“One of the signs of the Holy Spirit is the urge to action, and action gives life,” – Bishop Andriy Rabiy on his new appointment

On November 10, 2022, the Apostolic See announced that the Holy Father Francis, after blessing the decision of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC, appointed Bishop Andriy Rabiy as an auxiliary bishop of the Winnipeg Archeparchy. Prior to that, the bishop performed active pastoral ministry as an auxiliary bishop in the Philadelphia Archeparchy.

How the bishop himself received the news about the change of assignment, what will be his first steps and what he learned during 28 years of service in the United States of America – we talk about this with Bishop Andriy Rabiy, auxiliary bishop of the Winnipeg Archeparchy.

How and when did you receive the news that from now on you will serve as an auxiliary bishop in the Winnipeg Archeparchy?

I learned of the appointment to the Archeparchy of Winnipeg on Thursday morning, November 10, shortly after it was announced by the Holy See. After a short prayer, I realized that my time serving in the United States had come to an end and a new challenge was waiting for me. This is wonderful because with every assignment and challenge there is an opportunity to learn, to serve, to apply previous experiences and abilities, and to learn new things. One of the signs of the Holy Spirit is prompting to action, and action gives life.

Did this decision of the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC come as a surprise to you?

This decision was not a complete surprise. One of the priority tasks of the Synod is the proper spiritual care of the faithful in different parts of the world, and a bishop and clergy coordinate and provide it at the local level. The effort to ensure this in full sometimes requires re-appointments among the bishops. Therefore, each member of the Synod is ready to change the place of his service, aiming at the good of the faithful and the Church. Just like the first holy apostles: no one chose where they wanted to serve, but always obeyed the will of the Church and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Have you been to Canada? What do you think about this country and our Church there?

Yes, I had the opportunity to visit the province of British Columbia in 2018, and the provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario last spring. Each province is beautiful and unique in its own way.

The history of Ukrainian immigration to Canada is very interesting, in which the history of our Church in the settlements is closely intertwined. Also, the history of Ukrainians in Canada is closely connected with the history of the development of Canada as a country. For example, Ukrainians and Canadians of Ukrainian origin made up and make up about 9-10% of the total population in the province of Manitoba. In the province of Ontario, this share is even higher.

Our Church in Canada has an interesting history of formation. Its development mostly depended on the living conditions and circumstances of our faithful. Our parishes are often identified with large villages, towns and megacities. In Canadian reality, there are a large number of so-called “farm” parishes. These are remote small churches that were built by Ukrainian farmers on the edge of their fields, where a priest came to serve the Holy Liturgy once a week or a month. This is a really good example of the adaptation of our Church to these circumstances.

Nevertheless, many of our parishes there are really alive and actively involved in social service, especially for newcoming displaced people from Ukraine. Most of the priests are local, that is, they are from Canada, and a relatively small number of priests come from Ukraine and other countries. This diversity is a gift, because it makes it possible to direct priests to parishes where they can best develop and bestow their gifts and abilities on the faithful.

I really want to meet the clergy of the Winnipeg Archdiocese and get to know them better. Equally, I want to get to know the Ukrainian communities of the province of Manitoba.

Have you had a chance to talk with Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak and learn about your new duties and limits of responsibility?

There had not yet been an opportunity to discuss my duties and hopes in detail, as only a few days had passed. I think that Metropolitan Lawrence will gradually share his expectations and tell me about responsibilities. I would very much like to help him, taking into account also the fact that he is currently the interim administrator of the Eparchy of Saskatoon, where proper attention and care of the faithful must also be given. For now, I can say that I will work with temporarily resettled people from Ukraine and find ways to help them adapt to the conditions of a new country for them.

Wasn’t it difficult to say goodbye to the country and the people with whom you have served for 28 years?

One of the great personal difficulties is the very moment of saying “goodbye”. It seems to me that when we say “goodbye”, we cut off the connection and disengage from the past permanently. It is better to say “see you soon” or “goodbye”. Many of my friends, mentors, wonderful parishioners and acquaintances remain in the United States, with whom I will continue to keep in touch. Many of them were very involved in the process of my formation as a person, a seminarian, a priest, and later as a bishop. All of them are extremely dear to me and I will always remember them.

