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Ruthenian Catholic Eparchy of the Holy Protection of Mary of Phoenix

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eparchy of the Holy Protection of Mary of Phoenix

Eparchia Sanctae Mariae a Patrocinio in urbe Phoenicensi
Phoenix - Saint Stephen Byzantine Catholic Cathedral - 2.jpg
Saint Stephen Cathedral in Phoenix
CountryUnited States
TerritoryAlaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington
MetropolitanWilliam C. Skurla
- Catholics
(as of 2010)
DenominationRuthenian Greek Catholic Church
EstablishedDecember 3, 1981 (38 years ago)
CathedralSt. Stephen Cathedral
Co-cathedralProto-Cathedral of St. Mary
Patron saintHoly Protection of Mary
Current leadership
BishopJohn Stephen Pazak
Apostolic AdministratorThomas James Olmsted
Vicar GeneralStephen Washko
Bishops emeritusGerald Nicholas Dino
Eparchy of Phoenix map.png
Proto-Cathedral of St. Mary in Van Nuys, California
Proto-Cathedral of St. Mary in Van Nuys, California

The Holy Protection of Mary Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix (formerly known as the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Van Nuys) (Latin: Eparchia Vannaisensis) is the Catholic eparchy (diocese) governing most Byzantine Ruthenian Catholics in the western United States. Its headquarters are at 8105 North 16th Street, Phoenix, Arizona. The current bishop is the Most Reverend John Stephen Pazak.

The Eparchy's territorial jurisdiction consists of thirteen Western States. Churches are presently located in the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. It is a suffragan of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. Currently, Holy Protection Eparchy of Phoenix has 19 parishes and one mission under its canonical jurisdiction. Most parishes follow the Ruthenian recension, although the eparchy includes one parish of the Italo-Greek tradition.

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The creation of a new eparchy for the western United States was proposed by the metropolitan Council of Hierarchs in 1981. The Congregation for the Oriental Churches a dicastery of the Roman Curia responsible for the Eastern Catholic Churches in communion with the Holy See, recommended the erection of a new eparchy, and it was approved by Pope John Paul II.

The Eparchy of Van Nuys was canonically inaugurated on March 9, 1982, when Archbishop Stephen Kocisko, Metropolitan of the Metropolia of Pittsburgh enthroned Thomas Dolinay as the first bishop of the eparchy. Archbishop Pio Laghi, Apostolic Delegate to the United States, represented the Roman Pontiff and read the Papal Bulla creating the eparchy and appointing Dolinay. Cardinal Timothy Manning, Archbishop of Los Angeles delivered the homily. The Church of St. Mary in Sherman Oaks, California, was designated as the cathedral.[1]

In 1990, with the retirement of Archbishop Kocisko of Pittsburgh approaching, Pope John Paul II relieved Dolinay of his duties as Bishop of Van Nuys and appointed him Coadjutor Archbishop of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh on February 19, 1990.[2] The Pope appointed the Auxiliary Bishop of Passaic, George M. Kuzma, to succeed Bishop Dolinay.

After the Northridge earthquake of 1994 damaged the Cathedral of St. Mary, the eparchial offices, and the bishop's residence, Bishop Kuzma moved his office and residence to Phoenix, Arizona. On February 10, 2010, the seat of the diocese was officially changed to Phoenix. Accordingly, the former pro-cathedral of St. Stephen was given the title of Cathedral, and the Cathedral of St. Mary received the title of Proto-Cathedral.[3]



  1. Bishop Thomas Dolinay (1982–1990) †
  2. Bishop George Kuzma (1991–2000) †
  3. Bishop William C. Skurla (2002–2007)
  4. Bishop Gerald N. Dino (2007–2016)
  5. Bishop John Stephen Pazak (2016–present)
    1. Thomas James Olmsted (Apostolic Administrator, 2018-present)

† = deceased

Other priest of this eparchy who became bishop


The eparchy has 19 parishes, one mission, 2,505 faithful, 27 priests, and 6 religious men and women.[4]

See also



  1. ^ "The Byzantine Church in the West". Eparchy of Phoenix.
  2. ^ Thomas Dolinay bio sketch at Retrieved 2011-02-13.
  3. ^ "No possibility of moving back to California". California Catholic Daily. April 19, 2010. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011.
  4. ^ Ronald Roberson. "The Eastern Catholic Churches 2008" (PDF). Catholic Near East Welfare Association. Retrieved 2010-04-29. Information sourced from Annuario Pontificio 2008 edition.


  • Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh (1999). Byzantine-Ruthenian Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh Directory. Pittsburgh: Byzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh. ISBN none.
  • Magocsi, Paul Robert and Ivan Pop (2005). Encyclopedia of Rusyn History and Culture. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-3566-3.

External links

Eparchy of Phoenix
This page was last edited on 8 December 2019, at 02:40
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