During their Fall Session at the Chancery in Syosset, NY, October 23 through 26, 2018, the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops confirmed the nomination by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon of St. Vladimir’s Seminary Professor Archpriest Alexander Rentel as chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America.
The appointment of Fr. Alexander was made in accordance with Article VI Section 2 of the Statute of the Orthodox Church in America and endorsed by the Metropolitan Council at a special meeting on Thursday, October 18. He succeeds Archpriest John Jillions, who has served as Chancellor since 2011 and who was recently appointed Rector of Holy Ghost Church, Bridgeport, CT. Fr. John will continue as chancellor through December 31, while Fr. Alexander will assume his duties on January 1, 2019.
A faithful priest of the Orthodox Church in America for seventeen years, Fr. Alexander brings a wealth of experience to his new position as a well-known professor, liturgist, pastor and confessor. His pastoral ministry has been offered within the context of St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary [SVOTS], Yonkers, NY, where he has worked for over sixteen years as a professor, and for ten has served as the seminary’s ecclesiarch. As ecclesiarch, he has overseen the life of the school’s Three Hierarchs Chapel, the liturgical training of seminarians, and the ordination process. The latter ministry is a key component of the chancellor’s responsibilities, along with assisting the metropolitan in the areas of theological training and parish assignments.
Currently, Fr. Alexander is the Seminary’s assistant professor of Canon Law and Byzantine Studies and the John and Paraskeva Skvir Lecturer in Practical Theology. He has been a member of the Holy Synod of Bishop’s Commission on Canons and Statues. His experience with the Statute Revision Commission has given him an extraordinary familiarity with the current—and past—Statutes.
Fr. Alexander’s knowledge and experience of Canon Law are not only academic, but practical. On many occasions, he has provided canonical guidance and opinions to the Holy Synod on a variety of subjects, and he has been called upon to consult in this area by Orthodox Churches around the world. Having worked closely with all of the bishops of the Holy Synod, collectively and individually, he is intimately familiar with the general functioning of the Holy Synod. He is widely known and respected by the many seminarians who have studied under him.
Fr. Alexander is married to Matushka Nancy Rentel (SVOTS Class of 1995), who works in Higher Education in New York City. Together they have three children.