UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Bishop Daniel Ordains the Church’s Newest Priest
Once again the faithful of St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, IL gathered together on Sunday, July 24, 2011 for a Mystery of Holy Eucharist, marking the cathedral’s patron saint day. Representatives of all local Ukrainian Orthodox parishes of Chicago Deanery of the Western Eparchy of the UOC of the USA joined the cathedral community in greeting the ruling hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the Church His Grace Bishop Daniel.
A common image of Christ throughout Christianity is that of the "Good Shepherd." Christ compared Himself to a shepherd and stated that, "I know my sheep and my sheep know me."
As Orthodox Christians, we believe that the bishop of a diocese acts as a shepherd for the people. This is symbolized by the bishop's crozier (a staff that resembles a shepherd's staff). This Sunday the faithful of St. Volodymyr Cathedral and Chicago Deanery once again have been able to witness the shepherding actions of their bishop, Bishop Daniel.
The bishop arrived to the cathedral as the morning greeted the faithful with a powerful rain that brought a long awaited weather relief, following a number of days of a record heat in Chicago Metropolitan area. The children of the cathedral parish family presented Bishop Daniel with flowers and a loving “group hug” that bishop enjoyed enormously, thanking the youth of the Church for the greetings of love. The parish board president Raisa Bratkiw and the president of St. Olha Ukrainian Orthodox Sisterhood of the cathedral community Nadia Brushenko greeted the bishop with a traditional bread and salt, and the words of sincerest welcome as the hierarch arrived to mark for the 95th time since the conception of the parish family – cathedral’s patron saint feast day – Holy Equal to the Apostles Great Prince Volodymyr, baptizer of Kyivan Rus-Ukraine. The pastor of the cathedral parish family, Archimandrite Pankratiy, Very Rev. Andriy Shelvakh, Rev. Taras Maximtsev, Protodeacon Mykola Dilendorf, Protodeacon Andriy Fronchak of St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral, and Rev. Deacon James Stickel of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Goshen, IN and Rev. Deacon Oleh Saciuk of St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Los Angeles, CA welcomed the bishop at the nave of the church, asking the hierarch to remember in his prayers numerous hierarchs, clergy and the faithful of the cathedral community that have served and worshiped at the cathedral for almost 100 years.
The Divine Liturgy of the day inspired hundreds of people in attendance, listening to the Word of God, a sermon preached by the bishop, prayers and the beautiful chanting of the cathedral’s choir, under the leadership of Volodymyr Popowych – these were the moments of spiritual uplifting, as the Church felt the Grace of the Holy Spirit.
Following the Great Entrance, Protodeacon Mykola Dilendorf was brought forth to the Altar of the Lord, in order to receive the Grace of the Holy Spirit, through the laying on of hands of His Grace Bishop Daniel, thus ordaining the protodeacon to the Priesthood. The moment of solemn prayerful silence of the cathedral temple was interrupted by the profound words of a prayer, exclaimed by His Grace Bishop Daniel: “The divine grace, which always heals that which is infirm and completes that which is lacking, ordains the most devout Deacon Mykola to the office of Priest. Let us, therefore, pray for him, that the grace of the All-Holy Spirit may come upon him.”
Then, the words of various prayers and the joyful exclamation of AXIOS-WORTHY revealed to the faithful the newly ordained priest Mykola, who joined by his spouse Maria and two children Michael and Elizabeth offered gratitude to the Lord for the Grace received through the prayers of their bishop.
In his address to he newly ordained priest, the bishop stated: “…on this day of your priestly ordination, my dear spiritual son, our prayer for you is this: that filled with the Holy Spirit, you will carry out the ministry of Christ, the priest, with constant joy and with genuine love, attending not to your own concerns but to those of Jesus Christ as you preach His Gospel, shepherd his people and celebrate the Mysteries, especially absolving and teaching in His name."
At the end of the liturgy, the bishop expressed gratitude for those who played a role in nurturing the vocation of the new priest, and calling upon Pani matka Maria, the bishop recited a prayer over her, so that she could be equipped with the Grace of the Holy Spirit to assist her husband – a priest, in his pastoral duties.
Following the conclusion of the Liturgy, the faithful of the cathedral parish family gathered together at the parish hall for a beautifully prepared luncheon, at which clergy and guests of St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox cathedral had a chance to greet the community on their patron saint feast day.
Among others, the greetings were presented by Very Rev. Bohdan Kalynuk, pastor of Holy Trinity Ukrainian orthodox parish in Bensenville, IL; Rev. Fr. Vasyl Sendeha of Sts Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Palos Park, IL; Rev. Fr. Silouan Rolando of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Goshen, IN; Very Rev. Ramond Sundland of Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Pro-cathedral in Hammond, IN; Rev. Fr. Mykola Buryadnyk of St. Joseph the Betrothed Ukrainian Catholic parish in Chicago, IL; Very Rev. Oleh Kryvokulsky of St. Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic parish in Chicago, IL and various representatives of Ukrainian community organizations.
The day's festivities ended with the words of Archimandrite Pankratiy, the pastor of the cathedral parish community, thanking the bishop for joining the cathedral parish this day, the guests for coming to celebrate with the parishioners, and all the guests and parishioners for their attendance in large numbers.
The parishioners were then able to spend some time speaking with Bishop Daniel and receiving his blessings.