Archpriest Michael Oleksa

Archpriest Michael Oleksa
Archpriest Michael Oleksa

Archpriest Michael Oleksa is a clergyman in the Orthodox Church in America (OCA), Diocese of Alaska. He is currently assigned to St. Alexis Mission in Anchorage. Fr. Michael is also a noted Alaskan Orthodox author as well as the senior active priest in the Alaskan diocese.

In the late 1980s Fr. Michael was the priest at Protection of the Holy Virgin Church in Santa Rosa, California. This parish belongs to the OCA, Diocese of the West. During this period of time the Holy Order of MANS was making its transition into Christ the Saviour Brotherhood (CSB). As reported in an article in the San Francisco Weekly, Fr. Michael said, “I always called it ‘the unholy disorder.'” He welcomed former members of the Order into the Santa Rosa parish, but explained that those who did join saw no reason for a separate community or organization.

Fr. Michael encountered this group again when he was dean of St. Herman’s Seminary in Kodiak, Alaska, in the late 1990s. Abbot Herman Podmoshensky, the defrocked Synodal priest who was the head of the St. Herman of Alaska Brotherhood, and who had also become the spiritual leader of CSB, was sending his monks to Kodiak and to Monk’s Lagoon. Fr. Michael wrote, “”The question is not whether the monks or priests sent to Kodiak are ‘nice men’ but whether Gleb Podmoshensky has any legitimate authority to assign them here at all. . .”

In 2003 Fr. Michael was the dean of St. Innocent Cathedral in Anchorage. He appeared at the embezzlement trial of one of his parishioners, the former clergyman Eugene Bourdukofsky, and told the judge that the church didn’t want him to go to jail, even though he had stolen $70,000 from St. Michael’s Cathedral in Sitka. The judge subsequently sentenced Fr. Michael’s parishioner to a halfway house, although he also added restrictions on Bourdukofsky’s future contact with minors because of allegations of child sexual abuse contained in the presentencing report.

Also in 2003 Fr. Michael’s younger son, Michael Phillip Oleksa, pled no contest to attempted sexual assault 2 and began a nine months jail sentence. According to the Alaska Sex Offender Registry, Mr. Oleksa currently resides with his father.

According to an article which appeared on Orthodox Christians for Accountability on February 21, 2008, Fr. Michael told the chancellor of the OCA, Fr. Alexander Garglavs, that he stood in solidarity with the two priests who had written to the Holy Synod for help in dealing with the abuse of Alaska’s ruling hierarch, Bishop Nikolai (Soraich). Fr. Michael also warned the chancellor to expect more letters.