UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Parish in Trenton, NJ Celebrates 96th Anniversary with Bishop Daniel
In the basement of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church on Sunday morning – October 18, 2015 - 10 women paused from cutting up bread, carrots and cantaloupe, stirring corn and mopping the floor to reflect on the celebration for which they were working so hard to prepare.
“This is once again a very active parish,” said one of the ladies in attendance, “and a lot of people care about it.” These were the words of welcome that His Grace Bishop Daniel received from the ladies in the kitchen, as the bishop surprised the congregation and arrived quite early on Sunday morning, as the final preparations for the archpastoral Liturgy were being finalized.
Located in the capital of the Garden State, the city of Trenton – Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox parish remains a vibrant part of Trenton Ukrainian community and the surrounding area.
In at least one respect, the older parishioners of the parish’s family observed, it hasn’t changed a bit in the last century-and-a-half.
“Some of the folks you see here,” said a lady in her 90s, gesturing at the women in the church hall, “are from some of the church’s very old families.”
The parish community consists of various generations of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians as well as of those who found Holy Orthodoxy through the ministry of Holy Trinity parish, under the pastoral leadership of Very Rev. Fr. Zinoviy Zharsky. The congregation, like many congregations in this part of our city, tends to skew a little older demographically, one of the members of the parish’s board of administration said, but the members are faithful and active. “We have so many new people now; they come from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Philippines, France, etc. We are truly Ecumenical Orthodox community!”
The day began with the formal procession from the parish’s rectory to the sacred temple of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox community. Led by numerous banner holders and children, the procession of welcomed His Grace Bishop Daniel, bishop of the Western Eparchy of the Church in the very heart of the Eastern Eparchy. Children spread the flower pedals throughout the sidewalk, making sure that Bishop Daniel noticed their creative touches of reaching out to every person on the way to the church, literally throwing flowers in front of all in attendance.
Once in church, Fr. Zinoviy and children of the parish’s school welcomed their bishop with smiles and hugs of love. The members of the parish’s board of administration presented the hierarch with a traditional bread and salt. Bishop Daniel, responding to the prayerful welcome, reminded those in attendance that Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Trenton, NJ was the very first Ukrainian Orthodox parish that he served in as a deacon of the Church.
Assisted by the seminarians of St. Sophia Seminary (Taras Kaluzhnyy, Mykola Zomchak, Ivan Hlukhaniuk and Vladyslav Huk), the bishop vested in the middle of the temple and began the ancient rite of setting aside a Reader for the parish’s community. Once set aside, Reader Vasyl was ready to chant the Epistle reading at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, while the parish's choir, under the leadership of Taras Pavlovsky, led the singing responses to the petitions of the Divine Liturgy.
In his sermon Vladyka Daniel congratulated the parish family on the 96th anniversary of their ministry; yet, he also reminded everyone in attendance that the outward symbols of celebration are empty unless everyone has the love of Christ in their heart.
During the anniversary luncheon that followed services, those assembled heard remarks from many individuals in attendance, as well as those who offered musical entertainment for the afternoon. In his private conversation with many parishioners, Bishop Daniel instructed the parishioners that besides recounting memories of the past ninety-six years, the parish was challenged not to go into “maintenance mode,” but to move forward in “mission mode,” to serve Christ rather than to serve itself.
Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Trenton, NJ, under the leadership of the Church’s hierarchs and Fr. Zinoviy is eager to continue to serve its Lord by nurturing the holiness of its members and also to invite others out of the distraction and chaos of this world into the beauty and sanity of the Kingdom of God.
As the day came to conclusion, Bishop Daniel’s final stop in Trenton was at the place of final rest of the founders and parishioners of the Holy Trinity community – the parish’s cemetery. Escorted by Fr. Zinoviy and some members of the parish’s choir, Bishop Daniel served a short memorial service for the numerous parishioners buried at the local parish’s cemetery.
We at Holy Trinity thank our Lord Jesus Christ for 96 years of blessings and graces. We are so blessed to have a well-established, active and faithful Orthodox community. We also thank His Eminence Metropolitan Antony and His Grace Bishop Daniel for their fatherly love and numerous blessings that we received in this historical visit to of Bishop Daniel to Trenton, NJ.
May God grant His Eminence and His Grace many years as our shepherds and as our fathers in Christ. May He also grant all Ukrainian Orthodox churches in the United States of America many years in faith and service for our Lord Jesus Christ and His flock.