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In 1994, James was [[ordination|ordained]] to the [[deacon|diaconate]] and [[priest]]hood, and then in the following year, he was [[tonsure]]d a monastic at [[St. Tikhon's Orthodox Monastery (South Canaan, Pennsylvania)|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 [[parish]]es there and later given the obedience to establish a monastery. In 1996, [[St. John of San Francisco Monastery (Manton, California)|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, among others, 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 (OCA)|Diocese of the South]]. In September of that year, he was officially elected to that position, and then on [[November 1]] [[consecration of a bishop|consecrated]] in Dallas as Bishop of Fort Worth, led by Abp. [[Dmitri (Royster) of Dallas]], then ''[[locum tenens]]'' of the OCA's metropolitan see.
Eleven days later, on [[November 12]], Bishop Jonah was elected Metropolitan of the OCA at the 15th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America in Pittsburgh. His formal [[enthronement]] in Washington, D.C., was on [[December 28]], 2008, at [[St. Nicholas Cathedral (Washington, D.C.)|St. Nicholas Cathedral]].