UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Archpastoral Visit to Lorain, OH
By Charlotte Pachniuk Photos by Orest Mhlay
Sunday September 28th was a special day for the members of St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Lorain Ohio. On that day His Grace Daniel, Ruling Bishop of the Western Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in USA visited our parish. He was escorted by Ver. Rev. John Harvey, Dean of PennOhio Deanery pastor of Sts Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Youngstown, OH and Protodeacon Ihor Mahlay from St. Vladimir’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Parma, OH. One of the main reasons for the visit was to officially install Fr. Dmitri Belenki as a fulltime pastor of our parish.
Sounds of the church bells and the voices of church choir plus beautiful weather created a very spiritual and extremely festive atmosphere. As His Grace entered the church, he was greeted by the President of the Parish Board of Administration Mr. Frank Hashierwho, who welcomed Bishop Daniel with traditional bread (karavay). Mr. Frank Hashier stressed in his welcoming greeting the strong connection our parish has always had with the rest of the Church and how very special it was to have His Grace with us as our spiritual father. Nadya Reidy presented a bouquet of white roses to Bishop Daniel on behalf of the parish. Fr. Dmitri greeted Bishop Daniel with a cross asking for his continued prayer and blessings. His visit to install Fr. Dmitri as the parish’s new pastor symbolized a new beginning for our parish family and community.
A prayerful and festive Hierarchical Liturgy provided great spiritual support to everyone present. In his sermon, Bishop Daniel said we should all use our talents given to us by God to make a difference in our parish and in the world around us. He also stressed that the parish needs to work together like a family in order to succeed in doing God’s work. At the same time, our newest parish member, Orest Richard Daina, who had been baptized the week prior, was blessed to be churched by Bishop Daniel.
Fr. Dmitri was officially installed as our pastor at the end of the Liturgy by Bishop Daniel. Fr. John Harvey, Dean of the PennOhio Deanery, also congratulated Fr. Dmitri and the parishioners and stressed how important it is to have a permanent full time priest. After “God, Grant you Many Years” was sung to our Hierarchs, clergy and the membership of the parish, a picture of all present was taken to commemorate this blessed day.
At this time Parish Council invited everyone to stay for refreshments in the church hall. It was a great joy and blessing that this day was also Bishop Daniel’s birthday and he was present to celebrate with us. We presented His Grace with a traditional Ukrainian pysanka, made by our parishioner Beverly Boiwka, who is nationally known for her pysanky.
Everyone was filled with brotherly love in the family atmosphere created by His Grace and all were inspired to do more for the good of the parish.
Thank you Your Grace, Many Blessed Years!