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Chicago site of Episcopal Consecration of Archimandrite Paul

CHICAGO, IL [OCA] — Archimandrite Paul [Gassios] will be consecrated to the episcopacy at historic Holy Trinity Cathedral here on Saturday, December 27, 2014.

Chicago site of Episcopal Consecration of Archimandrite PaulDelegates to an Assembly of the Diocese of the Midwest held on October 7, 2014 had nominated Father Paul, the diocese’s Administrator.  On October 21, his name was presented to the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops, who elected him to fill the vacant Episcopal See of Chicago and the Midwest.

On Friday evening, December 26, Vespers will be celebrated in conjunction with Archimandrite Paul’s Nomination and Acceptance at 6:00 p.m.

The Consecration Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Saturday, December 27, at 9:00 a.m.  His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, will preside, assisted by His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate; His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West; His Eminence, Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania; His Grace, Bishop Irénée of Ottawa and Canada; His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey; His Grace, Bishop Alexander of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese; and His Grace, Bishop David of Stika and Alaska.

The consecration banquet will follow at Chicago’s Ukrainian Cultural Center.

Bishop-elect Paul was born to Nicholas and Georgia Gassios, natives of Castanea, Greece, in Detroit, MI on April 6, 1953.  He, his parents, and his sister Agatha lived in Detroit until their move to the suburbs in 1973.  As an infant, he was baptized with the name Apostolos, in honor of the holy Apostle Paul, at Detroit’s Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church -- his home parish for the first 28 years of his life.

He graduated from Detroit’s Cooley High School, where he was a member of the National Honor Society, in 1971.  He then began studies at Wayne State University as a history and psychology major.  After his graduation in 1976, he worked with emotionally and physically abused children.  He pursued graduate studies at the same university, from which he received a Master of Social Work degree in 1980, and continued to work in his chosen field.

In the mid-1980s, he became a member of Holy Transfiguration Church, Livonia, Michigan – a parish of the Orthodox Church in America.  He began theological studies in September 1991 at Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary, Yonkers, NY, from which he received his Master of Divinity degree summa cum laude and served as valedictorian in 1994.  He was ordained to the priesthood by His Eminence, the late Archbishop Job of Chicago and the Midwest, on June 25, 1994.

After ordination, he was assigned as Priest-in-Charge of Saint Thomas the Apostle Church, Kokomo, IN, which he served faithfully until June 2005, after which he took up residence at Saint Gregory Palamas Monastery, Hayesville, OH until May 2006.  He briefly served as Rector of Archangel Michael Church, St. Louis, MO and the Nativity of the Holy Virgin Church, Desloge, MO before his transfer to the Orthodox Church in America’s Bulgarian Diocese and assignment as Dean of Saint George Cathedral, Rossford, OH in 2007.  In August 2014, he was named Administrator of the Diocese of the Midwest and relocated to Chicago.

On October 20, 2014, he was tonsured to monastic rank with the name Paul, in honor of Saint Paul the Confessor, Patriarch of Constantinople.

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