|Archbishop of Birobidzhan and Kuldur|
Arbishop Joseph receives Order of Friendship from Russian president Dmitry Medvedev
|Appointed||October 7, 2002|
|Installed||October 7, 2002|
|Other posts||Bishop of Yaroslavl diocese
(January 1999–October 2002)
|Ordination||April 23, 1981
by Juvenal (Poyarkov)
|Consecration||January 31, 1999
by Alexy II of Moscow
|Birth name||Igor Balabanov|
31 January 1954 |
|Alma mater||Moscow Theological Seminary|
Archbishop Joseph (Russian: Иосиф, secular name Igor Anatolievich Balabanov , Russian: Игорь Анатольевич Балабанов; born January 31, 1954, Kashira) is a Russian Orthodox bishop, archbishop of Birobidzhan and Kuldur. The Name Day is on the Monday of Holy Week.
Early life and education
Igor Balabanov was born and spent his childhood in the old city of Kashira (Moscow region). His father, Anatoly Balabanov, died in 2001. His mother, Nadezhda Balabanova, died in 1999. According to the family tradition, 40 days after birth the child was baptized in the church of the Holy Martyrs Florus and Laurus in Kashira—the only church that was open in those days in the city. From his early childhood Igor served in this church under the guidance of nun Angelina—today Mother Macaria, the prioress of the Makarievo-Pisemsky monastery located in the diocese of Kostroma and Galich—very strict and demanding woman taught an altar boy everything she knew about church services.
After 10 years of high school, he served in the military in Smolensk. In 1975, after leaving the army, he entered the Moscow Theological Seminary. After the first year of education he received only excellent grades, and thus was immediately transferred to the third class, and in 1978, after graduation from the seminary, he was admitted to the Moscow Theological Academy without passing entrance examinations.
March 9, 1979 Metropolitan Juvenal ordained monk Joseph as a deacon. July 26, 1979 Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Pimen assigned deacon Joseph to full-time service position to the Church of the Assumption in Novodevichy Convent.
September 15, 1982 by the directive of Pimen he was placed at the service of Metropolitan of Krutitsa and Kolomna Juvenal.
July 13, 1983 hieromonk Joseph was assigned as the dean of Serpukhov circuit, consisting of Serpukhovsky, Chekhovsky and Narofominsky districts. He held this position until 1999. The revival of traditional styles of worship, construction of new churches and monasteries or their restoration, development of religious life in all its forms became the main objective of the new dean.
Revival of the Vysotsky monastery
March 19, 1984 hieromonk Joseph became hegumen of the Ilinsky Church. Under his guidance the church underwent extensive external and internal restoration. The restoration included the construction of a new two-story brick building, replacement of plumbing systems and placement of an iron fence around the precinct. But most importantly the new hegumen turned to be the first bishop who was able to end longstanding conflicts and unite all the clergy and believers around the parish. November 22, 1987 hieromonk Joseph was awarded with four awards and was elevated to the rank of archimandrite by Patriarch Pimen.
June 6–12, 1990, he took part in the Local Council of the Russian Orthodox Church as delegate from the diocesan clergy of the city of Moscow, when the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia was elected Metropolitan of Leningrad Alexis (Ridiger). In 1990 Archimandrite Joseph was elected as a member of the City Council of Serpukhov.
He worked to revive this ancient monastery founded by Sergius of Radonezh in 1374.
At the initiative of the hegumen there was continued the veneration of the miraculous icon of the Mother of God "The Inexhaustible Cup", venerated in many parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church, with akathist to the Mother of God read daily before this icon. The first edition of the akathist to the Theotokos "The Inexhaustible Cup" was made by Bishop Joseph based on the only copy of the akathist left by an unknown old woman.
In 1993 Archimandrite Joseph was elected as a member of the Diocesan Council of the Moscow diocese. On September 25, 1995 Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia Alexy II during his visit to the Vysotsky Monastery awarded Joseph with the Order of St. Sergius. On March 28, 1996 Alexy bestowed on him the right to celebrate Divine Liturgy with open royal gates.
Episcopal ministry in the city of Yaroslavl
Ordination was performed by: Metropolitan of Krutitsa and Kolomna Juvenal (Poyarkov), Metropolitan of Volokolamsk and Yuriev Pitirim (Nechayev); Archbishop of Solnechnogorsk Sergius (Fomin), Archbishop of Volgograd and Kamyshin Herman (Timofeev), Archbishop of Mozhaysk Gregory (Chirkov), Archbishop of Yaroslavl and Rostov Mihei (Harharov); Bishop of Bronnity Tikhon (Emelyanov), Bishop of Orekhovo-Zuyevo Alexis (Frolov), Bishop of Krasnogorsk Sabbas (Volkov).
Ordination service was headed by the Patriarch Alexy II.
From February 1999, Bishop Joseph carried out his episcopal duties in the old city of Yaroslavl. By the directive of Alexy II, Bishop Joseph served also as vicar of the diocese, where he worked to build new churches and monasteries and to revive abandoned temples.
A temple of the Epiphany built in the 17th century at the expense of merchant Alexy Zubchaninov was renovated and finally transferred to the Diocese of Yaroslavl and Rostov. For a long time the temple building was closed for worships and was used as a museum. The Great Consecration of the temple was the final point of his episcopal ministry in the city of Yaroslavl.
Episcopal ministry in the city of Birobidzhan
In 2003-2005 Bishop Joseph led the construction work on first cathedral in history of Birobidzhan. On September 21, 2005 the cathedral in honor of the Annunciation was completed. Same day after the consecration of the cathedral Joseph was awarded the Order of St. Innocent, Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna (second class). In 2006, at the east side of the cathedral precinct was built the Socio-Educational Center. In ten years dozens of churches were built all over the region, including the Convent of Saint Innocent in Razdolnoye and two temples in correctional facilities.
Throughout his career Bishop Joseph did not only receive awards from the Church. The order of the Minister of Justice on January 22, 2002 awarded Joseph the medal "For strengthening of the penal system" (second class). The decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin on August 8, 2005 awarded Joseph the Order "Merit for the Fatherland" (second class). February 12, 2007 by the order of the Federal Penitentiary Service of Russia he was awarded the medal "For strengthening of the penal system" (first class). The decree of President Dmitry Medvedev on April 29, 2009 awarded Joseph the Order of Friendship "For great personal contribution to the spiritual and cultural traditions and strengthening friendship between peoples". October 1, 2012 the governor of the Jewish Autonomous Region Alexander Vinnikov bestowed on Bishop Joseph the Jewish Autonomous Region Award Honorable Medal "Honor and Respect".
Honours and awards
- Certificate of Honour
- Pectoral Cross
- Order of St. Sergius of Radonezh, 2nd class
- Order of St. Innocent Metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna, 2nd class
- A right to celebrate Divine Liturgy with open royal gates
- Order For Merit to the Fatherland, 2nd Class
- Medal "For strengthening the prison system", 2nd Class
- Order of Merit for the Fatherland, 1st Class
- Jewish Autonomous Region Honorable Medal "Honor and Respect"
- Order of Friendship (for great personal contribution to the spiritual and cultural traditions and strengthening friendship between peoples)