History of the Diocese
The Diocese of Chicago and Cleveland was established in 1954 by a resolution of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. Archbishop Gregory (Boriskevich) was appointed the first ruling hierarch of the diocese.
In 1957 Archbishop Ieronim (Chernov) of Detroit and Flint reposed in the Lord, and the small diocese that he headed was joined to the Diocese of Chicago and Cleveland, now renamed the Diocese of Chicago and Detroit. Later that same year Archbishop Gregory passed away, and Bishop Seraphim (Ivanov) was appointed as the new bishop of the combined dioceses. He presided for thirty years, reposing in 1987.
In 1974 Archbishop Seraphim petitioned the Council of Bishops for assistance, and Bishop Alypy (Gamanovich) was consecrated as bishop of Cleveland, vicar of the diocese. After Archbishop Seraphim's repose, Archbishop Alypy became the ruling hierarch. In April of 2002 Archbishop Alypy suffered a fall, and was left incapacitated from the waist down. Archimandrite Peter (Loukianoff), then chief of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, was appointed to run the diocese. On Jun 29/July 12, 2003, at the request of Archbishop Alypy, Father Peter was consecrated bishop of Cleveland, administrator of the diocese.
In May, 2006, the Council of Bishops attached the mid-southern states to the diocese, and the name was changed to the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America. Archbishop Alypy's title was amended accordingly.
With God's help, all the hierarchs contributed to the growth and well-being of the diocese, establishing new parishes, building churches, and caring for the flock. Archbishop Gregory organized the diocese. Archbishop Seraphim is remembered for his work with the youth and founding of the diocesan ORPR-Camp. Archbishop Alypy beautified many of the churches with his iconography.
The diocese consists of sixteen states: stretching from the Canadian border to the Mexican border, and from the Ohio and Mississippi rivers to the Rocky Mountains.
At first the diocesan center was located in a house, which also contained a chapel. In 1964 Archbishop Seraphim purchased a building on North Kedzie Avenue in Chicago and had it converted into a church. During Archbishop Alypy's tenure property was bought in Des Plaines, and in 1991 a cathedral in the Russian Pskov-style was erected. Soon after a church hall was added. At present the cathedral parish, in conjunction with the diocese, is building a community center which will include: diocesan offices, parish office, church school and office, library and bookstore.
Glory be to God in all things!