Bishop Nicholas T. Elko

Nicholas Thomas Elko was born in Donora, Pennsylvania on December 14, 1909. After receiving his elementary and secondary education in the public schools of his hometown, he attended and was graduated in 1930 from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Upon completion of his theological studies at the Greek Catholic Seminary in Užhorod (western Ukraine) and his graduate studies at the University of Louvain in Belgium, he, along with the future Bishop Daniel Ivancho, was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Basil Takach on September 30, 1934 at St. Nicholas Church in McKeesport, Pa. Continue reading

Metropolitan Archbishop Basil M. Schott OFM

Myron Schott was born in Freeland, Pennsylvania on July 21, 1939, the youngest of the five children of Michael and Mary Schott. His early education was at St. Mary Byzantine Catholic School in Freeland and at St. Gabriel High School in Hazleton, Pa.

He entered the Byzantine Franciscans at Holy Dormition Monastery in Sybertsville, Pa. on August 3, 1958, and he made the profession of his religious vows there a year later, taking the name Basil. He attended Immaculate Conception College in Troy, New York and St. Mary Seminary in Norwalk, Connecticut, earning bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and theology, and a master’s degree in theology and pastoral counseling.
Continue reading

A Greek Catholic bishop comes to America

To restore ecclesiastical order and to stem the tide of defections to Orthodoxy, the Holy See finally relented, and on March 8, 1907 announced the appointment of a bishop for the Greek Catholic Church in America: Reverend Soter Stephen Ortinsky, O.S.B.M., a Basilian monk from Galicia. When he came to America on August 27, 1907, his temporary residence was at St. Michael Parish in South Fork, Pa., and in 1908 he moved to Philadelphia. Continue reading

Coming to America

By the latter decades of the 19th century, the already marginal economic situation of the Carpatho-Rusyn people in Europe had become even more precarious.  The old peasant way of life, which in the best of times provided only a meager living, irreparably broke down under the strain of a changing economy.
Continue reading

Renewed Efforts to Organize

The Vatican’s 1890 decree requiring all Greek Catholic priests serving in the United States to be celibate deeply disturbed the Greek Catholic clergy. Since most of them were married, they considered the decree to be an outrageous and unwarranted attack … Continue reading

Beginnings in the Old Country

To understand Byzantine Catholic people and their Church, it is necessary to know who they were and from where they came. Thus, the journey of faith must start in their homeland, the “Old Country” of Central Europe. Continue reading

The First American Eparchies Created

In recognition of its continued growth and development, the Holy See acted to significantly upgrade the status of the Byzantine Catholic Church in the United States. By a decree issued by the newly-elected Pope Paul VI in 1963, the Exarchate, whose territory included the entire United States, was divided into two separate ecclesiastical jurisdictions. Continue reading

The Struggle for Recognition

The arrival of considerable numbers of Eastern Catholics to the United States found the Catholic Church in America ill-prepared for them. The sudden appearance of increasing numbers of people who professed to be Catholic, but who followed different traditions, used a different liturgical language and conducted a different manner of public worship, was extremely disconcerting to the Latin Catholic hierarchy. Continue reading


A traveler coming by ship into the great harbor of New York City cannot help but be awe-struck by the imposing sight of the Statue of Liberty. Standing proudly atop a pedestal some 306 feet tall, with broken chains of … Continue reading

Four decades of growth and change

Bishop Basil Takach

For eight years, the Greek Catholics in the United States waited eagerly for the appointment of a new bishop. Finally, on March 8, 1924, the Holy See unexpectedly announced the establishing of two exarchates for them in the United States. Father Basil Takach was appointed to be the Bishop for those of Carpatho-Rusyn, Hungarian, Slovak and Croatian descent, while Father Constantine Bohachevsky was named Bishop for those of Ukrainian descent. Continue reading