St Michael’s Day 2016

st-michaelJoin us for our parish celebration for St Michael’s Day will be on Sunday, November 6, 2016.

There will be only one Divine Liturgy at 10:30 a.m.

Following Liturgy, will have a dinner and a brief program. All parishioners and friends are invited the celebration.

Tickets (available through Halya Lodynsky or to Luba Dubno):

  • $25.00 for adults
  • $10.00 for ages 12-18
  • Free for children under 12, for students of Ridna Shkola and altar boys.

There will be a raffle. If you would like to donate items to be raffled, please bring the items to church hall on Sundays before our Feast Day celebration and give them them Halya Lodynsky or to Luba Dubno.

We ask you to bring a dessert to share at the meal.

Remembering Andrey Sheptytsky

sheptytyskyNovember 1st is the anniversary of the repose of our great shepherd Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky.

Our Knights of Columbus Council is under the spiritual patronage of Metropolitan Andrey.

An excerpt of a prayer for Divine Wisdom cherished by Metropolitan Andrey:

Grant me, O God, the wisdom of my state, so that I may do what You desire; grant that I may understand my obligations, grant me the wisdom of my duties, and grant that I may do them as they ought to be done and as is fitting of Your glory and for the benefit of my soul.

Blessed Theodore Romzha

theodore-romzhaIn the Byzantine Catholic Church keeps the feast of Blessed Theodore Romzha is celebrated today. He was a martyred bishop of Mukachevo in Transcarpathia who was killed by the Soviets in hatred for the faith.

“I love you, O Lord, my strength; You are my stronghold and my refuge!” (Psalm 18: 2-3)

These were the words which Bishop Theodore G. Romzha, the Apostolic Administrator of the Mukachevo Eparchy (1944-1947), chose as the motto for his episcopal ministry. At the age of 33, he faced the one of the most brutal and bloody persecutions of a Christian community in modern times, ultimately making the ultimate sacrifice for his flock and his faith.

Bishop Romzha was beatified by Pope John Paul II on June 27, 2001. His relics are enshrined in Holy Cross Cathedral in Uzhorod, Transcarpathia.

His feast was originally celebrated on November 1, and is thus listed in the Roman Martyrology at #19 on that day. During the days of the Soviet control of Ukraine, there was but one “time zone” in the U.S.S.R. The bishops of Ukraine petitioned Rome that the feast date be changed to Oct. 31, due to the fact that it was on that date that the martyr was actually murdered.

Here’s a hymn for Blessed Theodore

24th Sunday after Pentecost

jesus-releases-sinMeditation by the Very Rev. Dr. David M. Petras
Luke 8:26-39

The idea this gospel is addressing is fear. Jesus comes to the land of the Gerasenes and casts out a legion of demons from a possessed man. The gospel of Luke is succinct on this point and only notes that he lived among the tombs (that is, among the dead). In the gospel of Matthew, we read the detail that “they were so savage that no one could travel by that road” (Matthew 8:28). Jesus’ cure is like a resurrection to life, making him free from the tombs. The demons are sent into unclean animals, the pigs, and this evil is promptly destroyed. The townspeople come out to see what had happened, and rather than welcoming Jesus as a healer and the conqueror of evil, the gospel says “they were seized with fear,” and St. Luke repeats, they “asked Jesus to leave them because they were seized with great fear” (Luke 8:35.37). Of what were they afraid, that their commodity (the pigs) had been destroyed, or that the demoniac man was still possessed by demons? We often “demonize” and “dehumanize” what we fear. We, too, are God-fearing, when we approach Holy Communion the deacon warns, “Approach with the fear of God and with faith.” The townspeople were afraid and asked Jesus to leave, but a true “fear of God,” which is expressed in faith and love, draws us nearer to God in Communion. The Lord can free us from evil, so approach and receive him who told us, “Take courage, for I have conquered the world” (John 16:33).

2016 Eastern Catholic Bible Conference

“A Holy Nation The Church in God’s Plan of Salvation”

St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cathedral – Munhall, PA
November 4 – 5th, 2016, Friday 6:30 – 9pm and Saturday 8:30am-4:30pm ($30 per participant – See link to register below!)

The Church as God’s Holy People is at the heart of His unfolding plan of salvation that is ultimately fulfilled in Christ. The Bible relates how this plan for a universal covenant kingdom and a temple made of living stones for all the nations unfolds through particular stages in the history of God’s People.

Talks Include:
– Are Eastern Catholics “Bible Christians”?
– Reading the Bible in the Heart of the Church
– The Seven Ages of the Kingdom in the Bible
– Biblical Images of the Church
– Sacred Reading: How to Pray the Scriptures
– The Bible and the Domestic Church
– The Bible and the New Evangelization

Snacks and light lunch included!

REGISTER WITH THE LINK BELOW!!

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/eastern-catholic-bible-conferen…

Recommended Accommodations:

Hampton Inn
301 West Waterfront Dr.
West Homestead, PA 15120.
412-462-4226.
Rooms start at $124 for a King and $144 for 2 Queens.

Courtyard Marriott
401 West Waterfront Dr.
West Homestead, PA 15120.
412-462-7301.
Rooms start at $132 for a King or 2 Queens.

