On Saturday, October 14th His Eminence, Metropolitan Antony led our God-loving and God-protected community of St. Mary Protection of the Theotokos (Pokrova) parish in the celebration of our patronal feast and the 100th anniversary of the consecration of our beautiful cathedral (glory to God!). He was greeted in the narthex by several of our youth (Autumn and Shiloh D., Claire, Helen, and Warren P., and Owen A.) who gave him flowers, by our parish president, Nikolai Fartuch, who gave him beautifully decorated bread (thank you, Stephanie Milan!) , and by our parish priest, Fr. Anthony Perkins, who offered words of thanks for his prayers and love for his parish of St. Mary's.
The service was beautiful, with John Koretsky leading the choir and Dn. Ivan Tchopko (St. Sophia Seminary) offering the litanies. In addition to Fr. Anthony and Dn. Ivan, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony was assisted in the altar by V. Rev. Bazyl Zawierucha (Holy Assumption, Northampton PA), Rev. Theophan Mackey (St. Job of Pochaiv, Los Alamos, NM), Sdn. Volodymyr Yavorsky and Seminarian Miroslav Mykytyuk (both from St. Sophia Seminary), and the servers Ryan and Daniel Anderson.
During the homily, His Eminence reflected on the sacrifice and love the founders of St. Mary's – and all those who established Ukrainian Orthodoxy within these United States. After the homily, Mp. Antony commemorated all the bishops, priests, and faithful of the community who have reposed in the Lord. The highlight of the service was, of course, the Eucharist, with visitors and the faithful coming forward to receive the Body and Blood of Christ God from the hand of their beloved bishop. It was a glorious moment.
After the service (and the obligatory picture!), everyone reconvened downstairs for a banquet meal. This led to the second highlight of the Metropolitan's visit: the performance of the St. Mary's Traditional Ukrainian Dancers. These dancers, under the instruction of Walt Milinichik, really brought joy to everyone present!