Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA
Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA or Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA [Українська Православна Церква в США, or УПЦ-США; Ukrainska Pravoslavna Tserkva v SShA, or UOC-USA]. The largest Ukrainian Orthodox church in the United States. It is in communion with the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada and the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox church in Western Europe but is administered independently.
The first UOC-USA parishes were founded in 1919, mostly by former Ukrainian Catholics from Galicia or Orthodox from Transcarpathia and Bukovyna. At that time several Catholic parishes founded as early as 1903 joined the new church. Influenced by the movement for an independent church in Ukraine, these parishes founded the independent UOC-USA at a national convention held in Newark in 1920. Its first administrator was Rev N. Kopachuk, an Orthodox priest from Bukovyna. This church organization proclaimed its unity with the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox church in Ukraine. In 1924 Archbishop Ioan Teodorovych was dispatched by the All-Ukrainian Orthodox Church Council in Kyiv to serve as a hierarch for the new churches in the United States and Canada.
The UOC-USA grew quickly, and by 1932 it included 32 parishes and 25 priests. Some priests and faithful, however, questioned the canonicity of Ioan Teodorovych's episcopal ordination by the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox church and formed the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America (UOCA) under the jurisdiction of the patriarch of Constantinople. In the late 1940s many parishes left the UOCA to join the UOC-USA, and attempts were made to unite the two jurisdictions. In 1949 Teodorovych even accepted a reconsecration to satisfy the demands of some elements of the UOCA, but the division remained. With the arrival of postwar immigrants the church grew, and many new parishes were founded. In 1950 a sobor in New York reorganized the church as a metropoly under Metropolitan Teodorovych, and in 1951 the see and the administrative offices were transferred to South Bound Brook, New Jersey, where a memorial church (Saint Andrew's), a museum, an archive and library, and a Ukrainian cemetery were all founded.
In the 1960s the UOC-USA had 93 parishes, 94 priests, and approximately 100,000 faithful. Ioan Teodorovych was assisted by Archbishop Mstyslav Skrypnyk, who became administrative head of the consistory. In 1967 three eparchies were established, in New York (Skrypnyk), Detroit (Archbishop Volodymyr Malets), and Chicago (Archbishop H. Shyprykevych). In 1975 Saint Sophia's Seminary was opened in the Ukrainian Orthodox center in South Bound Brook; it is affiliated with Rutgers University in New Brunswick. The church has published Ukraïns’kyi pravoslavnyi kalendar (1951–), Ukraïns’ke pravoslavne slovo (1951–), the English-language Ukrainian Orthodox Word (1967–) (combined in 2005 into Ukraïns’ke pravoslavne slovo – Ukrainian Orthodox Word), and Dnipro (USA) (1920–50). By 1990 the church had over 100 priests and parishes and over 100,000 adherents.
In 1995 the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA was received into the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and the parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America, hitherto under the jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarch, were united with it. A number of parishes that opposed this change withdrew from the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA and joined the Vicariate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Kyiv Patriarchate in the USA and Canada. In 2016 the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA had 87 parishes and missions (over half in the states of Pennsylvania, New York State, and New Jersey).
[This article was updated in 2016.]