UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Metropolitan Antony Visits Wilmington, Delaware
On a beautiful, sunny Sunday morning, November 15, 2015, His Eminence, Metropolitan Antony, First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and Ruling Bishop of the Eastern Eparchy visited Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox Church. His Eminence was greeted at the door with roses by Grace Duncan who represented the youth of the Parish. Mr. Mark Andreas welcomed the Metropolitan with the traditional bread and salt. The korovai was baked by Linda Hnatow. Father Stephen welcomed His Eminence home as each Parish is under the omophor of the Ruling Bishop. Saint Irenaeus reminds us that where the Bishop is, there is the fullness of the Church. Father asked His Eminence to keep him and the Parish always in his prayers as we continually pray for him. His Eminence responded that it is only through the faithful people’s prayers that he receives the strength of the Lord to do His work.
The procession began as the Choir, under the direction of Nancy Hlywiak, sang the Hymn to the Mother of God. Led by Deacon James Cairns of St. Demetrius Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Carteret, NJ and our Seminarians from St. Sophia Seminary in South Bound Brook, NJ, Taras Kaluzhnyy, Tadei Surak and Hryhoriy Matviiv, His Eminence began the service by blessing with the three-branch and two-branch candles as the deacon proclaimed: “Let your light shine before men so that they may see your good works and give praise to your heavenly Father!” (Matthew 5:16).
In his sermon, the Metropolitan spoke about our Christian commitment. He challenged the faithful not to be like the Gaderenes in the day’s Gospel who were more worried about their own creature comforts and ignored the man who was possessed by legions of demons. We must not only say we are Orthodox Christians but must act like the Lord’s disciples as we live our daily lives.
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence distributed various awards to deserving members of our Parish Family:
Mary Zankowsky – was awarded the medal of St. Olha and a Hramota on the occasion of her 100th birthday (November 17) She has been an extremely hard worker for the benefit of our Parish all her life as an avid member of our Parish Sisterhood until a few years ago when her niece moved her to Virginia so that she could take care of her. In her early 90’s she continued to drive to Church every Sunday and participate in the life of our Church.
Anna Tur – also received the medal of St. Olha and a Hramota commemorating her 100th birthday in January of 2016. She also was a very hard worker for our Church, serving as a member of our Parish Sisterhood Board for many years and working extremely hard for the benefit of our Parish until the time came when she had become physically unable to do so. She attends Church every Sunday and is a frequent Communicant. She is seen as a “Grandmother” to all of us here in the Parish – inspiring our youth who always come and greet her at coffee hour. She shares her love with all around her and her example of love shines out to everyone.
Nancy Hlywiak – received a Hramota for her many years singing in the choir (since she was 8 years old) and for the past 20 years serving as Choir Director. But Nancy’s service to the Church does not end there. She has been, and continues to be, a member of all the Executive Boards of our Parish ministries: Secretary of the Parish Board, Treasurer of the UOL, and Secretary of the Sisterhood. Nancy is always willing to help in any and every Parish endeavor.
Chef Barry Pinkowicz –was honored with a Hramota for his continued service as our resident Chef for the past eight years. The word “no” is not in his vocabulary. A few years ago, he came to the Parish and told us that his workplace was trashing a whole kitchen set up that was brand new two years earlier and wanted to know if we could use it. The cabinetry and the quartz countertops were amazing. He put the plan in order and recruited the help necessary to move it into our Church Hall. He then found a contractor to install all of it into the beautiful system that is now in place. The value of all that we received in this project exceeded $52,000. He has constantly helped our Parish save money by finding donations of items that we need and have helped tremendously in making our work easier. Barry’s leadership qualities and joyful style have been an inspiration to many in the Parish. He has served for four years on our Parish Board as an Auditor and a Trustee.
Mark Andreas – also received a Hramota for his outstanding service to our Church. Mark and his family joined our Parish 13 years ago and from the beginning jumped right in as a leader and a hard worker. Our Church’s walls were damaged by a leaky roof. We had gone to our insurance company and it was estimated to cost $20,000. Mark decided that we could fix it ourselves. He had some volunteers come together and within a month, no one could tell that any of the intricate painting had been damaged at all. Mark also serves as the liaison between the Parish and our Boy Scout Troop #70 “The Peacemakers” His latest major project has been to chair the restoration of the Church’s front steps and walkways saving the Parish over $100,000. His energy and working leadership attitude has inspired many to come out and serve. Mark Has served as Treasurer of the Parish Board and currently serves as a Trustee and our Building and Maintenance Manager.
After a group photo, all of the faithful gathered in the church hall. Chef Barry had prepared a banquet in honor of our Metropolitan’s visit. During the dinner, Jean Roeth, President of our Parish Ukrainian Orthodox League presented his Eminence with a check for $1,000.00 for our Seminarian Health Fund. Special thanks were offered to Deacon James and his son, J.D. who served at the altar, to our three Seminarians, Taras, Tadei and Hryhoriy for making the Divine Liturgy so special. And as always, it was a great pleasure and honor to welcome home His Eminence, Metropolitan Antony. May God grant him many, happy and blessed years!