UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Archpastoral Visit to San Francisco, CA!
March 6, 2011, Cheesefare Sunday of the Liturgical year of the Holy Orthodox Church marked the beginning of the Lenten season of the ecclesiastical year – a spiritual journey toward the Bright Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church in San Francisco, CA was blessed to enter into the 2011 Lenten season with the presence of His Grace Bishop Daniel, the ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the UOC of the USA, who traveled to San Francisco to make his annual parish visitation and to participate in the meeting of the Western Deanery of the Church.
The most spiritually uplifting moment of the entire weekend with the bishop was the celebration of the Holy Eucharist on Sunday morning and a moving sermon preached by His Grace, encouraging the faithful of the parish to offer forgiveness to those who seek it and open ourselves to the presence of God in our lives. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, the bishop stated: “In our Holy Orthodox Church we have a beautiful tradition of Forgiveness Sunday, as we enter into the Lenten season, to express our gratitude to God and ask forgiveness from each other. We are to beg forgiveness and offer gratitude... I would like to take this opportunity to ask your forgiveness as well, if I have offended you in any way… and I do offer my personal gratitude to our Almighty God that you a part of my spiritual journey and this Archpastoral service.” Following his words, the hierarch reached out to each person in attendance to ask forgiveness, while instructing others to do likewise.
Vladyka Daniel’s visit concluded with the luncheon, prepared by the parishioners of the parish community, during which the representatives of the Consulate General of Ukraine in San Francisco and numerous visitors to the parish had a chance to speak to the bishop and ask his spiritual guidance. The pastor of the parish family Protopresbyter Alexis Limonchenko and the president of the parish board of administration Vitalij Vizir welcomed the bishop in the midst of his flock and presented him with the traditional Ukrainian bread and salt.
A positive event in the life of our parish, and specifically the community gathered around the bishop and the Sacred Liturgy - demonstrated our relationship with the greater Holy Orthodox Church. The bishop’s visit indicated his support and vision for our parish’s place in the eparchy and the greater Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.