ALASKA GIVEN A COADJUTOR

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Russian Church Will Assign Rev. Innocent to New See With Headquarters at Sitka

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BISHOP TIKHON RETURNS

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Governing Seat at San Francisco Will in a Short Time Be Removed to New York

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NEW YORK, Jan. 24.— Right Rev. Tikhon, Russian orthodox Bishop of North America, is among the passengers on the Auguste Victoria, which was reported off Nantucket this morning and will reach her dock early tomorrow. The Bishop is returning from an extended visit in Russia, where he went in the interest of the Russian church in America. Simultaneously with his arrival the announcement is made that the synod has decided to create a new Episcopal see in Alaska, with a Bishop coadjutor, and that Right Rev. Innocent has been appointed to the position. The creation of the new see was demanded by the growth of the Russian church in this country. During the past five years the number of its parishes and its congregations have been doubled, and the enormous territory which the American mission covers made it impossible for Bishop Tikhon to care for alone. His diocese includes all North America and the Aleutian Islands, and the necessity for a Bishop coadjutor has been made more pressing by the general movement on the part of the Austrian and Hungarian Slavs of the Roman-Uniate confession, who have been immigrating to America in large numbers, to return to the eastern orthodox confession, from which they were separated in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This religious movement had its origin largely in the eastern part of Bishop Tikhonıs vast diocese, and as it demanded his personal attention and care he represented to the holy synod the necessity of a coadjutor in Alaska. His representations were successful, and Bishop Innocent will have his residence in Sitka, which until 1872 was the cathedral town of the Russian orthodox mission.

The see of the governing Bishop will remain for the present in San Francisco, but it is proposed in the near future to transfer it to New York, which possesses in the Cathedral of St. Nicholas, in East Ninety-seventh street, the finest Russian church in America.

Bishop Innocent is a young man, being now in his thirty-sixth year, and as a hieromonach has done much missionary work in this country. He is an English scholar and is thoroughly familiar with American conditions. At the time of his selection as Bishop coadjutor of Alaska he was abbot of the Monastery of the Miracle at Moscow. Bishop Innocent is expected to arrive here early in February and will proceed immediately to Alaska.

 

The San Francisco Call, Monday, January 25, 1904, p. 3:1