The Eparchy of Stamford is proud to announce the publication of a new book authored by one of its own priests, Rev. Dr. Ivan Kaszczak, entitled: "Bishop Soter Stephen Ortynsky: Genesis of the Eastern Catholic Churches in America" The book can be purchased online at Amazon at the following link:
The author writes in the book's preface: "This book traces the life of Bishop Sotor Stephen Ortynsky, the first Eastern Catholic Bishop in the Western Hemisphere. The book also records the early years of the Ruthenian-
Bishop Ortynsky served as the first hierarch of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church in the United States. As the first Eastern Catholic bishop in the Western Hemisphere, he significantly influenced the U.S. Catholic Church in its structure and ecclesiology. The lack of episcopal oversight at the inception of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church in the U.S. led to the fracturing of its membership.
Ortynsky, in spite of his best efforts, became a target and scapegoat for much of the dissension within his church, and the lack of understanding from without. For many fellow Catholics in the Latin Church, Bishop Ortynsky stood in direct opposition to the Latin rite Catholic Church’s unity of jurisdiction and uniformity of discipline.
Various churches sought the conversion of Ruthenian Catholics. The diverse ethnic composition of the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church was fertile ground for misunderstanding. Many members considered themselves Rusins, Ukrainians, Slovaks, Hungarians and other ethnicities; nevertheless, in spite of these challenges Ortynsky persevered, asserting his church’s rightful autonomy and evangelical mission to preach the Gospel to all nations.
To understand the history of Catholicism in the United States, one needs to understand both the Western (Latin) and the Eastern Catholic Churches that took root in the Land of Washington. The Catholic Church is divided into East and West based on the ancient division of the Roman Empire. The Latin Church has been dominant in the West, while twenty-
The Ruthenian Catholic Church discussed in this book is presently divided into two Churches: The Byzantine (Ruthenian) and the Ukrainian Catholic Churches. Both belong to the Byzantine tradition.
In the late nineteenth century, the Latin Church had systematically consolidated its position in American society through its religious communities and institutions. By the 1870s, this church, which had spread throughout the planet in concert with the European empires with which it was aligned, began to face a new challenge to its identity.
The Eastern Catholics from Eastern Europe and the Middle East had begun to immigrate to America, due to economic factors and the pressures of regional wars.
This book addresses the confluence of these Western and Eastern Churches. It speaks to both the accomplishments and the shortcomings of the Church’s history—the “good” and the “bad”—and it follows a principle articulated by Rev. John Tracy Ellis, an outstanding historian of the Catholic Church in America, who cited the words of Pope Leo XIII, as he opened the Vatican Secret Archives, on August 18, 1883: “The first law of history is to dread uttering falsehood; the next is not to fear stating the truth.”
In that spirit, I have attempted to present a balanced and inclusive, though not exhaustive, view of the history that includes both the Eastern and Western strains of Catholicism, strains that form the crux of Catholic Church history in the United States. I believe this approach can inform and illuminate, while showing respect for both the Ukrainian Catholic Church and the Ruthenian Catholic Church—and shedding light on their common heritage."
CLERGY DAYS AT MT. ALVERNIA
From June 6 to June 8 2016 priests from the Stamford Eparchy attended Clergy Days at Mt. Alvernia Retreat Center in Wappinger Falls, NY. Several themes were presented to the clergy of the Eparchy of Stamford: “The Vibrant Parish: Post Sobor -
Also clergy greeted the Jubilarians, who are celebrating jubilee of their ordination to priesthood this year: 60 – Msgr. Leon Mosko; 60 – Msgr. John Squiller; 55 – Fr. Mudry; 55 – Fr. Woytyna; 45 – Fr. Gronski; 40 -
MISSION STATION OPENS IN BROOKLYN
