His Eminence walked into the parish temple carrying relics of Mercuriy of Bryhyn, which were placed in the middle of the church for veneration. All of the parishioners were anxiously awaiting the arrival of His Eminence. There was no soul that was not concerned about the well-being of fellow parishioner Olga. Once Archbishop Daniel entered the temple with relics, you could feel there was a sense of relief among all of the present in the temple.
Then, His Eminence spoke. All of a sudden there was this complete pious silence in the temple, you could only hear crackling of candles from time to time. Even the restless kids stopped whatever they were doing and were listing to Him speak. His voice was so comforting, delivering peace to each open and listening heart. People were reminded by His Eminence Daniel the true purpose of church as a place of healing and support.
“Healthy do not need a doctor, only those who are sick.” Archbishop reminded us of the word of Christ in Mark 2:17. All of us are afflicted with sin, all of us have some kind of physical, spiritual and or mental issues we are dealing with. Archbishop stressed the importance of love and acceptance that should be practiced in the Christian community. Reminding the faithful that there is no room for judging and expressing unnecessary person opinions. Quoting St. John Chrysostom, “The Church is a Hospital, and not a court room for souls. She does not condemn on behalf of sins, but grants remission of sins.”
The Divine Liturgy was especially uplifting as His Eminence Daniel, surrounded by swirl of altar servers led his faithful in prayer.
All of us needed some closure. All of us needed some comforting. His Eminence Daniel was graced by God to deliver that to all of us. Visits of Hierarchs are always special. This one was extraordinary. This visit was a visit of a Spiritual Father, who is concern and cares for His flock. Special petition was conducted by His Eminence for healing of fellow parishioner Olga as well as healing of the whole parish family. After the dismissal, choir solemnly song God bless America, commemorating 243rd anniversary of independence.
As the Divine Liturgy was over and everyone was enjoying the refreshments at the church hall, parishioners had a chance to talk with His Eminence. He has giving undivided attention to anyone who wanted to talk to Him. It was very comforting to have His Eminence over. It was much need visit. Parish Family of Saints Peter and Paul truly benefited from the visit of their hierarch and spiritual father. Spiritually uplifted with zeal and look into the bright future, parishioners are getting ready to celebrate the Feast Day of parish Family on Sunday July 14 and 110th Anniversary of service to God and His people on October 5th and 6th of 2019.
Photos by Dobrodijka Olenka Sendeha and Donna Nevels