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Alexander Yurievich Kukulevsky was born on 28 October 1873 in Kiev. He was a classmate of the future [[http://orthodoxwiki.org/Theophilus_(Pashkovsky)_of_San_Francisco|Metropolitan Theophilus]]. He first came to the United States in 1898 and his first assignment was as a lay [[reader]] and choir director assigned to Galveston Texas, and then to Allegheny, Pennsylvania. In 1905, he was appointed a teacher at the Minneapolis Orthodox Seminary. He returned briefly to Russia to wed Valentina Dimitrievna Momansk, and then returned with her to the United States where he was ordained into the priesthood on [[September 17]], 1907.
As a priest, Fr. Alexander returned to Minneapolis, and continued to teach at the seminary as well as serve as priest at [[St. Mary Cathedral (Minneapolis, Minnesota)|St. Mary Church]]. After this, between 1909 and 1911, he served the parishes at Osceola Mills, Philipsburg, and Pittsburgh, all in Pennsylvania. In 1912, he was assigned to [[Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral (Chicago, Illinois)|Holy Trinity Church]] in Chicago, Illinois, to serve as priest after the disastrous tenure of Fr. [[Vladimir Alexandrof]]. It was also during Fr. Alexander's time in Chicago that he served as secretary to the Russian Mission in America.