Metropolitan | Nicholas Smisko | Spiritual leader, 75

Posted: March 17, 2011

Metropolitan Nicholas Smisko, 75, spiritual leader of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the U.S.A., died of cancer near Johnstown, Pa., the city where he served.

Metropolitan Nicholas died Sunday at the Windber Hospice, a few miles from Johnstown, where he headed the diocese that includes 10,000 members in 80 congregations nationwide.

He was known for quiet acts of charity and for his efforts to repair the nearly 1,000-year-old schism between the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches, as well as other divisions.

He was known for cosponsoring ecumenical services with Bishop Joseph Adamec, head of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, and Bishop Gregory Pile of the Allegheny Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. He attended such a service at St. John Gualbert Cathedral in Johnstown on Feb. 13.

"Metropolitan Nicholas made it a point to be there despite being very sick," said Tony DeGol, a spokesman for the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese. - AP

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