UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, IL Celebrates 100 Years
A century old history of St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in Chicago, IL became alive over the last weekend of October 2016. Hundreds of parishioners, visitors and local neighbors joined each other in celebration of exactly 100 years of spiritual ministry of the cathedral community in the Metropolitan Chicago area.
It was 1916 – and while the world was feeling the devastating effects of the first World War, a small group of Ukrainian Orthodox Christians began to worship together, to study the Bible, pray and look for ways to have a positive influence on their community and the world away from their ancestral homeland Ukraine. Who could have known that 100 years later this church ministry would still be going strong and would touch thousands of lives in the community and around the world!
The joyful centennial celebration began on Saturday, October 29, 2016 with the celebration of Vespers by the pastor of St. Volodymyr Cathedral Very Rev. Fr. Ivan Lymar, who welcomed to the cathedral community various visitors; but most importantly the local cathedral parish family was welcoming the First Hierarch of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA – His Eminence Metropolitan Antony. Vladyka Antony is the fourth Metropolitan of the UOC of the USA to preside over the major milestone in the life of the parish community. His predecessor Metropolitan John (Theodorovych) of blessed memory led the consecration of the present temple, while +Patriarch Mstyslav (Skrypnyk) visited the parish in the capacity of Metropolitan and later Patriarch of the newly reestablished Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the ancestral homeland of Ukraine. Yet another hierarch that faithfully served the cathedral parish as a Metropolitan of the Church, was +Metropolitan Constantine, under whose spiritual leadership the community entered into the post-Soviet reality. Presently, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony spiritually navigates the sacred ship of Ukrainian Orthodoxy in Diaspora through the challenges of the 21st century.
Joining Metropolitan Antony at the altar of the cathedral were three other hierarchs: His Eminence Archbishop-elect Daniel (Ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the UOC of the USA and Archpastor of St. Volodymyr Cathedral), His Grace Bishop Andriy (Ruling hierarch of the Eastern Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada) and His Grace Bishop Pankratiy (Auxiliary Bishop of the Greek Orthodox Church of Mexico and Latin America).
Cloudy Sunday morning welcomed hundreds of faithful of the Church for the Centennial celebration. Welcoming the bishops of the Holy Orthodox Church at the doors of St. Volodymyr Cathedral were the children of the parish along with the representatives of the cathedral’s Board of Administration as well as the cathedral’s Sisterhood.
On behalf of the clergy of the cathedral family, Very Rev. Fr. Ivan Lymar welcomed the hierarchs into the sacred space of the parish, calling upon them to remember the century long history of the community in their prayers and thoughts.
Serving at the altar with the hierarchs were Very Rev. Fr. Bohdan Kalynyuk, pastor of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox parish (Bensenville, IL); Very Rev. Fr. Vasyl Sendeha, pastor of Sts Peter and Paul Ukrainian Orthodox parish (Palos Park, IL); Rev. Fr. Silouan Rolando, pastor of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox parish (Goshen, IN) as well as Very Rev. Fr. Ivan Lymar, Protodeacon Andriy Fronchak and Deacon John Charest of St. Volodymyr Cathedral.
Vladyka-Metropolitan Antony delivered an inspiring sermon following the Gospel Reading, reflecting upon the ministry of the past 100 years and setting goals and challenges for years to come.
A number of children and parishioners of the cathedral family approached the Sacred Chalice in order to partake in the Most Holy Mystery of Eucharist from the hands of Vladyka Daniel.
In conclusion of the service, the Council of Bishops of the UOC of the USA bestowed upon about 20 individuals Blessed Hramotas (Certificates) and presented a medal of Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Prince Volodymyr to Engineer Swiatoslaw Lychyk and a medal of Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Princess Olga to Nadia Brushenko for their dedicated service in the life of the Church, fulfilling the duties of the chairperson of the Cathedral’s Board of Administration and the President of the Cathedral’s Sisterhood respectfully.
As the liturgical celebration came to a close, the cathedral’s choir (Boyan) under the leadership of Maestro Volodymyr Popowych led the entire congregation in a sacred prayer for Ukraine.
The day concluded with a festive banquet at St. Volodymyr and Olga Ukrainian Cultural Center of Chicago, where almost 300 people shared in reflection over the century long history of St. Volodymyr Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral of Chicago, IL.
Welcoming participants of the banquet to the jubilee celebration, the archpastor of the cathedral, Vladyka Daniel stated “The centenary of a church in any parish marks a very important milestone in its history. It is a time for celebration not only for the church itself, but for the whole community… We owe a deep debt of gratitude to those who laid the foundation a hundred years ago.”
In light of this remarkable event, the parish wishes to give thanks to God for 100 years of blessings while serving Christ and His Church, and prays to be blessed for the next 100 years!