In Memoriam: Archpriest Nicolas Boldireff

June 2, 2024

On Wednesday, May 22, 2024, Archpriest Nicolas Boldireff fell asleep in the Lord at age 78 after a long illness.  He had been a priest of the Orthodox Church in America, serving parishes in both the United States and Canada, for more than half a century. 

Nicolas Boldireff was born on February 8, 1946 in Paris, France, the third of five sons born to Archpriest Oleg, who, at that time, was serving at the famous Saint Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in that city, and Matushka Natalia Boldireff.

When Nicolas was just two years old, the Boldireff family moved to Canada, where Father Oleg was appointed rector of Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral in Montreal.  The life of the Boldireff family was centered on the Church and music, the family often forming a choir to sing at services celebrated by Father Oleg.  A notable event for the Boldireff family was the acquisition in the early 1950s of a country house (dacha) in Rawdon, a town about an hour north of Montreal, where many Russian Orthodox faithful spent their vacations.  Father Oleg built a chapel dedicated to Saint Seraphim of Sarov in the woods next to his dacha.  A decade later when land was donated for a church cemetery in Rawdon, Father Oleg’s tiny chapel was relocated next to the new cemetery and expanded.  The parish there remains active and the cemetery grows continuously.  Over the decades since then, Rawdon was and remains a focal gathering venue for the Boldireff clan and family members are now buried at the cemetery.

When, after 15 years as rector of Saints Peter and Paul Cathedral, Father Oleg was transferred to Vancouver in 1963, young Nicolas remained with relatives in Montreal to complete his secondary education at College de Longueil.  In 1965, he enrolled at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary from which he graduated in 1970.  In 1967, while still a seminarian, he married Anisia Rudkiewich, the daughter of prominent members of his father’s parish in Vancouver.  They were blessed with four children.  On September 7, 1969, Nicolas was ordained to the diaconate, and on June 28, 1970 to the holy priesthood.  Both ordinations by Archbishop Sylvester of Montreal and Canada took place at Saint Seraphim’s Church in Rawdon.  Father Nicolas was assigned to serve at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Montreal, the parish in which he had grown up, until December of that year when he was transferred to Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral in Los Angeles, California as assistant to Father Dimitri Gisetti in order to serve the early liturgy in English every Sunday, as had been the parish practice for decades.  After nearly six years in California, he yearned to return to Canada and was assigned as rector of Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Toronto, Ontario in September 1976.  Following 24 years of pastoral labors in Toronto, he returned to California as rector of Saint Innocent Church in Tarzana, effective November 1, 2000.  In 2009, he was again assigned to Holy Virgin Mary Cathedral in Los Angeles, his first parish in California, this time as the Russian-speaking priest serving the late liturgy in Church Slavonic.  After three years as Assistant Rector, he was named Rector of the Cathedral and continued in this position until he requested retirement from active parish ministry after nearly five decades of service.  He then returned to Canada and was attached to Saint Seraphim Church in Richmond Hill, Ontario, where he was loved, respected and appreciated for his kindness and long pastoral experience.

Father Nicolas was predeceased less than three years ago by his beloved Matushka Anisia as well as his older brothers, Serge and Vladimir just last year.  He is survived by his children: Nathalie (late Paul), Tamara (Nicholas), Marina and Michael; and seven grandchildren: Alexander, Nicholas, Christopher, Sasha, Ekaterina, Gregory and Isabelle, as well as his two younger brothers, Deacon Andrei, and Oleg with their families.

The schedule of services for Archpriest Nicolas Boldireff’s funeral and interment is as follows:

Tuesday, May 28, 2024
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Visitation
Highland Funeral Home - Markham Chapel
10 Cachet Woods Court
Markham ON L6C 3G1

Wednesday, May 29, 2024
11:00 AM Funeral for a Priest
St. Seraphim Church
10030 Yonge Street
Richmond Hill, OntarioRichmond Hill, Ontario

Saturday, June 1, 2024
2:00 PM Burial
St. Seraphim Cemetery
3494 15e Avenue
Rawdon, Quebec

May Father Nicolas’ memory be eternal!