Proto-Cathedral of St. Mary

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Proto-Cathedral of St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church
Cathedral of St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church.JPG
Proto-Cathedral of St. Mary
34°10′2.93″N 118°27′59.67″W / 34.1674806°N 118.4665750°W / 34.1674806; -118.4665750Coordinates: 34°10′2.93″N 118°27′59.67″W / 34.1674806°N 118.4665750°W / 34.1674806; -118.4665750
LocationSherman Oaks, California
CountryUnited States of America
DenominationRuthenian Catholic Church
MetropolisByzantine Catholic Metropolitan Church of Pittsburgh
DioceseByzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix

The Proto-Cathedral of St. Mary[1] or Proto-Cathedral of St. Mary Byzantine Catholic Church is a parish church and proto-cathedral of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix, serving the Ruthenian Eastern Catholic population of Los Angeles, California, United States. It was the first Byzantine church in California. It is located on Sepulveda Boulevard in Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles, California. It is the only Byzantine Ruthenian Church in the territory of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles.

The Byzantine Rite originated at Constantinople during the fourth and fifth centuries. A schism occurred in 1054 separating East and West, but the Byzantine Rite was reunified with Rome in 1646. By the 19th century, Rusyn immigrants brought the Byzantine Rite to America and many parishes were established in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Ohio and the Northeast.

In 1956, the bishop of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh granted permission for a priest to minister in Los Angeles. In 1957, the parish purchased land on Sepulveda Boulevard, and the new church was dedicated in 1961. In 1976, the third pastor, Father Eugene Linowski, re-ordered the liturgical services to conform with the authentic traditions of the Byzantine Church (according to the Recenssion as prescribed by Rome). An icon screen was installed two years later. The screen maintains a traditional aura of mystery that separates the sanctuary from the rest of the church. At St. Mary's the screen is a wrought iron grill with icons painted by local artist Mila Mina. Fr. Eugene Linowski became the first Rector of the Cathedral, from March to June 1982.

The Eparchy of Van Nuys was established in 1982 with Most Reverend Thomas Dolinay as the first bishop. Father Michael Moran was named the second rector of the cathedral, served as chancellor, and was later named monsignor. Msgr. Moran was the head of the parish for 22 years. In 2004 Father Melvin Rybarczyk was named rector.

In 2010, with the relocation of the eparchial see to Phoenix, Arizona, the Cathedral of St. Mary was assigned the title of Proto-Cathedral.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Proto-Cathedral of St. Mary, Van Nuys, California, USA (Ruthenian)". Retrieved 2016-11-04.
  2. ^ "No possibility of moving back to California". California Catholic Daily. April 19, 2010. Archived from the original on July 8, 2011.

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