Sign of the Holy Cross

Often we make the Sign of the Cross without thinking of the meaning of this gesture. It is easy to forget; hopefully it is easy to get back to the center, too. In the days following the Sunday of the Veneration of the Holy Cross, perhaps we can stop to think and “feel” our making the Sign of the Cross with love and appreciation for what Jesus did (and does) for us. St. Cyril of Jerusalem calls the Sign of the Cross the seal.

Many thanks to Carrie Chuff for the wonderful illustration of how we make the Sign of the Cross!

Thanks to God With Us Online.

A prayer for Ukraine

Almighty and Great God, accept our gratitude for your boundless mercy towards us. Hear the supplication of our afflicted hearts for the land and people of Ukraine, as they confront foreign aggression and invasion. Open the eyes of those who have been overtaken by a spirit of deception and violence, that they be horrified by their works. Grant victory over the powers of evil that have arisen and bless Ukraine with your gifts of liberty, peace, tranquility and good fortune.

We implore you, O Merciful God, look with grace upon those who courageously defend their land. Remember the mothers and fathers, the innocent children, widows and orphans, the disabled and helpless, those seeking shelter and refuge, who reach out to you and to their fellow human beings looking for mercy and compassion. Bless the hearts of those who have already shown great generosity and solidarity, and those who prepare to receive their Ukrainian brothers and sisters in Ukraine’s greatest time of need. Bring us together as your children, your creation, and instill in us your strength, wisdom and understanding.

May you be praised and glorified, now and forever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Lenten Retreat offered

You, me, our friends, need a moment of retreat during Lent. Join us for this morning of prayer. Give yourself this gift as we approach Easter.

Fr Gregory, a friend of our parish is hosting this morning retreat.

Prayer for peace in Ukraine

O Lord our God, look down with mercy on the Ukrainian people. Protect and save them from the unjust aggressors who seek to subdue them. Grant them steadfast trust in your mercy and protection.

O Mother of God, who gave us your miraculous icon at Zarvanytsia, intercede for the Ukrainian people, who run to the shelter of your mercy in their times of need.

O Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us. Grant peace and protection to the people of Ukraine. Give them strength and courage to defend what is good, right, and holy. Keep them safe from harm and provide for all their needs, both temporal and spiritual.

Hear our prayers, O Lord, and deliver us from distress, for You are merciful and compassionate and love mankind.

To You we give glory: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and forever and ever. Amen.

Praying Psalm 31 for Ukraine

The Chief Rabbi of Ukraine has asked for Christians to recite Psalm 31 aloud.

Psalm 31:21-24

21 Praise be to the Lord,
for he showed me the wonders of his love
when I was in a city under siege.
22 In my alarm I said,
“I am cut off from your sight!”
Yet you heard my cry for mercy
when I called to you for help.
23 Love the Lord, all his faithful people!
The Lord preserves those who are true to him,
but the proud he repays in full.
24 Be strong and take heart,
all you who hope in the Lord.

Entrusting our prayers, aspirations to the Mother of God

This evening we gathered at 7pm to sing the Moleben to the Mother of God. In the time of suffering, violence and injustice (person, economic, social and religious) we approach the Mary, the Mother of God, placing ourselves under her mantle for protection. We especially pray for those killed and those injured in this war.

About 60 members of our parish community –far and wide– sustained each other in prayer led by Fr. Iura our pastor, Fr. Stepan Yanovsky, Fr Al Forlano and Fr. Gregory Lozinskyy (pastor of St John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, Trumbull). Laity and clergy alike came to beg the for a peaceful resolution in Ukraine.

Let’s NOT be unmoved by the suffering of both fellow Christians and non-Christian children of God.

We are filled with anguish and anxiety that friends, family, colleagues, the poor and the elderly, children and the like can be threatened by a fellow Slav, a violent and self-centered man. Pope Francis has called us to place ourselves in the framework of the “weakness” of prayer to counter the power of arms.

The Pope’s recent teaching on the events in Ukraine runs along these lines: by our meek ascetism (our humble, disciplined work of prayer) we can counter the strength of cannons. We know from experience that prayer unites us to God the Father and makes us brothers and sisters; fasting takes something away from us in order to share it with others – even if the other is an enemy. The Lord teaches us to pray for our enemies.

Again, we have the experience that prayer is the real revolution that changes the world because it changes hearts. This kind of demon, Jesus says, “never comes out except by prayer and fasting.”

Call to prayer tonight at the parish

Christ is among us!

We are having a 7pm bi-lingual prayer service TONIGHT for Ukraine.

Join us.

ALSO, at 7pm tonight in other parishes in the Eparchy:

St Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church, 135 Wethersfield Avenue, Hartford CT
St Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church, 303 Eddy Glover Blvd, New Britain CT
St Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church, 569 George Street, New Haven CT
St John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church, 39 New London Tpke, Glastonbury CT
St Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church, 178 Linwood Avenue, Colchester CT
Sts Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church, 105 Clifton Avenue, Ansonia CT
Holy Dormition of BVM Ukrainian Catholic Church, 255 Barnum Avenue, Bridgeport CT
St Vladimir Ukrainian Catholic Church, 24 Wenzel Terrace, Stamford CT
St Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church, 35 Allen Street, Terryville CT

AND the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches

Holy Trinity Parish of Orthodox Church of Ukraine 99 York Street, Bridgeport CT
St Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 10 Oakwood Street, Bridgeport, CT
St Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 24 Winter Street, New Britain CT
St Mary Ukrainian Orthodox Church, 50 Fowler Street, New Haven CT

AND in Massachusetts

Sts Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church, 45 Newbury Street, Ludlow MA