Who we are

The Holy Eastern Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church in North America - American Orthodox Catholic Church

This Church was established canonically on Feb. 2, 1927 by the Russian Synod of Bishops in North America who had the authority by Canons and Tradition to establish an American Orthodox Catholic Church to serve the english speaking orthodox community.

The same synod appointed Archbishop Aftimios Ofiesh as first Archbishop. Abp Aftimios had previously served on the Russian Synod. On Feb. 1, 1928 Abp. Aftimios and seven others incorporated the Church in Boston, MA.

Tradition in this Church dates its founding to the Apostles since we are a continuation of our parent Church with lines of Apostolic Succession traced back to the Apostles.


This Church is governed according to the Apostolic model of bishops, priests and deacons. We are not under and do not have a patriarch as head of this Church since the ethnic patriarchial orthodox bodies all turned their backs on this Church and use the marriage of Abp. Aftimios as the reason, although most had already refused to recognize this Church and its authority in the New World. The ethnic Churches continue today as seperate jurisdictions scattered around the major cities in North America.

Our synod has determined that a few of the ethnic church bodies appear to violate the canons with full knowledge that they are praying with excommunicated individuals contrary to the Canons.


Who we are 2 - teachings
Church Building

How we worship

This Church has a sacramental system which resembles the sacramental systems of the Greek, Russian and Roman Catholic traditions. The Sacraments of Baptism and Eucharist are primary, and the Sacrament of Holy Orders effects the other Sacraments. Confirmation is administered with Baptism, and Absolution is a benefit of the Eucharist, though Absolution is also administered seperately during a common service of Absolution, and is also administered to individuals, with penance, in the case of serious sin. Marriage and Holy Unction are also sacraments.

The central feature of worship life of the Church is the Eucharist. The liturgy consists of a service for the catechumens and a service for the faithful. The host is a leavened loaf and the cup is a mixture of hot water and wine. The baptized faithful receive the body and blood of Christ and the "real presence" of Christ is understood in the elements. A priest ordained by a bishop in the apostolic succession is required for the Consecration.

Baptism is administered to infants of Christian families and to new converts. It is not given to those who, for whatever reasons, enter the Church from other Christian bodies and already been baptized with a Trinitarian formula. Infant baptisms oblige parents and sponsors to rear the child in the Christian faith and to nourish him or her at the altar and within the community of faith. Following the anointing with oil there is a triple immersion in consecrated water in the name of the Holy Trinity, and a final "sealing", which is Confirmation, with the imposition of the hands at the door of the altar.

Matrimony and funeral services consist largely of Psalms, anthems and blessings. They are emotional occasions and reflect ancient customs and usages.

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and Apostolic Church in North America
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Email: AmOrthodox@theocacna.org