Holy Ascension Orthodox Mission's Ruling Hierarch
Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, and Archbishop of Sydney, Australia & New Zealand. First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Metropolitan Hilarion was born on January 6, 1948, in Spirit River, Alberta, Canada of Ukrainian parents. Igor, the future Metropolitan, was the youngest of 7 children. In 1966, he found a spiritual director, Bishop Sava (Saracevic) of Edmonton, a Serb who greatly revered St John (Maximovitch, +1966).
From his youth, Igor felt drawn to the Church, and loved to read books and periodicals on religion and morals. In 1967, when Igor Kapral was 19 years old, he entered the Holy Trinity Theological Seminary in Jordanville, NY, USA. On graduating from the Seminary in 1972, Igor entered the Holy Trinity Monastery as a novice. On December 2, 1974 he was tonsured a rassophore monk with the name Hilarion, in honor of Venerable Schema-monk Hilarion of the Kiev Caves, the famous Metropolitan of Kiev. On December 4, 1975, Archbishop Averky (Taushev, +1976), for whom the future Metropolitan served as a cell-attendant, ordained him a deacon-monk. In 1976, Bishop Laurus of Manhattan ordained him a priest-monk. The same year, Fr Hilarion received a Master's degree in Slavic studies and Russian literature from Syracuse University. The future Metropolitan worked simultaneously as editor of the English-language version of the magazine Orthodox Life, and as a typesetter for the Monastery press.
On December 10, 1984, Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky, +1985) and nine other bishops officiated at the consecration of Priest-monk Hilarion to the episcopacy. As Bishop of Manhattan, he was also responsible for the parishes of Pennsylvania, and was also appointed the Deputy Secretary of the Synod of Bishops. Ten years later, thanks to the archpastoral efforts of Bishop Hilarion, the number of parishes in the Eastern American Diocese grew to 64. In 1995, Bishop Hilarion was elevated to the rank of archbishop and appointed Ruling Bishop of the Diocese of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand.
During the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia in 2006, he was appointed First Deputy President of the Synod of Bishops. In 2008, following the repose of Metropolitan Laurus, Archbishop Hilarion was elected First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, a post he has filled while continuing to be Ruling Bishop of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand.