Mark (Lipa) of Levka
Mark I. Lipa was born December 25, 1919 in Istanbul in albanian family.
A group of clergy and laity who knew of his chanting skills when he accompanied Archbishop Christopher (Kissi) in the early 1930’s supported his initial efforts upon his coming to Boston, Massachusetts, a city with perhaps the largest concentration of Albanian Orthodox communicants.
On 10 September 1950 in Constantinople he was ordained titular Bishop of Levka for the needs of the of Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America under Conatatinople Patriarchate with headquarter in Boston.
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, 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 signers on behalf of the Diocese. This gave impetus to a policy of promoting cooperation and participation in Pan Orthodox programs throughout the country. He also was a member of the New Endland 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.
He passed away on March 11, 1982. He was 62.