About the journal

Spiritual Spring is a periodical addressed not only to members of the Orthodox faith but anyone interested in learning more about Russia’s spiritual heritage. The magazine provides a variety of perspectives and experiences, appealing to a broad range of interests and demographics. Thematically, the journal covers all aspects of Orthodoxy in the modern world. Readers can find answers to issues they face in everyday life while enjoying a deeper exploration of Christianity’s rich and multifaceted history. The versatility of the magazine’s design seeks to strike a balance between the modern and secular world in a way which is uniquely Russian Orthodox yet accessible to readers with other beliefs, as well as those who are simply curious.

The journal Spiritual Spring is circulated primarily in the Western United States and Mexico where there is a high concentration of the Russian diaspora, to the Russian diplomatic missions in those areas, through subscriptions and other select places in the aforementioned territory.

Editorial Board:

His Eminence, the Most Reverend KYRILL,
Archbishop of San Francisco & Western America

Editor in Chief

Born Boris Mikhailovich Dmitrieff on 24 November  1954, in San Francisco to Russian Orthodox parents. Fluent in Russian since his youth, he loved to serve as an altar boy, and went on to read during divine services. In 1972 at the age of 17, Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev, +2000) of San Francisco and Western America ordained him as a reader, and later that year, after graduating high school, he enrolled at the University of San Francisco, which he graduated on an accelerated schedule with a Bachelor's Degree in Theology in 1976. Boris then decided to continue his education at St. Vladimir's Academy, where he received a Master's Degree in Theology in 1979. In 1981, he was tonsured a monk (in Jerusalem) and ordained as a hierodeacon by Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky, +1985), and a month later was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev, +2000). That year he was appointed to the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem and began to teach Russian and English at Bethany School. In 1982, for health reasons, he was transferred to the Diocese of San Francisco and Western America. In 1987, he was appointed Director of Sts. Cyril and Methodius School at the Cathedral of the Mother of God “Joy of All Who Sorrow” in San Francisco, and elevated to the rank of abbot. In 1988, he was awarded the palitsa. In 1992, he was consecrated Bishop of Seattle, Vicar Bishop of the Diocese of San Francisco and Western America. In 2000, upon the repose of Archbishop Anthony, he was appointed Ruling Bishop of that diocese. In 2003, he was a member of the first official delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia visiting Russia to meet with His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II. Later that year, Bishop Kyrill was elevated to the rank of Archbishop. In 2008, he was awarded the diamond cross by the Council of Bishops. In 2009, he was decorated with the Order of St. Innocent, 2nd Degree, and in 2012 was decorated with the Order of St. Sergius, 2nd Degree. Both honours were bestowed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia. In 2013 he was decorated by the Head of the Royal House - Grand Duchess Maria with the Order of St. Anne, 1st Degree.

Bishop Irenei (Steenberg)
Senior Editor

Matthew Craig Steenberg was born in 1978 in United States. In the 2000s, he taught at Oxford and was a parishioner of the local Orthodox parish under the Moscow Patriarchate.
In 2003-2007 he was head of Theology & Tutor for Graduates; Fellow in Patristic Theology and Early Church History, Greyfriars Hall, University of Oxford.
He was ordained a deacon on August 28 (os August 15), 2007 in London by Bishop Elisey of Bogorodsk. He served as deacon for the Diocese of Sourozh.
In 2007-2010 he was Chair of Theology and Religious Studies, Leeds Trinity University College.
He moved to San Francisco from England. January 2010 Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America has received Deacon Matthew Steenberg into the ranks of clergy of the Western American Diocese from the Diocese of Sourozh and assigned him to the St. Tikohon's of Zadonsk Church in San Francisco and as the new principal of St. John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy in San Francisco.
March 8 (February 23 os), 2010 he tonsured a monk with the name Irenaeus after St. Irenaeus of Lyons by Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America.
On March 14 (March 1 os), 2010 hierodeacon Irenaeus was ordained a priest at the Holy Virgin Cathedral in San Francisco by Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America.
Since March 2010 he is Visiting Professor in Orthodox Christian Studies, Santa Clara University.
Since 2000 he is Professorial Research Fellow in Theology, Leeds Trinity University College.
Since 2011 he is dean and Founder of the Sts Cyril & Athanasius Institute for Orthodox Studies, San Francisco.
On August 26 (August 13 os), 2011 at the Divine Liturgy on the occasion of the feastday of St. Tikhon's Church in San Francisco, Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America elevated Hieromonk Irenaeus to the rank of archimandrite and lay the mitre upon his head.

Zoya Gradov
Executive Editor

Born in Russia in 1953. She graduated from St. Petersburg State University in 1980 with a degree in Ancient Greek and Roman History. That same year, she married and moved to Poland. From 1982 to 1984, she pursued her postgraduate degree in History at the University of Warsaw. Upon completing her Ph.D. studies, she was employed by the Warsaw newspaper Tygodnik Polski. She emigrated to the United States with her family in 1988 and resided in San Francisco. In addition to working as an educator, Ms. Gradov was a contributing writer and Editorial Board member of Russian Life, a weekly publication. She continued her education at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and San Francisco State University.

Publications: Regular contributor to the weekly newspapers Tygodnik Polski (Warsaw) and Russian Life (San Francisco); contributing writer for The New Journal (New York), anniversary anthologies and bulletins for the Congress of Russian Americans, and Dukhovnaya Vesna (Spiritual Spring) magazine.

