On Saturday, February 4, 2023, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony visited St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Chester, Pennsylvania. The purpose of His Eminence’s visit was to celebrate the retirement of our beloved priest the Very Reverend Gerald Ozlanski.
Greeting the Metropolitan in Ukrainian with the traditional Ukrainian bread and salt was Mrs. Halyna Cichanowsky and her son Yuri. Mistresses Savannah and Penelope Wesolowski, presented the Metropolitan with a bouquet of beautiful red roses for this special occasion. Mrs. Yvonne Kaciuban, Parish President, welcomed His Eminence on behalf of the Parish Council and all of the parishioners. Finally, Father Jerry greeted the Metropolitan with holy water and cross in the entrance of the church.
The day started with the Metropolitan, Father Jerry, Deacon Pavlo, the Seminarians Roman, Maxym, Nicholas, Mykola, and Yurij, the visiting clergy included Very Rev. Stephen Hutnick, Very Father Vasyl Pasakas, Very Rev. Mark Kozak, Very Rev. Michael Danczak, Very Rev. Emmanuel Pratsinakis, Fr. Ivan Tchopko, Fr. Nicholas Dellerman from Saints Peter and Paul Albanian Orthodox Church, the altar servers Jason Ludlow, grandson of Father Jerry, Jonathan Angelo and a visiting altar server Alexander Drobish, and the faithful of St. Mary’s. The choir under the direction of Christine Kurman, sang the responses for the Archpastoral Divine Liturgy. The choir for this special occasion consisted of members of St. Mary’s Church Choir along with members of visiting parishes of the Philadelphia area. The beautiful responses and beautiful hymns added to the significance of the special occasion.
During the Divine Liturgy, Metropolitan Antony bestowed an elevation to the rank of Protopresbyter to Father Jerry, recognizing him as an important elder or senior in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. Father Jerry was ordained to the Diaconate on November 3, 1985 and was ordained to the Priesthood on January 25, 1987. He was first assigned to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Northampton, PA and in 1989, he was assigned to St. Mary’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Chester, Pennsylvania. Father Jerry was Metropolitan Antony’s first ordination to the Diaconate and his second ordination to the Priesthood.
At the conclusion of the Liturgy, Metropolitan Antony, the clergy, the seminarians, family of Father Jerry, the faithful and their guests gathered together and enjoyed a delicious luncheon at the Ballrooms of Boothwyn. The afternoon ended with the singing of “It is Truly Meet” along with the singing of the Ukrainian National Anthem. Everyone in attendance had an enjoyable afternoon.
May Almighty God continue to bless you and keep you and grant you many happy, healthy and prosperous years!
Respectfully submitted by: Christine K. Kurman
Photos by Subdeacon Maksym Zhuravchyk