|On October 29, 2005, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman presents the Archpastoral staff to His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania at St. Stephen Cathedral, Philadelphia, PA.|
PHILADELPHIA, PA [OCA Communications] — Saint Stephen Cathedral here was filled to capacity as His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, primate of the Orthodox Church in America, presided at the Divine Liturgy during which His Grace, Bishop Tikhon [Mollard], was officially installed as the ruling hierarch of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania on Saturday, October 29, 2005.
Concelebrating with Metropolitan Herman was His Grace, Bishop Seraphim of Ottawa and Canada and numerous clergy representing the diocese’s three deaneries. Metropolitan Herman had served as the diocese’s ruling bishop for two decades before his election as the OCA’s Primate in July 2002.
“Bishop Tikhon was elected to ruling hierarch of the diocese by clergy and lay delegates at a special assembly of the diocese held in May 2005,” said the Very Rev. John Matusiak, OCA Communications Director. “Bishop Tikhon will oversee nearly 50 parishes across the eastern half of the state.”
Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, OCA chancellor, read the proclamation of installation at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, after which Metropolitan Herman prayed for Bishop Tikhon and presented him with the archpastoral staff, signifying his episcopal position and authority.
Following the Divine Liturgy, hundreds of diocesan faithful attended an installation banquet at the Phylmont Country Club, Huntingdon Valley, PA. The Very Rev. John Kowalczyk, chancellor of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, opened the affair with a toast in Bishop Tikhon’s honor. During the banquet, Bishop Tikhon was presented with numerous gifts, including new sets of vestments, from the deaneries, clergy, and faithful of the diocese.
A native of Boston, Bishop Tikhon converted to Orthodox Christianity from Episcopalianism in 1989. After completing studies at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA, he entered Saint Tikhon Orthodox Theological Seminary, South Canaan, PA, from which he received a Master of Divinity degree in 1993.
Prior to his consecration to the episcopacy in 2004, Bishop Tikhon was senior lecturer in Old Testament at Saint Tikhon Seminary, and is credited with a number of publications. He also served as deputy abbot of Saint Tikhon Monastery prior to his election to the Philadelphia see.