Biography of His Grace Bishop Gabriel (George Chemodakov), Bishop of the Diocese of Manhatten, Vicor Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern America
Bishop Gabriel was born in Sydney Australia into the family of a reader of the ROCOR Church of the Protection of the Theotokos in Cabramatta. His older brother, Nikita attended Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, New York, and serves as the priest of the ROCOR Church in Fairfield, and at the ROCOR Convent at Cambeltown NSW Australia.
In his childhood George was greatly influenced by the Saintly Parish Protopresbyter Rostislav Gan, who is locally venerated as a saint. Fr Rostislav instilled a deep love for the services of the church, and for an active participation in the grace filled, quiet, and sober spiritual life of the Church. While George was still young Fr. Rostislav passsed away. This greived many in the Parish not the least of whom was George, however upon the return of his older Brother Nikita, he continued to receive gentle encouragement to attend Holy Trinity Seminary.
After completing secondary school in Australia, George decided to fullfil his desire to participate more fully in the grace filled life of the church and set off for Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville. After his graduation, he taught at the Seminary for four years. He also spent several years serving as the kellenik (cell attendant) for then Bishop Hilarion (Kapral, now Archbishop of Sydney, Australia, and New Zealand) of Manhattan.
After being chosen as a candidate by the Bishop's Sobor, he was tonsured a monk with the name Gabriel, after the Holy New Martyr of Russia Gabriel, who was George Chemodakov's great-grandfather. After being tonsured, he was ordained a hieromonk.
Bishop Gabriel's consecration to the epsicopate, as Bishop of Brisbane, Vicar of the Diocese of Sydney, Australia, and New Zealand, took place at the Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, N.Y. on 25 June/07 July 1996, the Feast of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist.
The consecration was presided over by Metropolitan Vitaly (Ustinov), concelebrating with Archbishop Antony (Medvedev, +2000) of San Francisco and Western America, Archbishop Lavr (Skurla, now Metropolitan) of Syracuse and Holy Trinity, and Bishop Hilarion. Shortly after his consecration, the Bishop's Sobor named Bishop Gabriel as Bishop of Manhattan, Vicar to the Metropolitan and the Diocese of New York and Eastern America.
In this position, Vladika Gabriel has continued in the footsteps of his predecessor, Bishop Hilarion, being very active in the life of the Diocese, often visiting parishes, and being accessible to the clergy and laity alike. His Grace currently serves as the Secretary of the Synod of Bishops.
- "Aksios-znachit dostoin"
No. 15 (1564)
15/28 July 1996
Riassophor Monk John
"An Episcopal Consecration"
NO. 4, July-Aug., 1996
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