George (Schaefer) of Canberra

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His Grace Schemabishop George (Schaefer) is Bishop of Mayfield, Pennsylvania, vicar of the Eastern-American diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.


The future bishop George was born on May 25, 1950, in Belleville, Illinois. He graduated from Catholic High School in 1968 and then attended Southern Illinois University from 1968 to 1972. In 1974 he was received into the Greek Orthodox Church in Modesto, California, and given the name Makarios in honor of Saint Makarios the Great. He joined the Russian Church Abroad in San Francisco in May 1975 and entered Holy Trinity Seminary in September 1975.

On Christmas, January 7, 1975, Makarios was made a novice by Archbishop Averkiy (Taushev). As a novice his obediences in the monastery were working in the farm and cemetery. After a few years in the monastery he was made a riassophor monk on Friday of the First Week of Lent, 1979 and tonsured to the small schema on Friday of the First Week of Lent, 1980, and given the name Mitrophan in honor of Saint Mitrophan of Voronezh. He was ordained a subdeacon on Palm Sunday of the same year. In 1980 he graduated from Holy Trinity Seminary .

Fr Mitrophan was sent to Mount Athos by Archbishop Laurus in June of 1981. He was tonsured to the great schema by Hieromonk Chrysostomos of Koutloumousiou Monastery, Mt. Athos and given the name George in honor of Saint George the Great-Martyr.

In February, 1986, Fr George returned to Holy Trinity Monastery and started working on the Printshop of Saint Job of Pochaev in 1986, where he worked until 1998. He assumed editorial duties on Orthodox Life in 1992, which he fulfills to this day.

Fr George was ordained a hierodeacon on the feast of St. Michael, 1986 and a hieromonk on Palm Sunday, 1987. In September 1998 he was elevated to the rank of hegumen and archimandrite on Labor Day, 2005.

In 1994 he was appointed as economos Holy Trinity Monastery and made dean of Holy Trinity Monastery in 2007. He is the author of several articles and translations published in Orthodox Life. Translated several sayings of the Optina Elders published in the book “Living Without Hypocrisy”, published by HTM Press in 2006. He also served as confessor and spiritual father of the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in Wayne, West Virginia, the largest English-language monastery of the ROCOR.

In May 2008, the Synod of Bishops of the ROCOR elected Archimandrite George as Bishop of Mayfield, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese. The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church confirmed the election in June 2008. On December 7, 2008, Archimandrite George was consecrated to the episcopal office at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, by Bishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada, Bishop Peter of Cleveland and Bishop John of Caracas. Bishop George's place of residence is at the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in Wayne, West Virginia.


Biography of Bishop George Archimandrite George's Speech at his nomination as bishop of Mayfield