UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Parish Celebrates 75th Anniversary!
Anna Wozniak, Parish Board of Administration, John Lenhart, Vice-President, greeted the Metropolitan with traditional Bread and Salt, along with two young girls with flowers at the entrance to the Church. V. Rev. Fr. Raymond Sunland welcomed His Eminence and asked him to pray for all the faithful of the parish, his predecessors and all the founders, benefactors, members and visitors who participated in the life of the parish through the decades.
During his homily, the Metropolitan spoke of the importance of history of the parish in defining who the members of today are as Orthodox Christians. It is important to remember from where and from whom we came to be able to comprehend where we need to go in the future. He reminded the faithful that their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents sacrificed much to build a beautiful home of worship for them and for their children and that the parish membership of today must identify with this willingness to sacrifice – or in other words – to love – not only one another but those in the community around them who have no place to worship or who are literally starving to death in search of the spiritual nourishment they have never known in their lives. The parish family members must be conscientious about how they raise their own children and grandchildren, instilling in them the same love of God and for His Holy Church that their parents instilled in them. History is important, but we must comprehend that all our history leads us in one direction – to unity with God – Theosis – the ultimate destination of our life.
Metropolitan Antony responded by relating a story about his predecessor as parish priest, V. Rev. Paul Darmoc, who had served the parish for 34 years. Fr. John was visiting the parish with then bishop of Chicago, Constantine, during its construction and after the tour Fr. Paul pointed a finger at him (Fr. John) and said: “You will be my successor here.” Fr. John also laughed because he was happy in his first parish in Ambridge, PA. Two years later he was the pastor of St. Michael Parish. The Metropolitan spoke of the many people with whom he worked during the ten years he served in the parish and how he had everyone frozen in his mind as they were when he left the parish 27 years earlier. He spoke of his joy at having the opportunity to be with them during the celebration and urged the faithful present, whether members of St. Michael parish, Sts. Peter and Paul parish or any other parish, that they have a sacred responsibility to “be Christ” to a very secularized world and to a sometimes very dark world that concentrates on death rather than the sanctity of life and on the negative rather than on the positive that God provides for us.