In 1936 the Ecumenical Patriarch accepted the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America under his omophorion and in 1937 Bishop Bohdan (Spylka) was consecrated as bishop of the diocese. Under his guidance the jurisdiction also began to thrive and the number of parishes and faithful grew, almost rivaling the growth of the American-Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA under Archbishop John.
The two Ukrainian Orthodox jurisdictions co-existed in the USA for the next 17 years. They both expanded, with Archbishop John also heading the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Canada and Bishop Bohdan establishing several parishes there, as well.
In 1942, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Ukraine was re-born once again, during a brief relaxation of religious persecution during the German occupation of Ukraine. One of bishops consecrated for the resurrected church in 1942 in Kyiv was Bishop Mstyslav (Skrypnyk), who eventually came to Canada to lead the Ukrainian Orthodox Church there, taking over from Archbishop John. Bishop Mstyslav left Canada within a few years and came to the United States to join the jurisdiction of Bishop Bohdan. He had a great desire to unite the two existing jurisdictions in the USA. Bishop Mstyslav, who was a validly consecrated bishop, persuaded Archbishop John to submit to a new consecration in order to resolve all canonical questions about his Episcopal status and as prerequisite of unification of the two churches. In 1949 Archbishop John agreed and was consecrated by Bishop Mstyslav and Metropolitan Christopher, Exarch to the USA of the Alexandrian Patriarchate.
In 1950, both jurisdictions held separate Sobors in New York City at St. Volodymyr Cathedral on 14th Street – one in the Church itself and one in the Church auditorium. Then on 13 October a combined Sobor of unification took place in the Church where all the parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA under Archbishop John and the majority of the parishes of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America united by signing an Act of Unification. Unfortunately, some clergy and parishes under Bishop Bohdan were not convinced and persuaded him to reject the union. Bishop Mstyslav did, however, join with the majority of Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America parishes and Archbishop John was recognized as presiding prelate and Mstyslav as President of the Consistory of the now greatly expanded Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. The Act of Unification was proclaimed during Divine Liturgy on the Feast of the Protection of the Mother of God – Pokrova – 14 October – in St. Volodymyr Cathedral by newly elevated Metropolitan John, Archbishop Mstyslav and Archbishop Hennadij with the following words:
“From today our Churches, the American Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America are united and form One, Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the United States of America, which from this day forward will live and act as a Metropolia under one spiritual leadership and be governed by one constitution, which we at the same time collegially ratify and accept.”
We can only imagine the immense joy felt by the participants of this joint Sobor at hearing these words and what they envisioned to come in the life of their Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church.