What do you feel most grateful for to Metropolitan Borys Gudziak, to our Church in the USA, and to the country in general? What did they teach you?

I am most grateful to the Lord God for bringing me to the United States after two years of seminary in Ivano-Frankivsk in order to continue my studies at St. Josaphat Seminary in Washington at the invitation of the then Metropolitan Stepan Sulyk. I was given the opportunity to receive an excellent education at the Catholic University of America and the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, D.C., and later to receive a Licentiate in Canon Law. This opportunity was quite rare at that time.

I will always be grateful to the wonderful parishioners in the parishes in which I had the opportunity to serve and who helped me grow as a priest. I will remain extremely grateful to all my mentors, rectors, brother-priests, and archbishop-emeritus Stefan Soroka for their love, care and example of sincere service to God and the Church. I am very grateful to Metropolitan Boris for his example of serving the Church in different parts of the world, his knowledge of the history of the Church, depth of thought, constant search for an understanding of the role of God and the Church in the modern world, and concern for Ukraine during the war.

And personally, I am very grateful for the opportunity to understand the true dignity of a person and the right to freedom. In the context of the conditions and time when I came to the United States – and this happened back in 1994 – it was a transition from thinking and perceiving reality in a “Soviet” way (homosovieticus) to understanding that you are unique, a person and an individual, completely able to have his own and unique opinion and worldview. It is something that is “very American”.

The first clear experience of this was during my studies at the Catholic University, when teachers treated students as individuals rather than a general number of young people.

Any experience is good, instructive and unique. The main thing is to always see God’s presence and what lesson He wants to teach us.

Translation by Bishop Andriy Rabiy.

Original text by о. Іван Вихор

Pope Francis has appointed Bishop Andriy Rabiy to be the new auxiliary bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg

On November 10, 2022, the Holy See announced that His Holiness Pope Francis has appointed His Excellency Most Reverend Andriy Rabiy, auxiliary bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, to be the new auxiliary bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg.

Bishop Andriy has rendered generous service throughout the Archeparchy fulfilling many functions in various parishes and in the chancery. Most recently, Bishop Andriy served as vicar general, member of the College of Consultors, and given the shortage of priests has generously offered pastoral leadership at two parishes in the coal region – Transfiguration Parish in Shamokin, PA, and Immaculate Conception Parish in Marion Heights, PA.

Born in 1975 in Ukraine, where he started his seminary formation, Bishop Andriy spent almost all of his adult life in the United States.

He arrived in the US at the invitation of the late Metropolitan Stephen Sulyk to continue his studies at Saint Josaphat Seminary and the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, where he completed his degree in philosophy in 1999. That same year, he began theological studies at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington and graduated in 2002 with a master’s degree in theology.

In 1999, he was ordained a deacon by Metropolitan Sulyk, and in 2001 a priest by Metropolitan Stefan Soroka. As a priest, he served with great dedication in different parishes. In 2002, he was appointed administrator of the parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Hillsborough, NJ, (2002-2005) and the parish of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in New Brunswick, NJ, (2002-2003; 2004-2005). For one year (2003-2004) he also served as administrator of the parish of the Immaculate Conception in Hillside, NJ.

The talented young priest was asked by Metropolitan Soroka to continue his studies. He earned a licentiate in canon law at the Catholic University of America in 2008, specializing in the Canon Law of the Eastern Catholic Churches.

For over 10 years, from February 2008 to June 2018, Father Rabiy was the administrator of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Reading, PA. From February 2013, he also was responsible for the mission parish of St. Andrew the Apostle in Lancaster, PA. In June 2008, he was appointed vice chancellor for the Archeparchy of Philadelphia and subsequently served in different administrative capacities in the chancery.  

