UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Fire Damage at Pokrova (Protection of the Birth-Giver of God) Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Philadelphia, PA
We write with a deep sense of urgency requesting you to pray for Fr. Volodymyr Khanas and all parishioners of Pokrova (Protection of the Birth-Giver of God) Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Philadelphia, PA.
As the lines of this release are being posted, firefighters are battling a fire alarm at the physical location of the parish church. At approximately 1:30 p.m. this day, the beautiful parish church caught fire and continues to burn.
The rectory is undamaged, but that the fire in church is still raging. The crews of at least five ladder trucks attempting to attack the flames.
There is no immediate word on the cause of the blaze. However, preliminary reports indicate that electrical wiring might be a cause of fire damage. His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Eparchial hierarch of the Eastern Eparchy and His Grace Bishop Daniel, President of Consistory of the UOC of the USA traveled to Philadelphia, PA immediately following the notification of the fire. Both hierarchs were present at the Metropolia Center for the annual celebration of Ukrainian Independence Day at the Cultural Center of the Historical and Educational Complex of the Church, when the Consistory was notified of fire damage.
Upon the arrival to the premises of the parish’s sacred temple, both bishops met the pastor of Pokrova parish Very Rev. Volodymyr Khanas and members of the parish’s board of administration. His Eminence Metropolitan Antony spoke at length with the local TV news agencies about the history of the parish and the horrifying consequences of the fire damage. Meantime, His Grace Bishop Daniel met with Police and Fire Department servicemen, who briefed the bishop on the damage caused by the fire. It is with the profound sense of gratitude that Bishop Daniel spoke to the rescue workers, offering them words of thanksgiving for the efforts of preservation of the Church’s sanctuary and assistance provided to the Ukrainian Orthodox community of Pokrova parish.
Very Rev. Taras Naumenko, pastor of St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Philadelphia, PA and member of the Council of Metropolia was also present at the meeting with the hierarchs and on behalf of St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox parish family offered assistance with the immediate needs of the community of Pokrova of the Mother of God Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Please pray fervently for our Lord’s comfort to our brothers and sisters of Pokrova parish family. “God is our strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear, even if earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. (Psalm 30:5)
We embrace Fr. Volodymyr and his flock in the Love of our Lord and remind them all that even though this tragedy has struck them and perhaps numbed them, there is still much to be thankful for, as no human life was lost.
We have created a special fund at the Consistory to provide aide to the parish family.
Please forward all your parish, parish organization and individual contributions to:
POKROVA PARISH AID FUND
Consistory UOC of USA
P. O. Box 495
South Bound Brook, NJ 08880
+ Antony, Metropolitan
+ Daniel, Bishop and President of Consistory