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His Grace Bishop Daniel Visits Jones, Oklahoma Parish

UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA

CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS

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His Grace Bishop Daniel Visits Jones, Oklahoma Parish

By Subdeacon Robby Wall

 

Sunday of All Saints was a hot, sunny, and humid day in the Central Oklahoma community of Jones, OK, where parishioners of the Dormiton of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox parish family gathered for a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy served by His Grace Bishop Daniel.

There was standing room only in the temple when Bishop Daniel arrived at the western doors where he was first greeted by parish priest, Archimandrite Raphael, who invited His Grace to worship and pray with us. Constanta Palivoda, representing St. Mary Sisterhood, presented Bishop Daniel with the traditional bread and salt after which Chairman Greg Johnston welcomed Bishop Daniel on behalf of St. Mary's parish council.

After the traditional archpastoral vesting, the Divine Liturgy commenced. His Grace and Fr. Raphael were assisted in the altar by seminarian subdeacon Volodymyr Yavorsky (who accompanied Bishop Daniel from our St. Sophia Seminary in New Jersey), subdeacons Robby Wall and Sandro Gomarteli, along with four altar servers.

During the sermon, since it was Fathers Day, His Grace focused on the fathers in our lives and spoke personally of the experiences with his own father. Bishop Daniel suggested, to the youth in attendance, various ways of showing love and respect, other than by traditional cards and gifts, such as doing kind deeds, helping others and following good examples set by their own fathers.

As the Liturgy resumed, and after the newly Baptized/Chrismated infant son of Jacob and Diana Brunn received his first Holy Communion, a multitude of the faithful came forward to receive the Holy Eucharist as administered by His Grace.

At the conclusion of the service, and before we would all gather in the parish hall for a banquet in honor of His Grace, Fr. Raphael had arranged a special surprise for Bishop Daniel. In anticipation of Bishop Daniel's visit, Fr. Raphael had worked with the children on a personalized version of Jesus Loves the Little Children, (original lyrics by C. Herbert Woolston 1856-1927). The children, surrounding their Bishop, sang the following:

Jesus calls the children dear,

Come to me and never fear,

For I love the little children of the world;

I will take you by the hand,

Lead you to the better land,

For I love the little children of the world.

 

Jesus loves the little children,

All the children of the world.

Red and yellow, black and white,

All are precious in His sight,

Jesus loves the little children of the world.

 

Jesus is the Shepherd true,

And He'll always stand by you,

For He loves the little children of the world;

He's a Savior great and strong,

And He'll shield you from the wrong,

For He loves the little children of the world.

Daniel is our Bishop true,

And he's here to visit you,

For he loves the little children of our church.

He will always be your friend,

And will love you to the end,

For he loves the little children of our church

 

Grant him many years of health,

Great prosperity and wealth,

For he loves the little children of our church.

May his ministry be great,

May it open Heavens gate,

For he loves the little children of our church.

 

Lord, protect our Bishop dear,

As we pass another year.

For he loves the little children of our church.

And may it be his fate,

Returning to the Sooner State

For the children of our parish love him too.

During the dismissal and final blessing those in attendance came forward to venerate an especially holy Hand-Cross belonging to His Grace, a Cross which contains a relic of the One True Cross upon which our Lord, God and Savior was crucified. As the faithful venerated the Cross, a beautiful icon of Christ was presented to everyone as a personal gift from Bishop Daniel.

Awaiting His Grace in the parish social hall was a fantastic covered-dish meal, having been organized by St. Mary Sisterhood President Helen Wengier, containing over 25 special hand-made selections.

This joyous day in the history of our parish was not finished yet. A beautiful cake prepared especially for Fr. Raphael was presented to him on the occasion of his 72nd birthday. Happy Birthday and Mnohaya Lita were then enthusiastically sung in his honor.

Before His Grace would say goodbye and leave for events scheduled that afternoon by Fr. Raphael, he would take time to pose for pictures with families and individuals. In the meantime, as a remembrance of his visit to the Sooner State, seminarian Volodymyr Yavorsky was taken to Stockyard City near downtown Oklahoma City, by the Hobza family, to be fitted for cowboy duds courtesy of Fr. Raphael.

Though his trip was cut short due to numerous and lengthy airline delays, and though his sleep was disturbed by a 4.5 earthquake, the time Bishop Daniel spent with us was very special. The love he shows our parish and its members is a great blessing; and we hope he knows he is truly loved by all of us. May God bless Vladyka Daniel!

Archpastoral Visit to Oklahoma

Archpastoral Visit to Oklahoma - 06/15/14

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Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
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