In 2017, Father Andriy was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia. His episcopal ordination took place on September 3, 2017 in Saint George’s Cathedral in Lviv where in his youth he had served as an altar boy. His Beatitude Sviatoslav was the main consecrator with Metropolitan Stefan Soroka of Philadelphia and Bishop David Motiuk of Edmonton serving as co-consecrators. The ordination of Bishop Andriy occurred in the presence and with the prayers of the entire Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and his family that hails from Lviv.

Upon the retirement of Metropolitan Stefan Soroka, from April 16, 2018, to June 4, 2019, Bishop Andriy served as Apostolic Administrator of the Philadelphia Archeparchy. Subsequently, he served as vicar general of the Archeparchy. Because of the shortage of priest, during the pandemic, Bishop Andriy assumed responsibility for St. Michael Archangel Parish in Jenkintown, PA December 1, 2020, to July 31, 2022.

“Bishop Andriy is well-regarded as a pastor who is caring and deeply committed, hands-on, and modest . He has lived a life of simplicity, chastity, and complete dedication to the Church. As he once told me ‘The Church is my life, I have nothing but the Church’,” noted Metropolitan Borys Gudziak after the news about the appointment was announced. In the name of the clergy, religious, and faithful of the Archeparchy, Metropolitan Borys expressed his gratitude to Bishop Andriy for the years of prayer, guidance, ministry, and pastoral care that he has offered thousands of faithful. “We wish Bishop Rabiy all the blessings of the Lord as the Holy Spirit guides him to new spiritual horizons and to new places of pastoral service. May the Lord grant the God-loving Bishop Andriy health, happiness, and the visitation of the Holy Spirit for many happy years!” said the Archbishop.

Comment by Archbishop Borys Gudziak

Having received the news about Pope Francis’s appointment of Bishop Andriy Rabiy as auxiliary bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg, I would like to express the deepest gratitude of the bishops, all the clergy, religious and faithful of the Philadelphia Archeparchy and the United States Ukrainian Catholic Metropolia for his 28 years of service in America.

We all are most grateful to you, Bishop Andriy, for consecrating your life to the Lord and for all the good things that you have accomplished in the Philadelphia Archeparchy, for the years of prayer, ministry, preaching, and pastoral care that you have offered to thousands of our faithful.

Thank you, your Excellency, for the joy of the waters of Baptism that you poured over the heads of those beginning a new life in Christ. From your hands our people received the Bread of Life. Thank you for unburdening consciences through the Sacrament of Reconciliation. May the Lord reward you for wiping the tears of those grieving at the loss of loved ones. We will remember the fellowship and solidarity that you created and shared at so many celebrations and festivals. Your good works are inscribed in the hearts of those you served.

As a young man in newly independent Ukraine, Andriy Rabiy answered Christ’s call to the priesthood and then responded to a second call to come to the US. He has given his entire adult life to our ecclesial community and left his mark on countless souls in many states.

Bishop Andriy is well-regarded as a pastor who is caring and deeply committed, hands-on, and modest. He has lived a life of simplicity, chastity, and complete dedication to the Church. As he once told me ‘The Church is my life, I have nothing but the Church.”

Having been appointed as bishop and transferred by the Church from country to country more than once, I know that it is not easy to leave the people you have come to love and who love you, those with whom you have decades of bonds. I pray and trust that the Holy Spirit will give Bishop Andriy the inspiration needed to pick up roots and plant them in a land new to him so as to flourish and give fruit as he did in the US. He is eagerly awaited in the Winnipeg Archeparchy by Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak who presently has also the Saskatoon Eparchy in his charge.

We wish Bishop Rabiy all the blessings of the Lord as the Holy Spirit guides him to new spiritual horizons and to new places of pastoral service. May the Lord grant the God-loving Bishop Andriy health, happiness, and the visitation of the Holy Spirit for many happy years! Mnohaya lita!