On Sunday, May 15, 2016 Bishop Paul Chomnycky made his first visitation to a new Ukrainian Catholic community, which, for the last two months, has been gathering for the celebration of the Sunday Divine Liturgy in St. Brendan Roman Catholic Church in Brooklyn. Fr. Vasile Godenciuc from Staten Island, founded the new mission station with the blessing of Bishop Paul and the kind permission of the pastor of St. Brendan’s, Fr. Peter Gillen. About 200 faithful attended the liturgy, which was celebrated by Bishop Paul, and concelebrated by Fr. Godenciuc, Fr. Gillen and the local Dean, Fr. Peter Shyshka. The ladies of the new community prepared a tasty luncheon, which was served in the parish hall following the liturgy. The Divine Liturgy is celebrated every Sunday at 1:00 pm. St. Brendan Church is located at: 1525 E 12th Street at Avenue ‘O’ in Brooklyn. For more information please contact Fr. Vasile Godenciuc at 718-
PARISH CLOSES IN PITTSFIELD, MA
Sunday, May 8, 2016 was a bittersweet day for the few remaining parishioners of St. John, the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Pittsfield, MA as the final Divine Liturgy was celebrated in the church building and the parish was officially closed after serving the local Ukrainian community for nearly a century. Joining Bishop Paul Chomnycky, the pastor, Fr. Janusz Jedrychowski, and the local Dean, Fr. Kiril Manolev in the celebration of the liturgy, were the retired Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield MA, Most Rev. Timothy McDonnell and Msgr. Michael Shershanovich, the pastor of the local Roman Catholic parish of St. Joseph. Among the worshipers was the oldest living parishioner, 93-
ЗВЕРНЕННЯ БЛАЖЕННІШОГО СВЯТОСЛАВА ДО ВІРНИХ УГКЦ І ВСІХ ЛЮДЕЙ ДОБРОЇ ВОЛІ З ПРИВОДУ ТРИДЦЯТИХ РОКОВИН ЧОРНОБИЛЬСЬКОЇ КАТАСТРОФИ
ПОСЛАННЯ БЛАЖЕННІШОГО СВЯТОСЛАВА ДО МОЛОДІ
REV. MAXIM KOBASUK, OSBM (1949 -
Rev Maxim Kobasuk, OSBM, fell asleep in the Lord in the early morning hours of Tuesday, April 5, 2016.
GOD GRANT HIM ETERNAL REST!
Over the years, Father Kobasuk served as Pastor of Immaculate Conception Parish in Hamtramck, MI, St. John the Baptist Parish in Kenmore, NY, St Vladimir Parish in Hempstead NY, and Holy Cross Parish in Long Island City, NY. He served as Spiritual Director at St. Basil Seminary in Stamford, as the Director of the Eparchial Cantors’ Workshops and a Director of the Deaconate Formation Program. To all he brought his quiet demeanor, his gentle sense of humor, his great piety and his most striking gift from God – his beautiful bass singing voice.
Please pray for the repose of his soul, his brother Mark and sister Carol and their families, and the Basilian community as they celebrate his life and mourn his death.
EASTER MESSAGE OF HIS BEATITUDE SVIATOSLAV
EASTER PASTORAL OF THE UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC HIERARCHY OF
THE U.S.A. TO OUR CLERGY, HIEROMONKS AND BROTHERS, RELIGIOUS SISTERS, SEMINARIANS AND BELOVED FAITHFUL
WASHING OF FEET ON HOLY THURSDAY AT ST. VLADIMIR’S CATHEDRAL
On March 24, 2016 at St. Vladimir’s Cathedral in Stamford, CT bishop Paul Chomnycky, together with the priests of the Stamford Eparchy, celebrated Holy Thursday Vespers with Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, during which the Holy Chrism was blessed. The service concluded with the Rite of the Washing of the Feet.
ДЕНЬ ВІДКРИТИХ ДВЕРЕЙ В СЕМІНАРІЇ СВЯТОГО ВАСИЛІЯ У СТЕМФОРДІ, КТ
Ректор семінарії – о. Роман Малярчук – розповів гостям історію заснування та розвитку закладу, в якому виховуються майбутні священнослужителі, підкресливши особливе значення духовного покликання і служіння Богу і людям. Опісля семінаристи провели екскурсію, під час якої відвідувачі змогли ознайомитись з молитовним та академічним життям студентів семінарії. Також у зустрічі взяли участь о. доктор Іван Кащак, який розповів про академічну підготовку майбутніх священиків; отці Ігор Мідзяк і Іван Мазурик говорили про духовне покликання, а о. Іван Тихович розповів про капеланське служіння священика в лікарнях, місцях позбавлення волі і війську. Після вечірньої, зустріч суботнього дня завершилась частуванням у трапезній духовної семінарії. А відтак усі переглянули фільм «Risen». Наступного недільного дня Кир Павло в співслужінні з семінарійними священиками відслужив Божествену Літургію виголосивши чудову проповідь . Протягом двох днів усі спільно молилися, слухали духовні науки, обговорювали роль молодих людей у євангелізації сучасного світу та участь у житті Церкви. Гості були приємно здивовані щирістю та відкритістю семінаристів, ерудованістю та люб'язністю викладачів, дбайливістю настоятелів. Можливість такої зустрічі стала за сприяння Владики Павла Хомницького і отців Ігора Мідзяка, Івана Кащака, Івана Тиховича, Максима Кобасюка, Івана Мазурика, Тараса Чапаріна та ректора семінарії о. Романа Малярчука.
