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.