Diocese of Washington (OCA)

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The Diocese of Washington was established in 1981 to place the seat of the ruling hierarch of the Orthodox Church in America in the national capital of the United States of America. The diocese was disestablished in 2005 when it was merged with the Diocese of New York and New Jersey to form the Diocese of Washington and New York, and re-established in 2009.


In 1981 under the decision of the 6th All-American Council, the Diocese of Washington was formed by splitting the territories of southern Delaware, District of Columbia, Maryland, and northern Virginia from the Diocese of New York and New Jersey. The purpose of establishing the new diocese was two fold: to establish the see of the ruling hierarch of the OCA in the national capital of the United States as is the norm in other Orthodox Churches, and to provide a smaller diocese for the ruling hierarch to administer, making it easier to attend the duties of leading the OCA as a whole.

St. Nicholas Cathedral, Washington, DC, The Cathedra of the Ruling Hierarch of the OCA

In 2005 under the decision of the Holy Synod, the diocese was re-united with the Diocese of New York and New Jersey following the retirement of Abp. Peter, who was the ruling hierarch of the New York/New Jersey diocese. In making the change, the name of the diocese was changed to the Diocese of Washington and New York, thus retaining Washington as the seat of the united diocese.

However, in 2009, the Holy Synod reversed this decision, returning to the diocesan structure existing from 1981-2005.


At the time of its establishment the Diocese of Washington contained five parishes, namely:

  • St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington, DC - the Metropolitan's seat (Founded 1930)
  • St. Andrews Church in Baltimore, Maryland (Founded 1940)
  • St. Luke Church in McLean, Virginia (Founded 1962)
  • St Mark Church in Bethesda, Maryland (Founded 1972)
  • Holy Trinity Church in Reston, Virginia (Founded 1978)

During the years of its existence as the Diocese of Washington the following parishes were added:

  • St. Catherine the Great Martyr Mission in Hagerstown, Maryland (Founded in 1981)
  • St. Matthew Church in Columbia, Maryland (Founded 1988)
  • Christ the Savior Mission in Dagsboro, Delaware (Founded 2000) - formerly Fenwick Island.
  • Ss. Cyril and Methodius Mission in Washington, DC (Founded 2003)
  • Christ the Savior Mission in Stafford, Virginia (Founded in 2004)
  • All Saints of North America Mission in Alexandria, Virginia (Founded in 2008)

Bishops of Washington

Ruling bishops

Previous bishops

Before the Diocese of Washington was established, the titular Bishop of Washington was an auxiliary to the Metropolitan and resided at St Tikhon's Monastery, visiting Washington only occasionally.

External links