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His Grace the Right Reverend Bishop Peter (Ekaterinovsky) of Novoarkhangelsk became the vicar bishop of the Alaskan see as the missionary environment of the Eastern Siberia and Alaska evolved during the mid-nineteenth. Originally, arriving in Alaska in 1857 as the rector of the Novoarkhangelsk (Sitka) Seminary, Bp. Peter succeeded in 1859 to the vicariate see of Novoarkhangelsk in the Diocese of Kamchatka, the Kuriles, and the Aleutians Islands under Bp. Innocent (St. Innocent of Alaska) whose see had been moved from Alaska to Yakutsk, Russia. Following in the work of his predecessor, he added mission schools in Kodiak and Unalaska and continued missionary efforts.
The future Bishop Peter was born Theodore (Fyodor) Ekaterinovsky in 1820 in the Saratov region of Russia. His father was a priest. Theodore attended the Saratov Seminary before entering the Moscow Theological Academy. After deciding to enter monastic life, he was tonsured a monk on October 12, 1841 and was given the name of Peter. A week later he was ordained a deacon and then on July 30, 1844, he was ordained to the priesthood.
After completion of his studies at the academy, he was appointed to teach at the Irkutsk Seminary on December 12, 1844. About a year later he was appointed inspector on November 15, 1845. He was raised to the rank of archimandrite on October 6, 1852, and then, on October 16, 1855 he was appointed rector of the seminary. Subsequently, he was appointed rector of the Novoarkhangelsk Seminary on the island of Sitka in Alaska. With the establishment of Novoarkhangelsk as one of the two auxiliary bishoprics in the Kamchatka Diocese, Archimandrite Peter was consecrated Bishop of Novoarkhangelsk in the cathedral in Irkutsk, Russia on March 29, 1859.
During his stay in Alaska, Bp. Peter expanded missionary activity along the Alaskan coast as far as the Bering Strait. He established new schools in Kodiak and in Unalaska. He also initiated investigations into the life and legacy of the monk St. Herman of Alaska. On November 9, 1866, Bp. Peter was transferred to the other auxiliary see, Yakutsk, of the Kamchatka Diocese. Then, after a three month leave of absence in 1867, Bp. Peter was appointed to the staff of the Holy Synod in Moscow and as administrator of the Holy Resurrection Monastery.
On April 4, 1869, Bp. Peter was assigned as diocesan bishop of Ufa and Menzelinsk and then to the Diocese of Tomsk and Semipalatinsk on November 19, 1876. After a leave of absence residing at the Optima Pustyn Monastery from July 9, 1883, he was appointed head of the Zaikonospassky Monastery in Moscow on February 11, 1885. During 1885, he successively was assigned again to the Moscow office of the Holy Synod and then as administrator of the Novospassky Monastery. He died on May 27, 1889.
Bp. Peter wrote widely on monasticism, missionary work, biblical commentary, and spiritual topics. These writings he left to the Optima Pustyn Monastery and now are being rediscovered and are highly regarded in post-communist Russia. One such work concerns his sermons given in the New Arkhangelsk (St. Michael's) Cathedral on Sitka Island which was originally published in 1865, and re-typset in electronic-format in 2007.
|Bishop of Novoarkhangelsk|
|Bishop of Yakutsk|
|Bishop of Ufa and Menzelinsk|
|Bishop of Tomsk and Semipalatinsk|
- Orthodox America 1794-1976 Development of the Orthodox Church in America, C. J. Tarasar, Gen. Ed. 1975, The Orthodox Church in America, Syosett, New York