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Jeronim (Chernov) of Detroit

His Eminence, the Most Reverend Jeronim (Chernov) was an archbishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the ruling bishop of the Diocese of Detroit (now part of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America) from 1946 to 1957.


Ioann (John) Chernov was born on November 29, 1878 in the town of Sudodga in Vladimir Province, Russia, into a family of clergy. Still a pre-school aged child, the family moved to the city of Vladimir. After attending the local church schools, Ioann attended the seminary in Vladimir from 1895 to 1899. After graduating from the seminary, he taught religion in his home district from 1899 to 1902.

In 1902, Ioann was ordained a deacon on April 28 and a priest on May 5. After serving in a number of different parishes, Fr. Ioann entered the Moscow Theological Academy where he studied from 1909 to 1913. On November 3, 1912, Fr. Ioann was tonsured a monk by the Rector of the Academy, Archimandrite Feodor (Pozdeyevsky) and given the name Jeronim. In 1913, he received a Master of Divinity degree by the Moscow Theological Academy. In 1914, he entered the Kursk Monastery of the Sign and joined the Kursk Theological Seminary where he taught Sacred History. On October 9, 1915, he was appointed inspector at the seminary, a position he held until the Kursk Seminary was closed by the Bolsheviks in 1919.

He was also appointed deputy abbot of the Kursk Znamensky Monastery at which the Holy Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God (Kursk-Korennaya Icon) was kept. Fr. Jeronim was also secretary to Bishop Theophan (Gavrilov) of the Kursk-Oboyansk Diocese. Fr. Jeronim was elevated to the dignity of archimandrite in 1919.

Kursk-Korennaya Icon)

In 1919, the Bolsheviks were actively attacking the Orthodox clergy and destroying church facilities as they came to dominate the country. As the White Army retreated from Kursk, Bp. Theophan, with Archim. Jeronim, took the Holy Kursk Root Icon for safekeeping and left Kursk in September 1919. They traveled through southern Russia, Constantinople, and Thessalonkia to Yugoslavia, arriving there in March 1920. In Yugoslavia, Archim. Jeronim served a number of communities and directed the monastic school at Rakovche.

In 1923, Archim. Jeronim moved to Palestine to administer the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem for a year, but remained in Palestine serving as a priest until 1935. In 1935, he was invited the United States by Bp. Vitaly (Maximenko) of Detroit. On August 18, 1935, Archim. Jeronim was consecrated to the episcopate as Bishop of Detroit and Cleveland. In 1936, during a period of co-operation between the Russian Diocese of North America and Canada and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Bp. Jeronim was named Bishop of Montreal and Eastern Canada a position he held until 1946. He returned to ROCOR after the two groups separated following the Seventh All-American Sobor of 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio.

After the sobor, Bp. Jeronim was elevated to archbishop and appointed, by the ROCOR Synod of Bishops, the ruling hierarch of the Diocese of Detroit and Flint. Abp. Jeronim reposed on May 14, 1957 in Detroit, Michigan, after which his diocese of four parishes was merged with the Diocese of Chicago and Cleveland.

Succession box:
Jeronim (Chernov) of Detroit
Preceded by:
Apollinary (Koshevoy)
Chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem
Succeeded by:
Meletius (Rozov)
Preceded by:
Paul (Gavrilov)
Bishop of Detroit and Cleveland

Succeeded by:
Arseny (Chagovtsov)
Preceded by:
Emmanuel (Abo-Hatab)
Bishop of Montreal and Eastern Canada

Succeeded by:
Anthony (Tereschenko)
Preceded by:
Vitaly (Maximenko)
Archbishop of Detroit and Flint

Succeeded by:
see merged with
Diocese of Chicago and Cleveland
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