Parish announcements this week

Christ is in our midst!

1. WELCOME ALL NEW PARISHIONERS! New parishioners are always welcome in our parish. If someone wishes to join, please contact Father Iura Godenciuc at 203 865-0388 or our financial secretary Natalie Chermak at 203-468-0367.

2. The vigil light in the sanctuary is burning this week to the Glory of God in memory of +Helmut Horn offered by Olha Pospolita.

3. AFTER DIVINE LITURGY: Dear parishioners and guests, after each Divine Liturgy, coffee and hard rolls are available in the church hall.

4. FOOD DRIVE: Judy Ellis leads the mercy project which provides food items to the needy. A container is in our church vestibule for non-perishable food. This collection will be taken every week. Father Iura will distribute the food to those in need. Thanks for your generous support.

5. ROOF REPAIR FUND: Please make a generous contribution to allow us to repair the leaking roof of the Church Hall and other roof structures adjoining the Church and the Hall. These roofs must be repaid to prevent serious water damage to our property and we cannot pay for them from regular weekly collection. Roof Repair Fund envelope are available in the vestibule of our church for your special sacrificial gift. Thank you for helping to keep our physical structures in good condition for our use today and for the next generation tomorrow.

6. UKRAINIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY: Will be celebrated this year on Sunday, August 27, 2017The Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. A proclamation Ceremony will take place on the New Haven Green at noon. The Annual Independence day picnic will commence at 1:00 p.m. at the Church Hall and Church garden. All are invited.

7. PARISH COUNCIL MEETING: Will take place on Monday, August 7, 2017 at 6:00 p.m., in the Church Hall. Main Topic. Coordinate with the KofC plans for the Independence Day Picnic. All are invited to attend.

8. KofC: The Knights of Columbus Blessed Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Ukrainian Council will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, August 7, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the church hall. All men of parish are invited to attend to see what the Knights are all about and what they do and what you can do with them for your parish.

9. UKRAINIAN DAY FESTIVAL: The 50th Anniversary Ukrainian Day Festival will take place on Sunday, September 10, 2017, on the grounds of St. Basil Seminary, Stamford, CT. The Festival will begin with a Divine Liturgy at 11:00 a.m., to be followed by ethnic Ukrainian Foods and traditional BBQ foods. There will be a program of entertainment in the afternoon for all to enjoy. Please come and join us for this milestone event. Advance admission and raffle tickets are available for purchase in the church hall. Please see Luba Dubno if you wish to purchase tickets.

Blumenthal to give update on Ukrainian Soldiers’ care

Tomorrow, the Honorable Richard Blumenthal, the senior U.S. Senator of Connecticut, will be at Saint Michael’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, to update us on the efforts to provide the appropriate care for wounded Ukrainian soldiers in the USA.

The meeting will follow the 10:30 a.m. Divine Liturgy on Sunday, July 16th.

The Divine Liturgies on Sunday: 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Join us for worship and to listen to the Senator.

Have mercy on me, Lord – 6th Sunday after Pentecost

In this Gospel, Jesus forgives the sins of the paralytic man before healing him. It is a manifestation of God’s infinite mercy, but there is today and probably always has been, a rigorism which is uncomfortable of forgiveness without conditions.” It is, of course, quite reasonable to expect that one condition for forgiveness would be repentance and, really, that must be assumed. After all, Jesus’ preaching of the Gospel begins, “Repent (metavoite, “change your minds”), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. (Matthew 4:17)” (Read on the Sunday after Theophany) We are always free to reject God’s forgiveness. However, it is strange that in the gospel stories of forgiveness, “repentance” is downplayed. When our Lord forgives the woman caught in adultery, he does not ask, “Do you repent for your sin?” but instead interrogates her accusers. Only after they are gone and the woman is spared, does he say, “Go, and sin no more.”

The greatest model of forgiveness is the parable of the Prodigal Son. It is true, as a rigorist might point out, the loving Father does not go out to seek his son, but waits until he repents – that is, returns home. However, the son had prepared a little speech of repentance, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son. (Luke 15:21)” However, the Father completely ignores his little speech, it is of small consequence, and he restores him to the fullness of his inheritance. God’s mercy knows no limits. Also, in this gospel, the Lord does not ask the paralytic, “Have you repented of your sins,” but, without preamble, when he asks for physical healing, God says, “Courage! Your sins are forgiven.” Again, I am not saying that repentance is not necessary, just that it is striking how little the inspired writers make of it, in order to emphasize the infinite mercy of God. Perhaps this uneasiness about repentance comes from a fear that people will misinterpret God’s mercy, or maybe it comes from human hubris that the process of forgiveness depends first on our human will, on our repentance.

