UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Ukrainian Orthodox Community of Genk (Belgium) Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Consecration of Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church
Over the weekend of September 25, 2016 – the Sunday before Exaltation of the Precious Cross of the Lord – Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Parish in Genk (Belgium) celebrated the 30th anniversary of consecration of parish temple. With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Prime Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA and Diaspora, His Grace Bishop Daniel traveled to Belgium to lead the prayerful celebration of the festivities.
On Sunday, September 25th, the Anniversary Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Vladyka Daniel, assisted by the pastor of Holy Archangel Ukrainian Orthodox Church Very Rev. Fr. Vitalij Derewianka, Very Reverend Fr. Bohdan Matwijczuk from Great Britain and Very Rev. Fr. Stavros, representing His Eminence Metropolitan Athenagoras, Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Belgium.
Also in attendance at the Liturgy were representatives of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hasselt, Belgium and members of the diplomatic community of Ukrainian Embassy to Belgium and European Union, as well as numerous parishioners from of the Ukrainian Orthodox communities from Germany, France and Great Britain.
In his homily, Bishop Daniel reminded the faithful to give thanks for the blessings they have received and to continue to ask God’s blessings on the parish community. He also remarked on the importance of recognizing the need to work together and that having done so in the past, the parish community has arrived at this celebration. His Grace finished by quoting Colossians 3:14: “Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Bishop Daniel presented the pastor of the parish Very Rev. Fr. Rev. Vitalij Derewianka and Pani-matka Fridda with the Blessed Certificate on the occasion of the 50th wedding anniversary. Moreover, recognizing the generous contributions to the establishment of the parish family and numerous years of service in the life of the Church, Bishop Daniel presented Pani-matka Fridda with the medal of Holy martyrs Borys and Hlib, the patron saints of charitable activity in the life of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
Once the liturgical celebrations conclude, the entire congregation processed to the formal entrance of the entire Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Genk for the formal blessing and dedication of the newly written iconography on the walls of the spiritual complex of the Church.
After the Liturgical celebrations all were invited to a reception on the premises of the parish center. Numerous dignitaries expressed their greetings to the parish community; among them were the Mayor of Genk as well as the representatives of the Belgian Royal government, and the representative of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hasselt. Ambassador Mykola Tochytskyi, Head of the Mission of Ukraine to the European Union greeted those in attendance on behalf of the diplomatic corps of the government of Ukraine.
Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox parish community in Genk is a richly diverse parish made up of different cultures and languages; however, the parish takes pride in their Ukrainian language liturgical celebrations and traditions, which are prayerfully preserved by the community and the parish’s choir. Many people were departing from the festivities, stating that Holy Archangel Michael is not only a parish, it is a family.
30th Anniversary in Genk, Belgium - 09/25/2016
Photos by Philip Sempels