solovky. In the fall of 1932 he was transfered to the camps of Ukhta-Pechersk for further punishment. Following his release in 1937, Fr. Theodot returned to the Donbas area in Ukraine, and established himself in Kirovohrad.

With the arrival of the Germans in Ukraine, in 1941, religious freedom was lifted in the atheistic state. In Kirovohrad, Fr. Theodot organized a Higher Church Government, and in March 1942 he was elected a candidate for the Episcopate. With the blessing of the Administrator of the Warsaw Metropolia in the freed Ukrainian lands, headed by Archbishop Polikarp (Sikorsky), on May 12, 1942, Bishops Nikanor, and Ihor, tonsured Fr. Theodot a monk with the name, Michael, and followed by his ordination to the Episcopate, as the Bishop of Kirovohrad at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Kyiv.

Even with the German occupation, the Church was still under threat, as Priest's and Bishop's often had to suffer. Nevertheless, under the attentive care of Bishop Michael-who himself endured severe persecution, the Kirovohrad Diocese, developed and grew very quickly, and in November 1942, Bishop Michael was granted the elevation to "Archbishop." When the German authorities intruded into Church matters, Archbishop Michael was transfered to the Mykolayiv Diocese. By the conclusion of the war, Arcbishop Michael had already travelled from Odessa, Akerman, Galac, Vienna, Warsaw, and throughout Germany and Slovakia, and he was allowed to continue his pastoral work amoung the Ukrainian Orthodox: captives, expatriated workers, and refugees. With the blessing of Metropolitan Polikarp, Archbishop Michael was given the responsibility to look after the Ukrainian Orthodox flock in Bavaria, with its headquarters in Munich. Archbishop Michael was very successful in his new diocese.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada

Within a few years, with Metropolitan Polykarp's blessing, the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada invited Archbishop Michael to become her ruling bishop. On May 14, 1951, Archbishop Michael came to Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (the Church's Headquarters). However, with the arrival of His Beatitude Metropolitan Ilarion (Ohienko) also in 1951, the UOCC decided to use the higher ranking bishop (Ilarion) as "Metropolitan of Winnipeg and the Central Diocese, Metropolitan of All Canada, and Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada." Archbishop Michael was now assigned as "Archbishop of Toronto and the Eastern Diocese." Archbishop Michael was the first Bishop of Toronto, and now the Archbishop organized and regulated the life of the new Diocese, which he travelled around frequently (Ontario and Quebec). Under his guidance, 19 new churches were constructed, which were noted for their beauty.

In 1970, Metropolitan Ilarion had become ill, and Archbishop Michael became "Acting Primate" of the UOCC, and when Metropolitan Ilarion had reposed in March 1972, Archbishop Michael was elected Primate of the Church, and was installed as her Metropolitan in 1973. However, during the XV Sobor in 1975, Metropolitan Michael resigned as Metropolitan, stating that he wished to remain as the head of the Eastern Diocese until his repose. Until his repose, Metropolitan Michael held the title of, "His Beatitude."

His Beatitude Metropolitan Michael passed away at the age of 93 on May 5th, 1977 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at the age of 91.

Metropolitan Michael always had a keen concern for the spiritual education of his faithful and especially of the children. He wrote theological works, translated the Psalter, the Horologion (the Book of Hours), and a number of other works into Ukrainian. He also composed music for the services of vespers, matins, and the Divine Litugy. He was a confessor of the Orthodox Faith and a zealous archpastor. He was known for his humility and zeal for the development of Church life. However, he was known most of all for his prayer life, and many people who remember the spiritual uplifting experiance of services presided by Metropolitan Michael, may repeat the words that Metropolitan Andrew said at his graveside: "He was a great intercessor before our Lord God, and for his people and his Church."

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