In March 1893, after the couple lost their first-born son Alexander, Simeon chose to enter the [[clergy]]. He was [[ordination|ordained]] a [[deacon]] by Bp. Nicholas in January 1894, and then a [[priest]] one month later in February. With his high intellectual ability and advanced education, Fr. Simeon rose rapidly. In addition to his clerical duties Fr. Simeon became the publisher-of-record of the new Japanese Orthodox theological journal ''Shinkai'' (Divine Sea), holding this position for the next six years.
For his first [[parish]] Bp. Nicholas assigned Fr. Simeon to the church in Kyoto, an important Japanese cultural center and former imperial capital, with additional duties of making periodic pastoral visits to missions in western Honshu. As his parish grew he found a need for a larger church building. Receiving Bp. Nicholas' approval he managed the construction of the Church of the Annunciation as a building worthy of
the the cultural importance of its location in Kyoto. Construction of the church began in late 1898 and was [[consecration of a church|consecrated]] in May 1903. The [[iconostasis]] and bell were donated by Russian citizens. Also, presented to the new church was a [[Gospel]] inscribed with a greeting by Fr. [[John of Kronstadt]].
The onset of the Russo-Japanese war 1904 brought Fr. Simeon more work. Although Bp. Nicholas refrained from active affairs in the Japanese Church, he asked that Fr. Simeon administer to the Russian prisoners of war. With his thorough knowledge of the Russian language, Fr. Simeon spent the war years serving the internment camps around Kyoto and Nagoya in addition to his own parish duties. In 1906, Fr. Simeon was awarded a gold commemorative pectoral cross by Czar Nicholas II in honor of Bp. Nicholas' elevation to [[Archbishop]] and the established of the Japanese mission as an independent archdiocese of the [[Church of Russia]] as well as for Fr.Simeon's efforts on behalf of the Russian prisoners held in Japan.