Editor of the bilingual anthology published in honor of the 200th anniversary of Fort Ross: Fort Ross Bicentennial, 2012: Russian Orthodox Church Concelebration.

Rev. Eugene Grushetsky

is currently  rector of St. John of Kronstadt Russian Orthodox Church in San Diego, California. In 1971, he graduated from the Belarusian State University with a degree in Biology.
In 1976, he entered the St. Petersburg (Russia) Theological Academy and Seminary and graduated in 1981 with a Ph.D. in Theology (Candidate). In 1983, he was ordained as a priest  in St. Petersburg  and moved to Belarus. There he served in Minsk’s Holy Ghost Cathedral and was simultaneously a Professor of Theology at the European Humanitarian University. In 1994, Father Eugene received a Fulbright Scholarship in Christian Social Ethics from Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, and moved with his family to the United States. From 1995 to 2011, he served in Minneapolis as a priest at St. Panteleimon Russian Orthodox Church. Since  2011, he has lived and served in San Diego.

Archpriest Paul Volmensky

Archpriest Paul Volmensky was born on the Monterey Peninsula in 1961. After graduating from high school and junior college there, he entered Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY, in 1981. He earned a Bachelors Degree in Theology from that institution in 1986. That same year he was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop (later Metropolitan) Laurus and assigned rector of Holy Ascension Church in Sacramento, CA, by Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev).

Father Paul has had longstanding experience in printing a monthly bulletin for his parish. He has taken courses in both desktop and web publishing. Being well practiced in these areas, he is currently the executive editor of the official website of the Western American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Several of his articles have appeared in church periodicals.

Married and having six children with his wife Matushka Susan, Father Paul enjoys both his family and rectorship in Sacramento. His interests are found in bringing people closer to God in a practical way. 

Abbot James (Corazza)

is the Priest of the Old Cathedral of the Holy Virgin “Joy of All Who Sorrow” located at 864 Fulton Street, San Francisco, California 94117. He converted to the Orthodox Faith from Lutheranism in 1979 while studying Political Science in college. Father James has served at the Old Cathedral since 1984 as a Subdeacon and Deacon for many years, and since 2004 as its Priest. He is well known for hosting tours for pilgrims who travel to San Francisco to venerate St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco. He has also given a variety of presentations to parish retreats and youth conferences on various spiritual and ecclesiastical topics in the United States and abroad.

Natalia Ermakova

was born and raised in Moscow. In 2000, she was graduated from the International Independent University of Environmental and Political Sciences (Academy IIUEPS) (“Fundraising for non-profit public organizations”) and went on to work for several public organizations. In 2004, she decided to change professions and enrolled in a master’s degree program in Philology at the Moscow Pedagogical State University. In 2009, she graduated with a specialization in Russian as a second language and Russian émigré literature. She later translated for National Geographic (Russian edition). In 2002–2013, she worked for the Foundation for Development of Musical Culture “Life-bearing Spring” as an editor and contributing writer. Since 2007, she has been teaching Russian and Russian literature in different private schools. Since 2009, she has been an archivist of the Western American Diocese of ROCOR, where she systematizes and describes a vast array of historical documents. Since February 2014, she has been proofreader of the Russian content of the International Journalists’ Network website.
In 2013, she received an invitation from the Editorial Board of the Spiritual Spring journal. Since then, she has been privileged to work as a Russian content editor, contributing writer, and translator in a wonderful team of talented and devoted people.

Lisa Joanna Smith

Received her AB degree in Semiotics (Modern Culture and Media) from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, in 1989. She went on to complete graduate-level coursework for an MA in History at New Mexico State University (NMSU). While studying at NMSU, she became staff editor of graduate-level papers in computer science and artificial intelligence for the Computing Research Lab. During 1995–1998, she edited legal textbooks and journals at Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education in Boston. From 1998 to 2003,  she was a manuscript editor at Decision Resources, Inc., a consulting company based in Waltham, Massachusetts, developing pharmaceutical industry reports. In 2003, she moved to New York City, where she worked for book publishers and ad agencies on a freelance basis. During her time in New York (2003–2009), she was choir director for the English-language parish at the St. Sergius Chapel in the Synodal Cathedral of the Icon of Our Lady of the Sign. Since 2003, she has been providing a variety of editorial services to private clients in nonfiction publishing, science journals, advertising, medicine, academia, and education. She has written for Kirkus Reviews, Demand Media Studios, and other media outlets. She is married to Sergei Chidlowsky and attends Saints Peter & Paul Church in Santa Rosa, California, where she is an active member of the choir and the Parish Council and co-editor of the parish newsletter.

Julia Godzikovskaya
Media Manager

Julia Godzikovskaya is a native Muscovite currently living in San Francisco. Prior to moving San Francisco, Julia lived in Washington, D.C., where she worked as a Russian publications consultant at the World Bank, and in Los Angeles, where she worked as a computer graphics specialist at a nonprofit education foundation. After moving to San Francisco, Julia completed her master of arts degree in psychological research at the San Francisco State University in 2012 and currently works in the research division of Felton Institute in early psychosis prevention and recovery program.

Oxana Sapronova
Designer, Subscription Manager

Born and raised in Kazakhstan, in the city of Almaty. After moving to San Francisco, and finishing high school, has been pursuing a Bachelor's degree in Marketing in City College of San Francisco and is continuing her studies after transferring to San Francisco State University. Since 2011 has been a participant of many Orthodox Youth Conferences taking place in the US and abroad.