UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSSITORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Deacon Theophan Mackey Ordained to the Holy Priesthood
Graduating seminarian Deacon Theophan Mackey was ordained to the Holy Priesthood by His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox of the USA at a Divine Liturgy on the feast day of the Ascension of our Lord at St. Andrew Ukrainian Memorial Orthodox Church in South Bound Brook, NJ on Thursday May 29, 2014.
Deacon Theophan started his journey to the Holy Priesthood years ago back in his home parish of St. Anthony of the Desert Ukrainian Orthodox Mission in Las Cruces, NM before entering St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. The newly ordained Fr. Theophan was ordained to the Holy Diaconate by His Grace Bishop Daniel. During this past year at St. Tikhon's Orthodox Seminary, Fr. Theophan worked on his Master’s thesis covering the history of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA.
Serving at the altar with the Metropolitan of the Church were Very Rev. Yuriy Siwko, pastor of St. Andrew the First Called Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church in South Bound Brook, NJ; Very Rev. Myron Oryhon, pastor of Pokrova of the Mother of God Cathedral in Allentown, PA; Very Rev, Steven A. Voytovich, Academic Dean of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, PA; Rev. Anthony Perkins, pastor of Holy Archangel Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Woonsocket, RI and Vocations Director of the UOC of the USA; Rev. Vasyl Dovgan of Three Holy Hierarchs Chapel of St. Sophia Seminary in South Bound Brook, NJ; Rev. Vasyl Pasakas, pastor of the Nativity of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox parish in South Plainfield, NJ along with several deacons: Deacon James Cairns of St. Demetrios Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Carteret, NJ; Deacon Philip Harendza of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Johnson City, NY; Deacon Paul Cherkas of Holy Archangel Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Woonsocket, RI along with some visiting Deacons and Subdeacons of the Church.
In his sermon Metropolitan Antony stated: “Deacon Theophan – trust the Lord… you are called to a sacramental ministry that is centered in the Holy Mystery of Eucharist; centered in the Bread of Life... The Eucharist calls us to communion, that is, to community. We gather at the same table as family, representing the family of God. We are family because we are God’s, marked as Christ’s own forever… The Eucharist calls us to community. We gather at the Table as family, God’s family... But the Eucharist also sends us to be the broken body of Christ in the world.”
Trembling in the fear of God and with tears in his eyes, after the Great Entrance, Deacon Theophan was brought forth to the Royal Doors, where serving clergy presented him as a worthy candidate in front of His Eminence Metropolian Antony. With the laying of his hands Metropolitan passed the Grace of the Holy Spirit through the Apostolic Succession.
As all those gathered exclaimed in unison AXIOS the newly ordained was found worthy of being vested in priestly garments in following order: sticharion, epitrachelion, belt, cuffs, phelonion, cross and sluzhebnyk (prayer book).
Being ordained to the Holy Priesthood means that you act in the Name of Christ - as Christ Himself. You are the Christ to people and they come for confession as they would to Christ, and receive Holy Communion from priest’s hands as they would from Christ’s. This is what Fr. Theophan was found worthy of.
The Liturgy was followed, at the Pokrova of the Mother of God Sisterhood hall of the Metropolia Center, by luncheon for all those in attendance prepared by the Sisterhood.