Archbishop Tikhon of Philadelphia elected Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church of America

 

Archbishop Tikhon of Philadelphia elected Metropolitan of the Orthodox Church of America

Author: 

George Conger

Archbishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania has been elected Primate of the Orthodox Church in America.
Meeting at Holy Trinity Church in Parma, Ohio, 593 delegates elected the 46 year old convert from the Episcopal Church on the third ballot.  Tikhon succeeds Metropolitan Jonah of Washington – also a convert from the Episcopal Church – as leader of the church.
On the first ballot, the votes were divided amongst over a dozen names, but on the second ballot Archbishop Tikhon and Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey polled highest with 317 and 355.  On the third ballot, however, Tikhon received a two-thirds margin amongst the delegates and was elected metropolitan.
Born Marc Mollard in Boston 15 July 1966, the new metropolitan was reared in Reading, Pennsylvania, and in 1988 graduated from Franklin and Marshall College.  After college he moved to Chicago and was received into the Orthodox Church from the Episcopal Church in 1989.
That year he entered St Tikhon’s Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania and in 1990 entered St. Tikhon’s Monastery as a novice.  An Old Testament scholar, in he was tonsured to the lesser schema and given the name Tikhon in honor of St. Tikhon of Moscow. Ordained a priest and deacon 1995, he was elevated to the rank of hegumen in 1998 and in 2000 to the rank of archimandrite.
In December 2002, he was appointed by Metropolitan Herman to serve as deputy abbot of St. Tikhon's Monastery. Archimandrite Tikhon was consecrated to the episcopacy at the monastery on Saturday, February 14, 2004 by Archbishop Herman, becoming Bishop of South Canaan.
On 29 Oct 2005, Bishop Tikhon was officially installed as the ruling hierarch of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania.
“Christ grows brighter as we grow dimmer, as we approach the eternal light,” said Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate, the acting Metropolitan See, in his opening address. “And it is within this context that we gather today for one purpose: to glorify Father, Son and Holy Spirit… and to elect the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America.”