Byzantine Catholic Church in America: News of the East

Saint John's Cathedral Hosts First in Series of Molebens Celebrating 75th Anniversary of Metropolitan Church in Pittsburgh

MUNHALL, PA -- (BCW 7/25/1999) --  The Cathedral of St. John the Baptist was the host for the first of a series of Services of Thanksgiving to be held throughout the Archeparchy. The services are part of a year-long commemoration of the 75th Anniversary of the Byzantine-Ruthenian Metropolitan Church in America. Metropolitan Judson, Deacon Valerian Michlik and the priests of the Pittsburgh area led the prayer. Local cantors led the singing.

The service of thanksgiving, adapted for this year's celebration, was also offered at Byzantine Catholic Family Day at Kennywood Park and will be repeated at the Uniontown Pilgrimage in September.

The anniversary banner, featuring the logo of the 75th Anniversary and its accompanying motto "God Reigns, Mary Protects, We Proclaim," was prepared by Mrs. Elsie Eberle of Holy Ghost Parish, McKees Rocks. Subdeacon Ivan Shemet holds it here.

Homilist Archpriest John Kudrick recounted the sacrifices made by the Church's pioneers in this country, the progress made through the years and challenges that lie ahead. He noted how the Church responded to the needs of the people as they changed through the generations. From helping an immigrant population to adjust to a new homeland, the Church moved on to serving American-born descendants and many others who realize a spiritual home here.

He acknowledged the recognition received by this church from the universal Catholic Church. The status of Metropolia, with its limited self-governing powers, together with its union with the See of Rome provides it with great opportunities.

The cultural and traditional heritage of the founders of this church have indeed been strengths but it was Christian priorities and values within the Byzantine Catholic experience that were the sustaining force. To respond to the needs of people in the next millenium, we must retain those values and priorities while being a truly American church. "The basis for our serving present members and for reaching out to others will be our theology, our liturgy in its proper form..., our respect for all members of the Body of Christ in their proper roles - our approach to God, our perspective of God, our experience of God - that dates back to that first Pentecost Day.... (In being true to who we are) we add our part to the richness and diversity of the whole Catholic Church."

Father Kudrick called on those present to join Metropolitan Judson, the hierarchy and clergy of the Metropolia for the solemn celebration on October 3 and then to join them in "continuing to build a church that is well-educated, fervent in prayer and worship, true to Christ's call to reach out to all, and supportive of each other."


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Last Modified on 08/12/1999.