20150301-ukraine-mem-service-jhv-lWhether you are visiting us for a brief time, looking for a new parish community, are returning to the practice of your Catholic faith, or are interested in finding out more about the Eastern Catholic Church, we’re happy to have you here.

St. Michael’s is a faith-filled people of the Ukrainian Catholic tradition. We strive to make the Divine Liturgy the heartbeat of our faith community and we stand ready to bear witness to the Lord with our life.

Saint Michael’s is a parish rooted in Jesus Christ, active in our love of neighbor, on the path toward salvation in the Holy Trinity.

The Philip’s Fast message from the US Ukrainian Bishops 2020


Glory to Jesus Christ!

St. Philip’s Fast or Pylypivka is about to start. It is a joyful 40-day fast, which begins on November 15, the day after the feast of the apostle St. Philip, and lasts until December 24, Christmas Eve. This fast is meant to prepare us spiritually for the great and solemn holyday – the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the time given to us to deepen our understanding and awareness of God’s mystery – the Incarnation of the Son of God and the coming of the Messiah, the King of Peace, Emmanuel and the Light of the world. It is time for us to find and rediscover true joy of the Nativity of Our Lord through prayer, meditation, and acts of charity, not like it is in the artificial atmosphere of Christmas parties, buying and exchanging gifts and enjoying specially prepared holiday delicacies.

We may think that the coming of Christ is a completed event and a historical fact of the past, and the anticipation of His coming is only symbolic for us. It is not! Christ always comes to us. He is constantly born spiritually in the heart of every person who believes and expects Him. He comes to us in prayer and the Holy Mysteries, especially in Holy Confession and Communion. Today He comes to be with us and among us.

This year, St. Philip’s Fast and the understanding of the coming of Christ and His presence among us takes on a special meaning and significance for us. In the midst of the relentless COVID-19 pandemic, the suffering of many from this deadly illness, often resulting in the sad and tragic loss of family members and friends, political discord and instability, riots, wars and human rights abuses around the world, we are thirsty for a deep awareness and conviction that Christ the Lord is truly present among us and that His grace is life-giving and necessary.

St. Philip’s Fast recalls for us the Old Testament and the world, which froze in anticipation of the coming of Christ, the Light of the world. We will hear readings from the books of the ancient prophets Nahum, Habakkuk, Daniel, and Isaiah, who prophesied of His coming eight centuries before He was born. They wrote that the Messiah was to be born in Bethlehem, about the escape of the Holy Family to Egypt and the return to Nazareth, about His healing of the sick, about His rejection by the chosen people, about His betrayal and taking thirty silver pieces by one of the apostles, about His crucifixion among robbers, about His side being pierced, about His Resurrection and Ascension to Heaven. Later, the holy evangelists, while writing the Gospels inspired by the Holy Spirit, will include these prophecies to show us that Jesus Christ is the Messiah that everyone expected and that He is truly the Son of God.

Divine Liturgy for the coming week

Glory to Jesus Christ

Sunday, 11/22, 25th Sunday after Pentecost
9:00 a.m. +Iwan Sowa requested by Bohdan Sowa
10:30 a.m. For the people of the parish

Epistle: Ephesians 4:1-6
Gospel: Luke 12:16-21, Tone 8

Monday, 11/23, Holy Fathers Amphilochius and Gregory
9:00 a.m. No particular intention for the Divine Liturgy

Tuesday, 11/24, Holy Martyrs Catherine and Mercurius
9:00 a.m. +Patricia J. Burger (Pan.) requested by Andrew and Katia Bamber

Wednesday, 11/25, Holy Hieromartyr Clement
9:00 a.m. All Souls in Purgatory requested by Nataliia Dankevych

Thursday, 11/26, Our Venerable Father Alypius
9:00 a.m. +Eugenia Harvey (7th Anniv., Pan.) requested by Carl Harvey

Friday, 11/27, Holy Great Martyr James
9:00 a.m. +Vasyl Lupsac (Pan.)

