Welcome!

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.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2020

As we celebrate both the mystery of baptism and the search for Christian unity through dialogue, we see the unity of the two in the sacramental mystery of our baptism: “The fact that our churches share and practice this same faith and teaching requires that we recognize in each other the same baptism and thus also recognize in each other, however “imperfectly,” the present reality of the same Church. By God’s gift we are each, in St. Basil’s words, “of the Church.” (Orthodox-Catholic Theological Consultation, “Baptism and ‘Sacramental Economy’: An Agreed Statement, 1999). Ecumenism is the search for unity among all Christians. Unity must be established on truth, but we know that God is Truth (John 14:6).

The Truth that is God, we as human beings must state in human words. No human word can grasp the whole truth that is the Word. There are many different words and formularies, and even that which is certainly true can be expressed in different ways. Even very basically, that which was expressed in Greek, must for most of us be translated into English words! To express the truth requires hard work, understanding and discernment. The way of ecumenism is through dialogue, to strive to see in our limited human formularies what is the unchanging truth and what is not genuine. We see this especially in the dialogues between Catholics and the Oriental Orthodox Church, and also between the Orthodox and the Oriental Orthodox Churches, where the differences in formulary have been recognized to be semantic and not essential.

The opposition to ecumenism, however, is fundamentalism. Fundamentalism rises from an underlying human need to be certain of one’s own self-righteousness. How I believe is right and everyone else is wrong. Deep-seated fundamentalism leads eventually to intolerance, ideology imposed on people, hatred and eventually violence. The world today is soaked through with hatred ideology and violence, with the dehumanization of “the other.” It is not a good atmosphere for the gospel of ecumenism. But as St. Paul said, “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 4:2). If two people disagree, but have a good heart, they can find the common truth through dialogue. Sometimes we point to history as the taking of a strong stand, of condemning those who have the wrong “formularies,” as the righteous rejection of “heresies.”

The reality, however, is that there has always also been dialogue. Andrew Louth pointed out in a recent article (“Pseudonymity and Secret Tradition in Early Christianity: Some Reflections on the Development of Mariology,” St. Vladimir’s Theological Quarterly 60:4, 2016, p. 431) that “[Evagrius] was, in fact, so very much valued for his practical teaching that, even smeared with the brush of heresy, works ascribed to Evagrius himself survive in the manuscript tradition; many, however, found a safe haven under the name of Neilos … “We can learn from one another! Unity is always possible! But if hearts are closed, they will bring more division and even violence. We must shut out the noise and clamor of hatred, pride and self-righteousness, to hear the “still, small voice” of God like Elijah on the mountain (1 Kings 19:12).

Communion and Unity

Unity, Communion (Koinonia) Fostering the spiritual unity of Christ’s church And Promoting the Unity of all Christians (ecumenism)

From the Pastoral Letter of His Beatitude Sviatoslav Fostering and Serving Unity

The Acts of the Apostles convey a sense of profound unity which existed among the members of the first community of Christ’s disciples: “The community of believers was of one heart and mind, and no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they had everything in common”.(Act 4:32). This spiritual state of being of the first Christian community can be expressed with the term koinonia (communion) which conveys unity, harmony and common life. To be Church is to abide in the communion of the Holy Spirit, the grace of our Lord Jesus, and the love of God the Father. Thus, the unity of the church is an icon of the unity of Persons of the Holy Trinity. This unity can be seen on different levels: on the level of the Universal and Particular Church, the eparchy, and the individual parish. It may happen that through our weakness and sinfulness we do not reflect this unity. Ever aware of this, we all must cherish and foster unity, preserving full communion with the successor of the apostle Peter, the Holy Father, with the hierarchy of our Church, with the local bishops and pastors who act in their name.

