and Burial of Bishop Alexander (Mileant) of Buenos Aires and South
In accordance with the written instructions prepared by Bishop Alexander
several months ago, His Grace’s funeral was performed in Holy Trinity
Church in Oxnard, CA, some 70 miles from downtown Los Angeles.
On Thursday, September 2/15, the rite of vesting the reposed bishop
was performed by the Dean of the Third Deanery of the Diocese of
Western America, Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff, Rector of Holy
Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles; Protopriest George Petrenko,
Rector of Holy Trinity Church in Sao Paolo, Brazil; Priest Peter
Shashkov, Rector of Holy Protection Church in Los Angeles; and Priest
Alexei Chumakov, Rector of Holy Trinity Church in Oxnard, along
with Protodeacon George Grigoriev and Protodeacon Andrei Korobkov.
It is worth noting that Vladyka Alexander was vested in the green
episcopal garb in which he loved to serve during the Pentecost (the
Oxnard church and Jordanville monastery are both dedicated to the
Following the vesting, readings from the Gospel commenced over the
That evening, the aforementioned clergymen, joined by Priest Christopher
Horsley, performed a pannikhida, which was attended by a large number
of worshipers. The choir, consisting not only of locals but of visitors
as well, sang under the direction of VM Gor.
At the end of pannikhida, Protopriest Alexander read a eulogy in
which he mentioned the missionary works written by the newly-reposed
Bishop Alexander, who published over 300 brochures in various languages
and posted many of them on a splendid missionary website he designed.
Vladyka Alexander also opened a correspondence-course Orthodox school,
providing all the needed books for theological training in several
languages. Vladyka Alexander was also active in educating the young
generations and opened a fine parish school. Vladyka Alexander did
all this while guiding the spiritual life of a large parish of which
he was rector for 31 years, while at the same time raising a family,
and also working as an engineer in navigational systems for spacecraft
at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories of NASA. Fr Alexander also noted
the humility of the late Vladyka, his accessibility and desire to
help everyone, especially those who recently arrived from Russia.
His departure from this world is indeed a great loss for the entire
Russian Orthodox Church.
The following morning at 9 am, Fr Alexei Chumakov performed the
funerary Divine Liturgy. At the end of service, Fr Alexei gave a
eulogy in which he stressed the spiritual qualities of Vladyka Alexander,
his meekness, his lack of malice and humility.
That day at 11:30, the Spanish-speaking clergymen performed the
full pannikhida in Spanish using the service books published by
Vladyka Alexander himself.
At 12:30, His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western
America arrived to lead the funeral. His Eminence was joined by
Protopresbyter Konstantin Tivetsky; Protopriest Alexander Lebedeff;
Protopriest George Petrenko; Protopriest George Kurtov, Rector of
St Seraphim Church in Monterey, CA; Protopriest Paul Volmensky,
Rector of the Church of the Ascension in Sacramento; Protopriest
Yaroslav Belikov of the Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All
Who Sorrow in San Francisco; Priest Peter Shashkov; Priest Paul
Iwasjewicz of the Diocese of San Francisco and Western America;
Priest James Thornton; Priest Alejandro Iwasjewicz of Holy Trinity
Cathedral in Buenos Aires; Priest Ilia Mrzev, Rector of the Church
of St John of Kronstadt in San Diego; Priest James Steele, Rector
of St Elias Orthodox Mission in Placerville, CA; Priest Alexei Chumakov
and Priest Alexei Poliakov of Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in
Los Angeles; along with Protodeacon George Grigoriev and Protodeacon
Andre Karobkoff. Serving as subdeacons and altar boys were those
who knew and loved Vladyka. The choir sang under the direction of
VM Gor, the spiritual daughter of the late bishop.
After Archbishop Kyrill read the prayer of absolution, Priest Alejandro
of Argentina delivered a eulogy.
At the end of the service, the clergymen lifted the coffin containing
the body of the late Vladyka and carried it around the church while
singing “Helper and protector…”
Services ended at approximately five pm.
Thanks to the efforts of Mr M Avisov, Warden of the Oxnard Church,
a splendid commemorative trapeza was offered at the parish house.
At its conclusion, Archbishop Kyrill shared some of his recollections
of the late Bishop Alexander, followed by the reading of condolences
sent by His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, His Holiness Patriarch
Alexy of Moscow and All Russia and His Eminence Metropolitan Kirill,
President of the Department of External Church Affairs of the Moscow
At the end, the brother of the late Vladyka thanked all the clergymen
and parishioners for their prayers and shared some personal memories
of his brother. He said that in 1963, the young Alexander Mileant
came to America to study at Holy Trinity Seminary. No one knew him
then, and now, forty years later, the entire Orthodox world knows
him, and his efforts for the good of the Holy Church are renowned
the world over.
On Sunday, September 18, the coffin was brought to Holy Trinity
Monastery in Jordanville, NY, and the following day, His Eminence
Metropolitan Laurus performed a pannikhida along with His Grace
Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan, His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland
and many clergymen who had come to pay their last respects to Vladyka
Alexander. In his eulogy during the pannikhida, His Eminence asked
all the worshipers to pray for the newly-reposed Bishop Alexander
and expressed the hope that blessed be the path he takes to the
At the end of the pannikhida, His Eminence Vladyka performed the
burial rite for Vladyka Alexander at the monastic cemetery.