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Metropolitan Nicholas Smisko

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Metropolitan Nicholas Smisko Obituary
Metropolitan Nicholas Smisko

Johnstown, Pa.

His Eminence, Metropolitan Nicholas (Smisko), primate of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A. (Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople)reposed in the Lord Monday, March 14, 2011, after a courageous battle with cancer. Born Feb. 23, 1936 to Anna (Totin) and Andrew Smisko, Metropolitan Nicholas is survived by brothers, George and wife, Rosemary, and Michael and wife, Maryann; nieces, RoseAnn and Melissa; and great-nephew, Hudson. A priestly vocation from Saint John the Baptist Church, Perth Amboy, after graduating from Perth Amboy High School, he entered Christ the Saviour Seminary in Johnstown, Pa. to study for the Holy Priesthood. Upon graduation, he was ordained on Jan. 11, 1959 by Bishop Orestes in Perth Amboy. His first pastorate was at Saints Peter and Paul Church in Windber, Pa., where he served until 1962. A new phase of his life began when he embarked on a year's study at the renowned Patriarchal Theological Academy at Halki, Constantinople. During his stay in the city, the young priest was assigned by the late Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras to serve the spiritual needs of the large Slavic Orthodox community in the Galata section of Istanbul. He also traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Middle East, visiting the sacred sites of the Holy Land and living for a time on Mount Athos, the ancient monastic center of the Orthodox Church. Upon his return to the United States, be resumed his studies at the University of Youngstown, Ohio, and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He was then assigned as Prefect of Discipline at Christ the Saviour Seminary in Johnstown, and served several parishes in the Johnstown area, before relocating in 1971 to New York City, where he served as pastor of St. Nicholas Church. He was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite in 1976, and was elected by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople as Auxiliary Bishop for the Ukrainian Orthodox Diocese of America and was consecrated as Bishop on March 13, 1983.

Following the death of Bishop John (Martin) in September 1984, Bishop Nicholas was chosen as the third ruling hierarch of the Carpatho-Russian Diocese and was enthroned in Christ the Saviour Cathedral by His Eminence, Archbishop Iakovos on April 19, 1985. He was elevated to the rank of Metropolitan, by His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I on Nov. 24, 1997. Over his many years of service to Christ and His Holy Church, His Eminence has proven to be a worthy laborer in the vineyard of the Lord. In recognition for his labors, he was the recipient of the Saints Cyril and Methodius Award, given by the Orthodox Church of Czechoslovakia, the St. Sava Award from Patriarch Pavel of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Holy Cross School of Theology. His Eminence has been noted for his love for his flock and the liturgical services of the Church, and his devotion to the Mother Church, the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He was well-respected in Orthodox and Ecumenical circles as being a promoter of peace and mutual understanding amongst all Christ-loving people. True to his patron Saint, Nicholas the wonderworker, His Eminence was perhaps best known and respected for his pastoral sensitivity, generosity of spirit and compassion for the sick and suffering and the less fortunate. In the words of St. Paul: He fought the good fight, he finished the course, and he kept the faith. May His Memory Be Eternal.

Following services at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Johnstown, Pa. on Friday, March 18, Metropolitan Nicholas will be brought to his home parish of St. John the Baptist, located at 145 Broad St., Perth Amboy. Viewing will be from 1 to 9 p.m. Saturday, March 19 and on Sunday all day until 9 p.m. There will be a 7 p.m. service both evenings. On Monday, March 21, burial will be at St. John's Church Cemetery after a 10:30 a.m. service in church celebrated by His Eminence, Archbishop Demetrios. Because the Lenten season and out of the Metropolitan's love and concern for his clergy, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations are requested for Priests' Pension Fund, c/o ACRD, 312 Garfield St., Johnstown, PA 15906. For more information you may visit or Contact: Fr. Michael Rosco, Tel: (732) 826-4442, Email: [email protected] Arrangements by the Gustav J. Novak Funeral Home, Perth Amboy.

Published in Home News Tribune from Mar. 16 to Mar. 17, 2011
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