UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
25th Anniversary of Archpastoral Service of Archbishop Antony!
Recalling the joyful and life-affirming events of over 25 years ago, the clergy of the Eastern Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, along with His Grace Bishop Daniel gathered at St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church to honor with their prayers His Eminence Archbishop Antony, who on the 6th of October 2010, the feast day of the Conception of St. John the Baptist celebrated the silver jubilee of his archpastoral service in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.
The Divine Liturgy of Thanksgiving was concelebrated by both hierarchs and 18 priests and two deacons priests who traveled long distances on Wednesday morning to be with their bishop – for some of them, with their ordaining bishop. The choir of St. Andrew Memorial Church under the direction of Maestro Dr. Michael Andrec sang the responses to the prayerful petitions and exclamations of the Divine Liturgy. In his greeting His Grace Bishop Daniel reflected upon the ministry of the priesthood, especially the Episcopal ministry. The bishop recalled the events of over 25 years ago, when Fr. John Scharba was led in front of His Beatitude Metropolitan Mstyslav, later Patriarch of Ukraine (of Blessed Memory), His Eminence Archbishop Constantine (now the Metropolitan of the UOC of the USA) and His Eminence Archbishop Volodymyr (Didovych) of Australia and New Zealand (of Blessed Memory) in order to state his Confession of Faith the evening before his consecration. Then during Liturgy the next day he received the Grace of God through the “Laying on of Hands” – the central point of Episcopal consecration. Bishop Daniel also reflected upon the presence of numerous clergy who were present, a third of whom were ordained to the Priesthood by the Archbishop. The bishop concluded with the prayerful reflection on the words of our Lord to St. Peter: “Do you love me? Go and take care of my sheep…” stating to the gathered congregation that the Archbishop’s 25 years of ministry were namely the ministry of love and caring for the faithful of the Church. The bishop also expressed greetings on behalf of the primate of the Church, Metropolitan Constantine, who earlier in the week phoned the Archbishop expressing his assurance of prayers and recalling the moment of consecration.
Following the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Archbishop Antony expressed his gratitude to the clergy and laity gathered at St. Andrew Memorial Church, stating that it has been only through their prayers and support that his ministry has had any degree of success in service to the Lord.
He reflected upon the many bishops and clergy – now reposed in the Lord and resting in St. Andrew Cemetery, among them two of his consecrating bishops. He visited many of these graves prior to the Liturgy to reflect upon how each contributed to making his own ministry in the Name of the Lord much more successful than it would have been if they had not touched his life. The Archbishop expressed his deeply felt gratitude to all who joined in this celebration on the actual anniversary date and assured them all of his prayers for them on a daily basis.
The celebration concluded with a luncheon at St. Sophia Seminary, which was prepared by Pani Maria Morozovska the seminary “house mother” and loving cook, with the seminarians welcoming the hierarchs, clergy and the faithful to the place where future pastors of our Church are educated and nurtured.
Please note, that the official UOC of USA celebration of Archbishop Antony’s 25th anniversary of archpastoral service will be celebrated at St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Silver Spring, MD on January 22, 2011. Parishes, organizations and individuals will soon receive invitations to participate in this joyful event.