Archpriest Dimitri Jakimowicz comes to St. Nicholas in Stratford after many years in ROCOR's Western American Diocese, mainly on the West Coast. However, he is actually returning close to home, having grown up in New York City. His father, Vassily Yevgrafovich (+2003), worked in cardiology research at St. Luke's Hospital Center. Fr. Dimitri's mother, Irina Aleksandronva (nee Balaksha) taught Russian Language at Columbia University, which Dimitri himself attended. She reposed just this past June. (Eternal Memory!) Fr. Dimitri and his Matushka Larissa have two teenage sons, Yevgraf and Vassily.
Fr. Dimitri was ordained to the diaconate in 1999 and briefly served at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Seattle, before moving to San Francisco's Holy Virgin Cathedral: the famous resting place of the relics of St. John Maximovitch. Fr. Dimitri organized numerous multi-day tours relating to the life of this favorite modern-day saint. He also managed the Cathedral bookstore, and taught the Law of God (catechism) in both Russian and English at the noted church school. During this time he was also appointed to the Western Diocese St. Herman's Youth Committee.
In 2011 Fr. Dimitri was ordained to the priesthood and then served as rector of St. Herman’s Church in Sunnyvale, CA, for five years. During this time he led two pilgrimages to St. Herman's Spruce Island in Alaska. More recently, Fr. Dimitri was attached to the Church of All Russian Saints in Burlingame, CA. He was recently appointed Executive Director of Chrysostom Press in St. Louis, MO, which publishes English translations of important Orthodox spiritual works. He will continue in this capacity even after he and his family move to their new home in Woodbridge (about twenty miles from Stratford).
Fr. Dimitri looks forward to serving at our St. Nicholas Church, and helping to revitalize the community, especially by improving religious education (for both children and adults). He also hopes to continue organizing pilgrimages, to destinations both near (like Jordanville) and far (ultimately, the Holy Land). But to start, he needs to meet and get to know the people of our church. Some of us might be taking vacations this summer, but please come back soon, to help welcome Fr. Dimitri and his family to Stratford!