His Grace Bishop Daniel Enthroned as Ruling Hierarch of Western Eparchy!


His Grace Bishop Daniel Enthroned as Ruling Hierarch of Western Eparchy !

St. Volodymyr Cathedral, Chicago, IL was the site on the weekend of February 6-8, 2009 of one of the most ancient rites of the Holy Orthodox Church – the enthronement or installation a bishop as ruling hierarch of his Episcopal See – as His Grace Bishop Daniel (Zelinsky) assumed the leadership of the Western Eparchy of our Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.  Bishop Daniel was elected Bishop at the 18th Regular Sobor of the Church in October 2008.

Clergy and the faithful of our church and guests from other churches traveled from throughout the USA, most from the Western States, which make up the Western Eparchy – from Los Angeles/San Francisco, California all the way East to Detroit/Southfield, MI – and from many parishes of the Central and Eastern Eparchies to witness this spiritually uplifting event in the life of the Western Eparchy and the whole Church. They came to pray as one family in Christ welcoming their Archpastor and opening their hearts to the message of love of Christ, proclaimed by His Grace Bishop Daniel.

On Friday evening, February 5, 2009, the eve of the Feast Day of St. Gregory the Theologian, Bishop Daniel served Vespers the cathedral. Concelebrating with the bishop were Archimandrite Pankratij, Pastor of St. Volodymyr Cathedral, Protodeacon Nicholas Dilendorf and 15 other clergy in the presence of six hierarchs present for the enthronement ceremonies: Archbishop Antony, President of the Consistory and Eastern Eparch, UOC of USA; Metropolitan John of Winnipeg and All-Canada; Archbishop Yurij of Toronto, Canada; Bishop Ilarion of Edmonton, Canada; Archbishop Nicholai of the Romanian Orthodox Church (Patriarchate of Romania) and Bishop Demetrios, representing the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Greek-Orthodox Metropolis of Chicago. In his remarks at the conclusion of the Vespers service Bishop Daniel briefly reflected upon his own faith journey and shared with those in attendance an account of his very first steps in the our Lord’s Church and his first experience of participating in the Mystery of Penance and receiving the Holy Eucharist. The bishop expressed how humbled he felt in the presence of his brother bishops, clergy and faithful as he prepared to assume the responsibilities as Chief Pastor of the Western Eparchy.

The cathedral choir under the direction of Volodymyr Ovcharuk sang the responses for the Vesper service, which was followed by a reception in the cathedral social center, hosted by St. Ol’ha Sisterhood of the cathedral and Nadia Bruschenko, Sisterhood President.

Extremely uncharacteristic warm and sunny weather for a Chicago winter, greeted the worshippers who gathered again in the cathedral on Saturday,  February 7, 2009  for Divine Liturgy and the Office of Enthronement.  The prime celebrant of the Liturgy was Metropolitan Constantine, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, who was joined at the Holy Altar by all the hierarchs who participated in Vespers, along with Archbishop Nathaniel of the Romanian Episcopate – OCA and Archbishop Job of Chicago – OCA. Children from the cathedral, the President of the Parish Board of Administration, Eng. Swiatoslaw Lychyk and President of St. Ol’ha Sisterhood, Nadiya Bruschenko greeted the hierarchs in the vestibule of the cathedral with traditional flowers, bread and salt.  Archimandrite Pankratij greeted the hierarchs at the entrance to the nave with the cross and requested his prayers for all present, especially Bishop Daniel. Two choirs sang responses during the Divine Liturgy – from St. Volodymyr Cathedral, under the direction of Volodymyr Popovych and from Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Palos Park, IL directed by Yurij Cepynsky.  The Master of Ceremonies for the Liturgy was V. Rev. Taras Naumenko, Pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Palos Park. Altar Servers from many parishes, including several from the Central and Eastern Eparchies, along with Subdeacons and our St. Sophia Seminary students very capably assisted the Bishops during the service.

Some of the many spiritually important portions of Bishop Daniel’s sermon include:  “The Council of Bishops of our Holy Church has commissioned me as your shepherd and pastor, calling me to lead you on the path of holiness as the Western Eparchy of our Church. We are connected in this liturgical celebration in such a way that you become those I am to serve. I am to hear Christ calling my name through you…I am to be part of the living body of the Church, specifically through you, and I am to reach out to others through you. Blessed Augustine said, ‘What I am for you terrifies me; what I am with you consoles me. For you I am a bishop, with you I am a Christian.’  Even as I am called to be your servant and leader, I am also called to walk with you on the path to holiness.
“One of the early Church Fathers said, ‘The first duty of the bishop is to lead people to the direct experience of God and to surrender and entrust themselves to Him unconditionally.’ It is my prayer that Christ’s voice will be heard in and through me, that His Will may direct my decisions and my concern for each and every one of you and that I may hear Him calling my name through you.
“As I look out upon you, gathered here as the people of God of the Western Eparchy, I see in you great potential for God’s work. I feel in all certainly that there is an infinite reservoir of talents and gifts that can be tapped for the service and growth of our church, an evangelizing witness to the world…Hope in Jesus Christ is not a mindless escape from the pain of everyday life. We need the spirit and commitment of Holy Apostle Paul who said: ‘In Christ, I can do all things.’

