Kiprian (Borisevich) of Philadelphia

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His Eminence the Most Reverend Kiprian (Borisevich) of Philadelphia was one of the many priests who immigrated to the United States after World War II as refugees from the Soviet Union. After the death of his wife he took monastic vows and was consecrated vicar Bishop of Washington and appointed rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary. He was subsequently elected Bishop of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania, later elevated to Archbishop, and remained in those positions until his repose in 1980.


Archbishop Kiprian was born Boris Pavlovich Borisevich (Борис Павлович Борисевич) on August 15, 1903, in Kholm, Russia. He attended school in Kremenetz, graduating in 1916. He then pursued studies at the Theological Seminary in Volyn, in then eastern Poland, from which he graduated in 1925. After graduating from the seminary, Boris continued his education, studying at the Orthodox Theological Faculty of the University of Warsaw. In 1931 he received a masters degree in theology.

Boris married in 1927 and was ordained a priest in 1928 and assigned a parish in Lopusho. From 1929 to 1939, Fr. Boris served in a number of positions within the diocese. These included: Supervisor of Religious Education in a secondary school in Srodno, the diocesan missioner, and sacristan of the cathedral. In 1939, Fr. Boris was transferred as Supervisor of Religious Education to Vilno in northeastern Poland until 1940. As World War II progressed, Fr. Boris moved with his wife to the west so that as the war ended he was in western Europe where he took part in organizing parishes in Linz, Austria, and in Augsburg, Germany.

Fr. Boris and his wife arrived in the United States in July 1949, and he began serving parishes of the Metropolia. From 1950 to 1953 he was assigned to a parish in Kansas City, Missouri, followed by parishes in Baltimore, Maryland, from 1953 to 1959 and Stamford, Connecticut, from 1959 to 1961. In 1961 after his wife died, he took monastic vows with the name Kiprian. He was then consecrated Bishop of Washington and vicar to the Metropolitan with duties as the rector of St. Tikhon's Seminary. Subsequently, in 1964 Bp. Kiprian was elected Bishop of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania. In 1970, Bp. Kiprian was elevated to Archbishop and served as a member of the Lesser Synod of Bishops and as chairman of the Department of External Affairs.

On December 14, 1980, he reposed in the Lord. He was buried at St. Tikhon's Monastery in South Canaan, Pennsylvania.

Succession box:
Kiprian (Borisevich) of Philadelphia
Preceded by:
Jonah (Stahlberg)
Bishop of Washington (Metropolia)
Succeeded by:
Theodosius (Lazor)
Preceded by:
Dimitry (Magan)
Bishop of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania (Metropolia)
Succeeded by:
Herman (Swaiko)
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  • Orthodox America 1794-1976 Development of the Orthodox Church in America. Constance J. Tarasar and John H. Erickson, eds. Syosett, New York: The Orthodox Church in America, Dept. of History and Archives, 1975.