Metropolitan Borys Gudziak visited the parish in Baltimore

On September 26, Metropolitan Borys Gudziak visited Baltimore and headed the Divine Liturgy at the parish of St. Michael the Archangel.

“We are living in a difficult time: a pandemic that has taken the lives of so many people, an isolation that affects the mental state of both older and younger, so much sadness and loneliness. We might ask ourselves why do we come to church every Sunday? What does this have to do with today’s challenges?” with these words the archbishop addressed the Baltimore community.

He noted that the answer to this question can be found in Sunday’s reading (The Call of the Fishermen, Gospel of Luke). The change in the Apostle Peter’s attitude toward Christ is reflected in the two words he uses to address Him: “Teacher” and “Lord.” “When Jesus performs a miracle, Peter realizes that He is not just a teacher of the law, but He is the Lord. The gospel tells us that God meets a human being in his daily challenges and shows that He is the Lord whom the forces of nature obey. The gospel is not just a word, a teaching, but an encounter with the living Lord who comes into the world, enters our life. We come to church and attend the liturgies not for the sake of tradition, but to meet the Living God, ” Bishop Borys emphasized.

After the liturgy Fr. Vasyl Sivinsky thanked the Metropolitan for his visit. “Pride is a sin, but I am proud to have a leader and a spiritual father like you. Do not forget about our parish and our community that loves you,” he said.

“It is pleasant and good to be with you in this majestic church in the city where the first diocese in the United States was founded,” said Archbishop Borys.

The Church of St. Michael the Archangel in Baltimore was founded by Ukrainian migrants in 1912. Marijka Kaczaniuk, who was born in the United States and whose parents came to the United States after World War II witnessed how the church and community grew and developed. “Old migrants built a beautiful church and a hall. It was in that church that I got married. But over time, the church needed expensive repairs, so the community decided it was best to buy a piece of land and build a bigger one. We have never had such a large church, but we were ready to work. All Ukrainians from the neighborhood came together and helped. Now the world is small, young people are getting married and moving away. The community is shrinking, but we support our church and do what we can. We live in hope,” said Mrs. Kaczaniuk.

“In America, to support the church, you have to be able to make varenyky. The priest must set an example, be with people and work for people. The most important thing is to build trust,” said Fr Sivinsky, who also takes care of a small parish of Saints Peter and Paul in Curtis Bay. After the liturgy, Metropolitan Borys briefly visited this small cozy parish.