23rd Sunday after Pentecost

lazarusMeditation by the Very Rev. Dr. David M. Petras
Ephesians 2:4-10; Luke 16:19-31

In today’s epistle, St. Paul tells us of the inexpressible mercy of God: “God, who is rich in mercy, because of the great love he had for us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, brought us to life with Christ (by grace you have been saved), raised us up with him, and seated us with him in the heavens in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4-7)” The rich man in the gospel, however, does not share in this rich mercy. He is blind and deaf to the needs of his neighbor, and so he died and was buried in Hades. The gospel is quite matter of fact about this and Abraham simply tells him, “My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. (Luke 16:25)” This fulfills the prophecy of Jesus, “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours … Woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. (Luke 6:20.24)” Even Jesus’ mother prophesizes, “The hungry he has filled with good things; the rich he has sent away empty.(Luke 1:53)” Then the rich man in Hades begs Abraham to send Lazarus back to his brothers, “‘They have Moses and the prophets. Let them listen to them … If they will not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded if someone should rise from the dead.’ (Luke 16:28.30) So we come to the point of this parable. Jesus indeed raised Lazarus from the dead (John 11:38-44), but the elders of the people did not believe and decided instead that Jesus must die. God is indeed infinite in his mercy, but we must be ready to hear his voice and open ourselves to faith in him. If we close our eyes and ears and hearts, we shut God out. The lesson of last week’s gospel, the parable of the sower, still reverberates in our ears, “hear the word, and embrace it with a generous and good heart … whoever has ears to hear ought to hear. (Luke 8:15.8)” We have not only Moses and the Prophets, but Jesus, the Son of God and his apostles and the apostolic faith. If we hear the gospel and act upon it, we will have immeasurable spiritual riches.

Prayer Before An Election

angel-gabrielLord God, as the election approaches, we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city/state/country, and how the Gospel compels us to respond.

Lord God, as the election approaches, we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city, state, country, and how the Gospel compels us to respond.

We ask for eyes that are free from blindness so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters, one and equal in dignity, especially those who are victims of abuse and violence, deceit and poverty.

We ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn and those abandoned, men and women oppressed because of race or creed, religion or gender.

We ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voice of leaders who will bring us closer to your Kingdom.

We pray for discernment so that we may choose leaders who hear your Word, live your love, and keep in the ways of your truth as they follow in the steps of Jesus and his Apostles and guide us to your Kingdom of justice and peace.

We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

7th Ecumenical Council

7th-ecumenical-councilMeditation by Very Rev. Dr. David Petras

On this Sunday, we also remember the Nicea II Council in 787, which defined that we can make images (icons) of our Lord and the saints, and venerate them. This council was held in the midst of the iconoclastic (the “image breaking”) controversy, the first phase from 726-787, and the second phase from 814-842. It draws attention to how important images are for us. I know of few homes that do not have a picture, today usually a photograph but sometimes a portrait or drawing, of those we love. If we love Christ first with our whole heart and mind and soul, the image helps us to focus that love. We know these images are only paper or wood and ink or paint, but through the eyes of our body they make the person present in spirit. Yet some people hate images. There is a danger of idolatry, and the council did dialogue with those people who had that fear of idol-worship, and so defined clearly how images are to be venerated: “For the more they are contemplated, the more they move to fervent memory of their prototypes. Therefore, it is proper to accord to them a fervent and reverent adoration, not, however, the veritable worship which, according to our faith, belongs to the Divine Being alone — for the honor accorded to the image passes over to its prototype, and whoever adores the image adores in it the reality of what is there represented.” This is the Christian faith. We cannot make images of the divine nature, but the mystery of the incarnation, in which the Word of God became truly a human being, the two natures united in one person, allows us to make images of Jesus, who was like us in every way except sin. This leads us to a deeper mystery, that we are created in the image of God, and that “all of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit. (2 Corinthians 3:18)” And the glory and the wisdom of the Lord is his emptying, his love, his cross and his resurrection.

More on the subject can be found here.

22nd Sunday after Pentecost

parable-of-the-sowerMeditation by the Very Rev. Dr. David M. Petras
Galatians 6:11-18
Luke 8:5-15

Today our Lord explains by way of a parable how we are to accept the word of God in our hearts. The seed is the word of God, and three types of people fail to receive the word: those on the path, eaten by the birds; those on rocky soil; and those among thorns. The story seems complicated, but it is actually quite simple: the people who fail to hear the gospel are those who cannot put Christ first. They put the devil, the evil one, first, and he takes the good news from their hearts; they put themselves first, and fall away at the first hint of personal hardship; they put their possessions and status first, and leave no room for Christ. It is of this third group that we sing in every Liturgy, “Let us who mystically represent the Cherubim and sing the thrice-holy hymn to the life-creating Trinity, now set aside all earthly cares (quoting here Luke 8:14), that we may receive (in Communion) the King of all.” We can hear the good news and let it take root in us if we put Christ first in our lives, “with a generous and good heart (Luke 8:15).” This commitment must be absolute and uncompromising. Therefore, St. Paul gives us the example, “But may I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me and I to the world – a new creation. (Galatians 6:14-15)”