Our Clergy and Staff

Read below to learn a little about our parish priest and the bishop of our diocese. For those unfamiliar with Orthodox Christianity, the bishop is of vital importance to even the smallest local parish. The bishop serves primarily as the guardian of the faith, and thus as the center of the sacramental life of the community. The primary role of the parish priest is to perform the holy mysteries/sacraments and to heal people. The role of a priest is like a spiritual doctor, in other words. 


Our Hierarch

His Grace, Bishop Gregory of Nyssa, Diocesan Bishop


His Grace, Bishop Gregory of Nyssa, is the spiritual leader of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, which maintains offices at 312 Garfield Street, Johnstown, Pennsylvania, 15906.

His Grace, Bishop Gregory was consecrated as Bishop and enthroned as the Ruling Hierarch of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese of the USA on November 27, 2012.

His Grace celebrates his Name's Day (St. Gregory Palamas) on November 14/27.

Under His Grace's care is our Diocesan Christ the Saviour Seminary, also in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, which trains future priests and deacons of our Diocese.  In addition, the Diocese maintains Camp Nazareth Youth and Retreat Center in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

Bishop Gregory also serves as Episcopal Liaison to the Orthodox Christian Fellowship and Chairman of Committee for Agencies and Endorsed Organizations of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America.


Our Parish Priest

Father Photios Parks

Email Father Photios : fatherphotios@gmail.com

Fr. Photios hails from Livermore, California. Previously ordained in the Protestant tradition, he was educated at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (B.S., Sociology), Saint Louis Christian College, (B.S. Bible/Christian Ministry), Saint Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary (M.A., Applied Orthodox Studies), South African Theological Seminary (M.Th., Practical Theology; Ph.D., Historical Theology). He has also undertaken graduate studies at Princeton Theological Seminary, Oxford, and New York University. He completed postdoctoral studies at the Ukrainian Catholic University-Lviv and at Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary (Jordanville).

Fr. Photios was ordained to the Holy Diaconate at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church (Saint Louis, MO) by Metropolitan ATHENAGORAS on June 12, 2013, and to the Holy Priesthood by Metropolitan GREGORY at Saints Joseph and Andrew Orthodox Church (Candler, NC) on April 1, 2018. He was assigned to Saint Anthony the Great Orthodox Church in Hendersonville, NC in 2019, where he has served for four years. 

He is also a credentialed Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (NC) and a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, and has worked in human services since 2008, primarily with the behavioral health/trauma population. He has been an adjunct instructor at several seminaries and enjoys leading workshops about how the Orthodox community can better support individuals with behavioral health needs.

Fr. Photios and his wife have two sons and enjoy the local coffee and hiking scene in the WNC mountains.