His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin
His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin is the archpastor of the Orthodox Church in America’s Diocese of the West — a position of oversight for a diocese comprised of more than 50 parishes in California, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Arizona, and Montana. As his seat is Holy Trinity Cathedral, His Eminence is also the rector of our parish.
Born Vincent Peterson in Pasadena, California, on June 1, 1954, Archbishop Benjamin was baptized and chrismated at Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral, Los Angeles, California, on April 27, 1972. In 1978 he was awarded a Master of Divinity degree and Certificate in Liturgical Music from Saint Vladimir’s Seminary. A prolific musician, he served as choirmaster at parishes in Detroit, Michigan, and Los Angeles and as chairman of the Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Liturgical Music. He was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on November 15, 1987 by Bishop Tikhon at his home parish. The following year he was tonsured a riasophore monk by Bishop Tikhon and further tonsured to the lesser schema by His Eminence, Archbishop [later Metropolitan] Herman at Saint Tikhon Monastery, South Canaan, Pennsylvania. In 1991 he was elevated to the rank of archdeacon. On July 19, 1997, he was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by Bishop Tikhon. On January 31, 2007, His Grace was unanimously nominated as a candidate for the office of Diocesan Hierarch. The Holy Synod of Bishops, in their 2007 spring session, elected His Grace to be the hierarch of the Diocese of the West. He was installed as bishop on October 2, 2007. At the 2012 spring session, the Holy Synod elevated the bishop to the dignity of Archbishop.
Archpriest Kirill Sokolov, Dean
As dean, Archpriest Kirill Sokolov leads Holy Trinity Cathedral in worshipping God according to the Holy Scriptures and Holy Traditions of the Church, encouraging union with God and among the faithful, coordinating educational and charitable efforts, and ministering to the congregation and wider community.
Father Kirill was baptized as an infant at our sister parish of St. Nicholas in Saratoga, CA. He grew up at seminary and in a number of parishes including Holy Trinity Cathedral, where his father, Archpriest Victor, served as dean from 1991 until his repose in 2006. After college graduation, Kirill worked and attended classes at St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in New York where he met his future wife, Sophia.
Kirill was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by Metropolitan Herman on Three Hierarchs’ Day 2004 with then-Bishop Hilarion (Alfeyev) and more than a dozen priests concelebrating. He was asked to remain a permanent diaconal presence at the seminary. The Holy Synod of Bishops elevated him to the dignity of Protodeacon in 2007, and in 2009, to the office of Archdeacon of the Orthodox Church in America. By 2009, Archdeacon Kirill and Sophia had both graduated seminary, and Father Kirill was serving as Associate Chancellor for Systems and Lecturer in Liturgics at the school. Sophia was a regular choir director in the seminary choirs and taught church school and adult education classes. In 2010, the Sokolovs moved back to the Bay Area to be closer to family.
On Bright Saturday 2017, Father Kirill was ordained to the holy priesthood by Archbishop Benjamin. In January 2018, he was appointed Dean of Holy Trinity Cathedral. He also serves as Director of Diaconal and Late Vocations for the Orthodox Church in America and continues his educational work at a local school. Father Kirill received his educational doctorate in organizational leadership from Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology.
Matushka Sophia grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, in a non-religious household. During her undergraduate studies at St. John’s College (Santa Fe, NM) she discovered the Orthodox Church and was baptized her freshman year at a nearby Antiochian parish (Holy Trinity Orthodox Church). After graduating with a B.A. in Liberal Arts, she enrolled in St. Vladimir’s Seminary where she earned a M.A. in Theological Studies. While in seminary, Sophia studied liturgical music and directed the seminary mixed choir under the tutelage of Dr. David Drillock and spent summers interning with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Department of Youth and Young Adult Ministries. It was also in seminary where she and Fr. Kirill met and were married, devoting many years to the campus community.
Since moving to California in 2010, Matushka Sophia has dedicated much of her time to family, while also pursuing a degree in nursing. She serves in the Orthodox Church in America’s Department of Liturgical Music and Translations and regularly typesets and arranges music and church services for distribution throughout the OCA.
Father Kirill, Matushka Sophia, and their three children are grateful to God for the parishioners that make Holy Trinity Cathedral their spiritual family.
Protodeacon Brendan Doss
Protodeacon Brendan Doss grew up in Nashville, with a Presbyterian background. In 1988, he was baptized in the Orthodox Church at St Herman of Alaska Mission in Sunnyvale, and in 2002, Metropolitan Laurus of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) ordained him to the Holy Diaconate. In 2006, he asked to be received into the Orthodox Church in America. At Archbishop Benjamin’s request, he accepted the honor of serving at Holy Trinity Cathedral, beginning on the Feast of the Ascension, 2006. He enjoys music and art, as well as science and understanding how things work. Father Brendan studied Electrical Engineering at Rice University, with a graduate fellowship in digital signal processing at the University of Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany. In 2013, the Holy Synod of Bishops elevated Father Brendan to the dignity of Protodeacon.
Reader Stephen (Robert) Parent, choir director
Robert Allen Parent (b. 1943 in Woonsocket, R.I.) has held the position of Holy Trinity Cathedral choir director since 1977. He is responsible for the quality of music and liturgical English in use at the Cathedral. After graduation from Middlebury College and Michigan State University, while studying Russian Literature at the University of Pittsburgh, he received instruction in Russian Orthodox liturgics and choral music from the late Mitered Archpriest Vitaly Sahaydakovsky of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, after which he served as choir director in several Russian parishes, including Christ the Saviour Church in San Francisco, where services were conducted mainly in Church Slavonic.
The choir of Holy Trinity adorns the services of the Cathedral with prayerful voices. If you are interested in this deeply meaningful ministry of sacred song, please speak with Bob.