A mother, a wife, a grandmother, a wife, a pani-matka, a builder… - these were a few attributes by which over 400 people, attending the funeral services of Pani-matka Frieda Derewianka, described her.
Parishioners and friends from Belgium, Netherlands, France, Germany, Great Britain gathered in Genk, Belgium at Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church to honor the life and ministry of Pani-matka Frieda.
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Archbishop Daniel led the Funeral prayer Services for Pani-matka Frieda of blessed memory.
He family describes her life journey as such: “…She was born in Eastern Germany on 15th February 1945, under the name Alfreda Doroschenko. Together with her mother she came to Belgium and her three brothers were born later in Belgium. At the age of 6 her father died and together with her three brothers she lived in an orphanage for some time. Her mother married again, and Frieda got adopted. Two more brothers and two more sisters were born, bringing the total number of children to 8. She married in 1966 Vitali Derewianka, and gave birth to four children, Pavlo, Nadja, Katja and Ivan.
Pani-matka Frieda was deeply religious, loves Ukraine, enjoys Ukrainian culture and loves traditional music and dance.
In 1978 she has a dream, she meets Metropolitan Mstyslav at the Sobor in London, and together they start a journey to have a new orthodox church in Belgium finished to celebrate the 1000-year anniversary of Christianity in Ukraine. The construction started in 1982, and in 1986 and Archbishop Constantine consecrated the church.
Since 1990, until today, Pani-matka Frieda organized a series of humanitarian missions to help victims of the nuclear disaster in Chornobyl, including shipments of specialized medical equipment like scanners.
In 2000 her husband Vitali was ordainced to the Holy Priesthood, and for Frieda, the ultimate joy in her life journey became a reality.
Pani-matka was also very active in helping Ukrainian emigrants to come to Belgium, and helped several wounded soldiers, who fought in Eastern Ukraine.
Unfortunately at the age 73 she lost the fight against cancer, and peacefully passed away surrounded by her loved ones. She had a warm heart, full of love, always helpful, always listening.”
Archbishop Daniel, assisted by Protopresbyter Bohdan Matwijchuk (Great Britain), Rev. Fr. Ivan Radevych (France) and Very Rev. Fr. Vitali Derewianka led the Funeral prayer services. In the presence of government officials, Ukrainian Diplomatic Corps to the Kingdom of Belgium, local community representatives, Vladyka Daniel offered words of prayerful supports and condolences on behalf of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony – the Prime Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Diaspora and the clergy and faithful of the UOC in Diaspora and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.
May her memory be eternal!