AS PASTORS WE SPEAK OUT ON BEHALF OF OUR PEOPLE BEFORE THE HOLY FATHER AND BEFORE THE WORLD: «POPE FRANCIS HEARD US.»
Rome, 6 March 2016
War is unbridled evil, a radical violation of the will of God. It brings physical destruction and social mayhem, comprehensive moral degradation and untold human suffering. To us pastors and to all Christians and all people of good will, our Lord reminds us that “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.”(Matthew:25:45).
For the past two years Ukrainians have endured a new type of onslaught – a hybrid war directed at their sovereignty, economic viability, historical memory, and international standing. A Еuropean nation has been invaded, its land annexed, its industrial infrastructure destroyed, and its economy crippled. The freedom, self-
Why? The answer is simple. Because the people of Ukraine are claiming their God-
Godless dictators sought to uproot faith and values and to destroy the culture and social fabric of the people in order to dominate, control, and exploit the nation. The state sought to control family life. Abortion became part of state policy. Alcoholism became rampant. All Churches and religions that stood with the persecuted population were prime targets of repression. For three generations terror was promoted as explicit state policy. Fear was driven into the nation’s heart. And yet, faithful Christians survived the persecution, sustained by the words of our Lord: "These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33).
After the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991, peacefully, providentially, its constituent republics, now independent, experienced newfound freedoms, as they sought to establish democratic government institutions and free economies, while respecting the sovereignty and international borders of neighboring states. In many post-
God spoke to the conscience of the citizens of Ukraine and the Holy Spirit guided hundreds of thousands of men and women, the young and the elderly, to stand together on the Maidan in prayer for the nation. “Enough! Let us end the corruption and systemic injustice!” While affirming human dignity the nation experienced authentic ecumenism in action: a desire for full and visible Christian unity. A new unity, a new solidarity, a new responsibility for a renewed country. “This very day I appoint you over nations and empires, to dig up and pull down, to destroy and demolish, to build and plant” (Jer 1:10).
Two years ago, by means of peaceful protest of millions throughout the country, accompanied by the prayer of Ukraine’s religious communities—Orthodox, Greek and Roman Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Muslim—the people said: “Enough! We will be free. We want to live without fear and corruption, to live with justice. We have dignity.” People came to realise that their dignity is not only a function of constitutional rights but that it is indeed sacred, God’s own holy plan. The hourly prayers on the Maidan helped the protesters understand the fundamental scriptural tenet: We are created in the image and likeness of God (see Gen 1:26), and while the image cannot be destroyed, the likeness requires effort, virtue, and a determination to order society according to divine law. This manifestation of solidarity and sacrifice fascinated the world.
Not all, however, were thrilled. The new sense of freedom, dignity, and civic responsibility and prospects of association with European peoples and nations needed to be stopped: it could spread to Ukraine’s neighbors. Thus, for the last two years, the entire Ukrainian nation is being punished by its northern neighbor nostalgic for the Soviet legacy of imperial grandeur. Such hegemony can be maintained only through fear, intimidation, and control of the media. It requires a disregard for human rights and freedom of conscience. The punishment meted out to Ukrainians for their audacity to be free is brutal, cynical, and manipulative. The agenda of abuse seeks international legitimization and cultivates enmity towards and rejection of the will of the people of Ukraine. It seeks to stop the development of civil society and the establishment of true rule of law.
The Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and the members of the Permanent Synod came to Rome to meet His Holiness Pope Francis to share a message from their flock and the entire Ukrainian nation. This message needs to be fully understood by the global Christian family and the international community: We are under violent foreign invasion and we need your moral leadership and charitable help.
Officially nearly 10,000 persons have been killed; unofficially many more. Tens of thousands have been maimed and injured. There are 5 million people directly affected by the war, of which almost half have become refugees. Nearly 2 million are internally displaced, including almost 300,000 children. Up to half a million people have been forced out of the country in the last two years. For any person of faith or good will these people are not a mere statistic—each is a father or mother, brother or sister, neighbor, child or friend.
Ukraine is enduring a mounting humanitarian crisis, the greatest in Europe since the end of the World War II. The effects of two years of hybrid war have put hundreds of thousands into post-
…but the people of Ukraine have a warm and welcoming heart. They have welcomed some two million war refugees. In this regard the witness of millions of Ukrainians is inspiring. The generosity of volunteers has been astounding. Across the country they care for the injured, traumatized, and homeless, the widows and orphans. And yet, the ongoing invasion adds to the human misery. The killing goes on.