В Католицькому університеті Америки засновано Кафедру українських церковних студій

У середу, 28 вересня, в Католицькому університеті Америки відбулася інавгурація Кафедри українських церковних студій. Молитву на початку церемонії очолив Митрополит Борис Ґудзяк, Архиєпископ Філадельфійський УГКЦ. Після вступних слів о. Марка Морозовича, декана Школи богослов’я та релігієзнавства, Пітер Кілпатрік, президент Католицького Університету Америки, і Аарон Домінгес, проректор, офіційно проголосили про створення нової кафедри. Перед тим, як о. Петро Ґаладза був іменований першим керівником новоствореної кафедри, владика Василь Лостен, спонсор Центру українських церковних студій, поділився з присутніми спогадами про свої студентські роки у Католицькому університеті Америки. 

Після о. Петро Ґаладза запропонував три основні напрямні для нового центру: продовження роботи Студійної Групи Київської Церкви; вивчення ролі дружини священника в підпільній Українській Греко-Католицькій Церкві (УГКЦ); та вивчення Катехизм УГКЦ «Христос наша Пасха», особливо його моральне богослов’я.


Центр українських церковних студій є частиною Інституту вивчення східного християнства Школи богослов’я та релігієзнавства Католицького університету Америки.

Студійна група Київської Церкви – група богословів УГКЦ і православних Вселенського Патріархату, яка діяла на початку 1990-х років, основною роботою якої було вивчення можливості сопричастя УГКЦ з Константинопольським Патріархом, не перериваючи спілкування з Римським Апостольським Престолом.

Statement of the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops of the US In Response to the Attempted Russian Annexation of Four Regions of Ukraine

Before the eyes of the world, after a farcical series of pseudo referendums, Russian President Putin, violating all principles of international law, announced the annexation of four regions of Ukraine. Each of these regions is approximately the size of Massachusetts, and together they form 15% of Ukrainian territory that, before 2014, was home to 8.5 million Ukrainians.

We wholeheartedly and unconditionally condemn this escalation and codification of brutal Russian aggression and ask all people of good will to confirm and amplify their active spiritual and material solidarity with the people of Ukraine.

Russian imperialistic colonialism, accompanied by gruesome war crimes, the killing of tens of thousands of innocent civilians, and the massive destruction of villages, towns, and cities, enslaves not only the general population but also its Churches and religious communities. The future of the Ukrainian Orthodox parishes, Eastern and Roman Catholic Churches, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim, and other communities of faith that stand up, as they have in unison, for truth and justice will be under a death sentence if these occupied territories of the Ukrainian state are not liberated.

Ukrainians who suffered repeated genocidal waves in the twentieth century with 15 million deaths caused by world wars and totalitarian regimes – both Soviet and Nazi – have no illusions about the consequence of Russian occupation. Every time in the eighteenth, nineteenth, twentieth, or twenty-first centuries when a Russian regime – imperialist, Soviet, or Putinist – annexes Ukrainian territory, the life of Ukrainian Catholics and Ukrainian Orthodox is suffocated. It can take time, or it can be rapid. The result is always the same. All faiths suffer along with the general population. The discovery of Russian atrocities in Bucha, Irpin, and most recently Izyum lay bare Russian genocidal intentions. It is incumbent on the free world to help the valiant Ukrainians who show inspiring courage to reject and reverse these heinous acts of state terrorism and neo-colonial gluttony.

Russia encompasses 11 time zones. In its imperial embrace it envelopes some 120 ethnic groups and nations. How much more can Russia consume? How much more human suffering will this colonialism cause? Russia is 28 times as big as Ukraine. With your help it will not get a 29th portion. African Americans will never be slaves again. Americans and Canadians will not be the colonial subjects of Great Britain. Algeria and Ivory Coast will never again be a colony of France. The Democratic Republic of the Congo will never be a satellite of Belgium, Mexico and Argentina of Spain, and Brazil of Portugal. 31 years ago, with an overwhelming 90% vote, Ukrainians decided that they will not be colonial slaves of Russia. Now they are defending their God-given freedom and dignity with their very lives.