Saturday, 11/28, Holy Venerable Martyr Stephen
9:00 a.m. God’s blessing and health for Richard and Lisa requested by Larissa and Lance Swartwout

Sunday, 11/29, 26th Sunday after Pentecost
9:00 a.m. +Wasyl Jureczko (2nd Anniv.) requested by the Furmanyk family
10:30 a.m. For the people of the parish

Epistle: Ephesians 4:1-6
Gospel: Luke 12:16-21, Tone 8

Parish announcements this week

Christ is among us!

Dear Parishioners please close your phones during the Divine Liturgy. Your phones make our stream live difficult. Thank you!

This week vigil light is offered by Mary Ann Mikosky in memory of Eugenia Harvey.

The Philip’s Fast began on November 15, the day after the Church commemorates the Apostle Philip on November14, and it runs for 40 days until Christmas Eve.

Every Sunday the Divine Liturgy is live-streamed on parish Facebook page at 9:00 a.m. (in English) and again at 10:30 a.m. (in Ukrainian). Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stmichaelnewhaven

If you would like to have Confession and/or Holy Communion please call the the rectory at (203) 865-0388.

If anyone needs help such as going to the store to buy groceries, going to a doctor’s appointment or the pharmacy, or any other type of special assistance, you may contact the rectory at (203) 865-0388 and arrangements will be made to help you.

All donations and contributions must be received by Sunday, December 27th to be recorded on the annual statement for the year 2020.

Dear Parishioners: I wish to express a special thanks to all of you. Despite the restrictions placed on your attendance at Divine Liturgy and the various special Liturgical celebrations, your attendance via Facebook, your responses, your thoughts and prayers, your support for parishioners in need as well as the continued financial support that you have mailed in to the Parish is greatly appreciated. Together with the help of God we will survive this National crisis and come out of it stronger than ever spiritually and emotionally. May God bless you all, Fr. Iura Godenciuc

Dear Parishioners: Following all of the regulations, we are making stuffed cabbage (holubtsi) with mushrooms, meat and buckwheat. We are taking orders for these three items. Please call the Rectory at (203) 865-0388 and leave your order on the answering machine or send an email to stmichaels@snet.net. We are only making enough to cover the orders, so please be sure to call or email your order. Thank you for your support in these unusual times.

REMINDER: Please don’t forget to donate for Diocesan Charitable Fund. The forms are designed for each family of our parish. Attached to the form is an envelope into which you can place your contribution. The form along with your contribution, we ask you enclose in the envelope and place it in the collection basket during church services. Please make check payable to the BYZANTINE RITE DIOCESE OF STAMFORD. DO NOT MAIL THIS FORM TO THE CHANCERY OFFICE. We sincerely ask all parishioners to make generous contributions.

Presentation of the Theotokos into the Temple

“And so the child of God then enters [and] stands among the horns [of the altar], after both her begetters had given thanks and the priest was about to give a blessing. Again her parents cry to the priest, ‘Receive the one who will receive the immaterial and incomprehensible fire; receive the one who ill be designated as the receptacle of the Son and Word of the Father and only God; take the one who destroyed the reproach of our childlessness and sterility; usher into the sanctuary the one who will introduce us into our ancient inheritance of paradise; take charge of the one who, in her own birthgiving, will take charge of our own cowardice that is bringing in the power of death and the tyranny of Hades; … consecrate to God the one who has consecrated us, as a divinely perfected [being] for the expectation of [our] hopes.”

Wider than Heaven, SVS Press, 2008, pp. 153 154.

Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple

Tomorrow, November 21, is a holy day. The Divine Liturgy will be served at 9:00 a.m. in both English and Ukrainian.

Today is the prelude of the benevolence of God and the herald of the salvation of mankind. For the Virgin openly appears in the temple of God, and foretells Christ to all: Let us also with full voice exclaim to her: Rejoice, fulfillment of the Creator’s plan!

