The fourth Sunday following Pascha, was truly a day of spiritual gratitude and prayer at St. Andrew the First-Called Apostle Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church at the Spiritual Center/Metropolia of the Ukrainian Orthodox church of the USA in South Bound Brook/Somerset, NJ.
With the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Archbishop Daniel presided over the liturgical Eucharistic Divine Liturgy on May 19, 2019, commemorating the life of Righteous Job and Venerable Job of Pochaiv, as well as the victims of the Political Oppression of the Totalitarian Regime of Soviet Union that according the historians caused the slaughter of 100,000 people in the ancestral Ukraine.
Assisting the hierarchs at the sacred space of the temple were Very Rev. Fr. Yuriy Siwko (pastor of St. Andrew Memorial Church), Very Rev. Fr. Romak Shak, Very Rev. Fr. Ivan Lyshyk and Deacon Sviatoslav Hot. Following the Gospel reading, Archbishop Daniel offered a sermon on the topic of Gratitude for the blessings received in our lives. Over thirty parishioners partook in the Holy Eucharist, while the choir under the leadership of Dr. Michael Andrec chanted Paschal hymns.
At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, His Eminence Archbishop Daniel acting on behalf of the Council of Bishops of the UOC of the USA, presented the Centennial awards to the Pokrova of the Birth-Giver of God Sisterhood (under the leadership of Dobrodijka Lesia Siwko) and the choir of St. Andrew Ukrainian Orthodox Memorial Church (under the leadership of Dr. Michael Andrec). Addressing the recipients, Vladyka Daniel spoke of their dedication and self sacrifices as they actively contribute to the ministry of the local community and the greater UOC of the USA.
Finally, the last presentation of the day was made of behalf of St. Andrew’s Society, the Central organization of the Church, and in particular on behalf of Very Rev. Fr. Wolodymyr and Dobrodijka Halyna Lewytskyj, presenting the 9 full-time students of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological seminary with the Scholarships, contributing $5,000 in order to offset the academic expenses for the students of the seminary.
The day concluded with a traditional post-Pascha meal “Sviachene” at the Pokrova Sisterhood hall, which was deliciously prepared and offered by the membership of the Sisterhood. Prior to the meal, Archbishop Daniel blessed the newly-remodeled kitchen of the Sisterhood Hall, which underwent about $60,000 in renovations in the past several months – a generous contribution of the dedicated Sisterhood ladies to the ministry of the Spiritual Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.
Photos by Seminarian Yaroslav Bilohan