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HIS GRACE THE RIGHT REVEREND
K.K. IRINEJ (DOBRIJEVICH)
THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX BISHOP
OF EAST AMERICA







 






   His Grace was born in 1955 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, of his father Djuro and mother Milica (nee Svilar).

   His elementary and secondary education was completed in Cleveland, Ohio. After attending the Cleveland Institute of Art from 1973-1975, he entertained studies 1975-1979 at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania, where he graduated with a Licentiate in Theology with the academic distinction maxima cum laude. In 1980, he enrolled in St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in Crestwood, New York and graduated in 1982 with a Master of Divinity degree with Honourable Mention for his master’s thesis Bishop Nicholai Velimirovich: A 1921 Mission to America. Following which, he studied at the Athens Centre in 2000 and 2003, receiving levels I and II certificates in contemporary Greek language.

   He spent most of his career in the field of education, lecturing at Loyola University in Chicago, and at the Theological Faculty of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Belgrade. For many years he was the co-editor of The Path of Orthodoxy, the official publication of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada.

   His Eminence Metropolitan Christopher of Midwestern America ordained him a deacon on 15 January 1994 at the Holy Resurrection Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, Illinois. He was tonsured a monk on 18 January 1995 at the Saint Sava Monastery in Libertyville, Illinois, receiving the monastic name Irinej after Saint Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons. Thereafter, he was ordained a hieromonk on 27 January 1995 at the Saint Sava Cathedral in Parma, Ohio, USA. He was elevated to the dignity of Archimandrite on 18 June 2006 by His Grace Bishop Justin of Timok, a member of the Holy Synod of Bishops.

   The Very Reverend Archimandrite Irinej up until his election as Bishop of Australia and New Zealand was the Consultant to the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church on International and Interchurch Affairs and Coordinator of the newly created Kosovo and Metohija Office of the Holy Assembly of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church at the Serbian Orthodox Patriarchate in Belgrade.

   His Grace was also the Editor-in-Charge of The Information Service of The Serbian Orthodox Church; Executive Director of The Office of External Affairs of The Serbian Orthodox Church in the USA and Canada, located in Washington, DC; co-chaired The Orthodox Advisory Committee of The National Council of The Churches of Christ in Metropolitan Washington; was a member of National Council of The Churches of Christ Environmental Justice Task Force (NCCC Eco-Justice); and served on the Board of Directors of International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC); The Executive Council of The United States Conference of Religions for Peace (USCRP), The Conference of European Churches (CEC-KEK), The Serbian Unity Congress, The Mayor's Advisory Council on Immigrant and Refugee Affairs in Chicago, and The Chicago Human Rights Commission…

   It is important to emphasize that Bishop Irinej represents the Serbian Orthodox Church to the World Council of Churches (WCC) Central Committee; is a member of the Jasenovac Committee and the Permanent Missions Board of the Holy Synod of Bishops; the Advisory Council of the Njegos Endowment for Serbian Studies at Columbia University; and the Editorial Board of the Tesla Memorial Society; and the Communications Committee of the Board of Directors of Saint Vladimir’s Seminary; a member of the Serbian-American Center in Belgrade; and an honorary Board Member for ZOE for Life!

   On the basis of the decision of The Holy Assembly of Bishops of 26 May 2006, The Very Reverend Archmandrite Irinej (Dobrijevich), Consultant to The Holy Synod of Bishops, was elected as Bishop of The Diocese of Australia and New Zealand. He was consecrated on 15 July 2006 in The Holy Archangel Michael Cathedral in Belgrade at the hands of His Most Eminent Grace, Archbishop of Tzetinje, Metropolitan of Montenegro-Littoral, Zeta-Brda and Skenderija, Exarch of the Holy Throne of Pech, k.k. Amfilohije, together with 16 other bishops. He was enthroned on 21 October 2006 in the Saint Sava Pro-Cathedral in Elanora Heights, New South Wales by His Grace Bishop Chrysostom of Bihach-Petrovatz, a member of The Holy Synod of Bishops, as Bishop of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Australia and New Zealand, with its see in Sydney. The following day, 22 October 2006, His Grace was presented as the Bishop-Administrator of The Diocese for Australia and New Zealand of The New Grachanitza Metropolitanate at the Saint Sava Monastery in Wallaroo, New South Wales. Therefore, he was officially styled: His Grace The Right Reverend Serbian Orthodox Bishop of Australia and New Zealand and Bishop-Administrator of The Diocese for Australia and New Zealand of The New Grachanitza Metropolitanate. Following the acceptance of the new Constitution of the Diocese, in 2011, he wass officially titled: His Grace The Right Reverend Serbian Orthodox Bishop of The Metropolitanate of Australia and New Zealand.

   Having taken into consideration his significant diplomatic accomplishments, amongst all else, it was determined by the members of the Holy Assembly of Bishops, in May 2016, that he be entrusted with the eminent Diocese of Eastern America with its See in New York City. His Grace has assumed the Throne of the Bishops of Eastern America on 01 October 2016 at the hands of His Grace Bishop Longin of New Gracanica-Midwestern America in the Cathedral Church of the Holy Trinity in Pittsburgh.

   Beside being The Spiritual Patron of The Centre for Research of Orthodox Monarchism, His Grace is also The Patron for The Society of Serbian Armigers “Milosh Obilich” and The Prince Tomislav Memorial Foundation, both in Belgrade, Serbia; and was the Protector and Spiritual Advisor of Australia and New Zealand for The Order of The Eagle of Georgia and The Seamless Tunic of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

   Among his numerous recognitions, especially for his exemplary work in improving ties between the Serbian State and the Serbs of the Diaspora, and for his work in advancing relations between Church and State, in 2005, he was awarded The Order of Vuk Karadzich - III Degree by H.E. President Svetozar Marovich of the State Union of Serbia and Montenegro, and in 2008 Major Feldman Award of The Serbian Bar Association for merit; as well as The Grand Cross of The Order of The Eagle of Georgia and The Seamless Tunic of Our Lord Jesus Christ, The Senator of The Grand Badge of The Order of Saint Queen Tamar, The Imperial Order of Saint Anna - Second Class, The Medal of Merit of The Royal House of Georgia etc.



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