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.




Bishops of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia participated in the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC

On September 28-29, the final third and fourth sessions of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church in 2021 took place. These two sessions, as all synodal activities, were held online due to quarantine restrictions imposed by governments in the fight against the Covid-19.

Metropolitan Borys Gudziak, Auxiliary Bishop Andriy Rabiy, and Metropolitan Emeritus Stefan Soroka participated in the session.

The bishops reviewed the Reports of the various foundations of the UGCC, approved several documents, and adopted the text of a post-synodal message on the pastoral planning of the UGCC. The text was elaborated based on the resolutions of the Synodal Group headed by Bishop Borys Gudziak which developed the framework for pastoral plan for the period up to 2030.

This year, the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church took place online in six stages: four synodal sessions and two phases of regional meetings. Bishops – members of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC from Ukraine and other countries: Canada, the USA, Poland, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Great Britain, France, Germany and Italy took part in the synodal meetings.

It was decided to hold the next Synod of the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops in July 2022 in Kyiv. Its main theme is “Synodality and unity: experience of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.”




Funeral of Monsignor Leon Mosko in Perth Amboy, NJ

On Saturday, September 25, at the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption, Perth Amboy, NJ, Bishop Paul Chomnycky presided the Requiem Divine Liturgy and rite of the burial of Monsignor Leon Mosko who fell asleep in the Lord on September 21. Monsignor Mosko, native of the Ukrainian Parish in Perth Amboy, served in the Stamford eparchy during his life in various positions.

Metropolitan Borys Gudziak with the priests of the Philadelphia Archeparchy and the Stamford Eparchy concelebrated the Requiem Divine Liturgy with Bishop Paul. Mother Maria and Sister Josaphata, Missionary sisters, also came from Philadelphia to pray for the repose of soul of Msgr. Mosko who at a certain time served as a chaplain to the Missionary sisters in their Motherhouse in Stamford, CT.

Right Rev. Mitred Msgr. Leon Mosko was buried in the family plot at the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption Cemetery near Perth Amboy, NJ.

Photo Facebook page of Fr Ivan Turyk

Obituary

Right Reverend Monsignor Leon A. Mosko, mitred archpriest, age 91, long-time teacher and principal of St. Basil Prep School, died September 21, 2021 in Stamford, CT.

Msgr. Leon was born November 19, 1929 in Perth Amboy, NJ and belonged to the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption. He attended public schools, graduating from Perth Amboy High School in 1947. He was inducted into the Perth Amboy High School Hall of Fame in 1988 for education and religious service. 

He graduated with a B.A. degree from St. Basil College, Stamford, CT in 1952, completed theological studies and graduate studies in English and Drama at The Catholic University of America in 1956, earned an M.A. in Education at Fairfield University in 1962, and continued graduate studies in Education at St. John’s University. He was awarded a doctorate, honoris causa, from St. Basil College in 2004. 

Msgr. Leon was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Ambrose Senyshyn, OSBM, in the old Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia on June 14, 1956. He was incardinated into the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford on August 17, 1956, in order to teach at St. Basil Prep School.  He served in the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford for his entire career, holding responsible academic and administrative positions.

Msgr. Leon was an English teacher from 1956 to 1964; then, from 1964 to 1981, was the principal; and from 1969 to 1981, was the rector of St. Basil Prep School in Stamford, CT.  He loved directing theatrical presentations, building self-confidence in his students while presenting such plays as “Everyman,” “Julius Caesar,” and “The Caine Mutiny.”  Msgr. Leon later served as rector of St. Basil College of the Ukrainian Catholic Seminary, Stamford, CT; rector of St. Josaphat Seminary, Washington, DC; rector of St. Vladimir Cathedral, Stamford; editor of the Stamford eparchial newspaper, “The Sower,” for two decades; and chancellor of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Stamford. 

Msgr. Leon also held parochial positions in Spring Valley, NY, New Britain, CT., and Ansonia, CT, and served as chaplain to the Missionary Sisters of Mother of God of Stamford, CT.  Msgr. Leon visited Assumption Parish in Perth Amboy, his home parish, as often as his duties allowed. The parish enjoyed his engaging, often witty, speeches at banquets and his profound sermons. He was the first priestly vocation from his parish. 

