Father Michael Gogolev was born in Lille, northern France and grew up in Menton, near Nice. He’s from a “White emigré” family. The future priest’s parents came to France and brought up their children there. “My whole family, parents, wife, daughter are French” says Father Michael. “That is why I always say that I am a French Orthodox priest of Russian origin.”
Little Michael Gogolev went to a Russian Orthodox church in France, he also sang in the church choir and served as an altar boy. All his family were deeply religious people, and the uncle of Michael’s father, whom as a child he named Uncle Mitya, later became Archbishop John of San Francisco. Michael Gogolev decided to take holy orders after certain significant developments in his life. “There was a time in life around when my grandfather died and my daughter was born” he recalls. “Death and birth led me to some questions and I started thinking about life, became more inclined to read the Gospel…” He was ordained in 1985.
Michael Gogolev was educated as a petrochemical engineer. As a deacon and later priest, he worked at the same time on a plant. He started as an engineer, and ended up the Director General of the Swedish-British company AGA Gas Petroleum. He worked in France, Poland, Russia and other countries. When his father Michael was in Russia in the 90s, he also served in the Trinity-Sergius Lavra. Because of his work, he moved with his family to England.
“To be a priest in Western Europe is a feat, because you have three responsibilities: family, professional and pastoral. Therefore, there is no free time at all.”
In 2000, Bishop Anthony of the Diocese of Sourozh and Metropolitan Kirill (now Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia) blessed Father Michael Gogolev on a mission to Ireland. It was he who founded the first Russian Orthodox parishes. Until May 2011 Father Michael was the rector of the Stavropigialny parish of the Russian Orthodox Church in Dublin. He then went to England where he lives with his family in Bath, serving three parishes near the city.
Священник Михаил Гоголев
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