Archbishop Nikon of Boston (OCA) reposes in the Lord

Southbridge, Massachusetts, September 2, 2019     

His Eminence Archbishop Nikon of Boston and New England and the Albanian Archdiocese of the Orthodox Church in America reposed in the Lord yesterday, Sunday, September 1, reports the OCA press service.

Abp. Nikon was consecrated as a bishop in May, 2002, and was elected ruling bishop of the New England Diocese in October 2005. He also served as locum tenens of the Diocese of the South from February 2011 to March 2015.

He was elevated to the rank of archbishop on May 9, 2012.

Michael A. Gregory, the Lay Chairman of the Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America, offers some words in honor of Abp. Nikon:

It is with deep regret that I learned of Archbishop Nikon's passing earlier today. The Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America is, at its heart, a family. Today we lost our spiritual father. For the past 16 years he guided us with a steady hand, through ups and downs, always taking a measured approach to every situation. He exhibited the best traits of a true leader—the ability to listen and the ability to act decisively. We saw him not only as our bishop, but as one of us. A son of St. Nicholas in New York, his life would be one of service to others. That service included his 50 years as a priest and concluded with his significant contributions as our bishop as well as bishop for the New England Diocese of the Orthodox Church in America. The ultimate compliment we can offer Archbishop Nikon is that he proved himself a worthy successor to Metropolitan Theofan S. Noli. They shared many things in common, not the least of which was the deep reverence and respect they commanded from our parishioners. They both now guide us from above. On behalf of the Albanian Orthodox Archdiocese in America, I extended our deepest sympathies to Archbishop Nikon's brothers, V. Rev. Arthur Liolin and James Liolin, and their families.

Funeral information is forthcoming. May his memory be eternal!


A fuller biography is provided by Wikipedia:

Archbishop Nikon was born in New York City on October 9, 1945, the son of the late Evans J. and Helena P. Liolin. He was raised in a family nurtured in the Orthodox Christian faith and active in the Albanian Archdiocese of the Orthodox Church in America. His father had served as lay chairman and founder in 1947 of the Diocesan Theological Student Fund. For many years, his mother served as choir director at the family's home parish of Saint Nicholas, Jamaica Estates, New York. His brother John, now deceased, served on the parish council of Saint George Church, Trumbull, Connecticut, his brother Billy gave his life serving in the armed forces during the Korean War, while his youngest brother, James, served as lay chairman of the Jamaica Estates parish and member of the Archdiocesan Council's Student Fund. His elder brother, Father Arthur, is Chancellor of the Boston-based Albanian Archdiocese.

Archbishop Nikon pursued his elementary and secondary studies in New York City, where he developed an abiding interest in the theatre arts, securing leading roles in several high school productions, and in the biological sciences.

Tonsured to the Order of Reader by Metropolitan Theophan (Noli), Archbishop Nikon studied at Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary, Crestwood, New York; Iona and Concordia College, New Rochelle, New York; and the New School for Social Research and Political Science, New York City.

In 1967, he married Sarah Arthur, his childhood sweetheart. She served as choir director after his ordination to the Holy Diaconate by Bishop Stephen (Lasko) on July 5, 1969, and to the Holy Priesthood the following day. During his 33-year ministry Nikon served as rector of two parishes of the OCA's Albanian Archdiocese: Saint Nicholas Church, Southbridge, Massachusetts, and Saint Thomas Church, Farmington Hills, Michigan.

In addition to his pastoral ministry, Archbishop Nikon served as President of the Greater Detroit Council of Orthodox Churches and Chaplain for the Wayne State University Orthodox Christian Fellowship. He also administered a health and hospitalization insurance plan for area clergy. He also appeared on numerous live television and radio programs. He was a project coordinator for “The Voice of Orthodoxy”, established by New England's Russian Orthodox Layman's League, and he served as editor of “The Vine”, the newspaper of the Albanian Archdiocese, and Dean of the Great Lakes Deanery.

On July 25, 2000, his wife Sarah died of cancer. Metropolitan Theodosius presided at her funeral.

Prior to his consecration, Nikon spent time at Saint Tikhon's Seminary and Monastery, South Canaan, Pennsylvania, extending his studies, where he was tonsured to monastic orders prior to his episcopal consecration.

Archbishop Nikon was consecrated Bishop of Baltimore and Auxiliary to Metropolitan Theodosius on May 24 and 25, 2002, in conjunction with the annual pilgrimage to Saint Tikhon Monastery.

Nikon was nominated as Bishop of Boston at the Albanian Archdiocesan Assembly on October 10, 2003, and the Holy Synod elected him Bishop of Boston on October 22, 2003. He served as administrator of the Diocese of New England and was elected ruling bishop during the fall session of the Holy Synod in October 2005. He was installed with a new title as Bishop of Boston, New England and the Albanian Archdiocese by Metropolitan Herman at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Boston on December 16 and 17 2005. Bishop Nikon was elevated to Archbishop on May 9, 2012.

He reposed in the Lord on September 1, 2019.

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