Dionysius (Diachenko) of San Francisco

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His Eminence Dionysius (Diachenko) was a hierarch of the Orthodox Christian Church who held sees in the United States of America with the Russian North American Mission (Metropolia) and the Moscow Patriarchate during the mid twentieth century.


Archbishop Dionysius was born Dmitry Diachenko (Russian: Дмитрий Дьяченко) in 1882. After completing his secondary education he attended and graduated from the Stavropol Theological Seminary. He then entered the Kazan Theological Academy, from which he graduated in 1909 with a degree of candidate of theology. Then, he joined the historical-philological faculty of St. Petersburg University and the St. Petersburg Archaeological Institute.

In 1914, he was ordained a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church in Vladikavkaz in the North Caucasus where on August 26, 1914, he was designated a staff member of the Vladikavkaz spiritual consistory. Raised to the dignity of archpriest, Fr. Dmitry was appointed rector of St. Michael the Archangel Cathedral in Vladikavkaz. With the Bolshevik revolution in 1917 and the Civil War that followed, Fr. Dmitry ended up in far eastern Siberia. From there he emigrated to China in 1920 where he lived and served in Shanghai. In 1935, he was tonsured a monk with the name Dionysius in the Shanghai cathedral and subsequently was elevated to the rank of archimandrite. In the mid-1940s he emigrated to the United States.

During the years 1944 to 1947, he served as Dean of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary under the jurisdiction of the Russian North American Mission. On December 7, 1947, he was consecrated Bishop of Pittsburgh and West Virginia. During the Eighth All-American Sobor of December 1950, he announced the election of Archbishop Leonty as the new metropolitan of the Metropolia after the vote by the Synod of Bishops.

In 1957, he joined the Moscow Patriarchate as the Deputy to the Exarch of the Moscow Patriarchate and the Americas with the title of Bishop of New York. In 1957, Bp. Dionysius was raised to the rank of archbishop, and in 1958 he was appointed Archbishop of San Francisco and California under the Moscow Patriarchate. In 1960, he retired, and on September 12, 1967, he reposed in San Francisco.

Succession box:
Dionysius (Diachenko) of San Francisco
Preceded by:
Benjamin (Basalyga)
Bishop of Pittsburgh
Succeeded by:
Benjamin (Basalyga)
Preceded by:
Archbishop of San Francisco
Moscow Patriarchate

Succeeded by:
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