St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Blakely, PA was a site of a prayerful celebration on August 25, 2018. Very Rev. Fr. Benjamin Worlinky, a long-term pastor of the parish family was formally retiring that day from the pastoral service of the parish.
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Archbishop Daniel traveled to Blakely, PA for the liturgical celebration that also marked the 51st Anniversary of Fr. Benjamin’s ordination to the Holy Priesthood.
At the entrance to the church building, Mr. William Hubiak, president of the parish Board of Administration, greeted Vladyka Daniel and asked for his prayers and blessing for the Ukrainian Orthodox community of greater Olyphant, PA area. Responding to the words of welcome of Mr. Hubiak and Fr. Benjamin, His Eminence briefly reflected on the purpose of his archpastoral visit in order to offer gratitude to Almighty God for the pastoral service of Fr. Benjamin in the parish community.
The Divine Liturgy was concelebrated by Vladyka Danuel and Very Rev. Fr. Benjamin Worlinsky, Very Rev. Fr. Anthony Perkins of Protection of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Allentown, PA; Very Rev. Fr. Zinoviy Zharsky of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox parish of Trenton, NJ; Hieromonk Sophroniy of St. Sophia Seminary; Rev. Fr. Philip Harendza of Holy Archangel Michael Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Scranton, PA and Deacon Ivan Tchopko of Three Holy Hierarchs Seminary Chapel, South Bound Brook, NJ. The student choir of St. Sophia Seminary chanted responses to the Archpastorla Divine Liturgy.
At the Small Entrance, with the blessing of Metropolitan Antony, Vladyka Daniel awarded Fr. Benjamin with a right to wear “jeweled” cross for the years of dedicated ministry.
Later in the Liturgy, during the sermon, Archbishop Daniel reflected on the importance of a true Christian encounter with the Savior. The archpastor called upon those in attendance to reevaluate their spiritual Faith journey and to challenge themselves to the random acts of Christian Love and Charity. “… Let us come to Sunday worship wanting to give to God the things that are God’s and to put away the things we selfishly want for ourselves…” concluded Vladyka Daniel.
With over a hundred people in attendance, some 30 people approached the Holy Mystery of Eucharist.
Following the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, Fr. Banjamin offered his own words of gratitude to everyone preset, especially to his wife Beverly and children Beverly Hallett and Patricia Worlinsky, Benjamin and Katie Worlinsky, Charles and Brianna Worlinsky, grandchildren Margaret, Lawrence Hallett and Meilani Worlinsky.
The festivities of the day concluded at the local banquet hall, where a formal program took place, honoring the ministry of Fr. Benjamin. Mr.William Hubiak served as Master of Ceremony, with remarks being delivered by Mr. William Herold, David Sembrot and Joseph Sembrot. Special greeting/address was delivered by Archbishop Daniel on behalf of Metropolitan Antony. Violinist Innesa Tymochko-Dekajlo played several classical musical pieces.
Following a benediction, everyone in attendance had an opportunity to personally greet Fr. Benjamin on his 51st Anniversary of dedicated pastoral service in the life of the local parish and the greater Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.
PA Parish Honors the Pastor on the 51st Anniversary of His Pastoral Service - 08/27/18
Photos by Seminarian Yaroslav Bilohan