Nicholas (Smisko) of Amissos
His Eminence the Most Reverend Metropolitan Nicholas (Smisko) of Amissos (1936-2011) was the ruling bishop of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese (ACROD) as a titular metropolitan of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He reposed on the Sunday of Orthodoxy, March 13, 2011.
Metr. Nicholas was born Richard Smisko on February 23, 1936 and was raised in Perth Amboy, New Jersey. After completing his secondary schooling, he attended Youngstown State University and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown before studying at Christ the Savior Seminary in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. He continued his theological studies at the Patriarchal Theological Seminary in Istanbul.
His service as an Orthodox clergyman began in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America where he rose to the hierarchy. He was elected a bishop of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. He was consecrated on March 13, 1983, in St. Mary's Church, Allentown, Pennsylvania, as titular bishop of Amissos. The consecrating hierarchs were Archbishop Iakovos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, Metr. Andrew (Kuschak) of Evkarpia of the UOC of America, Bp. John (Martin) of Nyssa of the ACROD, and Bp. Philotheos of Meloa.
Following the sudden death of Bp. John Martin on September 30, 1984, the administrator of the diocese, mitred priest Fr. Peter E. Molchany, and the diocesan board of trustees convened a Special Council-Sobor to nominate a candidate for ruling bishop of the diocese. At the Special Council, held on November 26, 1984, Bp. Nicholas of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of America was nominated as their candidate to be the bishop of the diocese. After receiving his nomination, the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate elected Bp. Nicholas as Ruling Bishop of ACROD on March 20, 1985.
He was enthroned on April 19, 1985 by Abp. Iakovos of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. In 1997, he was elevated to metropolitan by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
During his episcopacy, Metr. Nicholas has been active in relationships with other Orthodox jurisdictions and in particular with the brethren in the Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia, the homelands of many Carpatho-Russians in the United States. He revamped the diocesan seminary, encouraged starting new parishes, and publication of services books containing music in Carpatho-Russian plain chant.
Metr. Nicholas reposed on March 13, 2011 after waging a courageous battle with cancer. After a funeral service at Christ the Saviour Cathedral in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on March 16, he was buried in the cemetery of St. John parish in Perth Amboy, New Jersey on March 21, 2001.
Nicholas (Smisko) of Amissos
|Bishop of Amissos
|Primate of ACROD