The parish is a community of communities. In a parish there will be various prayer groups, brotherhoods, and youth organizations. All of these are called to strengthen unity and love among the members of the parish community. By supporting one another through prayer, by sharing God’s gifts and working together in a Christ-like spirit of service, we will be able to bring to life our synodal program: “Holiness of a united people of God.” We cannot be indifferent to the fact that the descendants of the Baptism under St. Volodymyr today are divided and estranged from one another. At the Last Supper, Christ prayed to His Heavenly Father for His disciples, “that all may be one” (John 17:21). Bearing in mind these words of Christ, I sincerely ask you all today – let us pray for the unity of the Church, let us pray for the restoration of unity of all the churches of the Kyivan tradition. And above all, in the spirit of the love of Christ, let us make every effort to avoid any words or actions which could damage our brothers and sisters in Christ or offend them. Even though at times we may be subjected to mockery and pressure, let us not give in to the temptation to respond to evil with evil. May Christ’s prayer for his wrong-doers and the teaching of the Apostle of the Nations become a testament for us: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Rom 12:21).

Our Holy Father Anthony the Great

St. Anthony the Great, also called St. Anthony the Abbott (though he was a hermit) and St. Anthony of Egypt is commemorated on January 17. He is identified as the founder of desert monasticism, though the story of his life, particularly how he met St. Paul of Thebes, who preceded him into the desert, is a study of the search for Christian perfection. This story tells how he heard the gospel about the rich young man, to whom Jesus said, ““If you wish to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven” (Matthew 19:21). When Anthony heard this gospel, he immediately divested himself of all his possessions and went into the desert to seek Christian perfection. This is really the calling of all Christians, as Jesus commanded, “Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:47)” For this we are baptized, that we might seek Godly perfection.

St. Anthony imitated Christ when he heard this gospel, and just as Jesus went out into the desert after his baptism by John, in order to foil the wiles of Satan, so, too, does Anthony go to the desert to conquer the evil passions exploited by the temptation of the devil. The monastic calling is an intensification of our baptismal calling, the renunciation of all worldly concerns to find perfection in the grace of Christ.

Therefore, in Eastern theology, consecration as a monastic (monk or nun) has been deemed a sacramental mystery, not a separate mystery, but as part of the mystery of repentance. In a similar way, Holy Orders and Marriage are also considered sacramental mysteries, because they confirm the baptismal calling in a particular vocation of life. St. Anthony, then, is a model for our life in Christ through baptism, which is called enlightenment, the perfection of the wisdom that leads us to life.

We pray, then, to our Holy Father Anthony, “Having clearly received immortality and eternal life, pray for my darkened soul to be enlightened by the light of grace, so that I may worthily praise you; for you bear the Three-fold Light, O Father Anthony!” (Matins, Ode 1).

“O Anthony, father of fathers, you have been shown to be a light for those who share your way of life, having taught the pious to tread the paths of light; and you emit the flame and fire of lightning, consuming hordes of the demons” (Matins, Hymn of Light).

Prayer Vigil for Life 2020

Prayer Vigil for Life

St Ambrose Parish at St Monica’s Church (Northford)

Wednesday, January 22, 2020
the 47th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade
5pm – Holy Hour before the Most Blessed Sacrament
6pm – Holy Mass celebrated by Fr Robert L. Turner

The Church has designated January 22nd – the anniversary of Roe v. Wade – as a day of prayer for the protection of the unborn and penance for sins against the dignity of the human person. Join us at St. Monica’s for a vigil of prayer on behalf of life. All are welcome and no RSVP is necessary.

“A great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer.”

– Pope Saint John Paul II, The Gospel of Life

Several episcopal changes

Today, Pope Francis accepted the resignation of pastoral governance of the Eparchy of Saints Peter and Paul of Melbourne of the Ukrainians (Australia) presented by Bishop Peter Stasiuk, C.Ss.R. At the same time the Pope nominated a new bishop of the eparchy Father Mykola Bychok, C.Ss.R., until now the parochial vicar of the parish of St. John the Baptist in Newark, NJ.

Father Bychok was born on 13 February 1980 in Ternopil, Ukraine. He entered the Redemptorist order in July 1997 and received his formation in Ukraine and Poland and earned a Masters in Pastoral Theology. Bychok professed his perpetual vows on 17 August 2003 and ordained priest in Lviv on 3 May 2005.

