Benjamin (Peterson) of San Francisco

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His Eminence, the Most Reverend Bishop Benjamin (Peterson) of San Francisco and the West is ruling bishop of the Diocese the the West of the Orthodox Church in America, as well as the acting Administrator of the Diocese of Alaska.


Born Vincent Peterson in Pasadena, California on June 1, 1954, Vincent came to the Orthodox faith in 1972. He was baptized and chrismated on April 27, 1972 at Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral in Los Angeles. Vincent’s theological education continued at St. Vladimir’s Seminary in Crestwood, New York in 1982 from which he graduated with a Master of Divinity degree and a Certificate in Liturgical Music. After graduation he pursued his love of music as a choir director in parishes in Detroit, Michigan and Los Angeles. He also served as chairman of the Department of Liturgical Music of the OCA.

On November 15, 1987, Vincent joined the Holy Orders when he was ordained a deacon. He continuing serving at the Holy Virgin Cathedral for ten years as deacon and education director. In 1988, Vincent chose a monastic life and was tonsured, by Bishop Tikhon of San Francisco, a rassophore monk and given the name Benjamin. Subsequently, Dn. Benjamin was tonsured to the lesser Schema by Abp. Herman of Philadelphia at St. Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania. In 1991, Hierodeacon Benjamin was elevated to archdeacon. On July 19, 1997, Hierodeacon Benjamin was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Bishop Tikhon.

In 1999, Hieromonk Benjamin was transferred to the Diocese of Alaska. Initially in Alaska, Hierodeacon Benjamin served as dean of St. Innocent Cathedral in Anchorage, and later he was named administrative dean of St Herman’s Seminary in Kodiak. In 2002, he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite. In January 2004, Archimandrite Benjamin returned to the Holy Virgin Cathedral in Los Angeles as the pastor. While in Los Angeles he was appointed Chancellor of the Diocese of the West.

In March 2004, Archimandrite Benjamin was elected to the episcopacy by the Synod of Bishops of the OCA and assigned as auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of the West. His consecration as Bishop of Berkeley took place at Holy Trinity Cathedral in San Francisco on May 1, 2004. In November 2004, he was arrested for DUI, after which some degree of rehabilitation took place. After the retirement of Bp. Tikhon of San Francisco and Los Angeles in 2007, Bp. Benjamin was elected to the see of San Francisco. He was installed as ruling bishop on October 2, 2007.

The Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church in America elevated Bishop BENJAMIN to the dignity of Archbishop on May 9, 2012.

Succession box:
Benjamin (Peterson) of San Francisco
Preceded by:
Dmitri (Royster)
Bishop of Berkeley
Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Tikhon (Fitzgerald)
Bishop of San Francisco and the West
Succeeded by:
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