Today Europe is challenged at its very heart. For whom is there room in the heart of Europe? How much room is there? The continent is seeing that it is not easy to harbor refugees. Up until now Europe has been large hearted, generous and hospitable. Middle Eastern exiles are, in fact, going mostly to and finding reception in European and other countries where Christian tradition and social doctrine have served as the foundation for the modern respect of human freedoms and human rights. Yet supporting more than one million new refugees is proving to be a great challenge for the European Union. It is a challenge despite the fact that the EU has an annual budget 400 times greater than that of Ukraine. And yet, without great international clamor and commotion Ukraine in the last two years has absorbed 2 million refugees-
During our visit to Rome we explained the realities on the ground in Ukraine, denounced the invasion and hybrid war and decried the suffering of millions of innocent men, women and children. The Church condemns the atrocities, the kidnappings, imprisonment and torture of citizens of Ukraine in the Donbas and Crimea—especially abuses directed at religious communities and ethnic groups, especially Muslim Tatars, as well as broad violations of civic rights and the human dignity of millions.
As Christians we are ready to forgive and seek peace. We announce and actively promote peace and forgiveness. But real peace is unattainable until the invasion ceases and the war is stopped.
We have been in Rome on the eve of the 70th anniversary of what historians call the “Pseudo-
However, our hope and "our help is in the name of the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth" (Ps 124:8). Today the Soviet Union is gone, and the once powerful persecutors are consigned to history and divine judgment. Meanwhile, the martyrs are being canonized, and their spiritual children grow in spirit and number. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Rom 8:28). The Lord has blessed the suffering and sacrifice in order to fulfill his purpose. At the beginning of twentieth century —the century of sacrifice— the UGCC had three western-
The UGCC has demonstrated with its very blood its solidarity with the Bishop of Rome and the worldwide Catholic communion. Now, during the Year of Mercy, is the time for the Catholic Church to bring the healing balm of mercy to their suffering brothers and sisters in Ukraine in reciprocal solidarity. The Ukrainian people are proving their commitment to European values of human dignity and the rule of law. Now is the time for Europe to understand that if it does not stand up for these same values in Ukraine, they become endangered throughout the continent. This is a time to confirm what the nations of Europe and its religious communities hold most dear; a time to see whether the blessings of freedom and prosperity that Western powers and societies enjoy might be shared more fully with a long-
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church ceaselessly prays for and promotes peace, and in Rome its leadership appealed to the Holy Father and to the world to help stop the war and stem the humanitarian crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. For Ukrainians who belong to different Churches and religious organizations and even secular citizens, the Holy Father is a global moral authority who speaks the truth. This voice of truth is particularly important for the suffering people of Ukraine. If the people do not hear or understand this voice they becomes confused, anxious and feel forgotten.
“The people are suffering, Holy Father, and they await your embrace, the active support of the Catholic communion and all people of good will” was our word. His Holiness made it clear that he would act. It was most important that on the eve of the sad anniversary of the Pseudo-
We hope that His Holiness will initiate and support new steps to help relieve the dire hardships endured by millions of Ukrainians, that he will speak out on their behalf and encourage international aid. The UGCC stands ready to facilitate responsible, transparent, ecumenically sound administration of international assistance, serving the Ukrainian population without regard to ethnicity, political or linguistic preferences or religious affiliation. We are ready to cooperate in a well-
Major Archbishop of Kyiv and Halych
Head and Father of the UGCC
Metropolitan and archbishop of Ivano-
Bishop of Drohobych
Bishop of New Westminster
Bishop of St. Volodymyr the Great in Paris
Secretary of the Synod of the UGCC
PANAKHYDA FOR THE FALLEN HEROES OF MAYDAN AT ST. BASIL SEMINARY
On Saturday, February 20 2016 was celebrated the commemorative panakhyda for the Heavenly Hundred (Nebesna Sotnya), who gave their lives for Ukraine during the events on Maydan in 2014. Students and teachers of the School of Ukrainian Studies at St. Vladimir's Church, members of SUM and members of the Ukranian community were praying together for the repose of the souls of the fallen heroes of Maydan.
