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 Schedule for Christmas

Christmas, December 25

9:30 a.m. God with Us
(in English and Ukrainian)
10:30 a.m. The Divine Liturgy
(in English and Ukrainian)

New Years Day January 1, 2019

11:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy of St Basil the Great (in English and Ukrainian)

Epiphany, January 6

9:00 a.m. God with Us Lytija and the Blessing of Bread (in English and Ukrainian)
10:00 a.m. Divine Liturgy (in English and Ukrainian)
With the Great Sanctification of Water (in English and Ukrainian)

Christmas on the Julian Calendar, January 7

9:30 a.m. God with Us (in Ukrainian)
10:30 a.m. Divine Liturgy (in Ukrainian)

Twenty-Ninth Sunday after Pentecost 2018

Read: Colossians 3:12-16; Luke 17:12-19

“And let the peace of Christ control your hearts, the peace into which you were also called in one body. And be thankful” (Colossians 3:15).

“And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. He was a Samaritan. Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not? Where are the other nine? Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?” (Luke 17:15-18).

This Sunday comes between two great feasts: thanksgiving and Christmas. On Thanksgiving we feed ourselves with the bounties of God’s creation, and, hopefully, thank him for these blessings, because, as we pray in the common Ambon Prayer, “you are the giver of every perfect gift.” On the coming feast of Christmas, we are already thinking of what gifts we can give to each other, and parents will teach their children to give thanks to everyone who gives them a gift. The word for gift in Greek is “eucharist,” which means “to really show favor to another.” If someone shows favor to us, it is humanly natural and normal for us to show favor in return according to our means. Jesus comments the even sinners do good to those who do good to them (Luke 6:33). Of course, sometimes that doesn’t happen and we call that a betrayal. On Christmas, God is the one who shows the greatest favor, as the angels sang at his birth, ““Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14). This gift is God’s only Son, whom the Father gave to the world “so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16).

This is so important that we repeat this passage from Scripture in every Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. This gift is also the gift of peace, for St. Paul tells us that Christ is the peace of God, “For he is our peace, he who made both one and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh, abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims, that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two, thus establishing peace” (Ephesians 2:14-15). For this, like the healed leper, we must give thanks to God. But if God shows us this great favor, “what,” as the psalmist says, “can I return to the Lord for all he has given me?” (Psalm 115:3). God has no need of anything that we can give him. What we can give him is our sacrifice of praise, our words of glorification. We are like the little drummer boy in the popular Christmas sing, “I played my best for him.” Precisely in receiving God’s gift of love and peace, we are ourselves transformed into God’s love and peace, so that St. Paul tells us in today’s epistle,. “let the peace of Christ control your hearts,” so that we can “put on then, heartfelt compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience, bearing with one another and forgiving one another” (Colossians 3:12-13). To do this would be our Christmas thanksgiving.

2018 Christmas Bazaar opens

The 2018 Christmas Bazaar Ukrainian Heritage Center

The Ukrainian Heritage Center’s Christmas Bazaar will be held on Saturday December 8, Sunday December 9, Saturday December 15 and Sunday December 16 in the Heritage Center Gift Shop from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. This offers you an excellent opportunity to purchase, at very reasonable prices, the Ukrainian gifts and cards (for Christmas and other special occasions) that you would like to give to family members, friends, co-workers or the teachers of your children.

On Sundays only, please enter the Heritage Center through the front door of the building.

Chrystos Razhdayetsya!

Divine Liturgy for the coming week

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Sunday, 12/09, 29th Sunday after Pentecost —Our Venerable Father Patapius
9:00 a.m. +Wasyl Jurecko requested by Cathy Kolesnik
10:30 a.m. For the people of the parish

Epistle: Colossians 3:12-16
Gospel: Luke 17:12-19, Tone 4

Monday, 12/10, The Holy Martyrs Menas, Hermogenes and Eugraphus

Tuesday, 12/11, Our Venerable Father Daniel the Stylite
9:00 a.m. God’s blessings and health for all members of the family requested by Stefaniya Tsitaridis

Wednesday, 12/12, Our Venerable Father Spiridon the Wonderworker

Thursday, 12/13, The Holy Martyrs Eustratios, Auxentius, Eugenius, Mardarius and Orestes

Friday, 12/14, The Holy Martyrs Thyrsus, Leucius, Philemon, Apollonius and Callinicus

Saturday, 12/15,The Holy Priest-Martyr Eleutherius
9:00 a.m. +Anna Yarmolenko (1st Anniv., Pan.) requested by Larysa and Michael Kernycnyj

Sunday, 12/16, 30th Sunday after Pentecost —The Holy Prophet Haggai
9:00 a.m. +Sophie Waselik requested by the Family
10:30 a.m.For the people of the parish

Epistle: Colossians 3:4-11
Gospel: Luke 14:16-24, Tone 5

Parish announcements this week

Christ is in our midst!