The reality is that in forgiveness we are not the ones in control of the process, it is the infinite (without limits) mercy of God that is in control. It is God who seeks us first, “Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me all the days of my life. (Psalm 22(23):6)” The truth is that “in God we trust.” We should not allow our fear or pride to be an obstacle to God’s mercy which is beyond our power of understanding. And so we pray, “Have mercy on us, O God, according to your great mercy, we pray you, hear and have mercy.” “Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy; Lord, have mercy.”

Jesus and the demoniacs

Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Romans 10:1-10; Matthew 8:28-9:1

In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus encounters two men in the Gadarene territory who are possessed by demons, by evil. The evil is distressed, and says, “Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” They knew that at the end there would be a judgment in the last days, but thought they had the right to stay in these men’s bodies until then. However, evil cannot abide in the presence of God, and so they must leave before the “appointed time” and destroy another evil – the unclean animals forbidden to the Jews. Can we say that Jesus is no longer with us as he was in the Gadarene territory. Has he left us to go to sit at his Father’s right? But St. Paul tells us that the presence of Jesus is not a geographical problem, “Who will go up to heaven? Who will go into the abyss? – to bring Jesus here. The mysteries of the descent into Hades and the Ascension are mysteries of God’s relationship with us, and so St. Paul says, “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart. (Romans 10:8).”

Christ is with us, and evil cannot abide in his presence. He must be present both in our souls, in the center of our being, and also outside in our witness to others, in our lips or in any way that we communicate.

It’s not enough to be a “secret” Christian nor to be a hypocrite, saying “Lord, Lord,” but not believing. Only then can obstacles to our spiritual growth and progress be removed. Remember, the demoniacs were so savage that no one could travel by that road. Evil is so savage that it blocks our way to God, and God alone can remove that block.

For an interesting read on the Gadarene demonics, see Michael Willett Newheart’s book, ‘My Name is Legion’: The Story and Soul of the Gerasene Demoniacs (Interfaces, Liturgical Press, 2004). He follows, however, the Markan account.

Commentary from the Fathers:

The Demons Cried Out. Cyril of Alexandria: The divine nature of the only begotten Son was already scorching the demons in unspeakable flames. Christ was shutting up the fiercest demons in blocked roads. He was undoing the devil’s tyranny. “You have come before the time,” they cried out. For they knew from the Scriptures that Christ was going to come and would judge them. Treating the incarnation as if it had happened at the wrong time, they pled that he had come in an untimely way. This misrepresentation is not surprising. In their deceptiveness, they did not hesitate to say even this. Yet, although they know that vengeance is to fall upon them, they still say haughtily, “What have you to do with us?” They know that the final Judge in fact has a score to settle with them, inasmuch as they had broken his commandments. Fragment 101.

Divine Liturgy for the coming week

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Sunday, 7/09/17 5th Sunday after Pentecost
9:00 a.m. Special Intention
10:30 a.m. For the people of the parish

Epistle: Romans  10:1-10
Gospel: Matthew 8:28-9:3, Tone 4

Monday, 7/10/17 Venerable Father Anthony of the Monastery of the Caves, Kyiv
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Tuesday, 7/11/17 Repose of Blessed Olga (Olha), Princess of Kyiv, named Helen in Holy Baptism
8:00 a.m. +Iwan Sowa (Pan.) requested by Bohdan Sowa

Wednesday, 7/12/17 Holy Martyrs Proclus and Hilary
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Thursday, 7/13/17 Synaxis of the Holy Archangel Gabriel
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Friday, 7/14/17 Holy Apostle Aquila
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Saturday, 7/15/17 Holy Grand Prince Vladimir (Volodymyr), Equal to the Apostles, named Basil in Holy Baptism
9:00 a.m. +Fr. Vladimir Levitzky (Pan.) requested by Joseph M. Levitzky

Sunday, 7/16/17 6th Sunday after Pentecost
9:00 a.m. +Michael and Anna Lipcan requested by Barbara and Patrick Bagley
10:30 a.m. For the people of the parish

Epistle: Romans 12:6-14
Gospel: Matthew 9:1-8, Tone 5

Parish announcements this week

Christ is in our midst!

1. WELCOME ALL NEW PARISHIONERS! New parishioners are always welcome in our parish. If someone wishes to join, please contact Father Iura Godenciuc at 203 865-0388 or our financial secretary Natalie Chermak at 203-468-0367.

2. The vigil light in the sanctuary is burning this week to the Glory of God in memory of Rodion Palazij offered by Dionizia Brochinsky.

