His Eminence, Archbishop MICHAEL, Archbishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey; Orthodox Church in America, was born in Johnson City, N.Y., on August 29, 1950. He grew up in Binghamton, NY. He was baptized in the Orthodox Faith as an infant at St. Michael’s Church in Binghamton. He graduated from Broome Community College, and entered Christ the Savior Seminary in Johnstown, where he completed his theological studies in December of 1972. While a student at the Seminary, he met Deborah Sandak, a parishioner of Christ the Savior Cathedral in Johnstown. They were engaged in October of 1972 and were married on January 21, 1973.
He was ordained first to the Diaconate on February 3, 1973, and then to the Holy Priesthood the following day. Father Michael assumed his first parish assignment on Sunday, February 18, 1973. Two days later, he and his wife were in a car accident; she was killed instantly, and he was hospitalized for three months.
Over the next few years, Father Michael attended St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA, graduating with a degree in philosophy, and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, graduating with a Master of Arts in Theology and later a Ph.D. in Theology, with a concentration in New Testament studies.
For nearly 13 years, Father Michael served SS. Peter and Paul Church. In 1998, he was named Protopresbyter by the Ecumenical Patriarchate, and elevated to that rank by His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas.
In 1993, he began to teach at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, where he has served on the faculty to this day. In 2001, he was released from the Carpatho-Russian Diocese to the OCA, and came to serve full-time at St. Tikhon’s Seminary, first as Administrative Dean (2001-2002) and then as Dean (2002-2010). His field of expertise in teaching is New Testament, and he has also taught Old Testament courses, Homiletics, Pastoral Theology, and Ethics at St. Tikhon’s
On August 24, 2009, Father Michael was selected as a nominee for Bishop of the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. On September 22, the OCA’s Holy Synod of Bishops elected him as the Bishop of New York and New Jersey.
He was consecrated to the sacred episcopate on May 8, 2010, and enthroned as the Bishop of New York and the Diocese of New York and New Jersey on May 9, 2010. Bishop Michael was elevated to the dignity of Archbishop by the Holy Synod of Bishop of the OCA during their Spring Meeting in 2015.