Saint Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary seminarian Subdeacon Yurii Bobko was ordained to the Deaconate of the Holy Orthodox Church on November 16, 2019 at St. Volodymyr Equal-to-the-Apostles Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in New York, NY by Archbishop Daniel in the presence of His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, the Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. As a student of the Seminary and newly ordained, Deacon Yurii will spend time serving at the Three Holy Hierarchs Seminary Chapel, preaching the Gospel and preparing for ordination to the Priesthood.
Deacon Yurii is currently studying for a Master of Divinity Degree at St. Sophia Seminary.
“I have been privileged to have known Deacon Yurii since when I was in seminary, and I have seen his great love for Christ and His Church,” said Father Vasyl Pasakas, Dean of Students of St. Sophia Seminary, who attended the ordination. “Deacon Yurii has now been configured to Christ the Servant and has been set aside and ordained for service for the people of God. I look forward to next year when he will be ordained as ‘another Christ’—a priest of Jesus Christ for the people of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.”
While his family was unable to attend from Ukraine, they were able to watch a live recording done by the seminarians of St. Sophia Seminary. Present in support of Deacon Yurii were a number of friends as well as Very Rev. Fr. Volodymyr Muzychka (pastor of St. Volodymyr Cathedral), Very Rev. Fr. Stephen Hutnick, Very Rev. Fr. Petro Levko, Very Rev. Fr. Ioan Proteasa, Very Rev. Fr. Vitaliy Pavlykivsky, Very Rev. Fr. Oleksandr Yatskiv, Hieromonk Sophroniy, Rev. Fr. Vasyl Pasakas, Rev. Fr. Vasyl Shak, Rev. Fr. James Cairns, rev. Fr. Oleg Kravchenko, Deacon Sviatoslav Hot.
Prior to ordination, Deacon Yurii submitted his formal request for the ordination to the Deaconate, promising obedience to the bishop and his successors and humbly submitted himself in service of the people of God. He was vested with the stole and cuffs which are worn by deacons during liturgies. Vladyka Daniel then presented the service book, censer and liturgical rypidia/fan to Deacon Yurii so that he may proclaim the Good News and model his life after Christ through daily liturgical services and works of charity.
In his homily, Archbishop Daniel noted the wisdom of the Church that those seeking ordination to the priesthood first become deacons. “This is so that each one of them understands that as Christ Jesus taught the Apostles by the washing of the feet at the Last Supper, that they ought to do the same as the Lord. That is to minister in the manner as servants.”
Vladyka Daniel added that deacons are not simply servants, but they are called to be an encounter with the Living Word for others as they have been blessed to serve through their own way of life.
“Deacon Yurii, you have received the Grace of the Holy Spirit of the Deaconate of Christ, whose disciple you have become. Believe what you read, teach what you believe, and practice what you teach,” Archbishop Daniel said as he presented the Certificate of Ordination to Deacon Yurii.
In conclusion of the service and with tears in his eyes, Deacon Yurii expressed his gratitude to both hierarchs of the Church, clergy, seminarians and his wife Olga, thus reflecting on personal involvement of each individual that contributed to his spiritual growth and maturity. The cathedral parish community, under the leadership of Dobrodijka Maria Muzychka treated everyone in attendance to a festive luncheon.
Deacon Yurii was born in Ukraine and is from the city of Kozova, Ternopil region of Ukraine. He is the son of Ivan and Halyna Bobko and recently married his wife Olga Kuharchyshyn-Bobko.
Photos by Subdeacon Yaroslav Bilohan