The Archdeacon Vsevolod Andronoff was the cathedral deacon for the ruling hierarch of the Russian Mission in the United States from 1907 to 1926 and then again from 1945 until his death in 1953. He was noted for his Christ-like charity, humility, and kindness.
Father Vsevolod was born on July 13, 1877 into a religious and churchly family in town of Zhizdra in the Province of Kaluga in Russia. He was given the name Vladimir. Showing a preference for a life of service to Christ and His Church, young Vladimir entered the community of St Nicholas Monastery in Orlovsk Province, near the town of Karachev in 1893. Noticing Vladimir’s talent for music, the igumen assigned him to sing in the monastery choir. While at the monastery, he also was trained in bell ringing which at Russian monasteries was a specific art.
In 1901, he left St Nicholas Monastery to visit other monasteries in Russia, eventually entering the Znamenny Monastery in Kursk. There, on September 3, 1901, he was tonsured a monk with the name Vsevolod. On November 26, 1901 he was ordained a hierodeacon.
In 1907, as he was departing for the United States to become the ruling bishop of the Russian Mission, Archbishop [[Platon (Rozhdestvensky) of New York]|Platon]] invited Fr. Vsevolod to become the cathedral deacon at St Nicholas Cathedral in New York City. Fr. Vsevolod served in this position until 1926 when the cathedral was lost to the mission following disputes arising after the Bolshevik takeover in Russia. During the next two decades, Archdeacon Vsevolod served in many different parishes, as psalomschik, choir director, and deacon as was needed. On April 25, 1945, Archdeacon Vsevolod again returned to his position as cathedral deacon, this time at Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in New York, City on the lower east side of Manhattan.
Archdeacon Vsevolod was known by all for his gentle and indulgent demeanor toward every human being. He was never heard to to say a word of criticism, blame, or judgment against anyone. While of modest means, which he earned by singing in concert choirs, he contributed for the material relief of Russian refugees in Europe and South America, often not knowing where his contributions were being sent. He helped many immigrant Russians by arranging and paying for their transportation, sending affidavits, and initially supporting them after their arrival into the United States.
After a long and painful illness, Archdeacon Vsevolod fell asleep in the Lord on October 19, 1953 in New York City. He was buried at St. Tikhon’s Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, next to Metr. Platon.
- Orthodox America 1794-1976 Development of the Orthodox Church in America, C. J. Tarasar, Gen. Ed. 1975, The Orthodox Church in America, Syosett, New York