WELCOME NEW PARISHIONERS! New parishioners are always welcomed in our parish. If someone wants to register with our parish please contact Father Iura Godenciuc at (203) 865-0388 or our financial secretary Natalia Chermak.

PARISH COFFEE HOUR: Dear parishioners and guests, after each Divine Liturgy, coffee and hard rolls are available in the church hall.

VIGIL LIGHT: This week vigil light is offered to God’s glory by the Czabala Family for God’s blessing and health for Brandon and Andrue Aponte.

Asleep in the Lord: +Wasyl Jureczko, please remember him in your prayers. Eternal Memory!

PHILIP’S FAST, ПИЛИПІВКА, the pre-Christmas fast which began on November 15 – the day after the feast of St. Philip – is a 40 day period of spiritual preparation for the celebration of the Nativity/Theophany cycle of the church year. It was once a period of strict fasting which has now been changed to a period of voluntary fasting and works of penance and charity.

Pyrohy Project: We will make Pyrohy on Saturday, December 15, 2018. We need your help to peel potatoes on Friday and to make Pyrohy on Saturday. Please come and help. See Walter Ushchak for more information.

If someone would like to buy a frozen pierogies (varenyky) during the week please call the rectory at (203) 865-0388.

STUFFED CABBAGE will be available for Christmas by calling the rectory at 203-865-0388 and placing your order for either buckwheat, meat or mushroom stuffed cabbage. Please see Fr. Iura for details.

Parish Council meeting was held on Monday, December 3, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. Updates were given concerning the various ongoing projects in our parish. A round table discussion followed. The next meeting will be held on February 4, 2019. All parishioners are invited.

From the Ukrainian Heritage Center (New Haven) 2018 Christmas Bazaar:

The Ukrainian Heritage Center’s Christmas Bazaar will be held on Saturday, December 8, Sunday, December 9, Saturday, December 15 and Sunday December 16 in the Heritage Center Gift Shop from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. This offers you an excellent opportunity to purchase, at very reasonable prices, the Ukrainian gifts and cards (for Christmas and other special occasions) that you would like to give to family members, friends, co-workers or teachers of your children. On Sundays only, please enter the Heritage Center through the front door of the building.

Ukrainian Women’s League of New Haven Branch 108 will be holding their annual Christmas Bazaar on Sunday December 9, Saturday December 15 and Sunday December 16, after each Divine Liturgy between 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Pshenytsia (wheat) for kutia will be available. On December 16th and 17th we will also have baked goods. Donations of Ukrainian or holiday items would be greatly welcome. (Please bring to church hall.) For more information, contact Anna Salemme (203) 934-6520 or Larissa S. (203) 248-9767.

The Maternity of Holy Anna

The conception of the all-holy virgin Mary in the womb of Anna is celebrated on December 9 in the Byzantine tradition, for a natural reason, that the Eastern ancients thought a girl was in the womb one day less than a boy. However, in the Ruthenian Church in America [and the Ukrainian Church], the feast is now celebrated together with the Roman Church on December 8, nine months before her birth on September 8, because she is the patron of the United States.

It is clear that this is a preparation for the birth of Christ on Christmas, for the first sticheron of the feast begins: “The barren Anna leaped for joy when she gave birth to Mary the Virgin who in turn will give birth in the flesh to God the Word.” Mary, the daughter of Anna and Joachim by way of natural birth is to be the temple of the Word of God incarnate for our sake and for our salvation.

The Eastern and Western Churches put the accent on different aspects of the feast. In the East, we celebrate the miracle of God taking away the barrenness of Anna’s womb. The Protoevangelium of James portrays the sadness of Joachim and Anna. Joachim lamented, “I have searched whether I am the only one who has not begotten offspring in Israel, and I have found of all the righteous that they had raised up offspring in Israel.” Anna wept, “I will bewail my widowhood, and bewail my childlessness.” (1,3 and 2,1) Two angels came, one to Joachim and another to Anna with a divine message that they would bear a child, even in their old age. When God takes away an emptiness, he fills us more than our faith can grasp, and they gave birth not only a child, but to the new Ark of God’s covenant with us.