On May 12, 1978, he was elevated to the rank of papal chaplain, with the title Very Reverend Monsignor, by Pope Paul VI. He was elevated to the rank of papal chamberlain, with the title Right Reverend Monsignor, by Pope John Paul II, in 1992. Major Archbishop Lubomyr Cardinal Husar conferred the title of mitred archpriest on Msgr. Leon in 2005. 

In 2004, he was appointed by The Vatican’s Congregation for Catholic Education as one of 64 priests and bishops from the US to serve as apostolic visitors for the Apostolic Visitation of U.S. Seminaries and Houses of Formation. Msgr. Leon retired from active priestly duties in 2008 due to health, yet continued to minister to friends and family until his death. 

Msgr. Leon will be best remembered for his role in the formation of priests and the education of the many students who have become positive contributors to American society. Later in life, a great joy was to converse with former students, who found that the once no-nonsense principal and headmaster was affable.  He was known for his eloquence when preaching, teaching, and giving speeches, and for his part in making the eparchial newspaper, “The Sower,” a world-class Catholic newspaper. He had high standards for himself and expected no less from others.

His interests included: book collecting and reading, photography, art, iconography, antiques, drama and travel to Great Britain, Ukraine, and Rome. Before it was faddish, he was a  genealogist who did initial research and debriefed older family members.  Along with his nephew John, he loved to find and even befriend distant cousins.  An avid reader, he did not allow his years of blindness to curtail his continuing education, listening to some 800 books for the blind.

Msgr. Leon was the son of the late-Thomas Mosko, whose parents were Leon and Alexandrina (Chowanec) Moszczar, ethnic Lemkos from Labowa, Nowy Sacz, Galicia, Austria-Hungary; and Mary (Suszko) Mosko, daughter of Antoni and Salomea (Pastuszak), Greek-Catholics from Dudynce, Sanok, Galicia, Austria-Hungary; both locations are in present-day Poland.  The Moszczar, later Mosko, family was one of the first Slavic families in Perth Amboy, NJ, settling there in 1883.

Msgr. Leon was predeceased by his brother John and his wife Helen T. (Guido/Gajdos) Mosko, and three infant siblings: Adam, Thomas. Jr., and Mary Irene.  He is survived by nieces Rosemary Mosko; Janice H. Mosko, who selflessly devoted a year and a half to care for him; and a nephew and advisor, John T. Mosko and his wife Pamela and their children Jonathan; Alexander, who is studying for the priesthood with the Philadelphia Oratory as Brother Joseph; and Elizabeth. He is survived by his cousins Lorraine Fogleo Doyle and Robert and Maryann Mosko and the descendants of the Suszko families of Marion Heights (Keiser), PA.  He is a cousin of the late Sister Gabriel, O.S.B.M. and the late Sister Viterbia C.S.S.F.

Msgr. Leon cherished his “family” away from home for these sixty-five years: the dedicated eparchial staff in Stamford; especially, most recently, when support was most needed: Bishop Paul Chomnycky, Bishop Bohdan Danylo, Very Rev. Archpriest Bohdan Tymchyshyn, Ksenia Dragan,  Vasile Popovici,  the late Father Robert Markovich M.D., and the wonderful and caring Catechists of the Sacred Heart of Jesus: Superior Vera, Cecelia, Elizabeth, Julia, and Natalia. 

Msgr. Leon valued and respected the many persons and families, teachers and staffs, associated with the eparchy, college, prep school, “The Sower,” and seminary who supported him over so many decades.  In particular, he valued his association with The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate of Sloatsburg, NY, for whom, he was honored to serve as spiritual director of the annual Dormition Pilgrimage. He would reminisce sentimentally about the incredibly dedicated staff that he was honored to work with over 65 years in Stamford, expressing surprise that he survived almost all of his peers and even grieving the death of younger clergy and students.

Being an eparchial staff priest, without a parish, Msgr. Leon treasured his long-time relationships with families who befriended him: including the Bumbar, Gaudio, Grogoza/Martin, Kezel, Kocinski, Lencyk, Lohotsky, Miller, Prevost, Robertson, Roman, Sowa, Stremba, and Yaremko families.   

