Промінь Віри: Парафіяльна Родина Української Православної Церкви св. Петра і Павла у Пейлос Парк, штат Ілліной, святкує 113 років служіння Богові та Його людям
Sunday, July 17, 2022 was indeed a blessed day for our parish family of Sts. Peter and Paul. Our community celebrated another successful year in the life of the parish.
The parish has survived a pandemic and continues to breath more and more freely on fully open lungs. Services are back to normal, social activities are lining up on the calendar. Quite a few special events have taken place on this Sunday of mid July.
For one of these occasions, parish family have been waiting for three and a half years.
On Sunday morning, the sky over the shiny dome of the parish temple was covered in dark gloomy clouds, but it didn’t stop parishioner and visitors to fill the church to the brim for special Sunday worship.
His Eminence Archbishop Daniel was led to the church by eager children showering his path with rose petals. His Eminence was greeted at the church entrance by parish president Mrs. Mary Wisniowski and parish priest Very Rev. Fr. Vasyl Sendeha.
Archbishop Daniel started the service with the blessing of the newly installed chandelier. This is the moment everyone in the parish was waiting with anticipation for over three years. Almost a year before the beginning of pandemic, we have decided to upgrade lights in the Church temple. All of the lighting fixtures were pretty quickly upgraded besides the main Chandelier.
Unfortunately, due to accidents during shipping as well as the Covid pandemic it took over three years for custom made chandelier to finally make it from Greece to Palos Park.
“Wow” could be heard over and over in the church once the blessed chandelier lit up the whole temple. It’s not just a pretty decorated piece of art. It’s not just a light fixture. It’s a beacon of light that has truly brightened up the church temple as well as our souls. This project of upgrading the main chandelier brought people together to raise funds, to be persistent in working out the unfortunate events and to follow our common goal. It turned into another uplifting success.
After blessing of the chandelier, His Eminence read special prayer for our newest and youngest altar server Sviatoslav Kulyk and gave him His blessing to start wearing a stiharion. As six year old Sviatoslav faced His Eminence holding folded stiharion in his arms, his eyes lit up with anticipation. A bit shaking hands didn’t stop him from looking straight at Archbishop as he was being received into the lines of altar servers. Determination and a strong faith of a child was in his brave look. He was ready to go on a new journey in his young life of assisting clergy at the Holy altar.
The prayerful celebration of special day was continued with ordination to the order of readers of David Arute and Antony Sendeha in the Holy Ukrainian Church. The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy followed.
His Eminence was assisted by the newly enlisted altar server Sviatoslav Kulyk as well as newly ordained readers Antony and David and by the seminarian Reader Maksym Zhuravchyk, Subdeacon Jeremy Oryhon, Subdeacon Dennis Rehr, Subdeacon James Nevels and Altar servers David Sendeha, Michael Supilowski, Nazariy and Mykola Bryndzia. The choir led by Subdeacon George Cepynsky sounded extraordinary, beautifying the service with their beautiful voices.
It was a joy to hear the restless kids in the arms of their parents. Their noise was adding up to the prayerful celebration of the life of the parish. These sounds were the proof of the living faith of generations.
When the time has come for the sermon and the first words were spoken by His Eminence Archbishop Daniel, silence took over the whole place. You could hear a pin drop. Even the restless kids quieted down as they felt it was the time to listen to the teachings of Our Spiritual Father. His Eminence urged the congregation to live even more fully their Christian faith on a daily basis as our society is going through some troubling times. The world as never before needs action, action on behalf of those who believe in one true God Jesus Christ. We, as Christians, simply cannot be bystanders as the evil actions are portrayed as totally normal in our society according to His Eminence.
It was heartwarming to see so many faithful approach the chalice to receive the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. It has shown that parish family has come back from the pandemic living a full Liturgical life.
Following the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Daniel has recognized three ladies of our parish Mary Wisniowski, Patricia Beck and PM Olenka for years of outstanding work and dedication to the parish, especially during the times of pandemic and awarded them Centennial medal of the UOC of USA.
The new beautiful chandelier of the church with its 136 lightbulbs is not just an update and improvement of the church temple. It has become a symbol of a new life after our community along with the whole world went through the unprecedented times of the pandemic. Shiny and decorative light fixture is a beacon of hope in the Lord who protects and guides His faithful people.
Now our church temple is well lit even on the dark and gloomy days. The soft pleasant physical light of the chandelier would definitely brighten the day of those who come to worship and uplift them to leave the service carrying the light of Christ in their hearts to their homes, places they work or visit to enlighten there those who seek Christ.
The society we live in needs to reflect more on something more spiritual, something more detached from materialistic and hedonistic views.
The church temple with its appearance now preaches to the community.
The celebration continued in the church hall and on parish grounds as faithful enjoyed the exclusive meal prepared by parish chefs Albert Turiy, John Jaksich, Yuriy Korolyk, Ivan Bryndzia and their crew. The meal was truly a feast.
Priests of the neighboring parishes, honorable guests expressed their greetings as well as gave gifts to the parish on the occasion of the Feast Day.
Representative from Self-reliance Federal Credit Union, Mr. Walter Tun greeted the parish family and presented a gift in the amount of five thousand dollars.
Parish family enjoyed the celebration and the fellowship until the sun was ready to put the day to rest and was about to roll behind the hills of the west.
Thank you to all of those who have come and shared in the celebration of our parish Feast day.
Photos by Reader Maksym Zhuravchyk and Donna Nevels