Fr. Alexis (1965-) was raised in a fervent Methodist household in which he was exposed to Protestantism in its liberal, ecumenical, evangelical, and pentecostal manifestations. He also received instruction in Roman Catholicism while attending a parochial high school. In his early teens, he asked his Sunday school teacher some questions about the Truth in his denomination that remained unanswered. From that time onwards, he began to search for Christ and His Church. In reading Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, he encountered a strange yet beautiful Christianity that seemed so very humble and true that he decided to find that church in America.
After receiving a B.A. in chemistry at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA (1987) and later an M.A. in divinity at the University of Chicago (1988), he entered the Orthodox Church at St. Tikhon’s monastery in South Canaan, PA (1989). There, he received a M.Div. in Orthodox theology (1994), was tonsured a monk of the lesser schema, and taught in the adjacent seminary as a lecturer in patristics, offering courses in spirituality and the ascetic tradition.
To further his education, he was sent to Greece to study modern Greek (1995). While studying in Thessalonica, he spent much time on the Holy Mountain and came to the decision, with the blessing of his spiritual father, that the Garden of the Mother of God was the place in which he was to work out his salvation. Since 1996, he has remained in the Monastery of Karakallou on the Holy Mountain happily preparing vegetables in the monastery kitchen.