Above all, his lifelong devotion to service and duty, his whole-hearted dedication to the students and staff at St. Basil’s, his reverence for liturgy and the sacraments, his dignified magnanimity, and his forbearance with his serious health issues, all testify to a relentless trust in Christ throughout his life, one which was spent entirely in service to the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church.  

Funeral arrangements are as follows: Viewing with parastas will be Thursday evening, September 23rd, 7:00 PM, in St. Basil College Seminary Chapel, 195 Glenbrook Rd, Stamford CT 06902.  Requiem Divine Liturgy will be Friday, September 24th, at 10:30 AM, also in St. Basil College Seminary Chapel.

Requiem Divine Liturgy in his home parish and burial in the parish cemetery will be Saturday, September 25th with viewing at 9:30 am and Divine Liturgy at 10:30 am, Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption, 684 Alta Vista Place, Perth Amboy NJ. 08861. Interment will be in the family plot at the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption Cemetery, Florida Grove Road, Hopelawn, NJ. 

 




Bishop Paul Chomnycky held a retreat for Archeparchial clergy

Monday, 21 September, through Thursday, 23 September, this week, the traditional annual retreat of the clergy of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia took place at St. Alphonso Retreat House in New Jersey.

The theme of this year’s retreat, attended by 34 priests, was a reflection on the Gospel of St. Luke the Evangelist. Bishop Paul Chomnycky, Eparch of the Stamford Eparchy of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, directed the retreat.

One of the Gospel readings from St. Luke the Evangelist, which Bishop Paul pondered in his teachings, was the story of Jesus’ call for fishermen to follow him.

“Jesus comes not to drive people away, but to call everyone and us to join him: no matter who we are, no matter how sinful we feel, we are no matter what our life circumstances are. So, Jesus’ call is not only to conversion but also to inclusion. I think this scene on the boat with Peter that you know is a symbol or should be a symbol of what our churches should be. Like our parishes should be like places of inclusion and not exclusion.”

Photos by Rev Ihor Kolisnyk

 




“Rosary of Unity”: St. Michael’s Parish in Jenkintown, PA Joins the Global Ukrainian Prayer

On Saturday, September 11th, the parish community of St. Michael’s in Jenkintown joined together in the prayer of the rosary on Zhyve.TV, the internet television of Ukrainian Catholic Church. The prayer was led by the Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, Andriy Rabiy, who at the present time is the administrator of St. Michael’s parish. The “Rosary of Unity” is the media project of the Ukrainian Catholic Church (UCC) that aims to unite the faithful in Ukraine and the world.

During his opening remarks, Bishop Andriy highlighted the figure of John the Baptist, whose feast of beheading is celebrated on September 11th, according to Julian calendar. He stressed that in this feast everyone is reminded about the call to live life in the truth and according to the Gospel.

Afterwards, Auxiliary Bishop led those present with him in the church as well those who were tuned in in the livestream through the prayer of the rosary. They mediated on the glorious mysteries of the rosary: Resurrection of the Lord, Ascension into Heaven, the Descent of the Holy Spirit, the Assumption and the Coronation of the Mother of God in heaven. The prayer of the rosary was concluded by the hymn “It is truly right to bless You, O God-bearing One”.

In closing, Bishop Andriy thanked the children and faithful who joined him today. He assured everyone that the Lord is taking care of them. The joint prayer session ended with the Bishop giving the final blessing to those who participated in the prayer of the rosary.

About project
“Rosary of Unity” is the media project of the Ukrainian Catholic Church that aims to unite her faithful in daily prayer of rosary at 8:00pm Kyiv time with the help of Internet. The project begun on October 14, 2020 on the feast of Patronage of the Mother of God, according to Julian calendar with the blessing of the Head of Ukrainian Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav. The prayer is led by the bishops, priests and religious from Ukraine and the parishes and eparchies outside of Ukraine. Since March 28, 2021 on Sundays, the faithful have the opportunity to pray the Jesus Prayer, while the rosary is recited from Monday to Saturday. The first Jesus Prayer in this project was led by Patriarch Sviatoslav. The idea of the project belongs to Fr. Ihor Yatsiv, the head of the Department for Information of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. The prayer is live-streamed on Facebook-page and YouTube-channel of Zhyve.TV, the internet television of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.

