Eastern Catholic Churches


“I am thinking of the Eastern Churches, as did many other Popes in the past, aware that the mandate to preserve the Church’s unity and to seek Christian unity tirelessly wherever it was wounded was addressed to them. A particularly close link already binds us. We have almost everything in common; and above all, we have in common the true longing for unity.”
Pope John Paul II, Apostolic Letter Orientale Lumen, 2 May 1995.

There are 23 Eastern Catholic sui iuris [“of its own law,” autonomous] Churches in full union with our Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church. These Eastern Churches have their own Code of Canon Law [The Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches], in addition to laws and liturgical rites particular to each Eastern Church sui iuris. While having originated in other countries, many of these Eastern Catholic Churches have established small communities or even entire eparchies [Greek for “dioceses”] within the United States.

These 23 Eastern Catholic Churches are grouped into four categories, from highest to lowest levels of autonomy. The categories, Churches, and countries of origin are listed as follows:

These six Churches consist of their own Patriarchs, who, with a synod of bishops, have the legislative, judicial and executive powers within the jurisdictional territory of the Patriarchal Church, without prejudice to those powers reserved, in the common law to the Roman Pontiff [pope].
Patriarchal Churches include: 1. Coptic (Egypt), 2. Maronite (Lebanon), 3. Syriac (Lebanon), 4. Armenian (Lebanon), 5. Chaldean (Iraq), and 6. Melkite (Syria).

These four Churches have almost the same level of autonomy as the Patriarchal Churches. They are governed by Major Archbishops, with the assistance of the synods of bishops. The Major Archbishops, or Metropolitans of large geographic areas of these Churches, are determined or at least recognized and confirmed by the Roman Pontiff.
Major Archiepiscopal Churches include: 1. Syro-Malankara (India), 2. Syro-Malabar (India), 3. Romanian (Romania), and 4. Ukrainian (Ukraine).

These three Churches are governed by Metropolitans, with the assistance of a council of hierarchs (equivalent to a conference of bishops). These Metropolitans are appointed by the Roman Pontiff.
Metropolitan Churches include: 1. Ethiopian (Ethiopia), 2. Eritrean (Eritrea), 3. Ruthenian (Ukraine), and 4. Slovak (Slovak Republic).  NOTE: The Eritrean Catholic Church was established in 2015.

These nine Churches are presided over by hierarchs [or Ordinaries: bishops and their equivalents in law], in accordance with the norm of common law and the particular law established by the Roman Pontiff.
Other Eastern Churches sui iuris include: 1. Albanian (Albania), 2. Belarusian (Belarus), 3. Bulgarian (Bulgaria), 4. Byzantine (Croatia), 5. Greek Byzantine (Greece), 6. Hungarian (Hungary),7. Italo-Albanian (Italy), 8. Macedonian (Republic of Macedonia), and 9. Russian (Russia).

PLEASE NOTE: Since these 23 Churches are in union with the Roman Pontiff, their members are able to freely receive sacraments within the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church, with certain restrictions placed on marriages of their members. We are also able to receive sacraments within their Churches. Note also that these 23 Churches are not the same as the Orthodox churches, which are currently not in union with the Roman Pontiff, although we recognize their sacraments as being valid.


Currently within the boundaries of our diocese, there are seven Eastern Catholic parishes, operating under their own eparchial bishops. They are listed below:

Epiphany of Our Lord Ukrainian Catholic Church
434 – 90th Avenue North
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
Phone: (727) 576-1001
Fax: (727) 576-6821
Southern Deanery
Pastor: Rev. Msgr. John P. Stevensky
Eparchy: St. Josaphat of Parma, Ohio
Website: http://epiphanyukrch.com/

St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church
8064 Weeping Willow Street
Brooksville, FL 34613
Phone: (352) 597-5589
West Central Deanery
Pastor: Rev. Michael Kouts
Eparchy: St. Josaphat of Parma, Ohio
Website: https://discovermass.com/church/st-andrew-brooksville-fl/

St. Anne Byzantine-Ruthenian Catholic Church
7120 Massachusetts Avenue
New Port Richey, FL 34653
Phone: (727) 849-1190
West Central Deanery
Pastor: Rev. Oleksiy Nebesnyk
Eparchy: Passaic, NJ
Website: http://www.flbyzantinecatholic.com/

Sts. Peter & Paul Maronite Catholic Church
6201 Sheldon Rd.
Tampa, FL 33615
Phone: (813) 886-7413
Fax: (813) 885-6346
South Central Deanery
Pastor: Rev. Fadi Rouhana
Eparchy: St. Maron of Brooklyn
Website: www.peterpaultampa.com/

St. Thérèse of Lisieux Byzantine Catholic Church
4265 13th Ave North
St. Petersburg, FL 33713
Phone: (727) 323-4022
Fax: (727) 323-8351
Southern Deanery
Pastor: Very Rev. Robert Evancho
Eparchy: Passaic, NJ
Website: https://www.sttherese-byzantine.org/

St. Joseph Syro-Malabar Catholic Church
5501 Williams Road
Seffner, FL  33584
Phone: (813) 420-3436
Southeast Deanery
Vicar: Rev. Raphael Ambadan Ouseph
Eparchy: St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago
Website: http://sjsmcc.church/

Sacred Heart Syro-Malabar Knanaya Catholic Church
3920 S. Kings Ave.
Brandon, FL 33511
Phone: (248) 820-1190
Southeast Deanery
Pastor: Rev. Mathew Meledath
Eparchy: St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago
Website: http://kottayamad.org/sacred-heart-knanaya-catholic-parish-tampa/

Retreat Center

Divine Mercy Prayer Center 
2905 S Frontage Rd
Plant City, FL 33566
Phone:  813-567-1226
Email:  divinefl12gmail.com
Director:  Rev. Anthony Thekkanath, VC
Eparchy: St. Thomas Syro-Malabar Catholic Diocese of Chicago
Website:  https://divinefl.org/