His Eminence Metropolitan Antony Celebrates 70th Birthday, Name’s Day and the 4th Anniversary as a Prime Hierarch of the UOC of the USA
Surrounded by clergy and faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony marked his 70th birthday with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church in South Bound Brook, NJ on Saturday, January 28, 2017.
Clergy and faithful from Belgium (Very Rev. Fr. Vitaliy Derewinka of Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Genk) and Great Britain (Very Rev. Fr. Bohdan and Pani Anna Matwijchuk of the Ukrainian Orthodox Eparchy of Great Britain), from the Eastern and Western parts of the US, as well as from the Mid-West and Western Pennsylvania arrived to the spiritual center of the UOC of the USA in order to honor their Metropolitan and to offer words of prayerful greetings upon his 70th birthday.
His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, assisted by Vladyka Daniel, celebrated Divine Liturgy, while 55 priests and deacons concelebrated. The choir, under the leadership of Dr. Michael Andrec chanted responses to the prayerful petitions for the health and well being of Vladyka-Metropolitan. Very Rev. Fr. Stephen Hutnick, Treasurer of the Consistory of the Church delivered a sermon, reflecting upon the Gospel reading and the path of live of His Eminence.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, the clergy, faithful and the choir – all in unison chanted GOD GRANT YOU MANY YEARS, honoring their spiritual father. Greeting the Metropolitan, Archbishop-elect Daniel reflected upon the value of the sacred space in which the congregation gathered that day, since at the Sacred space of St. Andrew’s Memorial Church Metropolitan Antony began his archpastoral service and presented His Eminence Metropolitan Antony with a set of archpastoral vestments, also marking the 4th anniversary of Metropolitan’s service as a Prime Hierarch of the UOC of the USA.
Responding to the words of greetings and prayerful chants, Vladyka Metropolitan Antony thanked his spiritual family for the daily prayers and their presence in his life, as he continues to faithfully serve our Lord’s flock.
While at the Metropolia Center’s Pokrova Sisterhood Hall, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony and those in attendance were treated to a festive luncheon, prepared by the Pokrova Sisterhood of St. Andrew Memorial Church (Pani Dobrodiyka Lesia Siwko – president). Very Rev. Fr. Bazyl Zawierucha served as Master of Ceremonies, and by welcoming everyone in attendance Fr. Bazyl shared a biographical sketch of Metropolitan’s life path. Once a deliciously prepared lunch was served, the entire congregation was treated to several performances, among which were several presentations by the seminarians of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary and a saxophone player Oleksander Pavlykivsky. Very Rev. Fr. Bohdan Kalynyuk, pastor of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Bensenville, IL, who traveled to NJ with a group of 12 dancers from IL – HORLYTSIA dancers (artistic director – Viacheslaw Tikhonov), presented Metropolitan and his guests with the most memorable and enjoyable presentation – several dances and songs, one of which was dedicated to Metropolitan Antony’s mother Dorothy, of blessed memory. Consul General of Ukraine in New York City Ihor Sybiha with his family greeted His Eminence Metropolitan Antony on behalf of the diplomatic corps of Ukrainian government in New York, NY.
However, the most spiritually uplifting gift that was offered to the Metropolitan of the Church - was an icon of Christ - a photo mosaic - made out of hundreds of facial expressions of the youth of the UOC of the USA, who throughout the year under the leadership of Mrs. Natalie Kapeluck-Nixon (director of the Consistory Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry) secretly developed the project for their Metropolitan. Natalie made the formal announcement, while representatives of the younger generation of the membership of the Church presented His Eminence with the gift.
While the formal reception of the afternoon came to conclusion, Metropolitan Antony remained surrounded by his clergy and faithful who one by one approached to greet their spiritual father on their behalf and on behalf of the parishes, which they represented.
Many Blessed Years – Metropolitan Antony!
His Eminence Metropolitan Antony Celebrates 70th Birthday - 01/28/2017
Photos by Seminarian Hryhorii Matviiv and Lev Khmelkovsky