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His Eminence the Most Reverend [[Metropolitan]] '''Laurus (
Skurla) of New York''' was the first hierarch of the [[Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia]] from 2001 until his death on [[March 16]], 2008.
The future hierarch was born Vassily Mikhailovich
Skurla on [[January 1]], 1928, in the village of Lodomirovo, Czechoslavakia, to Mikhail Ivanovich and Elena Mikhaolovna Skurla. His family was devotedly Orthodox Christian in an area of the former Austro-Hungarian Empire that was strongly influenced by [[Roman Catholic]]s.
When he was five, Vassily began serving at the [[altar]] of the [[Church]] of St. Job at the Pochaev [[Monastery]] in Ladomirova, which was the [[parish]] church for the local Orthodox population. At the age of eight, young Vassily approached the [[abbot]] of the monastery, [[Archimandrite]] Seraphim, to accept him as a [[novice]]. In 1939, at the age of eleven, his father gave him permission to join the monastery, and he began to fully participate in the monastery life while he continued his required secondary education. He remained
with monastery throughout World War II, until the approach of the Soviet Army in 1944.
As the army approached, the brotherhood evacuated the monastery, first to Bratislava, and then on to Germany and Switzerland. While in Geneva, Switzerland, at the age of sixteen, Vassily became a novice. In 1946, after the war, the brotherhood, including Vassily, emigrated to the United States and joined [[Holy Trinity Monastery (Jordanville, New York)|Holy Trinity Monastery]] in Jordanville, New York.
At Jordanville, Vassily joined the first class of [[Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary (Jordanville, New York)|Holy Trinity Seminary]], graduating in 1947 while still a novice. In March 1948, Vassily was one of three novices who were [[tonsure]]d ryassophore [[monk]]s, being given the name 'Laurus.' In 1949, Laurus was tonsured to the small schema and then [[ordination|ordained]] to the [[diaconate]] in 1949. In 1954, he was ordained to the [[priest]]hood. Fr. Laurus was elevated to [[igumen]] in 1959. In 1966, he was further honored when he was elevated to [[archimandrite]].
In 1967, Archimandrite Laurus was elected to the [[episcopate]], being [[consecration of a bishop|consecrated]] bishop of Manhattan at the Synodal Cathedral of the Theotokos of the Sign in New York City. With this elevation came an assignment as secretary of the [[Synod]] of Bishops. His consecration was celebrated by Metropolitan [[Philaret (Voznesensky) of New York|Philaret (Voznesensky)]], Archbishops Averky (Taushev) and Nikon (Rklitsky), and Bishops
Antony (Medvedev) and [[Kyrill (Yonchev) of Pittsburgh|Kyrill (Yonchev)]].
After the repose of Abp. Averky in 1976, Bp. Laurus was elected abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery by the Brotherhood of St. Job of Pochaev. With this election, Bp. Laurus was appointed bishop of Syracuse and Holy Trinity by the Synod of Bishops. In the following years, Bp. Laurus traveled and led many pilgrimages throughout the Orthodox Christian world, including the Holy Land and [[Mount Athos]]. In 1981, he was elevated to [[archbishop]]. As abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, he encouraged publication efforts of the monastery, furthering the missionary purpose of the Brotherhood.
On [[March 16]], 2008, Metr. Laurus reposed in peace at his residence in Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville.
title=Bishop of Manhattan<br>(ROCOR)|
Grabble) of Manhattan|Gregory (Grabbe)]]}}
before=[[Averky (Taushev) of Syracuse|Averky (Taushev)]]|
title=First Hierarch of ROCOR|
[[Category:First Hierarchs of the ROCOR]]
Skurla) de Nueva York]]