Irénée (Rochon) of Ottawa

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His Grace, Bishop Irénée (Rochon) of Ottawa, is the ruling bishop of the Archdiocese of Canada in the Orthodox Church in America.


Richard Rochon was born in Montreal, Canada on December 25, 1948 into a large French Canadian family. He attended the English language primary and secondary schools in the Province of Quebec. His collegiate education began at the University of Ottawa, from which he receive the Bachelor of Arts in Slavic Studies in 1971.

His first introduction to Orthodox Christianity was through a Russian Orthodox Church in Rawdon, Quebec in 1961. On January 20, 1967, he was received into the Orthodox Church by Archbishop Vitaly of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. While active in the parish life of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Montreal, the future bishop participated in the activities of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship group at McGill University.

After receiving his degree from the University of Ottawa, he began studies at Holy Trinity Seminary at Jordanville, New York. At the same time he joined the Holy Trinity Monastery at Jordanville with the blessing of Abp. Averky, who accepted him as a novice and placed him under the spiritual guidance of Archimandrite Kiprian. In March 1974, he was tonsured a Rassophore monk by Abp. Averky. In March 1975, he was tonsured a Stavrophore monk by Bp. Laurus, receiving the name of Hieromartyr Irenee of Lyons. He entered into the minor orders with his being tonsured a reader and then sub-deacon by Bp. Laurus.

In February 1978, he was blessed by the abbot of Holy Cross Monastery, Bp. Laurus, to serve in Franch language parishes in France. On May 19, 1878, monk Irenee was ordained a deacon in Brussels, Belgium. Then, on August 20, 1978, Dn. Irenee was ordained to the priesthood by Abp. Antony of Geneva, in Geneva, Switzerland. He continued to serve in France until 1982, when he returned to Canada to serve in the French mission in Montreal. In 1986, after Seraphim was consecrated an auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Canada of the Orthodox Church in America, Hieromonk Irénée and Hierodeacon Marc (Pierre) were received into the OCA with the French mission.

In 1992, Hmk. Irénée was elevated to Hegumen by Bp. Seraphim, now Bishop of Ottawa and Canada, to care for the French language monastics in Quebec. In 1993, he was assigned priest of the parish of St. Benoit, a French language parish in Montreal. Additionally, he was assigned the added duties as supply priest to the parishes in Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, and Quebec City. In 1996, Hegumen Irénée was assigned administrator of St. Seraphim's Russian Orthodox parish and the Russian Cemetery in Rawdon, Quebec, an assignment that he continued until 2007.

In December 2008, Hegumen Irénée retired from his full-time secular employment at a hospital in Montreal. On April 2, 2009, the Holy Synod of the OCA elevated Hegumen Irenee to the dignity of archimandrite and elected him to be an auxiliary bishop for Abp. Seraphim with the title of Bishop of Quebec City.

On October 1, 2009, ten bishops,[note 1][1] led by Metropolitan Jonah, participated in the episcopal consecration of Archimandrite Irénée at Annunciation Cathedral.

On October 1, 2010, he was appointed Administrator of the Archdiocese of Canada, due to Archbishop Seraphim's trial. Subsequent to Abp Seraphim's retirement in 2014, Bp Irénée was nominated by the extraordinary Archdiocesan Assembly to fill the vacant see of Ottawa and Canada on October 2, 2014, and he was canonically elected by the Holy Synod on October 21, 2014.

Succession box:
Irénée (Rochon) of Ottawa
Preceded by:
Bishop of Quebec City

Succeeded by:
Preceded by:
Abp Seraphim
Bishop of Ottawa and the Archdiocese of Canada

Succeeded by:
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  1. The following were the consecrating hierarchs:
    • Metropolitan Jonah;
    • Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate;
    • Archbishop Seraphim of Ottawa and Canada;
    • Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphiaand Eastern Pennsylvania;
    • Bishop Benjamin of San Francisco and the West;
    • Bishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania;
    • Metropolitan Sotirios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Toronto;
    • Bishop Job of Kashira, Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in Canada and Acting Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA;
    • Bishop Alexander of the Antiochian Orthodox Diocese of Ottawa, Eastern Canada and Upstate New York; and
    • Bishop Meletius of Khotyn, Auxiliary Bishop of the Church of Ukraine’s Diocese of Chernivtsi.