St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA celebrated its sixtieth anniversary as a parish of the UOC of the USA in Baltimore, Maryland on Sunday, November 15, 2009.
The Divine Liturgy was led by His Eminence Archbishop Antony and His Grace Bishop Daniel, concelebrating with Fr. Vasyl Kryshtompol, the pastor of St. Michael Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Baltimore, Fr. Volodymyr Steliac, pastor of the Cathedral of St. Andrew the First Called Apostle, Silver Spring, MD, and Fr. Zinovij Zholobak of Pokrova Belarussian Parish, South River, NJ. The church was filled to capacity with worshipers attending the service and who were privileged to witness the setting aside of seminarians Andrew Matlak and Vasyl Dovgan of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary of the UOC of the USA, So. Bound Brook, NJ as Subdeacons of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. The parish choir, under the leadership of Nina Czeczulin, beautifully sang the responses for the service.
His Eminence Archbishop Antony stressed the need to maintain spiritual commitment and continuity through the generations of the parish’s members into the future, in his bilingual homily, after his reading of the Holy Scripture. He emphasized the important role of Holy Scripture in governing the life of the Church and each individual Christian. He reminded of the sacrifices of the founders and benefactors of St. Michael Parish, who established the parish as a place for their own particular form of Christian worship and who left a rich legacy for all who followed them. The Bishop called upon all the present parish membership to contribute whatever is necessary of their time, talent and wealth to enrich that legacy for their own children and grandchildren. It is a sacred responsibility. After the service, His Eminence awarded Certificates of Service to Mykola Czeczulin, Nina Czeczulin, and Tychon Dobrodey for their dedicated and selfless service to the parish. A greeting from the Ukrainian Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Oleh Shamshur, was likewise read after the service.
A celebratory luncheon was held in honor of the anniversary in the parish hall of St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church, Baltimore, with more than two hundred guests from St. Michael parish and other local churches attending. Several members of the Consistory and of the Metropolitan Council of the UOC of the USA were also in attendance. The luncheon included performances of Ukrainian religious and secular songs, such as, Birthgiver of God, Songs of Jesus, and Vladyko Neba i Zemlij, by members of the Trio Kolada and others under the direction of Lioubov Semouchtchak. Lyman, the Ukrainian Dance Ensemble of Baltimore, performed a number of thematic dances, including the traditional Ukrainian Greeting, the Kolomijka, the Sword Dance, and the Hopak.
A number of salutations were offered during the festivities. Among them were those of Fr. Vasyl Siminsky of St. Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Catholic Church who underscored the closeness and the lengthy relationship enjoyed by the neighboring parishes with the same Patron Saint. His Grace Bishop Daniel, while greeting the parish on its anniversary, spoke of the need for Christian unity as we face new challenges of this 21st century, which resounded favorably among those assembled. The luncheon concluded with the singing of Bozhe Velykij, God Bless America, the Prayer to the All-Holy Birthgiver of God, and a benediction by the Hierarchs.