Letter of the Ober-Procurator of the Most-Holy Synod to Bishop Nestor (Zass) of the Aleutians and Alaska

Department of the Orthodox Faith

Economic Division of the Most-Holy Synod

Section 2, desk 2

St. Petersburg, November 2, 1879

No. 9754

Right Reverend Lordship, Merciful Lord and Archpastor!

In your correspondence to the Holy Synod of August 12/24 this year, No. 601 Your Eminence stated the necessity of building an Orthodox Church and accommodations for the clergy in San Francisco and you asked to release the capital that belongs to the Aleutian Diocese and which is at the present time under the management of the Holy Synod, since the time of the liquidation of the business of the late Russian-American Company, for your disposition and also to permit a collection of donations in Russia for building a church in San Francisco; that this entire collection and also the 50,000 Rubles of the above mentioned capital would be used for the purchase of a lot and the building there of a church, and in case all of these sums would be insufficient, to turn to the local population for a voluntary collection for additional capital.

I have the duty to inform Your Eminence, that the above mentioned capital, accepted into the management of the Holy Synod after the Liquidation of the business of the Russian-American Company, cannot be transferred to the disposition of the Aleutian Diocese, since this capital was composed of Church sums not only from the Aleutian, but also from the entire Kamchatka Diocese and according to the decision made by the Most-Holy Synod on June 6/July 2 of this year, they were united into one account planning that the interest from this capital, with the permission of the Holy Synod would be used for the support of churches, missions and clergy in North America and also to help the poor clergy; therefore there remains under the management of the Most-Holy Synod only donations collected for the building of a church in San Francisco, which at the present time has reached 22,978 Rubles and 60 kopecks, which could be used for the above mentioned building.

I have not seen information in the above mentioned proposal of Your Eminence, any information, about the selection of a place to build a church, or its cost, not even an estimate, or about a lot, for the proposition to build there a church and clergy accommodations. Therefore, before I will make a report about this matter to the Most-Holy Synod, I have the honor to humbly request Your Eminence to send me this information, and also Your ideas about, what amount of finances would be collected in donations for building a church in San Francisco, how much can be expected from the local churches, from the Orthodox community and the local population.

I have the honor to send to Your Eminence a copy of a report 2, for consideration about the selection of a place and estimate of the cost of building there a church which was made by our Consul-General in San Francisco, on May 8, 1877, with the enclosure of 4 plans submitted, that indicate 8 parcels of land, which could be purchased, according to the opinion of the Consul, for building the church.

Entrusting myself to Your prayers, with complete veneration and devotion, I have the honor to be the humble servant of Your Eminence, Merciful Lord and Archpastor.

Count Dimitrii Tolstoy

[Ober-Procurator of the Most-Holy Synod]


The Right Reverend NESTOR, Bishop of the Aleutians and Alaska, 1879 — 1882. Correspondence, reports, diary. Translated and edited by G. Soldatow. AARDM Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1993, vol. 1, p. 70ff