From the early 19th century until 1905, Greek Catholicism was illegal in the Russian Empire. But after Tsar Nicholas II issued his edict of religious toleration, a few small communities of Greek Catholics were formed. In 1917 an Apostolic Exarchate was established for them. But this was soon followed by the communist revolution, after which the group was virtually annihilated. A second Apostolic Exarchate was set up for the few Russian Byzantine Catholics in China on May 28, 1928, based in Harbin [see Orthodox Church of China]. This was always an extremely small community, and today approximately 3,500 live in the diaspora. A Russian College, the "Russicum," was founded in Rome in 1929 under Jesuit supervision to train clergy to work with Russian emigrés and in Russia itself. The Apostolic Exarchates in Russia and China are still officially extant, but as of mid-1998 had not been reconstituted. There are two Russian Byzantine Catholic parishes in the United States, one in Montreal, Canada, and one in Melbourne, Australia.
Russian parishes in Southern California include:
Contact the Webmaster