UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Parish Feast Day Celebrated In Jones, OK!
The faithful members of Dormition of the Mother of God Ukrainian Orthodox Parish, Jones, OK, along with their pastor, Archimandrite Raphael and many visitors from other Orthodox parishes, welcomed His Grace Bishop Daniel, the ruling hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the Church to the parish's annual Feast Day Celebration on 28 August, 2010. Accompanying the Bishop were students from St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary - Subdeacons Vasyl Pasakas and Vasyl Dovhan.
The Feast Day celebration began the evening before with Great Vespers. Assisting in the Altar during all services were the parish Subdeacons Robby Wall and Andrew Swanson. Following Vespers, the Georgian Orthodox members of the parish hosted all the clergy and many other guests at dinner, which featured many lenten delicacies prepared by our Georgian (the country) parishioners.
The next morning, His Grace was greeted with traditional salt and bread baked. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Bishop Daniel, assisted by Father Raphael, Father Justin McFeeters of Holy Ascension Antiochian Church in Norman, OK and Father John Tsaras of St. George Greek Church in Oklahoma City. The church was filled to capacity with parish members and guests from many other local Orthodox congregations. Bishop Daniel gave a special greeting and blessing to lifetime parishioner Mary Erbin who was celebrating her 103rd birthday right on the Feast of Dormition! Following Liturgy, the clergy and faithful enjoyed more delicious food, prepared by our Romanian parishioners in the parish social hall.
Dormition Parish is known as St. Mary Parish locally and has a very diverse membership, which includes descendents of Ukrainian pioneers who entered the USA through the Port of Galveston, TX early in the 1900's and established the parish in 1919, along with numerous families from the Republic of Georgia, Belarus, Lebanon, Mexico, Romania and Russia.
Following Saturday evening Great Vespers, the entire congregation was invited to Edmond, OK, where our Georgian members hosted the Bishop Daniel, the clergy and the faithful to a multi-course feast. The adults visited long into the evening while the children took advantage of the swimming pool and trampoline.
Following a second Divine Liturgy on Sunday morning, 29 August, Bishop Daniel presented a large Icon of Our Lady of Pochaiv as a gift to the parish from all the St. Sophia Seminary students, in gratitude for the generosity shown to them by this parish over the years. The altar servers then lined up in procession with young ladies Mary Gomarteli, Diana Palivoda and Nadya Mamedova carrying a large Icon of the Dormition. Those in attendance followed as we exited the temple and made stops on all four sides of the building where His Grace and Fr. Raphael read Gospel lessons. Bishop Daniel utilized copious amounts of holy water in blessing our church, our nation, our city and our faithful who surrounded him.
Once again food and drink awaited in the social hall prepared under the guidance of The president of St. Mary Sisterhood as a covered dish dinner, which included traditional Ukrainian dishes. No one works harder and longer than the wonderful ladies of our Sisterhood. Following this wonderful meal, Bishop Daniel, Father Raphael and the four Subdeacons drove to a local cemetery to serve a Panahyda and to bless the grave of founding member Joseph Woloszyn (1890-1967) and his wife Maggie (1892-1980). Joseph was the builder of all three parish temples - the first two having been destroyed by fire, along with the graves of all who rest in the cemetery.
We are grateful to His Grace Bishop Daniel for the time he spent ministering to us. We were blessed by his presence and that of our seminarians, all of whom we have come to love. May God grant them many years!
By Subdeacon Robby Wall