It is time to renew and reinforce our prayer, advocacy, and aid in supporting the defense of democracy and Biblical truth in Ukraine and the world. We stand with David against the pretensions of Goliath. We stand with Christ the Crucified who always was close to the poor and marginalized. Who became a victim to save the victims of sin. We trust that the victims will not be abandoned by the powerful of the world and that God’s truth will prevail.

Ukraine, which in 1994 was the first country that unilaterally gave up its nuclear arsenal, is today threatened with nuclear weapons by the country that, through the Budapest Memorandum, guaranteed Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity. America was a signatory of this guarantee. The sacrifice of Ukrainians, their prophetic option for peace commands our solidarity.

Ukraine’s stance for and witness to peace is undeniable. Today it needs the world’s help to resist an unprovoked invasion. We encourage all people of goodwill to do their part.

Pray to the merciful Lord, advocate for the defense of the innocent, and help generously the millions of victims. 

In God we trust!

+ Borys Gudziak

Archbishop of Philadelphia for Ukrainians

Metropolitan of Ukrainian Catholics in the United States

+ Paul Chomnycky, OSBM

Eparch of Stamford

+ Вenedict Aleksiychuk

Eparch of St. Nicholas in Chicago

+ Bohdan J. Danylo

Eparch of St. Josaphat in Parma

+ Andriy Rabiy

Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia

Metropolitan Gudziak at the Mass for Migrants and Refugees in Washington: Ukrainians will defend their God-given dignity

On September 25, Archbishop Borys Gudziak joined Bishop Mario E. Dorsonville, Chairman of the Committee on Migration for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Auxiliary Bishop of Washington, in a celebration of the gifts of migrants and refugees at the Cathedral of St. Matthew in Washington, D.C. 

This event marked the conclusion of National Migration Week celebrated worldwide. Archbishop Borys was invited to address the gathering in St. Matthew’s Cathedral at the end of Mass.

“I grew up as a son of refugees. They came from Ukraine, a country where during WWII seven million people were killed, including two million Jews. Our human race, so gifted, so talented, that is capable of building such beautiful churches, capable of beautiful singing is at the same time capable of hatred and violence,” said the Archbishop after thanking Bishop Dorsonville for the invitation. He mentioned the present aggression against Ukraine which forced 14 million Ukrainians to flee their homes and thanked American Catholics for their prayer, advocacy efforts, and aid. The Archbishop also shared his personal experience of his visits to Ukraine and Europe recently. “I am inspired when I speak with the people in Ukraine as I tremble before the tragedy.” emphasized Metropolitan Borys. “Whether it was the refugees in Romania, Poland, Italy, France, Belgium, Canada, United States, or whether it was mothers and grandmothers, students, even children, not to speak of the fathers and the young men, I heard not a single person saying: “We have to give up”; “We must compromise”; “We have to make concessions”. In the 20th century, 15 million people were killed on Ukrainian land. And if anybody forgot that, in Ukraine, they have seen Bucha, they have seen Izyum and there are over two thousand villages and towns that are held under occupation. Ukrainians will defend their God-given dignity. They will defend Poland and Romania, Europe, and the rest of the free world”.

Metropolitan Borys Gudziak completed his visit to Romania

Archbishop Metropolitan Borys Gudziak completed a tour of Romania, representing the United States Conference of the Catholic Bishops (USCCB) as a member of the subcommittee of Church in Central and Eastern Europe. Archbishop was accompanied by Jennifer Healy, director of the subcommittee, Andrew Kirkpatrick, grant specialist of the subcommittee, and Sofia Zacharczuk, chief of staff of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia.

The tour started in Bucharest with visiting the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Bucharest where the delegation met with His Excellency Aurel Perca, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bucharest.

Next, the delegation visited the Romanian Greek Catholic Archeparchy in Blaj where they were hosted by His Eminence Christian Dumitru Crișan, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Alba Iulia and Făgăraș. The visit included several services in different parishes in Blaj, including the Cathedral, visiting the seminary, walking the Field of Freedom where Pope Francis visited in 2019, the future museum of the Archeparchy, and met with refugees staying at the mother house. The delegation also traveled to Târgu Mureș where they saw a new church that is being constructed, and Archbishop Borys took part in a conference on the current situation in Ukraine and met with Ukrainian refugees who have been taken in by one of the parish priests.

