His Beatitude, Metropolitan Ireney (Bekish)

Archbishop of New York
Metropolitan of All America and Canada

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Ireney (Bekish)

(1892 - 1981)

OCTOBER 2, 1892 Born John Bekish in Mezhirech, Lublin Province of the Russian Empire, in what is today southeast Poland.
1914 Graduation from the Kholm Seminary.
1914-1916 Psalm reader.
AUGUST 1, 1916 Ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Seraphim of Belsk. Appointed to serve in the military chaplaincy and as Assistant Rector of the Cathedral in Lublin.
1917/ Awarded the nabedrennik and skufia.
JULY 12, 1919 Appointed Rector of the parish in Guscha, Lublin Region.
AUGUST 2, 1924 Appointed Rector of the parish in Lishnevka, Kovel Region.
JUNE 22, 1925 Appointed Rector of the parish in Belskoye, Sarnen Region.
SEPTEMBER 1, 1926 Appointed Rector of the parish in Poliza, Sarnen Region.
DECEMBER 11, 1928 Appointed District Dean of the Second District of the Sarnen Region and awarded the kamilavka.
1929 Awarded the gold cross.
1934 Appointed Rector of the parish in Kamen-Kashirsk and elevated to the rank of Archpriest.
MAY 1, 1934 Appointed District Dean of the First District of the Kamen-Kashirsk Region.
JANUARY 1, 1935 Appointed to the Consistory of the Polish Orthodox Church.
MARCH 1, 1935 Appointed District Dean of the Third District of the Pinsk Region.
JANUARY 1, 1936 Appointed Assistant Rector of the Pinsk Cathedral.
1937 Awarded the palitsa.
AUGUST 26, 1938 Appointed Rector of the parish in Luninetz and District Dean of the Luninetz Deanery.
OCTOBER 1, 1938 Appointed Chairman of the Luninetz Missionary Committee.
1940 Awarded the jeweled cross.
JULY 1944 Evacuated with his family from Pinsk and Luninetz to Germany, where he ministered to Orthodox faithful in displaced persons’ camps.
OCTOBER 1947 Raised to the dignity of Mitred Archpriest and moves to Belgium.
AUGUST 1, 1948 Assigned Rector of Holy Trinity Church, Charleroi, Belgium and later assigned District Dean.
MARCH 20, 1952 Arrives in the US.
MAY 8, 1952 Assigned Rector of Holy Trinity Church, McAdoo, PA.
MARCH 31, 1953 Matushka Xenia Bekish dies and is buried in the parish cemetery in McAdoo.
MAY 15, 1953 Elected Bishop of Tokyo and Japan, then a diocese of the American "Metropolia."
MAY 28, 1953 Tonsured a monk with the name Ireney and elevated to the rank of Archimandrite.
JUNE 7, 1953 Consecrated Bishop of Tokyo and Japan by Metropolitan Leonty (Turkevich) and other hierarchs at Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral, New York.
1954 Bishop Ireney is instrumental in reopening of Tokyo’s Orthodox Seminary.
MAY 9, 1957 Elevated to the rank of Archbishop.
JUNE 14, 1960 Transferred to the Diocese of New England and appointed Archbishop of Boston and New England and Special Assistant to the ailingL eonty. Concurrently, he serves for a brief time as Administrator of the Archdiocese of Canada.
1965 Following the death of Metropolitan Leonty on May 14, Archbishop Ireney is elected Locum Tenens by the Great Council of Bishops.
SEPTEMBER 23, 1965 Elected and installed as Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All America and Canada at the 12th All-American Sobor.
APRIL 10, 1970 The Russian Orthodox Church grants autocephaly to the "Metropolia," henceforth known as the Orthodox Church in America.
JUNE 9, 1970 In conjunction with the granting of autocephaly, Metropolitan Ireney is granted the title "His Beatitude" by the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, as is appropriate for the Primate of an Autocephalous Church.
OCTOBER 20-22, 1970 Presides at 14th All-American Sobor/1st All-American Council, which formally and enthusiastically approves reception of autocephaly, in part due to Metropolitan Ireney’s total commitment to its attainment.
1974 Due to failing health, Metropolitan Ireney requests the Holy Synod to elect a Temporary Administrator to carry out day-to-day governance of the Church. On May 15, Archbishop Sylvester (Haruns) of Montreal and Canada assumes this position, working together with Metropolitan Ireney, who continues to approve all actions and decisions.
MARCH 9, 1977 Metropolitan Ireney announces his intention to retire, effective October 25, the opening day of the 5th All-American Council. Bishop Theodosius (Lazor) of Pittsburgh is elected Primate of the Orthodox Church in America. In , Metropolitan Ireney resides at SS. osmas and Damian Adult Home, Staten Island, NY, which he was instrumental in establishing.