Українська Православна Парафія св. Петра і Павла в Милвил, Н. Дж. Відзначила 104-річний ювілей Духовного Служіння
History has a tendency to repeat itself… 104 years ago several clergy and numerous faithful of the Ukrainian Orthodox community in Millville, NJ stablished themselves as Saints Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox parish community. On July 11, 2021, exactly 104 years later, six priests joined His Eminence Metropolitan Antony and Archbishop Daniel – the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA – and over 150 faithful of the community for the jubilee celebration and the parish feast day.
Little children, under the guidance of Dobrodijka Evhenia Dokhvat (wife of Fr. Anatolij Dokhvat of blessed memory – a long term pastor of the parish community) led the procession of church banners, altar servers and hierarchs into the sacred temple of the parish community. The faithful awaited the arrival of their spiritual fathers at the entrance to the temple, asking both bishops to bestow their archpastoral blessing on the parish community.
Welcoming the hierarchs at the entrance to the church, Very Rev. Fr. Orest Poukhalskyj – pastor of the community, assisted by the members of the parish board of administration and the parochial sisterhood, asked the hierarchs to remember in their prayers numerous clergy and faithful of the parish that diligently fulfilled the mandate of Christ for over 100 years.
Receiving the traditional Ukrainian symbols of hospitality – the bread and salt, Metropolitan Antony and Archbishop Daniel thanked the leadership of the parish family for keeping the flame of Christ’s presence alive not only in the parish's sacred space, but especially in the hearts of the faithful parishioners and visitors to the parish community.
Prior to the beginning of the Liturgical service, the hierarchs blessed the renewed parish church, iconography and new liturgical sacred items.
During the archpastoral Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel delivered an inspiring sermon, reflecting on the 245th anniversary of US Independence and 104th anniversary of parish community, calling upon those in attendance to learn from the zeal of the founding fathers and mothers of the parish family and the United States of America, offering themselves unconditionally in the service of Christ’s Church and the greater community of the people of God.
Reflecting of the Gospel reading, Vladyka stated: "In today's Gospel passage by the simple examples from our daily life - Jesus teaches us one lesson - and that is trust, our dependence on Him. Christ, in his message brings up a number of important things that we need for our survival - food, drinks, material goods, and a numerous number of other aspects. And while talking about them, Jesus points out that those things that we need and use are not the problem; but the problem is - how we relate to them. Our Lord is warning us about preoccupation with material things to such an extent that one's relationship with God and others become unimportant. The Savior tries to protect us from using God and others as means to achieve our sometimes selfish goals. His task is to stop us from letting material things to become our master. And so, He says: You cannot serve two masters: God and material things. There has to be a border, a line that sets boundaries for us. Trust God because "Your Heavenly Father knows..."
Over 50 people approached the sacred chalice in order to receive the Most Holy Eucharist from the hands of the archpastors.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Fr. Orest expressed his gratitude to the hierarchs for their arrival and the celebration of Liturgy as well as to the visiting clergy that traveled from OH, MD, NJ, DE, PA.
Responding to the words of welcome, Metropolitan Antony informed the community in attendance of the decision of the Council of Bishops of the UOC of the USA to present the following individuals: Anatoly Sienczenko, Charles Brozina, Wasyl Kyryczenko, Dorothy Kyryczenko, Svetlana Gladkyy, Valentina Mokienko, Lyudmila Babenko, Anna Mostowy, Alexandria Koslowsky and William Redka with the Centennial Medals of the UOC of the USA; and George Lenko, Victor Dziuba, Svitlana Zacharchuk, Igor Zacharchuk, Roman Turkot, Volodymyr Kovalskyy, Lesia Bourgoin, Phineas Wyatt Roth and Dobrodijka Yevgenia Dokhvat with the Blessed Certificates.
The day concluded with the joyful luncheon in the parish hall, which was attended by all parishioners and visitors, and offered by the loving labor of the Sisterhood of the parish.