3. ROOF REPAIR FUND: Please make a generous contribution to allow us to repair the leaking roof of the Church Hall and other roof structures adjoining the Church and the Hall. These roofs must be repaid to prevent serious water damage to our property and we cannot pay for them from regular weekly collection. Roof Repair Fund envelope are available in the vestibule of our church for your special sacrificial gift. Thank you for helping to keep our physical structures in good condition for our use today and for the next generation tomorrow.

4. K of C: The Knights of Columbus Blessed Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Ukrainian Council will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, July 10, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. in the church hall. All men of parish are invited to attend to see what the Knights are all about and what they do and what you can do with them for your parish.

5. FOOD DRIVE: Judy Ellis leads the mercy project which provides food items to the needy. A container is in our church vestibule for non-perishable food. This collection will be taken every week. Father Iura will distribute the food to those in need. Thanks for your generous support.

6. Whale Watch Saturday, August 19, in Plymouth, MA: Carl Harvey is organizing this event. It promises to be a nice way to enjoy each other’s friendship and to appreciate nature. For more information, contact Carl at crharv3841@optimum.net OR at 203-389-6076 OR 203-530-8232.

7. UKRAINIAN DAY FESTIVAL: The 50th Anniversary Ukrainian Day Festival will take place on September 10, 2017, on the grounds of St. Basil Seminary, Stamford. The Festival will begin with Divine Liturgy at 11:00 a.m., to be followed by ethnic Ukrainian Foods and traditional BBQ foods. There will be a program of entertainment in the afternoon for all to enjoy. Please come and join us for this milestone event. Advance admission and raffle tickets are available for purchase in the church hall. Please see Luba Dubno if you wish to purchase tickets.

Meeting with Blumenthal postponed

Christ is among us!
 
A meeting with the Honorable Richard Blumenthal, the senior US Senator of CT, oringinally scheduled for this Sunday morning, has been postponed until Sunday, July 16th at 11:45 a.m.
 
The Senator is working to aid severely wounded Ukrainian soldiers by providing advanced treatment for them in U.S. military hospitals.
 
Please join us on July 16th in the church hall.

Slaves of righteousness

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost

St. Paul tells us, “Freed from sin, you have become slaves of righteousness. (Romans 6:18)” Slaves? Slavery is a demeaning word. Are we slaves of God? Didn’t Jesus tell us, “I no longer call you slaves … I have called you my friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. (John 15:15) But listen carefully to what St. Paul says, “I am speaking in human terms because of the weakness of your nature. (Romans 6:19)” He is correcting our idea of freedom. We think freedom means freedom of choice – to decide to obey God or to sin. But to sin is to put ourselves into slavery to evil, and the only way to escape is to think of ourselves as slaves of God, for obedience brings life but “the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23)”

Therefore, when we receive Holy Communion, the priest says, “The servant of God (name) receives … The Greek word for “slave,” which St. Paul uses is “doulos,” which means “slave” (in Slavonic, rab). The same word is used for both men and women, for we are all “slaves,” of God – in human terms – but “friends” in divine terms. We cannot and must not make ourselves slaves of what is sinful or evil. The centurion in the Gospel this Sunday understood this very well. He knew what it meant to give commands and to be obeyed and then to obey God. The centurion said, “For I too am a person subject to authority, with soldiers subject to me. And I say to one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come here,’ and he comes; and to my slave, ‘Do this,’ and he does it … “only say the word, [Master], and my servant will be healed. (Matthew 8:9)” Jesus marveled at his faith. Only faith in God and faithfulness to his word can bring us real and authentic freedom.

Meditation by Archpriest David Petras

Divine Liturgy for the coming week

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost — Sunday of All Saints of Rus’ – the Ukraine

9:00 a.m.  For the people of the parish
10:30 a.m. +Emil Wysowskyj requested by Maria Wysowskyj

Epistle: Romans  6:18-23
Gospel: Matthew 8:5-13, Tone 3

Monday, 7/03/17 Holy Martyr Hyacinth
8:00 a.m. +Ivan & Halyna Lobay requested by Maria Lobay

Tuesday, 7/04/17 Our Father Andrew of Jerusalemite, Archbishop of Crete
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Wednesday, 7/05/17 Venerable Father Athanasius of Athos
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Thursday, 7/06/17 Venerable Father Sisoes the Great
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Friday, 7/07/17 Venerable Father Thomas of Maleum
8:00 a.m. no special intention for the Divine Liturgy

Saturday, 7/08/17 Holy Great Martyr Procopius
9:00 + Maria Godenciuc, Anna Lupsac (Pan.)

Sunday, 7/09/17  5th Sunday after Pentecost, Holy Priest-Martyr Pancratius, Bishop of Tauromenia

9:00 a.m. Special Intention
10:30 a.m. For the people of the parish

Epistle: Romans 10:1-10
Gospel: Matthew 8:28-9:3, Tone 4