Biography of Bishop Nicholas, newly-elected Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Nicholas Olhovsky was born on 17 December, 1974, in Trenton, NJ.
In 1991, he graduated St Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Parish School in Lakewood, NJ, and in 1993, he graduated Hamilton West High School.
In 1998, he graduated from Holy Trinity Theological Seminary in Jordanville, NY, with a Bachelor of Theology Degree. During his studies at the seminary, he worked at Holy Trinity Monastery in the book-binding department and iconographical shop, and until 2002 in the monastery publishing concern.
In 1994, on the feast of the Dormition of the Most-Holy Mother of God, His Grace Bishop Hilarion of Manhattan, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese, ordained him as a reader at Dormition Church in Trenton, NJ.
In 2000, he graduated State University of New York Technology School with a Bachelor’s degree in Information and Communications.
From March 1999 to March 2008, he served as cell-attendant of Archbishop Laurus (Skurla; from October 2001-March 2008, Metropolitan and First Hierarch of ROCOR).
In May, 2004, he accompanied Metropolitan Laurus, Primate of the Russian Church Abroad, during the latter’s first official visit to Russia. That year he married Elizabeth Shohoff, granddaughter of Bishop Mitrofan (Znosko-Borovsky) of blessed memory.
In May, 2006, he was a delegate at the All-Diaspora Church Council of ROCOR.
On 12 June, 2006, Metropolitan Laurus ordained him to the deaconate and assigned to Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY.
In May, 2007, he participated in the ceremonial execution of the Act of Canonical Communion in Moscow, after which he escorted Metropolitan Laurus on a pilgrimage to the Kursk Diocese and the dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
In September, 2008, he was assigned to the administration of the Chancery of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR.
In 2009-2010, he participated in the ROCOR delegation with the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God “of the Sign” on a visit to Ukraine. In December 2010, he was appointed official Caretaker of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God.
In September, 2010, his spouse reposed in the Lord.
Since January 2011, he was a clergyman of the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady in New York City. In 2011, he accompanied the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God to the Kursk Diocese and to the Metropoliate of the Republic of Kazakhstan, and in November, 2011, to Australia.
On 1 August, 2012, he was ordained to the priesthood in St Seraphim Church in Sea Cliff, NY. In 2012, he accompanied the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God to the dioceses of Samara, Kursk and Perm, to the city of Seattle and to the Hawaiian Islands; in 2013, to the parishes of the Canadian Diocese of ROCOR, to Japan and to the Primorie Metropoliate in Russia.
By decision of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, he was elected Bishop of Manhattan. The appointment was confirmed by the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church on March 19, 2014.
On 4 April, 2014, Archimandrite Luke (Murianka), Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, he was tonsured a monk and dedicated to the patronage of St Nicholas of Japan.
On 27 April, 2014, during Divine Liturgy at Holy New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia Cathedral and St Nicholas in Munich, Germany, he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite by Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany.
His nomination to the episcopacy took place on 28 June, and his consecration was performed on 29 June, 2014, at the Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in San Francisco, CA. Divine services were officiated by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York.
By decision of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR of 12 May, 2022, he was appointed Head of the Chancery of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
The Synod of Bishops of ROCOR on 17 May, 2022, decided, in connection with the repose of the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), he was appointed Acting Ruling Bishop of the Eastern American Diocese of ROCOR.
On 13 September, 2022, during a meeting of the Council of Bishops of ROCOR, he was elected First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. On 14 September, at a meeting of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, the decision of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was confirmed.