Alexander Hotovitzky was born on [[February 11]], 1872, in the city of Kremenetz in Volhynia. His father, Alexander, was a priest who was the [[rector]] of the Volhynia Theological [[Seminary]]. Fr. Alexander was educated at the Volhynia Seminary before entering the [[St. Petersburg Theological Academy]]. Upon graduation from the academy in 1895 with a master's degree he was sent to the Diocese of the Aleutians and North America as a lay missionary and as [[reader]] at the St. Nicholas Church in New York City. He was [[ordination|ordained]] a [[deacon]] after his marriage to Maria Scherbuhina, who was a graduate of the [[Pavlosk Institute of St. Petersburg]]. [[Bishop]] [[Nicholas (Ziorov) of the Aleutians|Nicholas (Ziorov)]] ordained Fr. Alexander to the priesthood on [[February 25]], 1896, at the diocesan [[cathedral]] in San Francisco.
A week later he returned to New York to become the pastor of [[St. Nicholas Church (New York, NY)]], where he had been a [[reader]]. During the ensuing years, Fr. Alexander was successful in his missionary activities among the emigrees from Galicia and Carpatho-Russia as well as representing the Orthodox Church before American religious institutions and meetings. He was instrumental in the establishment of many new Orthodox [[parish]]es, including those in Yonkers, Passaic, and Philadelphia. He edited the journal of Orthodox activity, the ''[[American Orthodox Messenger]]''. He actively participated in establishing an [[Orthodox mutual aid society]], including serving in various management positions. Through his initiative and active participation a new architecturally majestic St. Nicholas Cathedral was built to replace the small [[parish]] church in New York City, traveling throughout the United States, and even to Russia, soliciting funds for its construction. In 1903, the new edifice became the diocesan cathedral.
For eighteen years he served in America under Bishop Nicholas; the future Patriarch of Moscow, St. [[Tikhon of Moscow|Tikhon]]; and Archbishop Platon; the now [[Archpriest]] Alexander returned to Russia on [[February 26]], 1914.