About Us

We are Catholics who belong to the Slovak Byzantine Catholic Rite.

As Catholics of the Eastern Tradition (the other lung of the Catholic Church), we are in union with the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, whom we recognize as the visible head of the Catholic Church.

There are 22 different Eastern Rites that belong to the Catholic Church and one Western Rite (Latin), the Roman, that belongs to the Catholic Church. As Catholics, Eastern and Roman Catholics share the same faith and have the same seven sacraments. Eastern Rite Catholics express their faith in regard to the Liturgy (mass) and customs differently from their Latin (Roman) Rite brothers and sisters.

As the disciples of Christ brought the Gospel to different parts of the world, they adapted ceremonies of the Liturgy to the customs and music of the people in those various parts of the world. Slowly, four centers of Christianity emerged with distinctive Christian customs, yet the same faith. These centers were located in Jerusalem, Antioch, Rome and Alexandria. When the capital of the Roman empire was moved to the Eastern city of Byzantium and renamed Constantinople, an adaptation of the Antioch way of celebrating the liturgy was made.

Thus, a new center of Christianity arose in Constantinople and her ritual became known as the Byzantine Rite. From Constantinople the Slavic peoples of Eastern Europe were converted by Sts. Cyril and Methodius and naturally followed the Byzantine Rite.

Today the Byzantine Rite is subdivided into ecclesiastical jurisdictions based on ethnic groupings, such as Greek, Slovak, Ukrainian, Romanian, Ruthenian, Hungarian, Melkite, etc.

As Catholics of the Slovak Byzantine Catholic Rite, we are grateful to Sts. Cyril and Methodius, co-patrons of Europe, who brought Christianity to Slovakia in 863, and along with it, the Slovak Byzantine Catholic Rite.

Our Church, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Usnutia Bohorodicky) is one of several Slovak Byzantine Catholic churches that are part of the Slovak Eparchy of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in Canada. Our Bishop is the Very Reverend John S. Pazak, C.Ss.R.

In Slovakia, the Slovak Byzantine Church is rebuilding after many years under communist rule. In January 2008, Pope Benedict XVI, raised the Slovak Byzantine Catholic Eparchy in Presov to archeparchy (to the status of a metropolitan church) and appointed Bishop Jan Babjak S.J. as archbishop. The status of the Apostolic Exarchate of Kosice was changed to that of an Eparchy with Bishop Milan Chautur, C.Ss.R. at the helm. And a new Byzantine Catholic Eparchy was erected in Bratislava covering most of Western and Central Slovakia. Father Peter Rusnak was appointed as the new Bishop.

In June 2013, Fr. Milan Lach, SJ was ordained an auxiliary bishop for the Archeparchy of Presov.


Bishop Pavol Gojdic and Bishop Vasil Hopko - bishops of the Slovak Byzantine Catholic Church and martyrs – both beatified by the late Pope John Paul II.