Surrounded by family, friends, priests, and relatives in Ukraine participating by livestream video, Father Vitalii Stashkevych was ordained to the Holy Order of the Presbyterate for the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh by Archbishop William Skurla Jan. 14 at St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Munhall, Pa.
As a Subdeacon from the Eparchy of Mukachevo in Ukraine, Father Vitalii was accepted by Archbishop Wiliam to serve in the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh. He was ordained a Deacon for the Archeparchy Nov. 8, 2017 at Holy Ghost Church in McKees Rocks, Pa. Concelebrants for the Jan. 14 Divine Liturgy were Monsignor Russell A. Duker, Very Revs. Andrew J. Deskevich and Frank A. Firko. The Master of Ceremonies was Father Valerian M. Michlik. Seminarians served and Martin Bovee assisted. The Archeparchial Choir, under the direction of Darlene Fejka, sang the responses to the Liturgy. Protosyncellus Very Rev. Andrew presented Deacon Vitalii for ordination.
In his homily, Archbishop William spoke of the years of preparation and of the path that brought Deacon Vitalii to this day of priestly ordination in Pittsburgh from Uzhgorod, Ukraine, where he was born to Nicholas and Olga Stashkevych on April 2, 1990. Archbishop William mentioned that Deacon Vitalii was initiated a child of God at Baptism. Now, at the moment of ordination, though he, as the bishop, will place his hand on Deacon Vitalii’s head, it is actually the Holy Spirit through grace that confers this Mystery.
Following the Divine Liturgy, a dinner and reception followed at the Cathedral Center. After completing his studies at the Theological Academy (Seminary) of Uzhgorod, Father Vitalii was ordained to the Subdiaconate on March 1, 2015 by Most Rev. Milan Sasik, CM, Bishop of Mukachevo. He then studied at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome where he earned the licentiate degree in dogmatic theology.
Father Vitalii has a sister, Oksana, who lives in Uzhgorod. Archbishop William appointed Father Vitalii to assist Very Rev. Andrew in the celebration of liturgical services and pastoral concerns of St. John the Baptist Cathedral and St. Elias, both in Munhall, Pa.