Archbishop Job Visits Saint Josephs; Celebrates Feast of Nativity Old Style
WHEATON, IL. [MW Communications] - Archbishop Job was welcomed by
the parish clergy â€“ the Very Rev. John Matusiak, the Very Rev. Mykola
Bodnarchuk, the Rev. Joseph Kopka, and Deacon John Coleman â€“ at 11:15 p.m. on
Sunday evening in preparation for the midnight Divine Liturgy. Prior to
the celebration of the Liturgy, he tonsured Jerzy Pietrowski and Igor Khlinov
to the order of Reader. Jerzy and his family are natives of Siemiaticze,
Poland, while Igor, a convert to Orthodox Christianity who for a number of
years had served in the Chicago area as a Reformed pastor, and his family are
from St. Petersburg, Russia.
The entire congregation sang the
responses to the hierarchical Liturgy and joined together in singing
traditional Nativity carols.
Divine Liturgy, a â€śbreaking of the fastâ€ť took place in the parish hall.
The celebration marked the tenth
consecutive year that Archbishop Job has celebrated the Nativity with the immigrant
community at Saint Joseph parish, where a third Liturgy in Church Slavonic and
English is celebrated at 11:30 a.m. every Sunday. While the majority of
the faithful hail from Poland, the community also serves the needs of a growing
number of Orthodox Christians from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Kyrgyzistan, the
Crimea, Bosnia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and other lands.
Saint Joseph parish, which today
serves the spiritual needs of nearly 600 adults and children, was
established in 1989 as an English language mission serving Orthodox Christians
regardless of ethnic background in Chicagoâ€™s western suburbs. With the
fall of communism, an influx of Orthodox Christians from central and eastern
Europe began to worship at the parish. Under the patronage of the holy
Child-Martyr Gabriel of Zabludow, a 17th century saint especially
venerated by Orthodox Christians in northeastern Poland, the outreach ministry
to recent immigrants was initiated by the parish 1997 when His Beatitude,
Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and Poland, visited the parish during his tenure as
Archbishop of Bialystok and Gdansk.
In May 2008, the
entire parish community will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the
Saint Gabriel community with a combined Divine Liturgy celebrated by
Metropolitan Sawa and Archbishop Job, a patronal feastday procession, and a
festive â€śzabawa,â€ť or picnic dinner.
In recent years, four other
bishops from the Orthodox Church of Poland -- His Eminence, Archbishop Adam of
Przymysl; His Eminence, Archbishop Abel of Lublin; His Grace, Bishop Myron of
Hajnowka; and His Grace, Bishop Jacob of Bialystokâ€“ as well as His Eminence,
Metropolitan Vladimir of St. Petersburg, Russia, have visited the parish and
prayed before the icon and relics of Saint Gabriel, who is especially venerated
by the entire parish community.
-- END â€“