His Eminence, the Most Reverend Nikon, Archbishop of Boston, New England, and the Albanian Archdiocese, fell asleep in the Lord on Sunday, September 1, 2019.
Archbishop Nikon was born in 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 His Eminence, the late Metropolitan Theophan [Noli], Archbishop Nikon 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 Nikon 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, Archbishop Nikon 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, broadcasting 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.
Prior to his consecration, Bishop 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 His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, on Friday and Saturday, May 24 and 25, 2002, in conjunction with the annual pilgrimage to Saint Tikhon Monastery.
Archbishop Nikon was nominated as Bishop of Boston at the Albanian Archdiocesan Assembly at 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 His Beatitude Herman at Holy Trinity Cathedral in Boston on December 16 and 17 2005. In addition to his archpastoral leadership of his own dioceses, he served as locum tenens of the Diocese of the South from February 2011 until March 2015.
Archbishop Nikon was elevated to the rank of Archbishop on May 9, 2012.
He was predeceased by his beloved wife Sarah (Arthur) Liolin.
He is survived by his devoted & loving brothers The Very Reverend Arthur Liolin and his wife Margaret of Milton and James Liolin and his wife Christina of CT; in addition he is survived by many nieces, nephews, grand nieces & grand nephews.
The Trisagion of Repose for His Eminence will be celebrated at Saint George Albanian Orthodox Cathedral, 523 East Broadway, South Boston, MA 02127, on Wednesday, September 4, at 7:00 PM, with Calling Hours from 4:00-8:00 PM. On Thursday, September 5, the Funeral Service for a Hierarch will be celebrated at Holy Trinity Orthodox Cathedral, 165 Park Drive, Boston, MA 02215 at 6:30 PM. The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, will be celebrated on Friday, September 6, by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon, at 9:30 AM with the Trisagion for the Departed immediately following. Burial will be held in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Southfield, Michigan.
May Archbishop Nikon’s memory be eternal!
Welcome to the official website of the Orthodox Church in America's Diocese of New England,
On Tuesday evening, September 3, the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church met via teleconference in Special Session under the presidency of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon. At this meeting, the Holy Synod declared vacant the sees of the Diocese of New England and the Albanian Archdiocese following the death of His Eminence, Archbishop Nikon.
At this same meeting, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon informed the members of the Holy Synod that he would be the locum tenens for these two dioceses.
At the 2011 Diocesan Assembly, a "Parish Grant Initiative" was approved. Parishes in the New England Diocese can apply for financial grants to support outreach and charity programs in their communities. The diocese has budgeted up to $10,000 in grant monies to help support parishes in these efforts. Applications will be reviewed as received. The files are available in MS Word format.
The Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America approved and issued a revised Policy, Standards, and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct at their Fall 2013 Holy Synod meeting. This policy is now in force in the Church. It is the goal of the entire Church to provide a safe and healthy environment for all of the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America. The Church laments the sin of sexual misconduct, and will not tolerate sexual misconduct by its clergy or any layperson.
At the March 2014 meeting of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, revisions to the Policies, Standards, and Procedures on Sexual Misconduct [PSP] were approved.
An abbreviated PSP for parish use is available here.
The OCA Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response webpage is here.
To confidentially report a case of misconduct please use the toll-free number 855-398-2600. All calls will be confidential.
At the spring session of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, held at the Chancery March 18-21, 2014, “Guidelines on Background Checks” were issued. [See related article.] The Guidelines, which offer detailed information on how and for whom “basic background checks” are required, are available in PDF format. Included in the Guidelines are recommended sources for conducting checks and information on on-line sexual abuse prevention training.
The Diocese of New England makes available limited scholarships for modest financial assistance according to the following guidelines:
A scholarship applicant must:
1) Be a parishioner of a member parish of the Diocese of New England, Orthodox Church in America;
2) Be currently enrolled, as a full–time student, in a degree granting program at an accredited Orthodox seminary with the knowledge and blessing of the diocesan bishop.
For more information, please contact Archbishop NIKON.
For the application, please follow the "more information" link below.
Jesus Christ taught us to love and serve all people, regardless of their ethnicity or nationality. To understand that, we need to look no further than to the Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Every time we celebrate the Divine Liturgy, it is offered "on behalf of all, and for all." As Orthodox Christians we stand against racism and bigotry. All human beings share one common identity as children of God.
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatian 3:28)