Following Blaj, the delegation traveled to Cluj where they were hosted by Bishop Claudiu-Lucian Pop, Eparchy of Cluj-Gherla. During their time in Cluj, the Archbishop greeted students on their first day of school and met with the principal of the school to discuss aspirations to expand and grow the school. The delegation visited the Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca (BBU) where they met with the Rector of the University, Dr Daniel David, and met with the Dean of the School of Greek Catholic Theology, and with members of the University’s patristic center. The delegation also visited the new cathedral which is still being constructed.

Prior to leaving Romania, Archbishop Borys visited the sisters in Sighet who took in over 1,500 Ukrainian refugees since the start of the war, and currently still house several families. Archbishop Borys thanked the Romanians for their warm welcome and hospitality not only to the delegation but to all the Ukrainian refugees.

Metropolitan Borys Gudziak participated in the 27th General Assembly of the International Federation of Catholic Universities

The Assembly of the International Federation of Catholic Universities convened on the campus of Boston College from July 30th to August 3rd with more than 200 participants from all over the world. Metropolitan Borys Gudziak, president of the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU) in Lviv, participated in the Assembly together with a delegation from UCU.
Comprising of more than 226 Catholic universities and higher education institutions throughout the world, the IFCU holds its general assembly every three years. The 2022 assembly’s theme was entitled “Legacy and Transformation in a World of Change: Catholic Higher Education and the Future.”
Metropolitan Borys offered a sermon during the mass for the participant of the Assembly on Tuesday, August 2nd. “At the end of a full day of fellowship and sharing of pain, sorrows, and great hopes we have an opportunity to say ‘eucharisto’ (thank you in Greek). In Eucharist, we bring thanks to the Lord, and we bring all our questions and challenges,” noted the Archbishop in his sermon. He thanked the representatives of the Catholic universities in different countries for their heroic witness, intellectual leadership, prophetic hope, and guidance they offer society.
During the gala dinner of the 27th General Assembly, the president of the Federation, Isabel Capeloa Gil, presented the Sciat Vt Serviat award to the Ukrainian Catholic University (UCU). Metropolitan Borys accepted the award on behalf of the UCU delegation and academic community. With this symbolic gesture, the Federation wanted to renew all its support and solidarity with the UCU and the Ukrainian people suffering from the unjust war led by Russia.
Receiving the award, Metropolitan Borys thanked the International Federation of Catholic Universities. “I want to thank you on behalf of those people in Ukraine that daily are enduring bomb alerts, that see cruise missiles flying over their heads and crashing neighboring buildings. I thank you on behalf of those who have given their lives”, he said mentioning that already eight members of the UCU community were killed.
“It is a war about Europe and about democracy in the world. I thank the International Federation of Catholic Universities for standing with Ukrainians who stand for freedom in the world. It is a battle of life or death. It is a war in and against Ukraine, but it is not only about Ukraine. The Russian invaders have demonstrated genocidal intent, and I want you to know that Ukrainians are not going to give up and they really appreciate your support,” added the Archbishop.
He asked the participants to pray for Ukraine, to stay informed, and to offer help and support.

88th Ukrainian Seminary Day in the South Anthracite Deanery focuses on the war in Ukraine

