Biography of His Grace Bishop Alexander (Alexander Vasilievich Mileant), Bishop of the Diocese of Buenos Aries & South America

    Bishop Alexander was born in Odessa on July 22, 1938. He was baptized with the name Alexander, in honor of Saint Alexander Nevsky. His father was reported as missing in action during WWII in 1941, and subsequently his family fled to the West at the advance of the Red Army. The family first went to Prague, then Rome, ending up as refugees in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

    Young Alexander attended primary school in Buenos Aires, studied for 7 years at the school of electrical engineering, and later attended the University of Buenos Aires.

    From the age of nine, he served in the altar, first for Archbishop Panteleimon (Rudyk), and then for Archbishop Afanassy (Martos). He became close to Vladyka Afanassy, who instructed him in theology for over three years. Vladyka Afanassy had a large library of theological works, and the young Alexander learned modern and patristic Greek in order to read the Holy Fathers in their own language.

    In 1963, Alexander entered Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, N.Y. He graduate from the Seminary in 1967 with a Bachelor of Theology degree. One year before his graduation, he was ordained to the diaconate by Archbishop Averky (Taushev), and during Great Lent in 1967 was ordained to the priesthood by Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky).

    After his graduation and ordination, he was assigned as priest of the Protection of the Holy Virgin Church in Los Angeles, California, where he served as rector for 31 years. Services in the parish were served in both Slavonic and English; the parish was also home to a thriving church school of 110 students. Between 1971 and 1985, Father Alexander led several youth pilgrimages to the Holy Land and holy sites in Greece.

    While serving at Holy Protection Parish, Father Alexander continued his education, receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree, and later a Master's Degree in Electrical Engineering from California State University, and an Engineer's Degree in Telecommunications and Coding (as applied to spacecraft). In this field, Father Alexander worked for NASA; his work there also allowed him to specialize in computer science, which helped him greatly in producing missionary leaflets.

    Until 1998, he produced over 200 missionary leaflets in Russian, English, and Spanish, covering wide topics on the Orthodox Faith and Christian living, commentaries on the Holy Scriptures, explanations of prayers, Church services and feasts, lives of the saints and their teachings, and defense of the Orthodox faith against modern sectarianism and cults. From 1990, a large amount of his missionary literature was sent to the former Soviet Union, and other countries where there was a need. All of this material is available on his website, where anyone with Internet access can download and print them.

    During Great Lent in 1995, Father Alexander was tonsured a stavrophor monk at Holy Trinity Monastery, with the name Alexander, in honor of the New Hieromartyr Alexander, Archbishop of Kharkov, who died in a Soviet prison. He was later elevated to Archimandrite.

    Archimandrite Alexander was consecrated to the episcopate as Bishop of Buenos Aires, Argentina and South America on 15/28 May 1998 in the Synodal Cathedral, by Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev) of San Francisco and Western America, Archbishop (now Metropolitan) Lavr (Skurla) of Syracuse and Holy Trinity, Bishop Agafangel of Simferopol and Crimea, Bishop Mitrofan (Znosko) of Boston, and Bishop Gabriel (Chemodakov) of Manhattan.

M. Woerl
May 2002

"Bishop Alexander (Mileant): A Short Biography"
from Bishop Alexander

"Novy Arkhipastyr Yuzhnoi Amerike"
Pravoslavnaya Rus
No. 1607, 15/28 May 1998
p. 1

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