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У КІНОТЕАТРІ КОНГРЕСУ CША У ВАШИНГТОНІ ВІДБУВСЯ ПОКАЗ НОМІНОВАНОГО НА ПРЕМІЮ «ОСКАР» ФІЛЬМУ ПРО УКРАЇНСЬКУ РЕВОЛЮЦІЮ ГІДНОСТІ «ЗИМА У ВОГНІ»
“TWO PARALLEL WORLDS” – AN INTERVIEW WITH HIS BEATITUDE SVIATOSLAV ON HAVAN MEETING OF POPE FRANCIS AND PATRIARCH KIRIL
RETREAT FOR THE CLERGY OF THE EPARCHY OF STAMFORD
From February 8-
ST. VLADIMIR’S CATHEDRAL CELEBRATES 100 YEARS
This year St. Vladimir's parish in Stamford, CT, under the care of Rt. Rev. Mitred Archpriest Ihor Midzak, celebrates 100 years from the time of its foundation. The beginning of celebration was from January 22 to January 24. Since year 2016 was declared by Pope Francis as the Year of Mercy, on Friday January 22 was the official blessing of the St. Vladimir's Cathedral as the pilgrimage place during the Year of Mercy. It means that for those Ukrainian Catholics, who cannot visit Rome during this Year of Mercy, St. Vladimir's Cathedral will be the identical place. During the celebration, besides bishop Paul Chomnycky, OSBM, Eparch of Stamford and the clergy of the Eparchy of Stamford, there also was present bishop John Bura, Auxiliary Bishop of Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia and representative of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Washington. Bishop John during three days was giving spiritual talks on the theme: "You were looking for the true faith and found the priceless treasure -
ST. MARY'S CHAPEL INAUGURATED EPARCHIAL HOLY DOOR FOR YEAR OF MERCY
On February 7th, Bishop Paul Chomnycky, Eparch of Stamford, inaugurated the door, opening to the Chapel of St. Mary's Villa in Sloatsburg, NY, as an eparchial Holy Door for the Year of Mercy, encouraging the faithful to visit the Chapel during the year, to pray and participate in the Holy Mysteries of Confession and the Holy Eucharist. Over 100 faithful were present to participate in a blessing of the Holy Door and then pray in the Chapel. Msgr. John Terlecky, Chaplain; Very Rev. Kiril Angelov, Chancellor; and Very Rev. Roman Malyarchuk, Rector of St. Basil's Seminary, joined Bishop Paul in the blessing service, which concluded with the beautiful ritual of Forgiveness for Forgiveness Sunday. Following the service, the Sisters Servants invited all of the faithful for refreshments in their dining room. Many of the participants expressed their gratitude for this very special spiritual experience, and left with the words, "We will be back!"
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LENTEN PASTORAL MESSAGE OF THE UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC HIERARCHY OF THE U.S.A. TO OUR CLERGY, HIEROMONKS AND BROTHERS, RELIGIOUS SISTERS, SEMINARIANS AND BELOVED FAITHFUL
BISHOP PAUL CHOMNYCKY -
January 30th at the seminary of St. Basil solemn Divine Liturgy started the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Bishop Paul Chomnycky as the Eparch of Stamford. Thanksgiving prayer before the Lord proceeded from the mouths of Bishops, priests, consecrated persons, faithful and relatives of the Jubilarian, who came from all over the Diocese and beyond.
Paul Bishop in his homily during the Liturgy said: "This tenth anniversary of episcopal ministry in the Eparchy of Stamford is not only a personal event in my life, like a birthday, but the event of the entire community of the faithful of the Stamford Eparchy in our journey to the heavenly Jerusalem. Why? That is, because the bishop is nothing without his flock, without his faithful, who are the main motive of his ministry. The bishop is ordained to fulfill the role of spiritual leader and father to their faithful.
Although 10 years -
Another part of the anniversary celebration was the banquet, which was held in the hotel "Sheraton Stamford". Bishop Paul heard the words of greeting from priests, laity, consecrated persons, as well as from many representatives of public organizations.
Decade of service in Stamford Eparchy passed quickly. Your ministry, dear Vladyko, was filled with the love to your priests and faithful. We appreciate your pastoral care and spiritual support, your cooperation with other Ukrainian bishops in the United States and the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, where you represent our Stamford Eparchy during this decade for the good of the Church and the nation!
May God bestow upon you all His Blessings!
Mnohaya Lita, Vladyko!
OPEN HOUSE AT ST. BASIL SEMINARY
PASTORAL MESSAGE OF THE UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC HIERARCHY OF THE U.S.A. TO OUR CLERGY, HIEROMONKS AND BROTHERS, RELIGIOUS SISTERS, SEMINARIANS AND BELOVED FAITHFUL
ПОСЛАННЯ З НАГОДИ ПРОГОЛОШЕННЯ СВЯТОГО РОКУ БОЖОГО МИЛОСЕРДЯ В УГКЦ