UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Looking to the Future: A Story of Faith, Family and Fulfillment
The last Sunday of August, on its patronal feast day, the Dormition of the Holy Theotokos, St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church, McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, welcomed His Eminence Metropolitan Antony and His Grace Bishop Daniel to the commemoration of its 110th year as a parish community. Protopresbyter William Diakiw and Pani-matka Sonia Diakiw, Very Rev. Steve Repa, Very Rev. Roman Yatskiv, and Rev. Paisius McGrath joined our Hierarchs and Very Rev. Tim Tomson and Pani-matka Svitlana Tomson and the faithful of this Holy Church.
The weekend was an occasion of joyous thanksgiving, as well as reflection on the past, present and future. United in the Body of Christ, our Hierarchs, clergy, parishioners and guests (from Monessen, Southside, Lyndora, Youngstown, and Carnegie) fervently prayed together during Great Vespers on Saturday, August 27, 2016 and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy on Sunday, August 28, 2016, as they remembered founders and benefactors, times of loss, challenges, success, and joyous celebration. The responses and hymns sung by the church choir, directed by Pani-matka Svitlana Tomson, were not only beautiful, but uplifting (as prayer should be).
This awe inspiring and moving fellowship continued during a reception, following vespers in the Church Social Hall, and a Brunch after Liturgy at Pittsburgh’s LeMont Restaurant on Mt. Washington overlooking the Golden Triangle. Warm greetings from Fr. Tim and Pani-matka Svitlana, Fr. Yatskiv, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony and His Grace Bishop Daniel, great food and extraordinary friendship made the occasion truly special.
St. Mary’s is looking to the future with a determination that reflects a past deeply rooted in faith, their commitment to the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and the parish’s long history of stewardship. St. Mary’s has generously and unstintingly supported the Consistory, All Saints Camp, the Ukrainian Orthodox League, Ukrainian Orphanages, the Seminary (to name just a few), their neighborhood and those in need, not only monetarily, but with many, many hours of volunteer service and prayer.
This legacy has and will inform and shape the future. Just this past summer St. Mary’s sent five neighborhood children, who recently began attending church and parish activities, to Diocesan Church School Camp one example--of many—of how a parish can define itself with vision and mission.
Father Tim had this message for his beloved parishioners, “So, on this day, we remember the founders and benefactors of this Holy Church and all of our loved ones who have gone before us. Reminding all that the parish prays for them daily, cherishing the past while embracing the future, and looking forward to celebrating prayerfully and joyously our many blessings; and with faith and the steadfast love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, overcoming the trials and tribulations that are placed before us as we remember: “If God is for us, who can be against us.”
We give thanks each day for each one of you, for your love and support for the past 110 years. We look forward to the challenges ahead during the next 110 years. God bless America! This is the great country that empowers us to grow and thrive as Ukrainian Orthodox Americans. Glory to Ukraine. Glory to her heroes. And, as we pray for our country the United States of America, we pray for our Ukraine.”