Mark (Lipa) of Levka

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Bishop Mark Lipa (December 25, 1919, Istanbul - March 11, 1982, Boston) was titular bishop of Levka, ruling bishop of Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America under the Patriarchate of Constantinople.


Mark I. Lipa was born December 25, 1919 in Istanbul[1] into an Albanian family.

He was educated in the lyceum in Korca[2] and then graduated from the Patriarchal Theological School of Halki in Turkey[3].

He was a gifted chanter, and so after he had accompanied Archbishop Christopher (Kissi) in the early 1930's, a group of clergy and laity supported his initial efforts upon his coming to Boston, Massachusetts, a city with perhaps the largest concentration of Albanian Orthodox communicants[2].

On 10 September 1950 he was consecrated in Constantinople as titular Bishop of Levka [1] for the needs of the of Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America under Patriarchate of Constantinople with headquarters in Boston[4].

Bishop Mark arrived in the United States in December 1950 and succeeded in winning the loyalty of three of the twelve Albanian Orthodox Church of America parishes in the country[5]. He was naturalizated in 1956[6]

During the years of spiritual leadership offered by Bishop Mark (1950-1982) the Diocese hosted a weekly radio program (Voice of Orthodoxy) in the Boston area and published a monthly Diocesan publication (The True Light). A Diocese center in Boston provided a venue for religious, educational, social, cultural and philanthropic activities during the Bishop’s lifetime.

The bishop was active in Pan Orthodox and ecumenical activities. In 1959 the Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in America was formed with Bishop Mark as one of the founding members on behalf of the Diocese. This gave impetus to a policy of promoting cooperation and participation in Pan Orthodox programs throughout the country. He was also a member of the New England Consultation of church leaders.

Together with the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston Humberto Cardinal Medeiros, Bishop Mark signed a Declaration for Religious Freedom on November 28, 1981 asking the Albanian Government to allow the practice of religion for Christians and Muslims[2].

He passed away at the age of 62 on March 11, 1982.


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