“St. Ignatius of Antioch, around 107, in addressing the Bishop of Smyrna said, ‘…unity, the greatest of all goods, [must] be your great preoccupation.’ I pray that this will be my ‘great preoccupation’ as I seek to serve you by building on the good work of my predecessors as I strive to deepen the bonds that unite us.
“As your bishop, I am (also) called to reach out to the wider community in order that the Gospel may be heard by everyone and all God’s children may be invited to the table of the Lord. The Holy Fathers of the Church believed that some of their best homilies were delivered not from the pulpit but in the streets as they bound up the wounds of the sick, cared for the poor and ministered to the needy. I remember reading a story about a bishop who has on his office wall a motto that hits home: ‘Always preach the Gospel. When necessary, use words.’”

Following the Ambon prayer, over three hundred fifty worshippers watched as Bishop Ilarion and Bishop Demetrios escorted Bishop Daniel to the eparchial ‘Katedra’ (elevation for the bishop’s throne) in the nave of the temple before the Tetrapod for the Office of Enthronement. Here he carefully listened to the pastoral instructions of Metropolitan Constantine. The Metropolitan reminded the Bishop of the long and important history of his new cathedral and the enormous responsibilities belonging to any eparchial hierarch.  The Metropolitan, as one of Bishop Daniel’s predecessors, had a unique perspective from which to provide such guidance to the new eparchial hierarch and promised he would be available for advice and counsel at all times. The Metropolitan then presented Bishop Daniel with Archpastoral staff – a symbol of his episcopal authority in the Western Eparchy.

At the conclusion of the installation, Bishop Demetrios read a greeting from His All-Holiness Patriarch Barhtolomew to the newly installed bishop, which stated in part: “This joyful event in the life of the Church is appropriately held on the feast of St. Gregory the Theologian, the venerable fourth-century Archbishop of Constantinople. Therefore, the new Ruling Bishop has a rich legacy to sustain and in turn to transmit to the faithful of the Western Eparchy. It is the legacy of profound theology and personal spirituality, conveyed in the life and treatises of the great Theologian of our Church and our own predecessor on the Ecumenical Throne; but it is also a tradition of ecumenical openness and genuine respect, characteristic of His Grace’s predecessor, of blessed memory, in the city of Chicago”.

The clergy and faithful in attendance came forward at the end of the Divine Liturgy to venerate the cross of our Lord and receive their first blessing from the new bishop of the Eparchy.

The day concluded with a wonderful banquet in honor of Bishop Daniel at Chicago O’Hare Marriott, which was prepared by the Enthronement Committee which consisted of skilled and dedicated clergy and faithful - representatives of the various parishes of the Western Eparchy of the UOC of the USA. (Very Rev. Bohdan Kalynyuk – pastor of St. Andrew parish in Bloomingdale, IL and Dean of Chicago Deanery, Archimandrite Pankratij – pastor of St. Volodymyr cathedral in Chicago, IL, Very Rev. Taras Naumenko – pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul parish in Palos Park, IL, Eng. Swiatoslaw Lychyk, Tamara Tyshenko, Oksana Tschaikowsky, Miroslaw Tschaikowsky, Ihor Artiushenko, Raisa Bratkiv, Nadia Brushenko, Laryssa Tschaikowky, Subdeacon John Charest, Nicholas Nehoda of St. Volodymyr cathedral in Chicago, IL; Noreen Neswick of Sts. Peter and Paul parish in Palos Park, IL and Luba (Petryna) Balacky and Anna Wozniak of St. Michael parish in Hammond, IN).

Very Rev. Taras Naumenko and Oksana Tschaikowsky served as masters of ceremonies at the banquet, skillfully directing the pace of the program.  V. Rev. Bohdan Kalynyuk, Dean of the Chicago Deanery introduced special guests who presented a tribute to the new bishop in the form of Ukrainian song:  Nazarij and Bohdan Jaremchuk, sons of Nazarij Jaremchuk, who are on a musical tour in the USA, and the Zhayvir Quartet of Chicago. In addition, Fr. Bohdan, himself, surprised the audience by performing three Ukrainian folk songs, dedicating them to Bishop Daniel and in honor of the bishop’s mother.

His Grace Bishop Demetrios, read a greeting from Archbishop Demetrios Prime Hierarch of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and the hierarchs who participate in the religious services also extended their own greetings to the newly enthroned Bishop Daniel.  The Chancellor of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Nicholas, Chicago, Rev. Jim Karepin, OP represented Bishop Richard of the Eparchy, who was unable to attend the event because of illness. The newly appointed Counsel General of Ukraine in Chicago, the Honorable Kostiantyn Kudryk presented His Grace with a greeting from the Ambassador of Ukraine in the Unites States of America, His Excellency Oleh Shamshur. The bishop was also greeted by the president of the Ukrainian Heritage Foundation Julian Kulas; the head of the Illinois Branch of Ukrainian Congress Committee of America, Mr. Pavlo T. Bandriwsky, by Mr. Michael Kos, Chair of the Board of Directors of the Self-reliance Ukrainian American Federal Credit Union in Chicago and Mr. Nestor Popowych, the chairperson of the 75th Anniversary of Ukrainian Famine Committee in Chicago. In addition, the greetings were read from Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church as well as from St. Joseph the Betrothed Ukrainian Catholic Church in Chicago, IL.

The following day, Sunday, February 8, 2009 saw the continuation of spiritual festivities at St. Volodymyr Cathedral – the eparchial cathedral of the Western Eparchy. Bishop Daniel served his first Divine Liturgy as the Ruling Hierarch of the Eparchy. Once again, following the service, the St. Olha Sisterhood of the Cathedral parish welcomed everyone for a wonderful luncheon in honor of their bishop. Students from the cathedral school of Ukrainian Studies presented His Grace with a wonderful poetic and musical presentation to which His Grace responded by presenting each child with a commemorative holy icon commemorating the episcopal enthronement.
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