Michael (Khoroshy) of Toronto
Theodot Nykyforovych Khoroshy was born on July 10, 1885 in Fedorovka, near Chigirin, in Ukraine, then part of the Russian Empire.
Theodot Khoroshy began his early education in his village. Later, he entered the pedagogical seminary in the town of Shamovka in the Kherson region of Ukraine. Subsequently, he studied at the Theological Seminary and the Faculty of History-Philology of St. Vladimir's Seminary in Kiev.
In December 1912, Theodot was ordained a deacon by Bishop Nicodemus. During the following years he translated the Liturgical Psalter into Ukrainian. On April 24, 1920, Dcn. Theodot was ordained a priest by Bishop Dimitrius (Verbitsky), and served during the following months as Dean of a church in Ternivka, in the Cherkasy region.
In 1921, Fr. Theodot joined the non-canonical Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church that formed when Ukraine declared its independence during the Russian Civil War. In 1923, Fr. Theodot was appointed Dean of the Cathedral of Cherkasy.
As the Bolsheviks government continued its war against the elements of the Church, the communist authorities arrested Fr. Theodot in September 1929. He was condemned to eight years in concentration camps in the far north of the Soviet Union, first on the Kola peninsula on the White Sea, then Kond - the Gulag's "Island of Death", and a year later to Solovky. In the fall of 1932, he was transferred to the camps of Ukhta-Pechersk for continued punishment before his release in 1937. Fr. Theodot, then, returned to the Donbas area in Ukraine and established himself in Kirovograd.
After the Nazi German occupation of Ukraine in 1941 during World War II, the area gained relative religious freedom. During this time Fr. Theodot organized a Higher Church Government. In March 1942, he was elected a candidate for the Episcopate. With the blessing of the Administrator of the Warsaw Metropolia in the freed Ukrainian lands, headed by Archbishop Polycarp (Sikorsky), with Bishops Nikanor and Igor, Fr. Theodot was tonsured a monk on May 12, 1942 and given the name Michael after Archangel Michael and immediately thereafter was consecrated the Bishop of Kirovograd at St. Andrew's Cathedral in Kiev.
Even during the German occupation, the Church was still under threat, and priests and bishops often suffered. Nevertheless, under the attentive care of Bishop Michael, the Kirovograd Diocese developed and grew quickly. In November 1942, Bp. Michael was elevated to archbishop. When the German authorities intruded into Church matters, Abp. Michael was transferred to the Nikolayev Diocese. As the Soviet armies advanced westward in 1945, Abp. Michael travelled across Europe, through Odessa, Slovakia, Akerman, Galac, Warsaw, Vienna, and through Germany. He was able to continue his pastoral work for the Ukrainian Orthodox, particularly amongst captives, expatriated workers, and refugees. With the blessing of Metropolitan Polikarp, Abp. Michael was given the responsibility to look after the Ukrainian Orthodox flock in Bavaria, with its headquarters in Munich, which he did very successfully.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
Within a few years, with Metr. Polikarp's blessing, the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada invited Abp. Michael to become her ruling bishop. On May 14, 1951, he arrived in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (the Church's Headquarters). However, with the concurrent arrival in Canada of Metr. Hilarion (Ohienko), in 1951, the UOCC consistory decided to install the senior bishop Hilarion as "Metropolitan of Winnipeg and the Central Diocese, Metropolitan of All Canada, and Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada." Abp. Michael was then installed as "Archbishop of Toronto and the Eastern Diocese." As the first Bishop of Toronto, Abp. Michael quickly set about organizing and administering the life of the new Diocese, through which he traveled frequently. Under his guidance, nineteen new churches were constructed.
In 1970, as Metr. Hilarion became ill, Abp. Michael was named "Acting Primate" of the UOCC. After Metr. Hilarion reposed in March 1972, Abp. Michael was elected to lead the Church and was installed as Metropolitan in 1973. However, during the XV Sobor in 1975, Michael resigned as Metropolitan, stating that he wished to remain as the head of the Eastern Diocese until his repose. All the time Metropolitan Michael held the title "His Beatitude."
Metr. Michael passed away on May 5, 1977 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at the age of 91. He was buried in the Prospect Cemetery in Toronto.
Metr. Michael always had a keen concern for the spiritual education of his faithful and especially of the children. He wrote theological works, translated the Psalter, the Horologion (the Book of Hours), and a number of other works into Ukrainian. He also composed music for the services of vespers, matins, and the Divine Liturgy. He was a confessor of the Orthodox Faith and a zealous archpastor. He was known for his humility and zeal for the development of Church life. However, he was known most of all for his prayer life. Many people who remember the spiritually uplifting experience of services presided by Metr. Michael echo the words that Metr. Andrew said at his graveside: "He was a great intercessor before our Lord God, and for his people and his Church."
Michael (Khoroshy) of Toronto
First Bishop of Toronto
|Bishop of Toronto (UOCC)
Nicholas (Debryn) of Toronto
Ilarion (Ohienko) of Winnipeg
|Metropolitan of Winnipeg and the Central Diocese, Metropolitan and Primate of the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Canada (UGOC)
Andrew (Metiuk) of Winnipeg