UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Bishop Daniel Visits Dormition of the Most Holy Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Jones, Oklahoma!
Dormition of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Jones, OK received a special visitor over the Labor Day weekend. In order to celebrate the parish’s Feast day, His Grace Bishop Daniel, the Ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the UOC of the USA arrived to Oklahoma City, OK on Friday August, 30, 2013.
The members and guests of the parish family were anxiously waiting to see their Hierarch and Spiritual Father, and it always happens with every visit of the bishop. The pastor of the parish, Archimandrite Raphael, and the parishioners had carefully prepared everything for the Archpastoral visitation.
On Saturday morning, Bishop Daniel, accompanied by Archimadrite Raphael and Subdeacon Yurii Andreiko of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Bound Brook, NJ visited the Cultural Center of Chickasaw nation, learning a bit of historical information about the Native American tribe.
Saturday evening, at the invitation of His Grace Bishop Basil of Wichita of Antiochian Christian Orthodox Diocese, Vladyka Daniel presided during Great Vespers at Holy Ascension Antiochian Orthodox Church in Norman, Oklahoma. Great Vespers was served by the V. Rev. Justin McFeeters, Pastor of Holy Ascension. Following the liturgical celebration, the bishop reflected upon the words of liturgical exclamation “The Holy Things for the Holy”, calling upon those in attendance to strive for spiritual, intellectual and moral perfection. The service was followed by a very elegant Barbeque reception in the parish trapeza, lovingly prepared by Holy Ascension’s parishioners.
Finally, the long-waiting day arrived as His Grace Bishop Daniel, together with Subdeacons and altar serves, entered the parish temple for prayer. At the entrance to the church Archimandrite Raphael and the president of the parish’s board of administration, Oklahoma City Police Captain Greg Johnston, met His Grace, greeted him in the name of the parish, and asked Him to pray for the church and parishioners. Then Bishop Daniel started the Divine Liturgy. Spiritual inspiration filled the souls of those people who were present. Upon the choir’s chanting of “Is-pola eti despota,” His Grace blessed the faithful with the “Dikiri and Trikiri.” After the reading of the Holy Gospel, His Grace offered a very inspiring sermon.
As The Divine Liturgy was approaching the end, approximately half of the faithful received the Holy Eucharist. At the and of the Liturgy, Bishop Daniel and Fr. Raphael greeted one of youngest altar servers of the parish Luca Gomarteli upon the occasion of his birthday. The choir sang the traditional “Many years…” for Luca, Father Raphael and Bishop Daniel.
The ladies of the St. Mary’s Sisterhood completed the day with a lavish feast featuring various Oklahoma and ethnic foods which represent the ancestral homelands of our parishioners – Ukrainian, Belarusian, Georgian, Lebanese, Mexican, Romanian, Russian and Native American. We are, to be sure, an eclectic parish… There, at the informal luncheon with parishioners, His Grace Bishop Daniel had an opportunity to personally meet with each parishioner, offering his guidance, teaching and encouraging the faithful and especially the youth of the parish family to be active in the life of the parish and the mission of Christ’s Holy Church.