Patriarchal Deacon Iakovos Krochak is ordained presbyter and awarded the title of Grand Syncellus of the Great Church of Christ
His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew invited Andrij Krochak to the Phanar and then ordained him as a Patriarchal Deacon on November 30, 2018. It is significant that Patriarchal Deacon Iakovos became the first Canadian, the first Ukrainian, and the first non-Greek to become a member of the Patriarchal Court.
Since November 1, 2019, he has served as the Director of the Patriarchate's English Office. He is the Ecumenical Patriarch's principal anglophone secretary and co-ordinates the Patriarchate's relations with various local diplomatic corps and international institutions.
Patriarchal Deacon Iakovos will be ordained as a presbyter which translates as "elder" but refers to a priest. The prestigious awarding of Grand Syncellus of the Great Church of Christ recognizes Patriarchal Deacon Iakovos as a close and valued advisor to the Patriarch.
The Rev. Patriarchal Deacon Iakovos (Andrij) Krochak was born on January 17, 1991, in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to a clerical family of Ukrainian background. When he was four years old, he began serving as an acolyte (altar server) at St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Sobor in Calgary with his father, the Right Reverend Archpriest Fr. Taras. From that early age, Andrij recognized that he wanted to be ordained as a cleric.
In Calgary, Andrij was a member of Canadian Ukrainian Youth Association, CYMK-UOY and participated in the Osvita program at St. John's Institute in Edmonton where he completed Ukrainian language classes. Later he became a counsellor in the Osvita program. His family has been actively involved in the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League (USRL) as his father was USRL member and chaplain and his mother, Dobr. Donna has been a longstanding member of the Ukrainian Women's Association of Canada (UWAC).
Upon completing his education in Calgary, Alberta and after beginning studies at the Toronto Orthodox Theological Academy for one year, Andrij moved to Greece, where he attained a Bachelor’s degree at the Faculty of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2015. Subsequently, he completed his graduate studies at the Ecumenical Patriarchate’s Institute of Graduate Studies in Chambésy, Switzerland. As part of the Institute’s program, he also followed classes at the Faculty of Protestant Theology at the University of Geneva and the Catholic Faculty of Theology at the University of Fribourg. Upon successfully defending his masters’ thesis in 2017, he began his doctorate at the Catholic University of Paris. Aside from his native English, he also speaks Greek, French and Ukrainian.