Some might think a sunny Sunday in the summer is not to be “wasted” in Church, but the parishioners of St. Vladimir in Ambridge know better. His Eminence, Archbishop Daniel made a much-appreciated Hierarchal visitation to the Parish on Sunday, July 9, the 5th Sunday after Pentecost, accompanied by seminarians Subdeacon Mykola Zomchak and Yurij Bobko.
In his homily, His Eminence began with the Gospel theme of the casting out of the demon from the Gadarene demoniac, and reminded us of the unseen battle that all who strive to live piously must face each day. He called us to be aware of the reality of the devil, yet at the same time pointed out that his power and influence over us is dependent upon the degree to which we allow him into our lives. Drawing on examples from his own experiences, His Eminence challenged us to live as points of light in a world often fallen into darkness, to commit those “random acts of kindness” and to never hesitate to appear “foolish” in the eyes of the world for the sake of Christ and His Gospel.
Following the Divine Liturgy, the Church School hosted a Lenten luncheon which provided nourishment not just for bodies, but for souls as well. The informal fellowship afterward offered ample opportunity for parishioners and His Eminence to get to know each other better, and many conversations focused on the challenges of living a moral and Faith-based life in a “politically correct” society which is at best indifferent to, and at times even hostile to, our basic beliefs and values.
The visit was a beautiful experience for the Parish, and all left feeling inspired and energized.