Archimandrite Seraphim (Melkonian)
Consecrated Bishop of the Baltics
His Holiness the Patriarch and the Holy Synod resolved on April 3, 2001, that Hegumen Seraphim (Melkonian) be Bishop of the Baltics, Vicar of the Smolensk and Kaliningrad Diocese, after his elevation to the rank of archimandrite.
On April 18, the Wednesday of the Easter week, Hegumen Seraphim was elevated to the rank of archimandrite by Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, chairman of the Department for External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate, at the church of the Holy Trinity at Khorochevo.
On May 16, Archimandrite was nominated Bishop of the Baltics by Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia, Metropolitans Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, Sergiy of Solnechnogorsk, Pitirim of Volokolamsk and Yuriev, Archbishop Arseny of Istra and Bishops Gury of Zhitomir and Novograd-Volynsky, Savva of Krasnogorsk and Feofan of Magadan and Sinegorsk. The nomination took place at the Church of All the Saints Who Shone Forth in the Russian Land in the patriarchal residence in St. Daniel’s monastery.
On May 19, the Commemoration Day of the Righteous and Much-Suffering Job, Archimandrite Seraphim was consecrated Bishop of the Baltics by Patriarch Alexy II, Metropolitans Juvenaly of Krutitsy and Kolomna, Kirill, Sergiy, Pitirim, Archbishop Arseny, Bishops Gury, Alexy of Orekhovo-Zuyevo, Savva and Feofan, at the Cathedral Church of the Epiphany.
After the liturgy, His Holiness the Patriarch presented the newly-consecrated bishop with a bishop’s crozier and addressed him with a word of instruction. Metropolitan Kirill also extended congratulations to Bishop Seraphim.
Bishop Seraphim (his secular name Vladimir Melkonian) was born on December 29, 1961, in the city of Adler, Krasnodar region. He finished secondary school in 1979 and worked as a manual worker at a construction sight. He served in the army in 1980-1982. After his demobilization, he moved to the city of Ufa, where he worked as a watchman and boiler-man for the Diocesan Administration and carried out the obedience of Reader at the Church of the Intercession of the Holy Theotokos in Ufa. In 1984, with the blessing of the ruling Bishop Anatoly of Ufa and Sterlitamak, he entered the Odessa Seminary. In 1988, he graduated from the seminary and was enrolled to the Moscow Theological Academy, from which he graduated in 1992.
In 1990, with the blessing of Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia, he was accepted in the monastic community of St. Daniel’s in Moscow. In December of the same year he was tonsured by the father superior of the monastery, Archimandrite Ippolit, with the name of Seraphim in honour of St. Seraphim of Sarov. In January 1991, he was ordained deacon. In April of the same year, he was ordained hieromonk by Archbishop Valentin, now of Orenburg and Buzuluk.
In 1992, Father Seraphim was sent to the Russian Orthodox Mission in Jerusalem. He served there till the autumn of 1999.
In 1995, His Holiness the Patriach awarded him a pectoral cross and in 1997 elevated him to the rank of hegumen, at the Church of the Holy Trinity of the Russian Orthodox Mission in Jerusalem.
In 1999, Father Seraphim was recalled from the mission and put at the disposal of the chairman of the DECR in which he served as head of the Orthodox pilgrimage section.