UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
St. Andrei Ukrainian Orthodox Parish Opens Its Doors Following the Formation of a New Parish Family
November 28, 2015 - Saturday following Thanksgiving celebrations in the United States of America became a true Thanksgiving Day for the parish family of St. Andrei Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Jamaica, NY. Both hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA traveled from the Metropolia Center of the Church (South Bound Brook, NJ) to the newly reestablished Orthodox family of Christians from various ethnic backgrounds. Greetings and joyful chanting in Ukrainian, Romanian, English, Church-Slovanic and Polish languages enabled faithful of Jamaica (New York Metropolitan area) to participate in a truly multinational Divine Liturgy with Metropolitan Antony and Bishop Daniel, who led the prayer service of the day.
Entering the sacred temple of the parish community, Metropolitan Antony responding to a joyful greeting of Very Rev. Fr. Ioan (John) Proteasa, reflected upon the great contribution that the newly established parish community made in order to facilitate the so needed structural repairs of the parish’s church building. Bishop Daniel, in his turn, marveled at the history pages of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, as St. Andrei parish temple served for many years as a spiritual home (center) for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in America under the leadership of Metropolitan Andrei (Kushczak) and later by Archbishop Vsevolod (Majdansky) until the unification of both jurisdictions in 1995.
Children with flowers, Sisterhood members with bread & salt and men of the parish family chanting – this was a formal welcome of both bishops by Fr. John and the numerous clergy from the Ukrainian Orthodox, Bulgarian and Romanian Orthodox jurisdictions in the US.
The student choir of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary joined the choir members of St. Andrei parish and Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, as the Divine Liturgy began in four languages. His Eminence Metropolitan Antony shared with those in attendance the words of spiritual wisdom, reflecting upon the Gospel narrative of the day and recalling his personal journey to Ukrainian Orthodox parishes in Romania about 15 years ago, when he was blessed to consecrate several parish temples for the Ukrainian-Romanian communities. Sharing the story, the Metropolitan promised to return back to the parish community in the near future for the formal re-consecration of the temple, following the reconstruction repairs and installation of the iconography on the walls of the Church.
At the end of the Liturgy a formal Memorial Service was served by the hierarchs and clergy of the Church, recalling the loss of 10 million innocent victims of Ukrainian Genocidal HOLODOMOR of 1932-1933 committed by the tyranny of Stalin’s Communist regime. Moreover, the hierarchs in the presence of Romanian Orthodox Christians remembered in their prayers the loss of about 50 individuals in the most recent tragedy in Romania.
The day concluded with a formal reception held in the parish’s hall (which is also under construction), inaugurating the first day of St. Philip’s Fast, leading everyone in attendance to the joyful feast of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Mr. Hryhoriy Bobul and Mr. and Mrs. Slavko Kosiv of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral (Broome St, NY City) offered a few folk songs in Ukrainian and Romanian languages, concentrating on the themes of the songs that call upon the faithful to live in Christian love and generosity.
In conclusion, His Grace Bishop Daniel address those in attendance, calling upon them to journey through the St. Philip’s Fast with the love of a God, who offers Himself as a Salvific Gift to His Creation. As a farewell action, both hierarchs of the Church presented bouquets of flowers to the pani-matkas of the both St. Andrei and Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox parish and cathedral communities.