His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of All America and Canada, is the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America. Born in 1966, he is the eldest of three children born to Francois and Elizabeth Mollard. He spent his childhood living in various places including Connecticut, France, and Missouri, before settling in Reading, PA, where he graduated from Wyomissing High School in 1984.
He moved to Chicago in 1988 after completing his undergraduate studies at Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Sociology. In 1989, he was received into the Orthodox Church from the Episcopal church and began studies at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA. One year later, he entered the monastic community at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery as a novice. He was awarded the Master of Divinity degree from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary in 1993, after which he was appointed Instructor in Old Testament and subsequently Senior Lecturer in Old Testament, teaching Master level courses in the Prophets and the Psalms and Wisdom Literature. He also served as an Instructor in the seminary’s Extension Studies program, offering courses in the lives of the Old Testament saints, the liturgical use of the Old Testament, and the Old Testament in patristic literature.
His publication “The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain” was in collaboration with Igumen Alexander [Golitzin], who is now Archbishop of Dallas, the South and the Bulgarian Diocese of the Orthodox Church in America. In 1995, he was tonsured to the Lesser Schema with the name Tikhon, in honor of Saint Patriarch Tikhon, Enlightener of North America. Later that year, he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate and Holy Priesthood at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery. In 1998, he was elevated to the rank of Igumen, and in 2000, to the rank of Archimandrite.
In December 2002, he was named Deputy Abbot of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery. After his election to the episcopacy by the Holy Synod of Bishops in October 2003, he was consecrated on February 14, 2004 at Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery Church as the first Bishop of South Canaan, auxiliary for the Diocese of Eastern Pennsylvania. Following his nomination as ruling hierarch by a diocesan assembly and subsequent canonical election by the Holy Synod on May 27, 2005, he was installed as Bishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania on October 29, 2005. He also served as Rector of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary from 2005 to 2012. On May 9, 2012, he was elevated to the dignity of Archbishop.
On November 13, 2012, Archbishop Tikhon was elected Primate of the Orthodox Church in America at the 17th All-American Council. The enthronement took place on January 27, 2013 at Saint Nicholas Cathedral, Washington, DC.
As Primate, he has been responsible for overseeing the entire Orthodox Church in America and has worked to strengthen the Church’s presence and influence in North America. In addition to his primatial duties, he has also had archpastoral oversight of the Archdiocese of Washington and the Stavropegial Institutions of the Orthodox Church in America. He has served as Locum Tenens of several dioceses during interim periods between hierarchs He has presided at the consecrations of six new bishops, has ordained several dozen men to the diaconate or priesthood and has tonsured a number of monastics.
On September 14, 2015, Metropolitan Tikhon was honored by Saint Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary with the bestowal of a Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa.
On June 29, 2018 His Beatitude released a 60 page document entitled “Of What Life Do We Speak? Four Pillars for the Fulfillment of the Apostolic Work of the Church” in preparation for the 19th All-American Council, St. Louis, MO. This document set out four areas of the Orthodox Tradition—Spiritual Life, Stewardship, Relations with Others, and Outreach and Evangelism—and related them to the life of the Church and its people facing the challenges of the 21st century.
During his tenure as Metropolitan, he has presided at the gathering of three All-American Councils in Atlanta, GA, St. Louis, MO, and Baltimore, MD. At the 18th All-American Council in 2015, His Beatitude oversaw the adoption of the new OCA Statute.
In 2020, the landmark decision was made to go ahead with the relocation of the Primate and Chancery offices to the canonical territory of the Archdiocese of Washington. His Beatitude has overseen this relocation effort which has now placed him geographically within his diocese to better serve the people and wider church.
During his primacy, His Beatitude has made fourteen official visits abroad to the various Orthodox Churches including trips to Russia, Constantinople, India, and Rome for the enthronement of Pope Francis and the funeral of Pope Benedict XVI.
His Beatitude has also made innumerable pastoral visits around the various dioceses of Orthodox Church in America and its parishes in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Likewise, he has led many pilgrimages such as the Saint Herman Pilgrimage in Alaska and the Memorial Day Pilgrimages to Saint Tikhon’s Monastery.
Throughout his tenure, Metropolitan Tikhon has been a dedicated servant of the Church, has brought stability and has worked diligently to promote the Orthodox faith and strengthen the Church’s presence in North America.