UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Archpastoral Visit of His Grace Bishop Daniel to Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Lyndora, PA
On Saturday and Sunday, June 29-30, 2013, Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Lyndora, PA was blessed by the Archpastoral visit of His Grace Bishop Daniel, Ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA to commemorate the patronal feast of the parish.
This Archpastoral visit began with the service of Great Vespers on Saturday evening with serving clergy in addition to His Grace including parish pastor, the Rev. Father Paisius McGrath, the Archpriest Joseph Wargo of St. Andrew’s Orthodox Church (OCA) in Lyndora, and Rev. Father Vasyl Dmytryshyn of St. Sophia’s Seminary. After His Grace led the Litya for the patronal feast of the parish, he gave a spirit-filled homily extolling all present to allow the presence of God and their faith to always be the foremost guide in living as the faithful in the midst of the society in which God has called us to live. His Grace also spoke of the relationship between the Bishop and the parish and how all in this relationship are called to work in harmony. The faithful of Saints Peter and Paul were pleased to also welcome a number of the faithful parishioners from the local Orthodox parishes of St. Andrew’s (OCA) and St. Anthony’s (Antiochian) in praying together during Great Vespers.
The following day dawned with plenty of sunshine and joyful hearts as everyone prepared to again welcome His Grace for this visit. The sunshine was especially welcome after several days of continuous and heavy rain and was symbolic of God’s blessing coming into the midst of the parish with the visit of their beloved Archpastor. The day began with a procession from the parish rectory and His Grace was welcomed at the doors of the Church by a gift of flowers presented by Alex and Katherine Pindel and the traditional greeting of bread and salt offered by Rose Raith - Treasurer of the Parish Executive Board. Then at the doors of the Nave, His Grace was greeted by the parish pastor Father Paisius McGrath with words of greeting and asking His Grace to lead the gathered community in the celebration of the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy. Bishop Daniel graciously responded to each greeting with an expression of his delight and joy to be coming to visit this local community and to share in the blessing of God upon the faithful of Saints Peter and Paul and all other local Orthodox Christians gathered in the temple of this day.
The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was then led by Bishop Daniel and joined by Father Paisius, Protopresbyter William Diakiw, Father Bogdan Bocur of St. Anthony’s Orthodox Church (Antiochian), and Father Vasyl Dmytryshyn of St. Sophia’s Seminary; with the assistance of the Seminarians Volodymyr Sukanets Sr. and Volodymyr Sukanets Jr., and the altar servers of Saints Peter and Paul: Todd McCarthy, Pavlog Pawluk, and Zachary Potter. The Church rang with the wonderful voices of the Choir of Saints Peter and Paul -and several visiting choir members from St. Anthony’s - under the direction of Parish Choir Director Theodora Cehula. The parish temple was also filled with the faithful of the parish as well as visitors from local Orthodox parishes of St. Anthony’s and St. Andrew’s.
As this was the 1st Sunday after Pentecost and Sunday of All Saints, in his homily, His Grace spoke of how the saints who have come before have given us the challenge of living faithful lives as they did. All in attendance were again challenged by His Grace to focus on the truly important things of faithful Christian living and to learn to live truly faithful lives and not to get caught up in majoring in the minor things. His message was well received by all the faithful who heard this call to being faithful to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Following the Divine Liturgy a special luncheon was held to honor His Grace and all other visitors to Saints Peter and Paul on this special day. In the parish Ukrainian Hall a wonderful meal had been prepared under the direction of Patty Prokopchak - Ladies Guild president, and Rose Raith with the assistance of many of the ladies of the parish. Everyone enjoyed the wonderful meal and opportunity of fellowship.
As the day ended everyone who was present was very thankful to Bishop Daniel for his visit to our parish and for bringing the blessing of God to us in a special way. All the faithful from Saints Peter and Paul and the other local Orthodox parishes who were present were blessed to have come and have learned much from Bishop Daniel about the importance of continued faithfulness in every aspect of our lives as witnesses to the salvation which we have received from our Lord and Savior Jesus. Our parish and community looks forward very much to the next time that Bishop Daniel will again be able to visit our small corner of our world