Perhaps you have noticed that our full name is St John the Baptist Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church. To many people with knowledge of the history of the Church, especially history of Russian Church, this name might seem a bit confusing. Don't worry, we are not Catholic, only part Greek, and fully Orthodox."Greek Catholic" is not what is seems to mean.
The original name of the parish was put down in Russian: Русская Православная Греко-Кафолическая Церковь Св. Иоанна Крестителя. Therefore, "Greek Catholic" is not so much translation, as more of a transliteration of "Греко-Кафолическая." In this instance, "Кафолическая" means "Universal," as in Orthodox Church is universal, cosmic, all-embracing. Hence, "Greek Catholic" has something to do with the Greeks (more on this below), but nothing with Catholics (nice people, but they are not part of our Church).
How did Orthodox parishes in the US come to have this name in the first place? Prior to the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia in 1917, Russian Church did not have one fixed official name. Many names were used, among them: Orthodox Catholic Greco-Russian Church (Православная Кафолическая Греко-Российская Церковь), Russian Church (Российская Церковь & Русская Церковь), Russian Orthodox Church (Российская Православная Церковь), Russian Orthodox Catholic Church (Российская Православная кафолическая Церковь), Greco-Russian Church (Греко-Российская Церковь), Orthodox Greco-Russian Church (Православная Греко-Российская Церковь), Russian Eastern Orthodox Church (Российская Восточно-православная Церковь), etc.
In 1823, St Philaret Metropolitan of Moscow published his famous catechesis with the following title: "Christian Catechesis of the Orthodox Catholic Eastern Greco-Russian Church" (a mouthful, yes). This goes to show that "Greek" and/or "Catholic" was used in the name of the Russian Church, but "Catholic" never referred to Roman Catholic Church (because Russian Church was not part of it). A difficult word combination of "Greco-Russian" also points towards the canonical (official, legal) succession of Russian Church from the Byzantine (Greek) Church.
In the Unite States, parishes that were formed in the beginning of the 20th century received the official name of Russian Orthodox Church. Initially the name "Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Church" was introduced for the Diocese of Russian Orthodox Church of Alaska and North America for the official use at the first All-American Council, which was held on February 20-22 1907 in Mayfield, PA, and was chaired by Bishop Tikhon (who later became Patriarch of Russia, died under Bolshevik yoke and was canonized a saint). The choice of this name (i.e. Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic) was necessary for official registration, was important in the vision of St Tikhon of the future development of Orthodoxy in America, and to make comfortable the multitude of newly returned Uniates (also known as Greek Catholics or Byzantine Catholics, hence where the confusion about the name might stem) into the faith and Church of their ancestors.
St John the Baptist Church in Little Falls was under the jurisdiction of Russian Orthodox Church from the beginning and received its full name by default, so to say. All the parishes under the same jurisdiction, that were formed after 1907, also received the same official name.