Held Sunday, July 31, at St. Nicholas Hall in Primrose, PA, the 88th Ukrainian Seminary Day brought together several hundred people.
Starting from the early 1930s, parishes of the South Anthracite Deanery, which is comprised of 12 Ukrainian Catholic parishes, mark this day as a special occasion to celebrate their faith and culture and to support Saint Josaphat Seminary in Washington, DC.
Although Ukrainian Catholics who live in the region are the the fourth-fifth generation born in the US, they cherish Ukrainian culture. The Russian war against Ukraine was in the focus of this year’s gathering.
“Today, resistance of Ukrainians against violence, aggression, propaganda, torture, and wanton destruction is changing the world. There are 20 wars in the world but this war, this resistance continues to be before the eyes of the world. It is because the people of Ukraine are giving their lives for the truth,” noted in his homily Archbishop Borys Gudziak who recently came back from Ukraine. He shared a story of Artemiy Dymyd, the son of his friend, who was killed by a mortar fire on the frontline in eastern Ukraine two months ago.
“We are living in a time when people stop believing in eternal life and do not know how to deal with death. Ukrainians, the members of our Church in Ukraine, are showing that they believe,” continued the Metropolitan.
Reflecting upon the Gospel of the day (the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes), the Archbishop stressed the importance of trust in God’s love, bounty, and presence, and the healing which our faith brings. “If we trust in what we hear in the Gospel — that Jesus heals, makes whole, and feeds — we live differently. Fear, anxiety, and all the other negative passions do not possess us and we have peace and joy in our hearts”.
The Divine Liturgy concluded with bidding farewell to Most Rev Mykola Ivanov, pastor of Shamokin and Marion Heights, who has received a new assignment, and the introduction of the Rev. Mark Fesniak, pastor of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Church in Minersville, as the new dean of the South Anthracite Deanery.
In his brief word Fr. Mykola thanked parishioners of South Anthracite Deanery. “Because of you, your hard work, and your prayers our Church exists,” he emphasized.
Archbishop Borys express his gratitude to Fr. Mykola and Fr. Mark for their service and readiness to take on new responsibilities. He also shared the news that starting August 1st, auxiliary bishop Andriy Rabiy will be a pastor of Shamokin and Marion Heights. “We are bringing to you the best we have. Bishop Andriy completed his service in Saint Michael’s parish in Jenkintown and is coming to the South Anthracite Deanery. And I am asking him to do something that we have not done since metropolitan Stephen Sulyk’s time – canonical visits to our parishes”.
Addressing the people after the liturgy, the Archbishop shared with them the experience of his recent visit to Ukraine, especially to Bucha and Irpin where Russian forces committed brutal war crimes. He thanked the gathered for their prayer, for being informed, and for their generous help and noted that according to his estimate, American Catholics have donated more than 100 million dollars to help Ukraine.
He assured them that Ukrainians are grateful for the help. “Take that home and tell any doubter, Ukrainians will not give up. They will continue to give their lives for the truth, for God-given dignity, and for their independence”
More photos on our Facebook Page 

Metropolitan Borys Gudziak visited the war-torn Irpin and Bucha

On Tuesday, July 19, Archbishop Gintaras Grušas, President of the Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe, and Metropolitan Borys Gudziak, Archbishop of the Archeparchy of Philadelphia, visited the cities of Irpin and Bucha near Kyiv, where they prayed for peace in Ukraine, in particular for the victims of Russia’s war against Ukraine.

Metropolitan Borys Gudziak headed the Divine Liturgy at the parish of the Nativity of the Holy Virgin in Irpin.

Tetyana Stawnyczy, president of Caritas-Ukraine, Rev Roman Syrotych, director of the Caritas-Kyiv , and Rev Vasyl Chudiyovych, chancellor of the Kyiv Archeparchy, also visited the parish.

On the Alley of Glory at the Irpin city cemetery and at the mass graves in Bucha, they prayed for the repose of the innocently killed victims.

They saw with their own eyes the consequences of the occupation and destruction of the cities by the Russian army during the battles at the beginning of the war in March, talked with the residents, and showed them their support.


Philadelphia Area Rotary Clubs Raise $100k For Ukraine Relief: Event Featured Ukrainian Singers and Speakers

$100,000 raised by local Rotary Clubs in the Delaware Valley is going to help Ukrainians suffering from the war.  More than 150 Rotarians from Southeastern PA District 7450 and their guests attended a “United with Ukraine” fundraiser on June 14th.

