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About Us

Our Organization

The Mission Society works to provide support for the Byzantine Catholic Church in Slovakia and the Transcarpathia Oblast in western Ukraine. We are all volunteers who belong to the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh.

The Mission Society Office is in the Blanchette House at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Our chaplain is Father Christopher L. Zugger, former pastor of the parish (1985-2008). We remain an all-volunteer organization. The design, postage, and mailing costs are absorbed by our volunteers. Our only expenses are for the website, printing, and materials. We never sell or give names and information to other organizations!


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Our Mission

First of all, we pray to God for healing of the division of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, for the spiritual growth of the American Byzantine Catholic Church; for the renewal of the Greek Catholic Church in Trans-Carpathia and Slovakia; for the canonization of Bishop-Martyr Theodore Romzha of the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church; and for the building up of the Kingdom of God in justice and charity among all people. 


We assist the (Ruthenian) Greek Catholic Church in the Trans-Carpathian Oblast of the Republic of Ukraine, which is the territory of the ancient Eparchy of Mukachevo. As of March, 2022, we are helping with assistance for refugees and displaced persons inside Ukraine. The Eparchy is helping at border crossings into Slovakia and Hungary, as well as with people who decide to remain in Transcarpathia in hopes of finding refuge while remaining in Ukraine. 

We also provide support for the Blessed Theordore Romzha Seminary;  building projects of new chapels;  the Sisters of Saint Basil; the Korolevo Orphanage; and Liturgy intentions which are given to the local priests to help in their financial support. 

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Meet Our Chaplain

Father Chris Zugger is an ordained priest of the Byzantine Catholic Church (1981). He hears confessions, assists at Divine Liturgies, services and classes in the parish, under the direction of the pastor. He provides spiritual direction for laity and clergy.

Father helps where he can in the Eparchy of the Holy Protection of Mary of Phoenix and in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe.  He is very thankful to God for the opportunity to continue to serve Him in new ways, and for the fact that Bishop Gerald Dino created this arrangement whereby he can continue to live where he has spent most of his priesthood.

His Eminence Bishop Nil, Apostolic Administrator of the Mukachevo Greek Catholic Diocese

Bishop Nil Lushchak is the Apostolic Administrator of the Mukachevo Greek Catholic Diocese. Formerly, he was a teacher at the Uzhgorod Greek Catholic Theological Academy, a monk, and a member of the Order of Friars Minor (Franciscans). At the age of 39, he is the youngest Greek Catholic bishop in Ukraine. He holds the distinction of being the first Transcarpathian to be ordained as a bishop since Blessed Theodore Romzha. His ordination took place at the Uzhhorod Greek Catholic Cathedral of the Exaltation of the Cross.

Bishop Nil was born on May 22, 1973, and grew up in the city of Uzhhorod, where he attended the local high school. He served in the military from 1991 to 1993. In 1993, he enrolled in the Uzhhorod Theological Seminary. Upon completing his theological studies, he was ordained as a priest on July 2, 1996, and assigned as a pastoral assistant at the Uzhhorod Holy Cross Cathedral. He later served as an administrator and parish priest in the village of Perechyn, specifically in the parish of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. For seven years, he provided pastoral care in various parishes within the Mukachevo diocese, including the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in the village of Dubrynychi.

Prior to joining the Franciscan community of Friars Minor, Bishop Nil pursued his studies in Rome, where he attended the Pontifical Urbaniana University and earned a licentiate in philosophy. In 2009, he entered the Ternopil novitiate of the Order of Friars Minor, assuming the monastic name Nil, and made his temporary vows in 2010. During the same year, he began teaching philosophy at the Theodore Romzha Greek Catholic Theological Academy in Uzhhorod.

On January 12, 2013, Bishop Nil Lushchak was ordained as a bishop in the Mukachevo diocese. The ordination ceremony was presided over by His Eminence, Bishop Milan Shashik CM, Bishop of Mukachevo, with co-consecrators including Archbishop William Charles Skurla, Metropolitan of Pittsburgh (USA), and Archbishop Cyril Vasil.

Following the passing of the ruling bishop of the Mukachevo diocese on July 14, 2020, Pope Francis appointed Bishop Nil Lushchak as the Apostolic Administrator of the vacant seat of the Mukachevo Greek Catholic Diocese ad nutum Sanctae Sedis (until revocation by the Apostolic See).

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