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UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
Dormition of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Lorain, OH Celebrates the 85th Anniversary of Parish Ministry
For many Orthodox Christians in the Northeastern Ohio on Lake Erie, Dormition of the Birth-Giver of God Ukrainian Orthodox Parish was a part of their growing up. Founded in 1931, the parish family worked tirelessly for the past 85 years nurturing the spirit of Holy Orthodox way of life, yet maintaining beautiful and rich Ukrainian culture, folklore and customs.
His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, assisted by His Grace Bishop Daniel, Ruling hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the UOC of the USA, blessed the Clergy and faithful of the parish family by presiding over the celebrations for the 85th anniversary of the parish and the 69th anniversary of the consecration of the present parish temple.
Arriving on Friday evening, Metropolitan Antony was greeted by the pastor of parish community – Very Rev. Fr. Dmitri Belenki and parishioners, who for the past several months have been planning the celebration. Vladyka Daniel, accompanied by 4 seminarians of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary (South Bound Brook, NJ) left the Metropolia Center of the UOC of the USA on Friday afternoon and also arrived to Lorain, OH in the late hours of Friday evening, following a seven-hours long journey.
Saturday morning, greeted parishioners and guests of the parish family with a light rain forecast. Escorted by the seminarians and welcomed by about 20 priests of the local OH Orthodox community, Metropolitan Antony and Bishop Daniel received flowers from the hands of children, bread and salt from the hands of the members of parish’s Sisterhood and a greeting from the pastor of the parish family – Fr. Dmitri.
His Eminence’s powerful sermon, following the chanting of the Gospel reading, was about the notion of spiritual formation and service in the life of the Church. He addressed the faithful saying that each moment in our life is a moment in which we are in risk of danger and sin. The Lord is our God and Companion in these moments, and this is why we cross ourselves before and after each act we do in our daily lives. Metropolitan Antony said that the Church is open to all believers to come and lay their burden and be healed. We as believers must not come to church as if we come to a social club, but as we come to a place in which we seek first the Kingdom of God.
At the conclusion of Divine Liturgy, Vladyka Metropolitan Antony greeted Very Rev. Fr. John Nakonachny upon his 70th birthday and shared with those in attendance prayerful moments of their Seminary academic years of studies and spiritual pastoral formation.
The luncheon was another encounter between the fathers of the Church and their spiritual children. Numerous parishioners attended this lunch, which was an opportunity to extend the communion among each other, which is expressed in the Divine Liturgy as well as in communal meals among the one family.
Metropolitan Antony’s final stop in Ohio was the International airport, as he departed for the visit of St. Andrew the First-Called Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Silver Spring, MD; while Vladyka Daniel began another archpastoral journey via automobile to All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Camp in Emlenton, PA where about 30 pilgrims from All Saints Ukrainian Orthodox Church of New York, NY were waiting for his arrival in order to begin a weekend of spiritual retreat at the Camp.
We at the Dormition of the Birth-Giver of God parish thank our Lord for the past 85 years of blessings and graces. We are so blessed to have a well-established and faithful Orthodox community. We also thank His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, His Grace Bishop Daniel and Fr. Dmitri Belenki, for their fatherly love and numerous blessings that we received in their historical visit to Lorain, OH.
May God grant our hierarchs many years as our shepherds and as our fathers in Christ. May He also grant all Ukrainian Orthodox churches in the United States of America and throughout the world many years in faith and service for our Lord Jesus Christ and His flock.
85th Anniversary of Parish Ministry – 09/19/16
Photos by Seminarian Yurii Bobko