October 2, 2017
His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
Beloved Brothers in the Lord: Christ is Among Us!
On behalf of the Council of Bishops, the Clergy and Lay Faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, we are offering our profound condolences on the falling asleep in the Lord of the deeply beloved and respected Bishop Antoun.
The passing of Bishop Antoun is a deeply felt wound not only for the pious Antiochian Orthodox faithful, but also for all Orthodox Christians who have admired his wise pastoral stewardship. His lifetime of exceptional leadership will live on in the hearts and minds of Christians of all faithful who were privileged to know his ministry.
We honor his memory, as he faithfully served our Lord with unwavering commitment and Christ’s love in his heart. Truly your beloved spiritual father has left behind a wonderful legacy in the memories and the hearts of everyone who had the privilege of knowing him.
In the midst of our sorrow, we must try to remember, that although his earthly journey has ended, we know that life does not end with our physical death but is just the beginning of life eternal, because our Lord promised us, “…I am the Resurrection, and the life: he that believes in me…shall never die.” (John 11: 25-26)
Thus our greatest consolation is our belief in Christ's resurrection and the resurrection of all in Him. Our constant prayer for our departed loved ones is an affirmation that they are still alive in Christ, and that, as we are all united in God's love, we will be reunited one day in heaven. For St. Paul says that "neither death, nor life...shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom. 8:38)
May his memory be eternal!
Prayerfully yours with love in Christ,