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Theophilus (Pashkovsky) of San Francisco

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[[Image:Theophilus Pashkovsky.jpg|right|thumb|200px|Metr. Theophilus (Pashkovsky) of San Francisco]]
His Eminence the Most Reverend Metropolitan '''Theophilus (Pashkovsky) of San Francisco''' succeeded Metr. [[Platon (Rozhdestvensky) of New York|Platon]] upon his death in 1934 as leader of the [[OCA|North American diocese]] of the [[Church of Russia]] and guided it through the continued turmoil resulting from the Bolshevik revolution and of World War II. He oversaw the restart of theological education in the diocese that had ended with the closing, in 1924, of the [[seminary]] at TeneflyTenafly, New Jersey.
==Life==
Theodore Nicholaevich Pashkovsky was born in the province of Kiev on [[February 6]], 1874. He was born into a [[priest]]ly family. He attended the Kiev Theological Seminary Preparatory School where he was noted as a disciplined and hard working student. The curing of a bone infection he developed while still a young student was to guide him in his future career. After doctors believed that the infection was not curable, prayers for Theodore by the already famous [[John of Kronstadt]], when he visited the school, resulted in a complete healing. In gratitude, Theodore vowed to become a [[novice]] at the Kiev [[Lavra]]. This he fulfilled in 1894. But, events would change this choice.
When Bishop [[Nicholas (Ziorov) of the Aleutians|Nicholas]] of the North American [[diocese]] visited the Lavra to recruit workers for his mission, Theodore was invited to America. He was assigned as the secretary of the mission administration after arriving in San Francisco in late 1894. Soon after he met and married Ella Dabovich from the Serbian community. She was the niece of Fr. [[Sebastian Dabovich]]. Then, on [[December 4]], 1897, he was ordained a priest following his earlier [[ordination]] as [[deacon]]. On June 20, 1900, his wife delivered him a son, Boris, who would be remembered during World War II as Colonel [[Boris T. Pash|Boris Pash]], the leader of the Alsos Mission in Europe under the ''Manhattan Project'' and as the Foreign Liaison Officer under General Douglas MacArthur during negotiations on the future of the [[Church of Japan|Japanese Orthodox Church]] in 1945-47.
When then-Archbishop [[Tikhon of Moscow|Tikhon]] returned to Russia in 1906, Fr. Theodore accompanied him with his family and worked in the administration of the Warsaw-Vilna Diocese. During World War I, Fr. Theodore worked in the Famine Relief Program of the Young Men's Christian Association on the Volga River. During these years in Russia his wife died [1917].
Continued stability came to the Church in North America as the 1930s unfolded. Relationships with other elements of the Russian church, including the [[Patriarch]]ate of Moscow were still volatile. Metr. Theophilius provided leadership through the many twists and turns during the years he was metropolitan. He participated in a consultation convened by Patriarch [[Varnava (Rosic) of Serbia|Varnava of Serbia]] in 1936 of representatives of Russian dioceses and exiles not administered by the Patriarchate of Moscow. The agreements entered into by Metr. Theophilius at this consultation were confirmed at the All-American Sobor (Council) of 1937 including stressing again that the [[autonomy]] of the Church in America was not impaired in any way by these agreements. As the Soviet regime relaxed control over the Russian patriarchate during World War II, a reproachment was initiated that soon foundered over the political implications of the demands by the patriarchate. With the backing of the Seventh All-American Sobor of 1946, the American Church under Metr. Theophilius affirmed that the "present autonomous status and the right to self-government" was to be retained.
The political "battles" did not deter Metr. Theophilius from initiating efforts to improve the life of the American Church. Among his leadership initiatives was that of improving education at the local level, especially church schools. Also a major program was developed under Metr. Theophilius to re-establish an institution for training of clergy. Under the program, as approved by the All-American Sobor of 1937, a plan was formed for establishment of two institutions, one, [[St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (Crestwood, New York)|St. Vladimir's Seminary]] that would provide Orthodox priests and workers an education based upon principles of a liberal arts college education as the foundation of their theological training, and the second, [[St. Tikhon's Orthodox Theological Seminary (South Canaan, Pennsylvania)|St. Tikhon's Pastoral School]] that would provide [[pastoral]] training. By this move the Church began its exit from the educational desert that began with the closing of the [[St. Platon's Orthodox Theological Seminary (Tenafly, New Jersey)|St. Platon's Seminary]] at Tenefly in 1924.
{{start box}}
title=Archbishop of Chicago|
years=1922-1931|
after= [[Paul (Gavrilov)of Chicago|Paul (Gavrilov)]]}}
{{succession|
before=[[Alexis (Panteleev)of Alaska|Alexis (Panteleev)]]|
title=Archbishop of San Francisco|
years=1931-1934|
[[Category:Bishops]]
[[Category:Bishops of Chicago]]
[[Category:Bishops of San Francisco]]
[[Category:Metropolitans of the OCA]]
[[Category:20th-century bishops]]
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