Javascript Menu by









Site Updates

Bishops of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia
Archbishop Theodore (Rafalsky) +1955

Alexander Rafalsky, the future Archbishop Theodore, was born in Lutsk, Ukraine, on 21 October 1895.  His father was Archpriest Porphiry Rafalsky and his mother Evdokia was the daughter of a priest.  Having married, on 12 May 1920 Alexander was ordained deacon and then, on 20 May 1920, ordained priest.  In conditions of war and revolution the part of Ukraine in which he and his matushka lived was claimed by Poland.  Sadly, his young wife was caught up in the social and religious upheaval of the time and, leaving her husband, fled abroad.  Father Alexander studied at the Theological Faculty of the Warsaw University from 1924-1928, graduating with the degree of Master of Theology.  His service to the church in priestly rank was distinguished and he was given many awards, including the mitre.  In 1942 the Synod of Bishops of the Autonomous Orthodox Church of the Ukraine chose him to be Bishop of Taganrog, vicar of the Ekaterinoslav Diocese.  Tonsured a monk in the Pochaev Lavra and given the name Theodore, on 25 July 1942 he was consecrated bishop.  Finding himself amongst the great many refugees in Germany, in 1946 he was received into the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia together with a number of other Ukrainian and Belorussian hierarchs and appointed to the newly created Diocese of Australia.  He arrived in Australia on 8 November 1948.  During the years that followed Vladyka Theodore organised many parishes and communities of believers across Australia and in New Zealand, received clergy into the Diocese, laid the groundwork for a proper Diocesan administration, and oversaw the building and consecration of Saints Peter and Paul Diocesan Cathedral in Strathfield, NSW.  He was known for his humility, his warmth, and his simplicity.  He was elevated to the rank of Archbishop on 3 November 1949.  He reposed on 5 May 1955 following a brief illness, aged only 59, and was laid to rest beside the Strathfield Cathedral. 

Archbishop Theodosy (Putilin) +1980

Sergij Putilin, the future Archbishop Theodosy, was born in Voronezh, Russia, on 18 August 1897.  His father was a priest and his grandfather had been a deacon.  He studied at the Voronezh Theological Seminary and later served during the Russian Civil War in the Don Cossack Army of General Pyotr Krasnov.  Having married on 14 October 1921, Sergij sought ordination but his bishop, fearing that the difficulty of priestly service in that time would lead the young man either to martyrdom or apostasy, declined his application and encouraged him to find secular work.  Sergij found employment as an accountant but was imprisoned by the Soviet authorities in 1931 and again from 1936 until 1940 when he was released without charge.  Following the German occupation of the Don Region, Sergij, his wife and their two daughters were transported to Germany where he was employed as a welder.  In time he came into contact with Archpriest Adrian Rymarenko, the future Archbishop Andrew of Rockland, USA.  Father Adrian was a spiritual son of Elders Anatoly and Nektary of Optina.  He encouraged Sergij to again seek ordination to the priesthood and this took place in Germany in 1948 when he was already 51 years of age.  Following the war the Putilin family migrated to Australia, arriving in December 1950.  After being received into the Diocese of Australia early in 1951, Father Sergij was assigned to minister to the Orthodox faithful in Perth, Western Australia, where he was an energetic pastor.  In 1953 construction began on a church dedicated to the Apostles Peter and Paul.  Upon its completion and consecration in 1954, Father Sergij was elevated to the rank of Archpriest.  He served as rector of the Perth parish until 1969 when, following the repose of his Matushka Olga, he was tonsured a monk with the name Theodosy and consecrated Bishop of Melbourne, Vicar of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese.  In 1970 he was appointed Ruling Bishop of the Australian-New Zealand Diocese and in 1971 he was elevated to the rank of archbishop.  A wise and calm administrator, a humble and industrious archpastor, he overcame many difficulties in the life of the Diocese.  He reposed unexpectedly on 13 August 1980 and was laid to rest beside his wife in the Karracatta Cemetery in Perth, WA.

Share This:

Powered by Orthodox Web Solutions Home | Back | Print | Top