Metropolitan Church History

The Episcopacy of Bishop Nicholas T. Elko

With the abrupt and unexpected resignation of Bishop Ivancho, the responsibility for leading the ever-growing Pittsburgh Greek Catholic Exarchate was entrusted to the Vicar General of the Exarchate, Monsignor Nicholas T. Elko.  Monsignor Elko was born in Donora, Pennsylvania on December 14, 1909.  After receiving his elementary and secondary education in the public schools of his hometown, Nicholas Elko attended and graduated from Duquesne University in 1930.  Upon completion of his theological studies at the Greek Catholic Seminary in Užhorod as well graduate studies at the University of Louvain in Belgium, Nicholas Elko, along with the future Bishop Ivancho, was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Takach on September 30, 1934 at St. Nicholas Greek Catholic Church in McKeesport.

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A Change in Status Results in Two Eparchies

In recognition of its continued growth and development, the Holy See acted to significantly upgrade the status of Byzantine Catholic Church in the United States.  By a decree issued by the newly elected Pontiff, His Holiness Pope Paul VI, in 1963, the Exarchate, which territorially encompassed the entire United States, was divided into two separate ecclesiastical jurisdictions.  The first, centered in Passaic, New Jersey, included within its territory of the entire states of New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, South Carolina, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virginia, all of Eastern Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia.  The second jurisdiction, centered in Pittsburgh, included in its territory the remainder of the nation.  In addition, the 1963 papal decree raised both jurisdictions to the canonical status of an eparchy or a full diocese.

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