George (Schaefer)

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Bishop George outside of the refectory at Holy Cross Monastery

Bishop George (born Paul Schaefer; May 25, 1950, Belleville, Illinois) is bishop of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, bishop Mayfield, Pennsylvania, vicar of the Eastern-American diocese, and abbot of the Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, West Virginia.

Early life[edit]

Paul Schaefer was born on May 25, 1950, in Belleville, Illinois in pious Roman-Catholic family. While attending a Roman Catholic elementary school, he attended mass daily, served as an altar boy and sang in the choir.[1]

In 1968 he graduated from Catholic High School and then attended Southern Illinois University from 1968 to 1972.

In 1974 he was received into the Greek Orthodox Church in Modesto, California, and given the name Makarios in honor of Saint Macarius the Great. In May 1975 he joined the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in San Francisco.

Monastic life[edit]

In September 1975 he entered Holy Trinity Seminary .

On Christmas, January 7, 1975, Makarios was made a novice by Archbishop Averky (Taushev). As a novice his obediences in the monastery were working in the farm and cemetery. On Friday of the First Week of Lent, 1979, after a few years in the monastery he was tonsured a rassophore monk. On Friday of the First Week of Lent, 1980, he was tonsured into the small schema and given the name Mitrophan in honor of Saint Mitrophan of Voronezh. On Palm Sunday of the same year he was ordained a subdeacon and a couple of months thereafter he graduated from Holy Trinity Seminary.

In June 1981 he was given a blessing by Archbishop Laurus to relocate to Mount Athos. He was tonsured to the great schema by Hieromonk Chrysostomos of Koutloumousiou monastery, Mount Athos and given the name George in honor of Saint George the Great-Martyr.

In February, 1986 he returned to Holy Trinity Monastery and started working on the Print Shop of Saint Job of Pochaev in 1986, where he worked until 1998. He assumed editorial duties on "Orthodox Life" from 1992 to his consecration as bishop in 2008.

On the feast of St. Michael, 1986 he was ordained a hierodeacon. On Palm Sunday, 1987 he was ordained a hieromonk.

In 1994 he was appointed as economos Holy Trinity Monastery.

In September 1998 he was elevated to the rank of hegumen.

Оn Labor Day 2005 he was elevated to the rank of archimandrite

In 2007 he appointed dean of Holy Trinity Monastery.

He also served as confessor and spiritual father of the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in Wayne, West Virginia, the largest English-language monastery of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Life as a Bishop[edit]

Bishop George at the altar during paschal matins at Holy Cross Monastery

In May 2008, the Synod of Bishops of the ROCOR elected Archimandrite George as Bishop of Mayfield, Pennsylvania, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church confirmed the election in June 2008.

On December 7, 2008 Archimandrite George was consecrated bishop at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York, by Bishop of Montreal and Canada Gabriel, Bishop of Cleveland Peter and Bishop of Caracas John. Bishop George's place of residence is at the Hermitage of the Holy Cross in Wayne, West Virginia.

In May 2009 he was elected abbot of the Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV.[2]

May 25, 2010 in consideration of his labour for the Church and of 60th anniversary he was awarded the Order of St. Seraphim of Sarov, II degree.[3]

On January 27, 2013 at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington he attended the enthronement of Metropolitan of All America and Canada Tikhon.[4]


He is the author of several articles and translations published in "Orthodox Life". He translated several sayings of the Optina Elders published in the book "Living Without Hypocrisy", published in 2006 by Holy Trinity Monastery Press.


This article incorporates text from George (Schaefer) of Mayfield at OrthodoxWiki which is licensed under the CC-BY-SA and GFDL.

External links[edit]