Expressing Gratitude to God at the 70th Anniversary Celebration in Yardville, NJ
Expressing Gratitude to God at the 70th Anniversary Celebration in Yardville, NJ

His Eminence Metropolitan Antony visited the parish family of St. George in Yardville, NJ on Sunday 16 June 2024.  V. Rev. Petro Levko and the parish members greeted the Metropolitan with much love and appreciation for his presence and most importantly for his prayers, which along with their own, raised up to God in the Holy Trinity to express sincere gratitude for the abundant blessings bestowed upon the family for the past seven decades!

Children of the parish gathered at the entrance to the parish rectory waiting to greet His Eminence as he came amongst them and humbly expressed their love as he blessed each one of them individually and thanked them for being so kind to escort him to the Church prior to Divine Liturgy.  During the procession led by the Holy Cross and church banners, the children cast rose petals before the Metropolitan’s path expressing their abiding love and appreciation for him, similar to the manner in which the residents of Jerusalem welcomed our Lord Jesus Christ on Palm/Willow Sunday.

This humility of the children echoed throughout the day full of celebration and joy – from the greeting at the entrance of the church by parish board President Vasyl Kozak and Fr. Petro, the Divine Liturgy with Fr. Petro, Fr. Orest Pouhalskyj of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, Millville, NJ and Deacon Roman Marchyshak assisting His Eminence and the parish choir responding under the direction of Halyna Meleh.  Also assisting during the Liturgy were our seminarians from St. Sophia Seminary – Subdeacons Mykola Stephanyk, Yurij Izhyk and Andriy Akulenko and students Marian Meleshko, Bohdan Bodnar and Marian Koval and parish altar servers – Matthew Dumych, Stephen Dumych, Vasyl Vydenivskyj and Michael Vydenskyj. 

Following Divine Liturgy, the 70th Anniversary Celebration continued in the parish social center where His Eminence was greeted by the Parish Sisterhood President Dobr. Maria Levko and Vice-President Maryna Skutar.  Immediately after the greeting His Eminence – on this Father’s Day – wished good health, peace, joy and many years to Frs. Petro and Orest and all the fathers present proclaiming “Mnohaya Lita”. 

Following this, the Metropolitan recalled all the parish priests who served as Spiritual Fathers to the thousands of faithful who have worshipped in the church through 70 years, the founding fathers and benefactors of the parish and also the deceased fathers of everyone present at the celebration, beseeching of our Lord for “Memory Eternal” or “Vichnaya Pamyat”. 

As can be seen from the abundance of photos here, the celebration was a joyful one filled with delicious and abundant food, greetings, along with a wonderful concert organized by the parish school of Ukrainian Studies directed by Fr. Petro Levko, Director and all the teachers of the school.  Tatiana Turyk served as the Mistress of Ceremonies introducing each of the many performers who took part.  It was wonderful to see the abundant talent that lives in this parish family performing with love for who they are and where their roots are in our much suffering Ukraine.

Expressing Gratitude to God at the 70th Anniversary Celebration in Yardville, NJ

Photos by Subdeacon Mykola Stefanyk

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