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Diocese of Chicago & Detroit

Protection of the Most Holy Theotokos

History of the Diocese

The Diocese of Chicago & Cleveland was founded in 1954 by an act of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Archbishop Gregory (Boriskevitch) was appointed the first ruling hierarch of the diocese. In 1957, Archbishop Ieronim (Chernov) of Detroit & Flint reposed, and the small diocese that he headed was joined to the Chicago & Cleveland Diocese, which was then renamed the Diocese of Chicago & Detroit.

Later in 1957 Archbishop Gregory reposed, and Archbishop Seraphim (Ivanov) was appointed the ruling hierarch. Archbishop Seraphim ruled the diocese for almost 30 years — a period marked by significant progress in the diocese, including the opening of a number of parishes, as well as the founding of the diocesan ORPR youth camp at Vladimirovo.

In 1974 Bishop (now Archbishop) Alypy (Gamanovich) was appointed bishop of Cleveland and vicar of the diocese. Archbishop Seraphim reposed in 1987, and the Council of Bishops appointed Bishop Alypy bishop of Chicago and ruling hierarch of the diocese. The diocese has continued to grow under the omophorion of Archbishop Alypy, including the building of the “new” Holy Virgin Protection Cathedral in Des Plaines, IL and the Diocesan Center attached to it. Archbishop Alypy, an accomplished iconographer, continues to fresco the new cathedral, which has been hailed as his crowning artistic/spiritual achievement.

On the feast of Sts. Peter & Paul (June 29/July 12, 2003), at the request of Archbishop Alypy, Archimandrite Peter (Loukianoff) was consecrated Bishop of Cleveland at the Diocesan Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God in Des Plaines, IL. 

Bishop John

Archbishop Gregory

Archbishop Ieronim

Archbishop Seraphim

Archbishop Alypy