About Parish
St. Michael the Archangel Parish is located in Jenkintown, PA in the suburbs of Philadelphia and is one of the two parishes of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia that uses the Julian calendar (the other parish in Holy Trinity Parish in Silver Spring, MD). Currently the pastoral care is temporally entrusted to the Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia, Most Rev. Andriy Rabiy. The parish has many communities such as Sisterhood of Saint Anna, Mothers in Prayer, etc.




The south Anthracite Deanery continues its support for St. Josaphat Seminary in Washington, DC

This year at the Seminary Day Picnic, $20,000 was raised. The dean, Very Rev Mykola Ivanov, presented a check to Archbishop Borys Gudziak and Fr. Robert Hitchens, the rector of the seminary.

On July 25th, the priests and the faithful of the South Anthracite Deanery gathered at St. Nicholas Grove in Primrose, Pa to celebrate the 87th Ukrainian Seminary Day. Starting from the early 1930s, parishes of the deanery, which are the oldest Ukrainian Catholic congregations in the United States of America, observe this day as a special occasion to support Saint Josaphat Seminary in Washington, DC.

We are very thankful for your material support to the Ukrainian seminary, and we also ask for your prayers! May the Lord reward all donors a hundredfold!

 




Metropolitan Borys took part in the meeting with the President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky in New York

During his visit to the United States of America, President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, met with the Ukrainian community in New York. Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Metropolitan of Philadelphia, took part in the meeting, representing the Ukrainian Catholic community in the United States.


During his remarks to the attendees, Zelensky noted that he considers them the best ambassadors of Ukraine, “because you are defending our state, our sovereignty, territorial integrity abroad.”

The President also handed over state awards to several representatives of the Ukrainian community in the United States. In particular, he awarded the Order of Prince Yaroslav the Wise to the executive director of Winner Group Ukraine, Ivan Hynansky, the Order of Merit to the national leader of the non-governmental organization Ukrainian American Veterans, Ihor Rudko, and the Order of Princess Olha to both the President of Revived Soldiers Ukraine, Iryna Washchuk, and President of the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee, Larysa Kyi. Bandurist, composer and conductor Julian Kytasty was awarded with the honorary title of “Honored Artist of Ukraine”.


Archbishop Borys gifted the President and his wife Olena a Ukrainian translation of  Fr. Henry Nouwen’s “Ukrainian Journals” recently published by Svichado.

Henry Nouwen (1932–1996) was a Dutch priest, teacher, and one of the most famous theological writers of our time. The last ten years of his life he lived with people with mental disabilities in the L’Arche-Daybreak community in Toronto (Canada).




Bishop Andriy Rabiy, Auxiliary of the Philadelphia Archeparchy, explains the Archeparchy Sobor process

On December 17, 2018, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Head and Father of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, signed a decree to convene the VII session of the Patriarchal (All-Church) Sobor (Council) of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) on the topic “Emigration, Settlement and Global Unity of the UGCC,” which was supposed to take place on August 26-29, 2020 in Lviv. Due to the COVID-19 restrictions the Patriarchal Sobor was postponed.

However, deaneries, eparchies, and archeparchies held their own Sobor sessions in preparation for the 2020 Patriarchal Sobor. The Archeparchy of Philadelphia held four sessions of its Archeparchial Sobor— some in person, some online—during which clergy, religious, and laity focused on the global unity of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church as well as addressed local issues and offered possible solutions to strengthen unity between different church structures.

In the following series of short videos, Bishop Andriy Rabiy, Auxiliary of the Philadelphia Archeparchy guides us through the Council process and explains its decisions and resolutions.

 

SESSION 1 (October 28, 2019): Thematic Analysis

This joint session was held at Immaculate Conception Cathedral and was attended by 194 delegates. Building on the theme of “communion-unity” proposed for the Patriarchal Sobor in 2020, the delegates were asked to reflect on positive and negative experiences of communion-unity at the parish and archeparchial levels, as well as to propose ways of strengthening communion-unity at these levels.

 

SESSION 2 (December 7, 2019): Laity Gifts, Summary of Table Reports

This joint session was held at St. Michael the Archangel’s parish in Jenkintown, PA, and was attended by 171 delegates. The focus of the session was on the role of the laity in reference to the first three elements of the Vibrant Parish program of the UGCC: Word of God-Catechesis, Liturgy and Prayer, Serving one’s neighbor (Diakonia). The delegates were asked to reflect on: “What Gifts can the laity offer to address the needs and promote the mission of the archeparchy?” in reference to the three elements.

