His Eminence, Metropolitan VLADIMIR (Nagosky), retired bishop of our Church, died peacefully during his sleep early in the morning on August 2, 1997 at the home of his sister, Anna Mack, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, following a long bout with cancer.
Metropolitan Metropolitan VLADIMIR was born on March 6, 1922, in Donora, Pennsylvania, receiving the name Basil at Baptism. Soon after his birth, his parents, immigrants from Galicia, moved their family to Cleveland, Ohio, settling down across the street from the Saint Theodosius Cathedral. As a child, Metropolitan Metropolitan VLADIMIR studied under the Right Reverend Jason Kappanadze, later assisting him in the parish office. After serving in the armed forces during World War II and then in the Civil Service of the United States government both here and abroad for five and a half years, he received his undergraduate degree from Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
He continued his education, spending two summers at Vermont’s Middlebury College, one year at Columbia University, and one year at the University of Vienna. He then entered Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary and, while a student there, he was ordained to the diaconate. Upon completion of his studies in 1959, he was ordained to the priesthood and assigned to Alaska, serving as a missionary priest first in Saint Michael’s Cathedral in Sitka, and later, in Unalaska, along the Aleutian Chain. In 1961, Father Basil took monastic vows, receiving the name Vladimir. On October 14, 1962, Hieromonk Vladimir was consecrated Bishop of Kyoto, Japan, auxiliary to the Archbishop of Tokyo and, in 1964, the Great Council of Bishops appointed him Ruling Bishop of Tokyo and Japan. In March, 1970, when the Church of Japan received its autonomy from the Moscow Patriarchate, the title of “Metropolitan” was bestowed upon Bishop Vladimir.
In March of 1972 he received a canonical release from the Moscow Patriarchate and returned to the United States as assistant to Archbishop JOHN of San Francisco. He became ruling bishop of the Diocese of San Francisco and Western United States in 1974 upon the retirement of Archbishop JOHN. After serving briefly in this capacity, Metropolitan VLADIMIR, in July of 1975, was granted a leave of absence due to poor health.
The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy followed by the burial service with His Grace, Bishop TIKHON officiating will be at 9:00 AM, Thursday, August 7, at Saints Peter and Paul Church, Phoenix, AZ.
Internment will be at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, South Canaan, at 11:00 AM, Saturday, August 8. The Divine Liturgy for the feast of Saint Herman of Alaska will be celebrated that day at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery Church at 8:00 AM.
May Metropolitan VLADIMIR’s memory be eternal!