Knights of Columbus Donate $6,200 for Vocations of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia
On Thursday, September 17, 2020 Fran O’Hara, George Koch, Raymond McLauglin and Nicholas J Marcantonio, Jr. from the Knights of Columbus met with Metropolitan-Archbishop Borys Gudziak and Bishop Andriy Rabiy at the Chancery Office in Philadelphia. The main reason the Knights asked for a meeting was to present two gifts, an Icon “Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians” to the Metropolitan and a check for $6,269.65 to support vocations.
Archbishop Gudziak began the meeting by thanking the Knights of Columbus for who they are and what they do. Archbishop spoke about how he appreciated the Knights of Columbus Supreme Convention in Minnesota in August 2019, which he attended shortly after his enthronement. The metropolitan was impressed with the service and mission spirit that the Knights of Columbus bring to the Church and society. Archbishop also mentioned how the Knights of Columbus are continuing to grow in Ukraine. He encouraged the Knights to continue to be radical in what they do.
Among the discussion points during the meeting was the presently inactive chapter in the Knights of Columbus at the Cathedral parish. The Knights hope the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia can once again be an active chapter.
The Knights of Columbus then presented Metropolitan Gudziak with an Icon of Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians and a check for vocation support. They explained how two Icons of Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians travelled around the Philadelphia area where there were prayer services in churches in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia The Knights presented one of those two Icons of Our Lady of Help of Persecuted Christians to the metropolitan.
The Icon “Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians” is an icon commissioned by the Knights from Italian artist Fabrizio Diomedi and was presented first at the Supreme Convention in Baltimore, Maryland. Depicted in the Icon gathered under the mantle of the Mother of God are men, women and children who died as martyrs in recent times.
Also, at the meeting the Knights presented Metropolitan Gudziak with a generous check to help foster future priests for the Archeparchy. Fran O’Hara helps the Knights raise funds to help seminarians. Metropolitan Gudziak was very appreciative of the two very generous gifts to the Archeparchy.
Metropolitan Borys explained that we have three seminarians and a deacon in the seminary. There are two registered seminarians in Washington, DC and there is a seminarian and a deacon doing a short term of studies at St. Charles Borromeo in Pennsylvania.
Archbishop also spoke of how he is hoping to invite a number of priests from Ukraine to come to our Archeparchy. He explained how there has been a large wave of immigrants in recent years and how we have 63 parishes in the Archeparchy but only 42 active priests for those parishes. Archbishop Gudziak explained that none of our priests in the Philadelphia Archeparchy are under the age of 40. The group of six candidates from Ukraine are undergoing a weekly preparation for service in the US along with their wives. It is hoped that they will arrive in the first part of 2021.
The meeting concluded with a group photo and a discussion with Very Rev. Archpriest John Fields reminiscing about the Knights of Columbus.
Photo (l to r): Very Rev. Archpriest John Fields, Bishop Andriy Rabiy, Nicholas J Marcantonio, Jr., Raymond McLauglin, Metropolitan-Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Fran O’Hara and George Koch pose by the Icon “Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians” that was donated by the Knights of Columbus to Metropolitan-Archbishop Borys Gudziak.