After ordination he served as a missionary in Russia, a local Redemptorist superior, pastor of a parish in Ukraine, Treasurer of the Redemptorist Province in Lviv and since 2015 in St. John the Baptist Parish in Newark, NJ.

Prayers for Father Mykola Bychok as he begins a mission for God and the Church.

Additionally, Pope Francis nominated as bishop of the Eparchy Holy Family of London of the Ukrainians in Great Britain Bishop Kenneth Anthony Adam Nowakowski, transferring him from the Eparchy of New Westminster of the Ukrainians in Canada.

Bishop Kenneth Anthony Adam Nowakowski was born on 16 May 1958 in North Battleford in Saskatchewan (Canada).

The Bishop’s initiation formation for priesthood was with the Redemptorist order in Toronto and in Rome at the Angelicum. He was ordained a priest on 19 August 1989 for the Eparchy of Saskatoon. Later he studied Canon Law at the Pontifical Oriental Institute (Rome) and directed the Ukrainian Catholic Refugee Office in Italy.

After several points of service for the Church as vice chancellor in Ukraine, rector of the Ottawa Seminary, Caritas Ucraina, he was elected bishop of New Westminster on June 1, 2007.

St Nina – equal to the apostles

Today we celebrate St Nina, equal to the apostles.

One night the Virgin Mary appeared to Nina and said “Go to Iberia and tell there the Good Tidings of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and you will find favor before the Lord; and I will be for you a shield against all visible and invisible enemies. By the strength of this cross, you will erect in that land the saving banner of faith in My beloved Son and Lord.” When St. Nina awoke and saw in her hands the miraculous cross, she kissed it with tears of joy. Then, tying it in her hair, she went to see her uncle the patriarch. When the blessed patriarch heard that the Mother of God had appeared to St. Nina and had commanded her to go to Iberia to preach the Gospel of eternal salvation, he saw in this a clear expression of the will of God and did not hesitate to give the girl his blessing. When the time arrived for her departure, the patriarch led Nina into the church and up to the holy altar, and placing his hand on her head, he prayed in the following words:

“Lord God, our Savior! As I let this young girl depart to preach Your Divinity, I commit her into Your hands: Condescend, O Christ God, to be her Companion and Teacher everywhere that she proclaims Your Good Tidings, and give her words such force and wisdom that no one will be able to oppose or refute them. And You, most Holy Virgin Mother of God, Helper and Intercessor for all Christians, clothe with Your strength against all enemies, visible and invisible, this girl whom You have chosen to preach the Gospel of Your Son and our God among the pagan nations. Be always for her a shield and an invincible protection, and do not deprive her of Your favor until she has fulfilled Your holy will!”

Holy Apostle Nina pray for us!

(biography: In Communion)

Divine Liturgy for the coming week

Christ is born!

Note: No fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays until the Leave-taking of Holy Theophany (January 14, 2020).

Sunday, 1/12, Sunday after Theophany —Post-feast of Theophany; the Holy Martyr Tatiana
9:00 a.m. +Nicholas Muryn requested by Mary and Michael
10:30 a.m. For our parishioners

Epistle: Ephesians 4:7-13
Gospel: Matthew 4:12-17, Tone 6

Monday, 1/13, Post-feast of Theophany; the Holy Martyrs Hermylus and Stratonicus
9:00 a.m. +Nicholas and Margaret Barraco requested by Jaroslaw Paluha

Tuesday, 1/14, Leave-taking of the Feast of the Holy Theophany; Our Venerable Fathers Massacred in Sinai and Raithu; the Repose of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Nina, Enlightener of Georgia.
9:00 Special Intention requested by Jaroslaw Paluha

Wednesday, 1/15, Our Venerable Fathers Paul of Thebes
9:00 a.m. +Myron Brochinsky (Pan.) requested by Dionizia Brochinsky

