UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
St. Mary’s Protection 90th Anniversary Celebration in Bridgeport, CT!
On Sat Oct 1, 2011, St. Mary’s Protection of Bridgeport, CT celebrated her 90th Anniversary with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with His Eminence Archbishop Antony. It was a most joyful day. The early morning day started out with rain, but as the morning progressed, the sky cleared up for all who attended. It was an exciting day for the parish as you may know. As a small parish, there was quite a number of faithful, friends and clergy from the area and outside. Many of the faithful came from our sister parishes in Orthodoxy, which represented the areas Bridgeport, Trumbull, Stratford, New Haven, New Britain and elsewhere. Fr. Steve welcomed the clergy as they arrived from within the UOC of USA and other jurisdictions in the area. The Clergy who were in attendance were. Fr. Steve Masliuk our Pastor; Fr. Andrii Pokotylo of Nativity of the Mother of God in New Britain, CT; Fr. Rostyoslav Taspar of St. Mary’s Protectress in New Haven, CT and St. Voldymyr in Hartford, CT; Fr. Paul Szewczuk of St. Nicholas Parish in Troy, NY; Fr. George Bazylevsky of St. Voldymyr Chapel in Kerhonkson, NY; Very Rev. Peter Paproski of St. John the Baptist Carpatho Russian Church in Stratford, CT; Very Rev. Michael Macura of St. John the Baptist Carpatho Russian Church in Stratford, CT; Fr. Dennis Rhodes of St. Georges Albanian Church in Trumbull, CT; Fr. Romanos Malouf of St. Nicholas Antiochian Church in Bridgeport, CT; Very Rev. Joel Mckeachen of Asst pastor St. Barbara in Orange, CT; Very Rev. Sergei Bouteneoff, Senior Chaplin and Supervisor of Veteran’s Hospital in West Haven, CT; along with Sub-deacon Andriy Matlak, Seminarians Mykola Kavchak and Bohdan Melnykovych, and altar servers Christopher Pokptylo and Alekandr Danilowicz.
His Eminence Archbishop Antony was met in the vestibule of the Church by Fr. Steve, the Pastor, Kay Zorka the President of the Parish with the Traditional Bread and salt, and our Sisterhood President Anna Sabas, who presented to His Eminence a bouquet of Flowers.
During the Divine Liturgy, with the blessing of Metropolitan Constanine, Archbishop Antony awarded an Ecclesiastical award to our pastor of the parish Fr. Steve Masliuk with a Palitza, honoring him with his dedication to the pastoral ministry among the faithful entrusted to him.
Following the Divine Liturgy a banquet was attended by all. We went to the Holiday Inn in downtown Bridgeport for a lovely sit down meal. During the meal, the president of the Church spoke to those in attendance about the life of the our church here in Bridgeport, how its roots were started and how so many gave of their dedication, time, money and above all their faith, to make a home for themselves and others. She spoke about the individual men and women who spearheaded the establishment of a Church and rectory here and how they are remembered today.
His Eminence spoke about his joy coming to St. Mary’s. How the faithful come and work so hard together to keep this Holy Church alive and well, and our responsibility to continue the work which was started 90 years ago to prepare for another 90 + years to come. We are now looking forward to our preparation of our 100 year anniversary celebration which is only a short time away. In his closing, His Eminence gave out several awards of recognition to many of the faithful of the parish for various ministries in which they have excelled in for the past years of service to the Church.
St. Mary’s choir did a phenomenal job as always with their angelic voices, their dedication to prayer streams from their lips under the direction of Choir directress Daria Santerre, who by the way just celebrated her 30th year as director of the choir with many more years to come. We have been blessed to have the voices who sing for us each week by the grace of the Holy Spirit!
One of our youth, Tamara Danilowicz sang a song for the Archbishop called the Prayer, “one of his favorite songs” written by David Foster which moved most, if not all who were there. May she continue in this ministry which has been given to her by our Lord.
I cannot thank the people enough who gave so much of their time in order to make this anniversary such a success. Thank You! God Bless you!
For those who have been to our parish, who visit, who have come to know the people here, have found that this is not just a parish, but a family, one based on love.
So whenever you are in the area, look us up, give us a call, we are looking forward to meeting you!
For more pictures please visit our website: www.stmarysprotection.org