The event, held at Lia’s Catering, The Ballrooms at Boothwyn, was highlighted by Slavic cuisine, Ukrainian music, Polka dancing, and powerful speakers, Eugene Luciw, President of the Philadelphia branch of the Ukrainian Congress Committee of America (UCCA) and Michael Sawkiw, Jr., Executive Vice President of UCCA and Director of the Ukrainian National Information Service, the organization’s Washington D.C. bureau.

Luciw gave an informative and impassioned exposition of the unjust, barbaric and inhuman nature of Russia’s heavily armed attack on Ukraine and her people. He also placed Moscow’s brutality into geopolitical perspective and outlined the separate and distinct nature and history of the Ukrainian nation which goes back to the ninth century and pre-dates Russia’s beginnings by approximately 500 years. Sawkiw shared his belief that the U.S. and its allies must provide even more military, economic and humanitarian help than they are currently. One of reasons he cited is that Ukraine is the “breadbasket” of Europe and the world. He said that Russia’s intentional interference with the production and shipping of Ukraine’s grain around the globe could readily cause a world-wide famine.

Rotary District 7450 Governor Roger Taylor emceed the evening.  Poland’s District Governor-Elect, Piotr Jankowski and Ukraine’s District Governor Volodymyr Bondarenko spoke on video, thanking attendees for their support but also pleading for more help.  “The war is far from over.  We have to buy a lot of food now to prepare for winter.” said Jankowski.

Volunteers from 50 Rotary clubs in the Philadelphia area organized the event to raise money for a special relief fund created to help Ukrainians impacted by the Russian attacks. Rotary District 7450 is working directly with Poland’s Rotary District in a coordinated “on the ground” response to the worsening humanitarian crisis. Event proceeds will be used to purchase food, clothing, medical supplies, generators, transportation, and accommodations.

The “United with Ukraine” event was an extension of the original fundraising initiative to help Ukraine that began shortly after the war broke out.   Philadelphia Rotary member Ken Myers called a long-time club member, Joan Batory and said, “We have to do something. I don’t know what that is or looks like, but we have to mobilize support to provide aid and assistance.”

Batory directed Myers to contact Rotary Clubs in Poland saying, “I knew that the clubs were severely impacted by the enormous number of refugees pouring into Poland. If anyone was getting anything done, it had to be the Rotarians there!”

A centerpiece of the June fundraiser was a video appearance by Borys Gudziak, Archbishop of the Philadelphia Ukrainian Catholic Church. Gudziak spoke about Rotary’s important humanitarian role in helping Ukraine during this crisis. He spoke of Russian President Putin’s feeling threatened by Ukraine’s freedom and diversity.    Said the Archbishop, “Ukraine had a “virus,” democracy, from the point of view of oligarchic Russia so Putin made a decision to protect the autocracy by killing the “germ” of democracy in Ukraine, trying to crush it.”

The most moving part of the evening was when Ukrainian performer, Yuliya Stupen, led the singing of the national anthems of the United States and Ukraine, while everyone stood at attention. Emcee Roger Taylor read the English translation of the anthem before Stupen sang in Ukrainian.

“Ukraine has not perished
Nor her glory; nor her freedom
Upon us Fellow Ukrainians
Fate shall smile once more
Our enemies will vanish
Like dew in the morning Sun
And we too shall rule brothers
In a free land of our own
We will lay down our souls and our bodies
To attain our Freedom
And we’ll show that we are Brothers
From the Kozak Heritage.”

The night was capped off by an exciting live auction led by Rotary Peace Scholar and Honorary member of the Philadelphia Rotary club, D.F. Pace. The live and silent auctions raised an additional $25,000 for needed generators, medical backpacks, and pantry items. Pace’s “day job” is an Inspector in the Philadelphia Police Department but he has also been trained and certified as a professional auctioneer.

All proceeds from the event go to the Ukrainian Relief Fund of the Gundaker Foundation of Rotary District 7450. From there the funds get sent to a special account in Poland used by local aid workers to respond to the needs of Ukrainians now in Poland and those still in their homeland.  Donations are still being accepted at www.Gundaker.org/Ukraine.

By Lisa Leonard