 

SESSION 3 (November-December 2020): PRIORITIZED RESOLUTIONS / COVID-19 BREAKOUT REPORT

In the year that followed the December 2019 session, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic the Archeparchy decided to summarize the key proposals of the first two sessions in the form of resolutions, and present them to the delegates for prioritization. As it was not possible to hold a joint session, the decision was made to hold four regional sessions, using ZOOM as a meeting platform. These regional sessions also included breakout sessions on the positive and negative impact of the pandemic, with proposals on moving forward based on the lessons learned.

 

SESSION 4 (January 23, 2021): Summary ZOOM Session Report

In this joint ZOOM session, the delegates were divided according to deanery and asked to:

1) Express their hopes and expectations regarding the Archeparchial Pastoral Council,

2) Propose two candidates from each deanery to form an Archeparchial Pastoral Council planning committee.

 




Exposition of the Relics of the Saints “Treasure of the Church” at the Immaculate Conception cathedral

On Sunday, September 19, the Ukrainian Catholic cathedral of the Immaculate Conception hosted the Presentation and Exposition of the Relics of the Saints “Treasure of the Church”.

The exposition displays 150 relics, including those of St. Maria Goretti, St. Therese of Lisieux, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Anthony of Padua, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. Faustina Kowalska. The highlight is one of the largest relics of the Church’s claim to the True Cross in the world and a piece of the Veil that, according to sanctioned tradition, is believed to have belonged to Our Lady.

“I have different ministries and the Exposition of the Relics of the Saints ‘Treasure of the Church’ is my favorite job as I am able to give people an experience of the living God,” expressed Fr. Carlos Martins who leads the ministry said during the presentation.

During the years Fr. Martins ran the ministry, he witnessed miracles that happened through the relics of the Saints.

“God is the perfect gentleman and when He touches, we do not always perceive it. If you give Him your heart wholly and completely holding nothing back, if you permit God to be the Lord of your life and of every part of your life when you experience the presence and the power of the Living God in a way you have never experienced before”, stressed Fr. Martins

Hundreds of the parishioners and guests of the cathedral were able to venerate the relics, pray, and ask for the blessings and miracles they need in their lives

About the Exposition

Treasures of the Church is a ministry of evangelization of the Catholic Church.  Run by Fr. Carlos Martins of the Companions of the Cross, its purpose is to give people an experience of the living God through an encounter with the relics of his saints in the form of an exposition. Each exposition begins with a multimedia presentation on the Church’s use of relics that is scriptural, catechetical, and devotional, leading to a renewal of the Catholic faith for many people. After the presentation, those in attendance have an opportunity to venerate the relics of some of their favorite saints.




PLANNING IN THE ARCHEPARCHY OF PHILADELPHIA: THE PREPARATORY PHASE

Over the next year, with prayer, mutual listening and discussion, the global Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is elaborating a general pastoral plan that should serve as a framework for the long-term pastoral plans of individual eparchies. At the same time the eparchies are engaging in their own discernment regarding where the Lord is leading them. The Preparatory Phase of the Archeparchy’s planning process anticipates certain important concrete steps that need to be taken immediately. In this phase the Archeparchy will already incorporate many elements expected to be proposed by the Pastoral Council of the UGCC by the end of 2022.

As the members of the Philadelphia Archeparchy continue to share the news about our salvation in Christ, we focus on bringing the Paschal proclamation to the suffering world around us: “Christ is risen from the dead, conquering death by death, and to those in the tombs giving life.” We will best witness to this joyful and liberating message if we live it in personal relationships that reflect the love of the Triune God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That is the heart of the Church’s pastoral vision. We also need to address practical issues that are necessary for the Church to flourish. The goal of this preparatory phase is to position the Archeparchy for long-term pastoral planning by December 2022 while strengthening existing evangelization and pastoral initiatives and developing new ones. At the end of the preparatory phase, our Philadelphia Archeparchy should be better prepared to fulfill its mission “to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Mt. 28, 19).

Text in English and Ukrainian