One of the resolutions of the 2016 Synod of Bishops of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) which met September 4-11, 2016, in Lviv-Brukhovychi, is the following:
In order to evoke an interest to the social ministering among faithful of UGCC and behave a virtue of sacrifice and mercy, to announce in UGCC:
- Sunday of a Prodigal Son – Day of the extreme care for prisoners; Sunday of Meatfare – Day of Social service and charity;
- Restoring a tradition of Social days initiated by righteous Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky;
- To organize days between Sundays, mentioned as previous points as Social days and be involved in intellectual and charitable activities at the parishes.
His Beatitude, Patriarch Sviatoslav is encouraging us to look at the ways we can implement these items in our life of faith on a personal level and in our parish. It is the hope that our Parish will extend the range of Social ministry and quality, and introduce its institutional development and commitment to those in need. This is the teaching of Jesus Christ, the Fathers of the Church, and the teachers and bishops of the Church. These recommendations are consistent with the Year of Mercy which Pope Francis has called us to live.
Our own parishioner, John Burger, has written an article, “Catholic and Orthodox find common ground.” It is published online with Aleteia.org
Meditation by the Very Rev. Dr. David M. Petras
Galatians 1:11-19; Luke 6:31-36
In the Gospel of St. Matthew, Jesus commands us, “Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:47)” In Luke’s Gospel, he commands, “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:36)” Mercy, therefore, is perfection. How, indeed, can we, weak and finite human beings achieve “perfection.” How can we keep God’s command. St. Gregory of Nyssa pondered that problem and asked that question. His response was, that perhaps perfection consists in this: constant growth in the good. It might seem that God is asking the impossible of us today, “love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back.” This goes against every human instinct, yet this is what God demands, for this is how God is merciful. That God is merciful appears on every page of the Scripture, and we pray constantly, “Lord, have mercy.” We cannot ask God’s mercy unless we are merciful. Perhaps the answer to this problem is the same as perfection: we must constantly grow in mercy. If we do not, then we grow in hate. If we seek revenge and retribution, then pain and hate simply grow and grow in a circle of mutual destruction. God’s command is ultimately the only logic of a God who has created all things and loves all. Today we must do the impossible, today we must become a Christian, through God’s help.
Meditation by Very Rev. Dr. David Petras
There is only one God, one Creator, one Savior, one Redeemer. Yet this one God has chosen to be friends with his creation. As St. Paul told us, he humbled himself to become a man, like us in every way except sin. There are many ways he could have become a man, but he chose to be born of a woman who in her human nature, accepted completely the will of God, so that through her God could enter into our time and our story. Then, at Cana, it was his mother, a woman, who by her plea, guided God to make wine out of water, telling the stewards, and through them, saying to all of us, “Do whatever he tells you.” Today we rejoice and celebrate in this human being, who through her will, God intervened in human life to bring us salvation. This is why we can celebrate her protection, why we can sing, “Through the prayers of the Theotokos, O Savior, save us,” and why we can even pray, “Most Holy Theotokos, save us!” Glory to God, who has made us partakers in the divine nature. (2 Peter 1:4)”
Divine Liturgy at the parish today, October 1, at 8:00 a.m.
If you have ever been interested in the deeper questions of theology from the Byzantine perspective, or have had doubts about the teachings of the Church, perhaps a little study will help you clarify what the Byzantine Catholic Church holds and teaches and how she forms the hearts and minds of the faithful.
Father Khaled Anatolios, PhD of the University of Notre Dame’s Department of Theology is a married priest of the Melkite Eparchy of Newton. He explains his current work as a professor, researcher and writer in this brief video.
Father Anatolios is interested in all aspects of the theology of the early Church, with special emphasis on the Trinitarian and Christological doctrines of the Greek fathers and Augustine; early Christian biblical exegesis; and the engagement between early Christian theological reflection and contemporary theologians. His current research focuses on the doctrine of salvation, particularly the disconnect between classical sources and modern experience. “Christian teaching comes out of a history of interpretation, of conversation, of dialogue, of debate, sometimes of conflict,” Anatolios said. “To understand the contents of that revelation, we have to try to reinsert ourselves into that culture so that we can re-inhabit that world.”
You may be interested in listening to this talk of Father Anatolios on mystery and the Holy Trinity.
Our Parish invites you to the annual Halloween Masquerade on Saturday, October 22, at 6:00 p.m. Masks and costume required.
Tickets are $45.00. Live music and food included.
For tickets please call Father Iura (203-865-0388) or Nataliya (201-660-3408).
Online Faith Formation classes – Open to All!
Starting September 20, 2016, the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Phoenix Department of Evangelization and Religious Education is hosting a series of online adult education classes.
There will be a series of talks on Tuesdays and standalone courses on some Thursdays. Anyone with a computer, phone or tablet can attend via online conference technology.
Click the link here to register for the event so you can receive connection details and reminders.
Courses are completely free!
Andrey Sheptytsky Council will meet in the church hall on Monday, October 3rd at 7:00 p.m.
All men of the parish are invited to attend.
Make plans for some delicious pierogies in October: call to place your order soon!
Whether 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.