20th anniversary of the repose of Archimandrite Gregory Moiseevsky

04:15 PM

Archimandrite Gregory

On October 21st 2013 we will be marking the 20th anniversary of the repose of Archimandrite Gregory Moiseevsky, a priest of the Canadian Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia for over forty years. He served in Winnipeg, Ottawa, Toronto and Edmonton. He was a bright example of humility and simplicity. A teacher of young people, lover of the church services, church slavonic language and church music and a man of prayer as well as a true pastor to many faithful members of our diocese.
Let us not forget St. Paul’s words to “remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God” (Hebrews 13: 7), and remember in our prayers the reposed servant of God Archimandrite Gregory. May the Lord grant him the heavenly kingdom and memory eternal.

Below is a biography published in Pravoslavnaia Rus’ shortly after his death.

Archimandrite Gregory (Moiseevsky), the former dean of the Russian Orthodox parishes in Alberta and rector of St. Vladimir’s church in Edmonton, passed away on October 8/21, 1993, the day the church celebrates the memory of St. Pelagia. He was 96 years old. His funeral service was conducted on October 10/23 with the participation of parishioners and spiritual children of the reposed. With the blessing of Metropolitan Vitaly, Fr. Gregory’s funeral was performed according to the rite of the burial of a priest. Fr. George Primak and Hieromonks John (Hess) and Bartholomew (Vorobiev) presided at the service.
Father Archimandrite Gregory (George Moiseevsky) was born on the 13th of March 1896 in Kortilisy (Volin’, Ukraine), to pious parents Basil and Matrona Moiseevsky. George Moiseevsky had four brothers and two sisters, from whom he was separated after the Russian Revolution. He spent the last ten years of his life earnestly searching for them, but to no avail. Not long after the birth of George the Moiseevsky family moved to Vladimirovo, where the young boy attended church services and began his schooling. His love for God and desire to serve the Holy Church was evident from his youth and was noticed by the local clergy. Already at the age of eight George was given the responsibility of ringing the church bell. After finishing school George began working as a mailman for the railroad.

As a result of the Russian Revolution and the following civil war, George, like millions of other Russian refuges, found himself outside of his fatherland. In 1924 the future monk found himself on Cuba in the Caribbean, working on the land. In 1931 George was able to move to France, where after completing electrician’s courses, he began to work in that field. All his free time George gave to the Church. At the beginning of 1946, after seventeen years in France, George moved to England, where Archimandrite Vitaly (the future First-Hierarch of the Russian Church Outside of Russia) and his small monastic brotherhood were stationed.

George entered the brotherhood as a novice and was later tonsured a monk. Soon after his tonsure he was ordained to the diaconate and finally – the priesthood. In 1951-52 the Synod of Bishops transferred the newly-ordained Bishop Vitaly and his monastic brotherhood to Brazil where they continued their mission of gathering the Russian community around the Church and printing and disseminating spiritual literature.
The Synod of Bishops assigned Bishop Vitaly as the ruling bishop of western Canada in 1954. As a result, the brotherhood moved once again. In 1957 Fr. Gregory was assigned as the rector of the Church of the Resurrection in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where he served for almost 12 years. In 1968 he was raised to the rank of archimandrite. Between 1969 and 1970 Archimandrite Gregory was the rector of the Protection of the Mother of God Parish in Ottawa. In 1970 he was assigned as the rector of the Resurrection parish in Toronto, where he stayed until 1972, when he was transferred to Edmonton to serve in St. Vladimir’s church. Later on he was also given responsibilities as the dean of all of the parishes in Alberta.

In his work, Fr. Gregory dedicated himself completely to God and the Church. He filled in for sick and absent priests, visited the faithful in the far corners of Alberta and British Columbia, never left a dying person without communing them with the Holy Mysteries. Along with celebrating the regular divine services, which he tried to do as often as possible, Fr. Gregory spent much of his time praying, often late into the night. In the beginning of the 1980’s Fr. Gregory’s eyesight began to fail. To make it possible for him to continue serving the Divine Liturgy a special service book with a large type face was published by the brotherhood of St. Job of Pochaev in Montreal. Unfortunately, Fr. Gregory’s eyesight continued to fail and by 1987 he was no longer able to preform the church services. Due to his failing health Fr. Gregory spent the last four years of his life in a nursing home
After the funeral service, the reposed was taken to the Dormition Convent near Bluffton, Alberta where he was buried in the monastery cemetery. Many of Fr. Gregory’s parishioners will remember their pastor. May the Lord give rest to the soul of the reposed.
Priest George Primak
From Pravoslavnaia Rus’, 1994, No. 6. p. 13