The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA is an Ecumenical Patriarchate-affiliated diocese overseen by two diocesan bishops and comprising approximately 105 parishes and missions within its jurisdiction.
Since 1949, this Church has exerted extraordinary effort towards serving Ukrainian-Americans throughout the United States of America. Despite political and legal obstacles encountered along its journey, it continues to thrive and grow stronger over time.
In 1918, Ukraine held a church council aimed at reforming and rejuvenating Orthodoxy. Unfortunately, this effort was disrupted by Bolshevik (Communist) forces which invaded Ukraine, killing many churchmen as a result. Subsequently in 1919 these Council members established a Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church.
At this time, the Soviets refused to permit the Ukrainian Orthodox Church’s return, so they systematically destroyed its property and stripped away any clergy who did not join Russian Church – any priest who did not conform were arrested and sent directly to concentration camps.
After World War II, Ukraine experienced a brief period of religious freedom under German control. A number of bishops were consecrated during this time and some even came to Canada as leaders of their Churches.
Metropolitan John Theodorovich arrived in America to head up the new American-Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Two years later he organized a Sobor in America which formalized his Episcopacy and established jurisdiction in this nation.
Under his leadership, the American-Ukrainian Orthodox Church flourished rapidly under his leadership, quickly expanding over the course of several years to include almost all former Uniate parishes that had disaffiliated from Roman Catholicism over their property ownership and Vatican’s imposition of celibacy among Eastern Catholic clergy in North America.
Archbishop John had also assumed leadership of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada since it was refounded under his supervision in 1929, and began expanding this jurisdiction as well. Both jurisdictions prospered quickly; with American-Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA outgrowing its predecessor and becoming an integral part of world Orthodoxy in America; while Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada flourished by expanding to several parishes within USA borders as well.
In 1946, the Seventh Sobor of UAOC approved of the formation of the Ukrainian Orthodox League as an organization that would become so vital to our Church. As a national volunteer organization dedicated to spreading Orthodoxy faith and supporting its Church as well as nurturing young talent while protecting Ukrainian culture and history.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and Canada is an auxiliary (auxiliary church) of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church that serves to increase understanding and interest about it; foster youth participation; publish and distribute religious, cultural, and educational materials; as well as promote growth and development within its clergy body.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church in North America boasts many parishes across both states and Canada, most prominently New York City and Washington D.C. However, many also exist in New Jersey and California. Part of a worldwide communion of churches led by His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphanius of Kyiv and All Rus-Ukraine as its leader, Filaret of Kyiv is part of this Ukrainian Orthodox Church community here as well.
Our apostolic bishops and priests are fully engaged with the Church’s ecumenical mission, striving to reach out through the Gospel message and teaching of Holy Orthodox Faith. Dedicating themselves to prayer, fellowship, and service for God alone, these spiritual leaders strive towards mission ecumenically.
Over time, numerous charitable organizations have been founded to relieve suffering. Some are widely-known international groups like Oxfam, Care International and Amnesty International that have developed extensive fundraising strategies; while other are locally or regional nonprofits dedicated to serving those less fortunate.
Charity organizations across Ukraine have organized themselves around specific needs or focuses, while other groups focus on health, environment and humanitarian concerns. Companies, government and volunteer networks also donate generous amounts of baby formula, personal care products and medical supplies in an attempt to provide urgent aid relief to families fleeing conflict zones like Ukraine.
The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States boasts its own hierarchy, consisting of a Metropolitan (Primate), three Bishops, and over one hundred clergymen. At its helm is His Eminence Mstyslav (Skrypnyk), President of its Consistory for almost 25 years – leading its efforts to reach out and help humanity through sharing gospel messages and teachings from Orthodoxy Faith.
Music is an integral component of our culture and spiritual life, and as such we are committed to maintaining both traditional and modern arrangements for it.
Ukrainians take great pride in our music and its diverse styles that have evolved throughout history. Our choirs can be heard around the globe and on various recordings; many great composers such as Stetsenko, Koshetz, Jatsynevych, Honcharov, Leontovych and Hnatyshyn have composed chants for our songs including Stetsenko Koshetz Jatsynevych Honcharov Leontovych Hnatyshyn have created them for our songs!
As Ukraine underwent decades of Soviet rule, musical life stagnated. But at the turn of the 20th century, music slowly started reemerging with renewed energy. Apart from Kievan chant, which can still be found sung regularly in churches across Ukraine, other Western Ukrainian chants such as Znammeny have seen renewed life too – including Znammeny chan from 11th and 12th century with strong local melodic influences mixed into its composition.
Since 1988, numerous composers have made valuable contributions to the Church through song. George Fiala, Zenoby Lawryshyn, and others wrote songs commemorating the Millennium of Ukrainian Christianity in 1988.
Church chants and hymns at our parish church draw inspiration from traditional Ukrainian hymns, many of which have been translated into English for use during services. Examples include Our Father, Hail Mary Mother of God, O Holy God Eternal Father, To Thy Cross O Heavenly King, Hymn to Holy Trinity May the Holy Spirit as well as many more.
Every Sunday morning we host an extensive program of services and host various parish activities during the week. Our congregation is comprised of individuals from diverse backgrounds – we invite you to become part of it!
Our church falls under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. It comprises two eparchies led by two bishops and approximately 85 active parishes and missions across America. At present, Metropolitan Antony (Scharba) serves as our spiritual leader.
Our preachers are men and women representing a longstanding tradition of Orthodoxy dating back to the First Century Church. With training in our faith, strong church structures, and dedication to ancient traditions of our religion at their disposal, these preachers effectively lead our parishes.
Saint Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Allentown, Pennsylvania was established in 1903 as the first Ukrainian church. Many Ukrainians began migrating westward from Ukraine during the 18th and 19th centuries, seeking religious freedom and economic opportunities in North America. Eastern Pennsylvania attracted many immigrants due to its rolling farmlands, coal-rich mountains, and developing industrial sectors – an attractive landscape that attracted newcomers seeking religious freedom as well as economic expansion opportunities.
Protestantism first made its debut in Ukraine with German immigration between 1772 and 1905, many of whom were Lutherans (a denomination which spread throughout Europe to North America) or Mennonites (an Anabaptist group) who were granted religious freedom by Russian Imperial authorities and became an integral part of society.
Though large numbers arrived, they were frequently targeted for persecution during their first years in Ukraine. Stundists, an influential Protestant group who were particularly targeted, ultimately ended up outlawed by the Soviet Union.
Archbishop Nikanor and Bishop Mstyslav’s 1942 reorganization of national churches by Archbishop Nikanor and Bishop Mstyslav was strongly opposed by German occupying authorities who saw this act as a threat to their religion; later however, pro-Russian hierarchs of the Ukrainian Autonomous Orthodox Church reversed it.
Since 1975, our seminary has provided education and training for clergy and laity of our Ukrainian Church here in America. Over this timeframe, it has produced both highly trained clergy and educated laity who are ready to serve all members of their flock.
Success lies within their training’s adaptability and loyalty to ancient faith traditions, with success achieved due to biblical studies, pastoral care and liturgical propriety becoming hallmarks of their training before they graduate and are ready to lead parishes effectively.
Our hierarchs, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony and His Grace Bishop Daniel are highly esteemed within our parishes, providing spiritual guidance and direction for both clergy members and faithful alike.