The Holy Apostle and Evangelist Matthew

At the beginning of the Fast before Christmas, we celebrate the feast of St. Matthew, who wrote one of the Gospels of the birth of our Lord. (St. Luke is the other.) St. Matthew’s purpose was to show how the prophecies of the Covenant were fulfilled in Jesus. Therefore, he is the son of Abraham and the Son of David. He fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that a virgin would give birth, the prophecy of Micah that he would be born in Bethlehem, the prophecy of Jeremiah that the innocents would die, and that he would be called a Nazorean. Matthew tells us of the visit of the Magi, the massacre of the innocents, and the flight into Egypt. It is also Matthew who presents to us the model figure of St. Joseph. Just as the Joseph of the Old Testament saved his people in Egypt, so the Joseph of the New Testament saves the hope of the people, Jesus, by taking him to Egypt. We have no better model of human fatherhood. Joseph is a righteous man (Matthew 1:19), who is open to God’s revelation through his messenger angel that the child of Mary is of God, a faith that goes beyond human knowledge. It is Joseph who protects the child, his foster son, so that Jesus, the Savior, could someday fulfill the plan of the heavenly Father. It is Joseph who re-orders his whole life for the sake of his beloved child. Joseph, then, is a model of divine fatherhood, “from whom every fatherhood in heaven and on earth is named. (Ephesians 3:15)”

In Christmas, we must be filled with the righteous of the holy Joseph.

Troparion at Glory …, Ode 3 of the Feast of St. Matthew:

Matthew, the divinely-minded trumpet made the teachings about God resound. He has poured out the radiant life of the Trinity upon the peoples as he revealed to them the Incarnation of the Word in you, O pure Virgin.

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

A Prayer for the Nativity Fast

Lord Jesus, You have come so many times to us and found no resting place; forgive us for our overcrowded lives, our vain haste, and our preoccupation with self. Come again, O Lord, and though our hearts are a jumble of voices and our minds overlaid with many fears, find a place however humble, where You can begin to work Your wonder as You create peace and joy within us. If in some hidden corner, in some out-of-the-way spot, we can clear away the clutter and shut out the noise and darkness, come be born again in us, and we shall kneel in perfect peace with the wisest and humblest of men.

Help us to enter into this Christmas Fast with humility yet with You. And, finally, Lord, give us Christmas from within that we may share it from without, on all sides, all around us, wherever there is need. God help us, every one, to share the blessings of Jesus in Whose name we keep Christmas holy. Amen.

(From: Daily Meditations & Prayer for the Christmas Advent Fast and Epiphany by Presbytera Emily Harakas and Father Anthony Coniaris)

Philip’s Fast (Pylypivka)

All Christian churches prepare for the feast of the birth of Christ by some sort of period of penance. The Western church calls this the period of Advent, connected with the Latin word for “come,” since we are waiting for Christ to come into our lives. We may be celebrating an event in the past, the birth of Jesus, the first coming of God into our world, but we are also celebrating the present, God coming into our own lives and into the world of today, and the future expectation of Christ’s second coming, when he will come in glory to judge tote world in righteousness.

The Roman Church once began the Christmas preparation on St. Martin’s Day, Nov. 11, which gave forty days until the winter solstice on Dec. 21, and the church of Milan in Italy still has a forty-day preparation beginning on Nov. 15.

Traditionally, the Byzantine Church also begins its Christmas preparation on Nov. 15. Since this follows the feast of St. Philip the Apostle, it is called the Philip’s Fast. There is a legend about St. Philip, that when he was about to be martyred, he delayed his entrance into heaven by forty days in order to do penance for the sake of his persecutors. This is certainly only a legend, since Philip was not connected with the pre-Christmas fast until the ninth century, but it does point out one aspect of fasting – it is an act of charity for others. Some contemporary groups have expressed this by introducing the custom of setting aside the money they save by fasting to buy food for the poor. St. Philip is the apostle who leads us to Christ. When Jesus called him to be a disciple, his first action was to go and tell Nathaniel. When Nathaniel questioned him about Jesus, Philip replied, “Come and see” (Jn 1:46). Later in the Gospel, some Greeks (Gentiles, representing all nations) wanted “to see Jesus” (Jn 12:21), and it is Philip and Andrew that lead them to Christ. At the Last Supper, it is Philip that asks the question, “Master, show us the Father,” and Jesus replies, “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father” (Jn 14:8¬9). In the face of Jesus our Lord, we are able to see the love of the Father for us. The holy Apostle Philip, therefore, leads us to Christmas, to see for the first time the face of God, who came into the world to break down the barriers between humanity and God (Eph. 2:14).