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Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America

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The Albanian Orthodox Diocese of America played a crucial role in the resurrection of the Church of Albania. In 1990, the Diocesan [[clergy]] and laity petitioned the Ecumenical Patriarch, [[Demetrius I (Papadopoulos) of Constantinople|Demetrios]], during his visit to North America, to prepare a plan for the restoration of the Church of Albania. In 1991, the (then) Protopresbyter Ilia Katre, who had served for many years as Dean of Students at [[Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology (Brookline, Massachusetts)|Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology]] in Brookline, MA, took up residence in Albania, organized and opened the Resurrection of Christ [[Seminary]] with the blessing of the newly-arrived Patriarchal Exarch, Anastasios. The Very Rev. Ilia also directed the enthronement of Anastasios as Archbishop of All Albania in August 1992. Individuals and delegations from the Diocese made major financial contributions to the Church of Albania as well as applied pressure on the government for the return of confiscated property to the Church. In 2002, His Grace, Bp. Ilia, returned to lead the Seminary for three years during which he expanded, strengthened, and lengthened the course to a full four year programme.
In North America, the Diocese has successfully integrated many pious, talented, and successful Albanian Orthodox immigrants into positions of leadership in her established communities. In addition, the Diocese has made outreach to new communities in Toronto, Montreal, Washington, and Baltimore a priority with the hope that they may also be able to form permanent Albanian Orthodox churches in the near future. For the time being, however, it only consists of three parishes in the United States and a mission in Canada.
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