UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
St. Mary’s in New Britain Celebrates 105th Anniversary with Metropolitan Antony
Beautiful autumn weather set the scene for Metropolitan Antony’s visit to New Britain, Connecticut, on September 20th, 2015. His Eminence led the congregation of St. Mary, the Nativity of the Mother of God, in celebrating our parish’s name day and its amazing 105th anniversary, alongside our pastor Very Rev. Father Andrii Pokotylo and Very Rev. Stephen Masliuk of St. Mary’s in Bridgeport, Connecticut.
Led by parish teens Stephanie Melnyk and Johnny Dilozir, more than a dozen parish children, holding the traditional bread and salt, as well as bouquets and icons, welcomed His Eminence and seminarians Subdeacon Ivan Chopko and Subdeacon Volodymyr Yavorskyy from St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Seminary. Choir Director Simion Sacalos led our stirring parish choir in both English and Ukrainian.
More than 150 parish faithful filled the church on this joyous feast as Metropolitan Antony bestowed two special honors. During the Liturgy, His Eminence elevated Father Deacon Anthony Szwez to the rank of Protodeacon for his 12 years of serving St. Mary’s parish and ongoing work in the New England Deanery. At the conclusion of the service, His Eminence made a special presentation to Mr. Basil Romanyshyn, St. Mary’s longtime (close to 60 years) Choir Director. Mr. Romanyshyn will celebrate his 100th birthday in a few weeks and, as Father Andrii cheerfully noted, he has been serving St. Mary’s “forever!”. Metropolitan Antony presented him with a special medal/orden of St. Petro Mohyla, which is given to members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church for outstanding service to Christ and His Church.
His Eminence was very pleased to see a parish so filled with children, with more than 30 babies, children or teenagers in attendance, and the older ones participating in the children’s choir during the Liturgy. At the conclusion of the service in his sermon, His Eminence asked the parish to be mindful of its long history and to understand the role that each person plays in both preserving their collective past as well as making history in the present day as we continue to serve the Lord and grow in His Church.
After singing a joyous “Many Happy Years,” the entire congregation joined His Eminence for a group photograph on the front steps and later for a welcoming holubsti dinner in the church hall, prepared by the Sisterhood of St. Olga. What a wonderful, blessed way to begin the Church year!