The members of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, under the presidency of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, elected the Very Reverend Nicholas W. Liolin to the episcopacy during their spring session on April 3, 2002.
Father Liolin was elected Bishop of Baltimore and will assume duties as Auxiliary to the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America after his consecration to the episcopacy, tentatively slated to be held at Saint Tikhon Monastery, South Canaan, Pennsylvania May 24-25, 2002.
Bishop-elect Nicholas 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, 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.
Bishop-elect Nicholas 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 His Eminence, the late Metropolitan Theophan [Noli], Bishop-elect Nicholas studied at Saint Vladimir 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 the former Sarah Arthur, his childhood sweetheart. Together they shared a ministry in which she devotedly served as choir director after his ordination to the Holy Diaconate by the late Bishop Stephen [Lasko] on July 5, 1969, and to the Holy Priesthood the following day. During his 33 year ministry, Bishop-elect Nicholas was well-known for his pastoral acumen and broad-based ministerial sensitivity and experience, having 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, Bishop-elect Nicholas served as President of the Greater Detroit Council of Orthodox Churches and Chaplain for the Wayne State University Orthodox Christian Fellowship. He is also credited with administrating a health and hospitalization insurance plan for area clergy. He also appeared on numerous live television and radio programs, broacasting to the faithful and those interested in the Orthodox faith. Notably, 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, reposed in Father Nicholas’s arms following a bout with cancer. His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius presided at her funeral.
At present, Bishop-elect Nicholas is extending his studies at Saint Tikhon Seminary and Monastery, South Canaan, Pennsylvania, where he will be tonsured to monastic orders prior to his episcopal consecration.