UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Holy Trinity Cathedral Welcomes Two Hierarchs
Sunday, November 10, 2013 was a wonderful morning in New York City, as the sun brightly enlightened everything around Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, which is conveniently located in the middle of Chinatown of NY City. There was clearly a feeling of excitement, and yet Peace, Prayer and Silence reigned around the cathedral. At that exact moment His Eminence Metropolitan Antony and His Grace Bishop Daniel were coming to visit cathedral’s family, and when they arrived – there was no disappointment. Spiritual inspiration filled the souls of those people who were present.
The members of the cathedral’s Sisterhood presented both hierarchs with flowers and traditional Bread & Salt. At the entrance to the church Very Rev. Todor Mazur, pastor of the cathedral’s community met the bishops and greeted them in the name of the parish, asking to pray for the church and parishioners.
Standing in the candle-lit parish church shoulder-to-shoulder with worshipers, one wonders just what the bishops of the Church will say to the congregation that prays, serves and cares for each other and the community around them in the city of constant changes and challenges.
And as soon as the hierarchs spoke, they both immediately captured the hearts of not only the congregation but the children as well. Metropolitan Antony made his first Archpastoral visit to Holy Trinity Cathedral as newly elected Metropolitan, and the youth of the parish community presented their beloved eparchial bishop with a white klobuk, while Bishop Daniel received a gift of traditional daily skufia, made by the monastics of Bukovyna.
Several dozen of faithful and children approached the Chalice in order to partake in the Holy Mystery of Eucharist. His Grace Bishop Daniel prayerfully lowered himself to the height of little parishioners, in order to make them true participants of liturgical prayer service and especially Most Holy Eucharist.
In his sermon, Metropolitan Antony reflected on the mission of a parish in this modern secular world. His Eminence encouraged the faithful to live their Faith on a daily basis, confronting the false morality of the world with the acts of love and kindness that are based on the commandments of our Lord. He reminded them that they must see every other human being in the world through the eyes of God. When He looks at us He has proven to us the depth of love He has for us - to the point that He was willing to send His Only-begotten Son - our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to us. "We human beings are worth much more than our weight in diamonds, or gold or anything else of the world...we are worth dying for, as He did for us on the Holy Cross." The Metropolitan assured the faithful that the only way to celebrate this liturgical prayer service is to throw open our church doors and to invite in all who seek truth, love and family. The faithful of the parish must BE CHRIST to all who need His presence, His truth, and His Love. Moreover, later in the day, the Metropolitan reinforced his remarks, sharing with the faithful of the parish family and example of how their parish has changed the lives of faithful in their own parish family. He shared the text of a note, which was found by Fr. Todor, which red: “I wish each of your parishioners to find the peace of heart that I have found in this parish…” The note came with a donation of $500.
Speaking to the faithful of the congregation, His Grace Bishop Daniel stated that “…Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in New York City is a vibrant and thriving parish…Give what you can of time, talent and treasure to the Church, as that is what will allow the taproots of the Gospel to grow deep. You must spread the Gospel… if there is one word that accurately describes the make up of this particular parish family – it must be a strong family. For by that term, the parish and the faithful members of this particular community are known among the faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and the local community, in which the parish exists and participates in numerous charitable outreach activities. I am grateful for your commitment to bringing services, opportunities and brotherly love to this community and beyond. My prayer is that you may continue to bless those who seek your services and experience further growth and prosperity for the years to come.”
At the conclusion of his sermon, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony announced to those in attendance the decision of the Council of Bishops about the establishment of a new award of the UOC of the USA, called THE GREAT BENEFACTOR – BLAHODIYNYK – OF OUR HOLY UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH. This award was created to honor individual members, clergy or laity, of the Church whose lifetime contributions to the welfare of the Church and her faithful – contributions of any nature, including the giving of oneself in service to the extension of God’s Kingdom on earth are exemplary. The hierarch stated that the award will be made annually to at least one and no more than five individuals whose devotion and commitment would be obvious to any member of the Church. Five recipients for the 2013 awards were identified and introduced at the 20th Regular Sobor of the Church. On of the recipients – is a member of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in NY City – VALENTYNA KUSZMYCZ, who served as President of the United Ukrainian Orthodox Sisterhoods of the UOC of USA for nearly 15 years; was a Member of the Council of the Metropolia for several terms; Founder and sponsor of the Kuszmycz Family Scholarship through the UUOS; and Life-time member of Holy Trinity Cathedral, Broome Street, NYC with her husband Yurij and family.
With the blessing of the Metropolitan, His Grace Bishop Daniel, President of the Consistory presented the beautiful medallion bearing the likeness of St. Andrew, the First-Called Apostle and founder of Christ’s Church in Ukraine and the words: “Great Benefactor and Blahodiynyk” to Mrs. Kuszmycz. As all other recipients, Pani Valentyna will always be identified with the legacy of St. Andrew, as engraved on the back of the medallion as those who: “CONTINUE THE LEGACY OF ST. ANDREW THE FIRST CALLED APOSTLE” in the demonstration of her faith in God, her unwavering devotion to the Body of Christ, her preservation of the Holy Traditions of Ukrainian Orthodoxy. Chanting of “God Grant you Many Years – Mnohaya Lita!” brought the Divine Liturgy to a conclusion, following which the entire congregation transitioned to the Cathedral’s parish hall for a festive banquet, during which the children of the newly established Saturday School treated the hierarchs, clergy and faithful to a small concert presentation. A treat for everyone in attendance was a selection of songs performed by Gregory Bobul, a twin brother of the renowned Ukrainian singer Ivo Bobul.
As the hierarchs prepared to depart in the late hours of Sunday afternoon, the parishioners drew closer to the spiritual fathers of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA to capture a photo, stating: “What we like about our bishops’ visit was that they took time to take a picture and talk with us… They just seemed to be so grand in their Archpastoral vestments – yet in our conversations with them we realize that they are also kind people...” Metropolitan Antony and Bishop Daniel - come to visit us again soon!