Peter Zaichenko

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Archimandrite Peter Zaichenko (also Zaychenko) (26 February 1885-12 November 1956) was a priest in the Russian Orthodox Church, who spent much of his life helping establish Orthodox Churches in North America.

Early Life

Archimandrite Peter was born Prokopy Feodorovich Zaichenko in what was then the Ekaterinoslav region of Russia and is now Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine February 26, 1885. His father died when he was quite young, leaving his mother with several children to take care of. On a pilgrimage to Kiev, a church elder told his mother that young Prokopy should be dedicated to the service of God and enter a monastery, which he did in 1896, though he would not be tonsured a monk until 24 March 1911. Since it was the feast day of St. Peter of Kazan, he was given the name Peter.

Life in America

Peter had prepared himself to become a teacher, but in 1910, he was called to serve in the new North American Diocese. His tonsuring as a monk took place in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, as was his ordination as a Hierodeacon on 26 March 1911. His first parish assignment was in Alaska, and on 29 June 1911, he was ordained as a Hieromonk at St. Michael Cathedral in Sitka. His first parish assignment was at St. Andrew Church in Killisnoo, Alaska. He also served in Hoonah, Alaska, where they completed a church building during his tenure there. He was transferred back to Sitka to serve as acting district dean late in 1912, but requested a transfer out of Alaska in 1914, citing health concerns.

Establishing Churches

The transfer was granted, and over the following years, Fr. Peter was sent to a number of churches, including the following:

  • Fall River, Massachusetts
  • Stamford, Connecticut 1915-1917
  • Detroit, Michigan 1917
  • St. Michael's Church, Chicago, Illinois
  • St. Nicholas Church, Kenosha, Wisconsin 1918-1922
  • Lawrence, Massachusetts
  • Rochester, New York
  • Patton, Pennsylvania
  • Albion, Michigan
  • Ford City, Ontario, Canada
  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Black Lick, Pennsylvania
  • Vintondale, Pennsylvania
  • Boswell, Pennsylvania
  • Export, Pennsylvania
  • Greenburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Jerome, Pennsylvania
  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Madison, Illinois
  • Steubenville, Ohio
  • Youngstown, Ohio
  • Pittsfield, Massachusetts
  • Springfield, Massachusetts
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Chicago, Illinois


Father Peter retired and moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 1951. In Phoenix, he helped establish Ss. Peter and Paul Church. Fr. Peter fell asleep in the Lord in Phoenix in 1956, and was buried at St. Tikhon's Monastery, South Canaan, Pennsylvania.