Bishop +Theophanis of Philomelion consecrated in Constantinople

Arkimandriti Theofan Koja u zgjodh peshkop i Filomelionit nga Sinodi i Shenjtë i Patriarkanës Ekumenike, për nevojat e komuniteteve shqipfolëse të Patriarkanës Ekumenike në SHBA.


HIS GRACE, BISHOP +THEOPHANIS was elevated to the holy episcopate in Constantinople on July 25, 2023, by the hands of Archbishop +ELPIDOPHOROS, Metropolitan +JOB of Pisidia, and Metropolitan  +APOSTOLOS of New Jersey. 

Bishop +THEOPHANIS was born in 1966 in Tirana, Albania.  He graduated from the College Economic School in 1985, and served two years in the Albanian Army.  In 1990, he was a member of the Albanian Orthodox Christian action group which reopened  Annunciation Cathedral which had been used as a gymnasium.  In 1991, he graduated from the Academy of Economic Sciences in Tirana and proceeded to serve  with the Albanian government as an Economics Inspector in the Department of State Controls from 1991-1992.    


From February through July 1992, he studied Orthodox Theology in Durrës with the first group of students under the tutelage of then-Father Ilia Katre (of blessed memory).

Between 1992 and 1998, he participated in numerous local and international conferences, sometimes representing the Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese (OCA) or the Church of Romania. He was privileged to meet Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Pope John Paul II, and four Presidents of Albania and Romania, in addition to many others. 

In September of 1993, at the invitation of Patriarch +THEOCTIST of Romania (of blessed memory), he departed to study at the Orthodox Theological Institute of Bucharest under the tutelage of Archbishop +CALINIC of Arges.  


Ordained a deacon on January 1st, 1995, he was tonsured a monastic five days later on the Feast of the Theophany by Archbishop +CALINIC.  He took the name “Theophan.”

In May of 1995, he was ordained a priest and elevated to the rank of archimandrite by the same hierarch.  In September, he graduated from the theological school and began two years of service as a missionary priest in Bucharest.  From 1995-1999, he  pursued a doctoral degree in theology at the University of Bucharest.  At the beginning of 1995, he was also appointed abbot of the Aninoasa Monastery in Curtea de Arges.

In 1999, the Church of Romania released him to the Romanian Episcopate (OCA), where he served as rector of  St. Thomas the Apostle parish in St. Louis, MO until August of 2021.  


His next assignment brought him to Boston, where he was rector of St. George Albanian Orthodox Cathedral. 

In June 2023, he was incardinated in the Ecumenical Patriarchate.  Following his personal meeting in Constantinople with His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch +BARTHOLOMEW in Constantinople, Archimandrite Theophanis was proposed by His Holiness to the Holy and Sacred Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for election as new Bishop of Philomelion, succeeding Metropolitan +ILIA who reposed in the Lord on October 6, 2022.   

Bishop +THEOPHANIS is fluent in Albanian, Romanian, English, Greek, Italian, and Macedo-Romanian (Aromanian).  He holds Albanian, Romanian, and US citizenship. ◊