Michael (Khoroshy) of Toronto

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His Beatitude Metropolitan Michael (Khoroshy), (secular name Theodot Nykyforovych Khoroshy) was born in 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. Later he moved 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 Kiev, the capital of the Ukraine. In December 1912, Bishop Nicodemus ordained young Theodot a deacon. During the next few years, he translated the Liturgical Psalter into Ukrainian. On April 24, 1920, Bishop Dimitrius (Verbytsky) ordained him a priest, and in the following months he was appointed Dean of a church in Ternivka, in the Cherkasy region.

At this time the Bolshevik occupation bringing terrible destruction to ecclesiastical life. Despite the pressure on clergy to deny their vocation, Fr. Theodot was a great soldier of Christ, and was unshaken. Due to his outstanding clerical work, in 1923 Fr. Theodot was appointed the Dean of the Cathedral of Cherkasy.

With the final attack of the Bolsheviks on the Church, the communist authorities arrested Fr. Theodot in September 1929, after which he was condemned to eight 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 established in the formerly 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), Bishops Nikanor and Ihor, tonsured Fr. Theodot a monk on May 12, 1942. He was given the name Michael and immediately thereafter ordained into the episcopate as the Bishop of Kirovohrad at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Kiev.

Even with the German occupation, the Church was still under threat, and priests and bishops often had to suffer. Nevertheless, under the attentive care of Bishop Michael, the Kirovohrad Diocese developed and grew very quickly; thus in November 1942 Bishop Michael was elevated to archbishop. When the German authorities intruded into Church matters, Archbishop Michael was transfered to the Mykolayiv Diocese. By the conclusion of the war in 1945, Arcbishop Michael had already travelled widely across Europe: to Odessa, Akerman, Galac, Vienna, Warsaw, and throughout Germany and Slovakia. He was allowed to continue his pastoral work for the Ukrainian Orthodox, particularly amongst 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 Polikarp'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 he quickly set about organizing and regulating the life of the new Diocese, through which he travelled frequently. Under his guidance, nineteen new churches which were noted for their beauty were constructed.

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

His Beatitude Metropolitan Michael passed away on May 5, 1977 in Toronto, 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 Liturgy. 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 spiritually uplifting experience of services presided by Metropolitan Michael echo 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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