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Sylvester (Haruns) of Montreal

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Archbishop Sylvester was born Ivan Antonovich Haruns on [[November 1]], 1914, in Dvinsk, Lativa. While in high school he became interested in the Russian Student Christian Movement. Through this involvement he decided to devote his life to serving [[Christ]] and the Church. Although initially his parents opposed his continuing his education at the [[St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute (Paris, France)|St. Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute]] in Paris, they relented and he left, never to see his family or homeland again.
While attending the St. Sergius Institute, Ivan made his vows and was [[tonsure]]d a [[monk]] on [[March 8]], 1938, by Metr. Evlogius (Georgievich), giving him the name ''Sylvester''. He was [[ordainordination|ordained]]ed a [[deacon]] the next day and then a [[priest]] on [[April 10]], 1938. After his graduation, he served [[parish]]es in eastern France and, after World War II began, served also Orthodox servicemen in the French armed forces. In 1941 after the Germans had occupied France they began to bring in many Russians as prisoners to labor camps. Feeling a call to help them he obtained permission from his [[bishop]] and the authorities to serve them. From then on he devoted his time fully to helping the prisoners. In 1944, after being falsely accused, he was confined by the Gestapo for six weeks in solitary confinement before being cleared by an investigation.
After the war he was assigned to a large parish in Paris where he developed a education program for the youth. He also headed the missions department of the Russian diocese in western Europe and co-edited the Diocesan Herald with Fr. [[Alexander Schmemann]]. He continued his life-long association with the Russian Student Christian Movement.
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