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Fr. Michael Oleksa

Fr.Michael is available to speak on: Alaskan Saints, Persecution of the Alaskan Church and Communicating Across Cultures. Learn more »

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Fr. Michael J. OleksaFather Michael Oleksa is a widely known speaker who travels almost weekly throughout North America speaking from two perspectives – Orthodox Christian and as an expert on Cross Cultural Communications, typically speaking to state, federal and educational agencies. After 40 years in Alaska, Father Michael is convinced Alaska has a mission to the rest of the Church, just as the Church has considered Alaska a mission field for over 200 years.

Father Michael is most well known for his widely acclaimed four-part PBS television series, “Communicating Across Cultures”. He describes culture as being defined by:

  • The way you see the world
  • The game of life as you understand and play it
  • The story into which you were born

Father Michael has published four books:

  • Alaska Missionary Spirituality - Published by SVS Press
  • Orthodox Alaska – Published by SVS Press
  • Another Culture/Another World - Published by the Association of Alaska School Boards
  • Conflicting Landscapes - Published by The Kuskokwim Corporation, Anchorage.

Father has been the honored recipient of awards from the Board of Regents of the University of Alaska, the Alaska State Legislature, The National Governors’ Association, the Alaska Federation of Natives and the Alaskan of the Year Committee, as well as the Order of St. Innocent from the Orthodox Church in America.

Currently the acting chancellor of the Diocese of Sitka, Anchorage and Alaska and rector of St. Alexis Toth Orthodox Church in Anchorage, he serves as adjunct faculty at Alaska Pacific University and on the faculty of St. Herman’s Seminary in Kodiak as well.


  • Lives of the Alaskan Saints
    • The Missionaries SS. Herman, Innocent, Jacob
    • The Martyrs, Juvenaly and his companion, Peter the Aleut
    • The not yet glorified, Matushka Olga Michael and Parascovia Nicolai
  • The Persecution and Suppression the Alaskan Church
    as experienced at the hands of the US Federal Government in the last decades of the 19th and well into the 20th century.
  • Communicating Across Cultures
    which delves into how different conversational tempos, tonal systems, distance and volume settings, politeness styles and cultural rituals affect mis-communication among people. These talks require at least two and preferably four hours.

About the Icon

The icon Father Michael is holding in his photo is of St. Basil Martysz, an Orthodox missionary in Alaska 1900-1910 who returned to Poland and served as chancellor of the autocephalous Polish Orthodox Church after World War I and became head of the military chaplaincy until his retirement at the outbreak of World War II. He was killed by an ultra-nationalist gang, tortured and shot on Holy Saturday 1945 and canonized by the Orthodox Church in Poland in 2002. His feast days are May 4 and June 6, and St. Vladimir’s Seminary is enshrining his icon and relics as the patron saint of Orthodox military chaplains.

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