Thursday, 1/16, The Veneration of the Precious Chains of the Holy and Illustrious Apostle Peter
9:00 a.m. No intention for the Divine Liturgy

Friday, 1/17, Our Venerable and God-bearing Father Anthony the Great
9:00 a.m. No intention for the Divine Liturgy

Saturday, 1/18, Our Holy Fathers and Archbishops of Alexandria Athanasius and Cyril
9:00 a.m. +Mychajlo Zvarych (Pan.) requested by Stefania Zvarych

Sunday, 1/19, 32nd Sunday after Pentecost —Our Venerable Father Macarius of Egypt
10:30 a.m. For our parishioners

Epistle: 1 Timothy 1:15-17
Gospel: Luke 18:35-43, Tone 7

#ByzantineCatholicNewHaven
#ByzantineCT
#ByzantineConnecticut

Parish announcements this week

Christ is among us!

This week’s vigil light is offered to God’s glory by Katia and Andrew Bamber in memory of Zenon Luciw.

Bernadette Aitro (Gawron) fell asleep in the Lord. Please remember her in your prayers. ETERNAL MEMORY!

Thank you! Dear Parishioners, as you can see, the Roof Repair Fund now totals $37,975.00. Thanks to your generosity, we are steadily nearing our goal of $40,000.00. Please continue with your generous donations to this restricted fund. A complete report will be issued shortly.

HOUSE BLESSINGS: Began on January 8th. If anyone would like to have their homes blessed, please fill out the form already provided and either drop it in the collection basket or return it to Fr. Iura. Thank you.

The Ukrainian National Women’s League of America Branch 108 New Haven and St. Michael Parish will be preparing a Prosphora, a traditional Ukrainian Christmas meal, on Sunday, January 19, after the only one (1) Divine Liturgy at 10:30 a.m. Tickets are $20.00 for adults, free for students Ridna Shkola and altar boys. We will be running a raffle. Please donate items for raffle and cakes for desert. You can buy tickets after each Divine Liturgy in the church hall or contact Anna Salemme 203-934-6520, or purchase tickets at SUMA credit Union.

Sorokousty —All Souls Saturdays will be celebrated on February 15th, March 7th, March 14th, March 21st, and May 30th. Please take a book found in the entrance of the church, fill it out, place it in envelope, and drop it in the collection basket.

Adult Faith Formation

“Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29)

Blessing of the Water and the Sanctification of Homes

Your manifestation in the world is made today, and Your light is seen shining upon us. We fully realize who You are and therefore we sing to You: “You are the Inaccessible Light, and You have made Yourself known to us.” (Kondak, Feast of the Theophany of Our Lord)

Among the various petitions mentioned in the ceremony during the blessing of the water is the sanctification of homes. With this the Church imposes a duty and obligation upon the priests to bless the homes of the faithful entrusted to their pastoral care at the beginning of the New Year. Theologically speaking, the blessing of homes constitutes an invocative blessing, meaning that by his prayer and by the sprinkling of Holy Water, the priest invokes God’s protection upon the home and those living in it. As our souls, so also our homes become tainted by the sins of those living in them and, consequently, lose God’s protective power. Every year, then, at the Feast of Theophany, they should be blessed again to secure for them God’s blessings and protection. Just as the faithful cleanse their soul of sin at least ONCE A YEAR, and the church is blessed with the newly blessed water every year, so should the homes of the faithful be yearly blessed to invoke God’s blessings and protection on it and its inhabitants. As we renew the insurance on our home every year, so we should renew our insurance of God’s protection and his blessings, which is of greater importance and more effective. As we welcome our priest during the holy season of Theophany to bless our homes, let us be mindful that he is bringing to us the “blessing of Jordan,” and that unless God protects and blesses our home, we “labor in vain.” (Ps. 127:1)

The Sacraments of the East

In this episode the EWTN Theology Roundtable crew answer questions about the Holy Mysteries of the Eastern Churches, as the Sacraments are called in Eastern Catholicism. Colin Donovan and Robert Klesko do a terrific job.