Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen).jpg
Enthroned December 28, 2008
Reign ended Incumbent
Predecessor Metropolitan Herman (Swaiko)
Personal details
Birth name James Paffhausen
Born 20 October 1959 (1959-10-20) (age 57)
Chicago, Illinois
Nationality American
Alma mater Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary

Jonah (Paffhausen), Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, is the primate[1] of the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). He was elected on November 12, 2008, and installed to his see on December 28, 2008, in Washington, D.C. Metr. Jonah is also the first convert to the Orthodox faith to be elected as the OCA's primate.


James Paffhausen was born in 1959 in Chicago, Illinois, and baptized into the Episcopal Church at St. Chrysystom's Episcopal Church.[2][3] His family later moved to La Jolla, California, near San Diego. In 1978, he was received into the Orthodox Church at Our Lady of Kazan Church (Moscow Patriarchate) while studying at the University of California, San Diego. James later transferred to UC Santa Cruz and helped to establish an Orthodox Christian Fellowship chapter there.

After graduation from UCSC, James went on to study at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, graduating in 1985 with an M.Div. and again in 1988 with an M.Th. in Dogmatic Theology. In 1989, he began doctoral studies at Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, but interrupted his studies to spend a year in Russia, working for Russkiy Palomnik in the publishing arm of the Moscow Patriarchate. During his time in Russia, he was introduced to Russian spirituality and its particular form of monastic life.

He subsequently joined Valaam Monastery as a novice, coming under the spiritual direction of Archimandrite Pankraty (Zherdev), the monastery's abbot (now a titular bishop of Troitsk, believed to have been close to Patriarch Alexius II of Moscow). Fr Pankratiy's spiritual father, Elder Kyrill of Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, later blessed James to become a hieromonk.

In 1994, James was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood, and then in the following year, he was tonsured a monastic at St Tikhon's Monastery, South Canaan, Pennsylvania, receiving the name Jonah.

Hmk. Jonah returned to his home state of California, serving a number of mission parishes there and later given the obedience to establish a monastery. In 1996, St. John of San Francisco Monastery was founded in Point Reyes, California (later moving to Manton). During his tenure as abbot, Fr. Jonah grew the monastic community to more than fifteen members. In this period, he also worked to establish Californian missions in Merced, Sonora, Chico, Eureka, Redding, and Susanville, and in Kona, Hawaii.

In 2008, Fr. Jonah was elevated to the rank of archimandrite and sent from the monastery to take on the duties of being an auxiliary bishop for the OCA's Diocese of the South. In September of that year, he was officially elected to that position, and then on November 1 consecrated in Dallas as Bishop of Fort Worth, led by Abp. Dmitri (Royster), then locum tenens of the OCA's Metropolitan See.

Eleven days later, on November 12, Bishop Jonah was elected as Metropolitan of the OCA. He was formally installed to his see of Washington and New York at St. Nicholas Cathedral, Washington, D.C., on December 28, 2008.

In November 2009, Jonah signed an ecumenical statement known as the Manhattan Declaration calling on evangelicals, Catholics and Orthodox not to comply with rules and laws forcing them to accept abortion, same-sex marriage and other matters that go against their religious consciences.[4]

Episcopal succession

Episcopal Lineage
Consecrated by: Dmitri (Royster), Benjamin (Peterson), Tikhon (Mollard), Alejo (Pacheco y Vera)
Date of consecration: November 1, 2008
Preceded by
Herman (Swaiko)
Primate of the Orthodox Church in America
2008 – present
Succeeded by


ja:ヨナ・パフハウゼンru:Иона (Митрополит всей Америки и Канады) fi:Jonah (priimas)

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