The Western Church, on the other hand, puts the accent on Mary’s purity from all sin from her conception, defined by Pope Bl. Pius IX in 1848 as the Immaculate Conception. The theology behind this is that the incarnation of the sinless Word of God must come from a sinless temple, the womb of Mary which was never touched by sin, even from her conception.

It is unfortunate that this dogma has become a bone of contention between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Both believe in the ancestral sin, but in different ways, so that for the Orthodox the main curse of the sin of Adam and Eve is death, while for the Catholics, it is original sin. May we seek unity and not division. Most Orthodox theologians do believe that the “ancestral sin” has infected the human race, but might disagree about the way it does this. In our dialogue, we must seek a mutual understanding, perhaps in the words of Orthodox theologians who saw a “pre-purification” in Mary. “And in every way [the Lord] became a man, save sin, for he had been conceived from a virgin, after she had been pre-purified with respect to soul and body through the Holy Spirit” (Gregory the Theologian, Homily 38 on the Theophany) or St. John Damascene, who wrote, “O all-blessed loins of Joachim, from which the all-pure seed was sown. O epic womb, in which the all-holy infant was born, after she was formed, and a little later increased by nutriments from Anne. Her (Anne’s) belly conceived in itself an ensouled heaven, wider than the wide space of heaven.” (Both quotes from Christian Kappes’ book, The Immaculate Conception, 21 and 60)

Conception of the Theotokos by holy Anna

On Saturday, December 8, at 9:00 a.m., we will celebrate the Conception of the Theotokos by holy Anna. The Divine Liturgy will be served in both English and Ukrainian. It is a holy day of love; the feast has the rank of Sunday.

This of Mary, the Immaculate Mother of God, honors her title as the patroness of the USA. In these times, we need the maternal protection of Mary as she is the consummate intercessor for us before the Throne of Grace.

In places the feast is also called the Maternity of St. Anne or in the Latin Church the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The Kondakion sung in the Liturgy reads:

Today is the conception of the mother of our salvation, for she begins her life in a fruitless womb. Anna rejoices over this with Joachim, and the thought of his liberation fills Adam with joy. We, too, salute her conception today and cry out to her: Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you.

St Ambrose

St. Ambrose was the greatest Archbishop of Milan, at a time when it was the center of the Empire. He was elected bishop when he was still a catechumen and proved to be most competent—in administration as well as theology, and was a holy and sincere Christian. He had been a governor before and knew how “to talk to power.” When the Emperor Theodosius had 7,000 Thessalonians slaughtered over the assassination of their governor, he excommunicated him for his horrendous crime – and made it stick, bringing Theodosius to repentance.

As a theologian, he wrote about the incarnation of the Son of God: “And the Word was with God . This that he said is to be understood thus: The Word was just as was the Father; since He was together with the Father, He was also in the Father, and He was always with the Father. […] It is of the Word to be with the Father; it is of the Father to be with the Word, for we read that the Word was with God. So if, according to your opinion, there was a time when He was not, then, according to your opinion, He too was not in the beginning with whom was the Word. For through the Word I hear, through the Word I understand that God was. For, if I shall believe that the Word was eternal, which I do believe, I cannot doubt about the eternity of the Father, whose Son is eternal” (The Sacrament of the Incarnation of our Lord (III, 15-18, from the Vatican web site).

And again, Ambrose says, “He lay in the crib, that you might stand at the altar. He came to earth, that you might come to the stars” (Exposition of Luke 2.41).

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

St Nicholas Day

Blessed feast day of St. Nicholas!


Thy just works have shown Thee to thy flock as an example of faith, an image of meekness and a teacher of abstinence. By humility Thou didst achieve exaltation, and by meekness, riches. O Father Bishop Nicholas, intercede with Christ our God to save our souls.

(Troparion for St. Nicholas)

Wasyl Jureczko fell asleep in the Lord

On Friday, November 30, 2018, Wasyl Jureczko  fell asleep in the Lord. He was 92 and a longtime and faithful member of the Parish.

The funeral arrangements for Mr. Jureczko:

The Wake at Lupinski Funeral Home, 821 State Street, New Haven, on Monday, 8 – 9:15 a.m.

The Funeral Liturgy will be served at 10:00 a.m. at the Parish. Burial at All Saints Cemetery.

Mr. Jureczko’s obit can be read here.

Please pray for the soul of Mr. Jureczko and his wife Mary who predeceased him, and for the comfort of his family and friends who mourn is passing. May Wasyl Jureczko’s memory be eternal.