Stephen Mitropolsky was born in Kaluga on [[September 27]], 1836. He was an uncle of the [[Archpriest]] Nicholas Mitropolsky. His father was a sexton. His early education included attendance at the Kaluga Seminary, followed by attending the Moscow Theological Academy from which he graduated in 1862. While a student at the academy he was [[tonsure]]d a [[monk]] on [[August 29]], 1861, with the name of John. After his ordination as a deacon, John was ordained a [[priest]] on [[June 21]], 1862. The following September [[Hieromonk]] John received his Master's degree and was awarded a fellowship at the Academy initially in church archaeology and then in general church history.
On [[October 27]], 1868, he was raised to the rank of [[archimandrite]], followed by his consecration as [[bishop]] of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska. This was a new episcopal title that indicated that the Alaskan bishop was no longer an [[auxiliary bishop|auxiliary]] to a diocesan bishop but rather a ruling bishop with his own diocese.
Bp. John's service in the Alaskan mission brought two significant advances in the progress of Orthodox Christianity into North America. First was the establishment of the mission as a full diocese, not dependent upon a foreign diocesan administration. Second was the movement of the headquarters of the diocese to the mainland of the United States, closer to the center of American life.
title=Bishop of the Aleutian Islands and Alaska|
Zass) of the Aleutians|Nestor ( Zass)]]}}