Archimandrite Jonah (Paffhausen) consecrated Bishop of Fort Worth
News and Events
Archimandrite Jonah (Paffhausen) consecrated Bishop of Fort Worth and
Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of the South
DALLAS, TX [OCA Communications] -- On Saturday, November 1, 2008,
Archimandrite Jonah (Paffhausen) was consecrated Bishop of Forth
Worth and Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of the South, at St.
Seraphim Cathedral, Dallas, TX. Consecrating hierarchs included His
Eminence, Archbishop Dmitri of Dallas and the South, Locum Tenens of
the Metropolitan See; His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and
Eastern Pennsylvania; His Grace, Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco and
the West; and His Grace, Bishop Alejo of Mexico City and the
Exarchate of Mexico.
Bishop Jonah's episcopal election took place on September 4, 2008, at
an extraordinary meeting of the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops. Earlier in
the summer, his candidacy was endorsed by the Diocese of the South's
Diocesan Council, shortly after Bishop Jonah had participated in the
diocese's annual assembly.
His Grace, Bishop Jonah was born James Paffhausen in 1959 in Chicago,
IL, and was baptized into the Episcopal Church. His family later
settled in La Jolla, CA, near San Diego. He was received into the
Orthodox Church in 1978 at Our Lady of Kazan Moscow Patriarchal
Church, San Diego, while a student at the University of California,
San Diego. Later, he transferred to UC Santa Cruz, where he was
instrumental in establishing an Orthodox Christian Fellowship. After
completing studies at UCSC, James attended St. Vladimir's Seminary,
graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in 1985 and a Master of
Theology in Dogmatics in 1988.
Later, he spent a year in Russia, where he was introduced to monastic
life. While in Russia, he joined Valaam Monastery, having found a
spiritual father in the monastery's Abbot, Archimandrite Pankratiy.
It was Archimandrite Pankratiy's spiritual father, the Elder Kyrill
at Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, who blessed James to become a
priestmonk. He was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood in 1994
and in 1995 was tonsured to monastic rank at St. Tikhon's Monastery,
South Canaan, PA, having received the name Jonah.
Returning to California, Fr. Jonah served a number of missions and
was later given the obedience to establish a monastery under the
patronage of St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco. The monastery,
initially located in Point Reyes Station, CA, recently moved to
Manton in Northern California, near Redding. During his time building
up the monastic community, Fr. Jonah also worked to establish
missions in Merced, Sonora, Chico, Eureka, Redding, Susanville, and
other communities in California, as well as in Kona, HI.
This year, Fr. Jonah was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite and
given the obedience to leave the monastery and take on the
responsibility of Auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese of the South. In
addition to his archpastoral duties, Bishop Jonah will also serve as
the diocesan chancellor.
"A number of faithful have asked about specific changes in
administration that will come about with the advent of Archimandrite
Jonah," Archbishop Dmitri wrote in an Archpastoral Message dated
September 5, 2008. "Indeed, as both Auxiliary and Chancellor his
duties will be quite varied, his schedule undoubtedly demanding.
Archimandrite Jonah will work directly with me in helping to
administer the Diocese of the South. He will in turn work closely
with the chancery staff, deans, parish priests and faithful to
facilitate our missionary efforts in the South."
May the Lord grant the newly consecrated servant of God, His Grace,
the Right Reverend Bishop Jonah of Fort Worth, Auxiliary Bishop of
the Diocese of the South, many years of fruitful archpastoral service
in His Holy Vineyard, the Orthodox Church in America.
Eis polla eti, Depsota!