Parishes, Priests Offer Spiritual, Monetary help in their Overseas Journey.
Generations ago our ancestors came to America on steamships with all their belongings in a trunk. Our new European Byzantine Catholic priests are coming with their families with a 50-pound suitcase and the clothes on their backs.
“I just became aware of this when my pastor, Father Vasyl Banyk, asked me to start a collection of clothing for the children of the three priests who were scheduled to arrive this summer,” said Deacon Paul Boboige, of Nativity of the Mother of God, DuBois, Pa.
Father Vasyl is very familiar with their plight as he arrived in the United States in January 2016 with his wife, Natalia, and four-year-old daughter, Nadia. Deacon Paul notified the priests of the protopresbyterate and is receiving a generous response. St Anne in Clymer, Pa., where Father Bill Lascelles is pastor, generously provided $300 in gift certificates, along with donations from parishes in Sheffield (Father David Bosnick, pastor and dean); Holy Trinity, Sykesville and Nativity, DuBois (FatherVasyl); and Father Jim Ragan (Hawk Run, Clarence, State College).
Chuck Deardorff of St. Nicholas in Perryopolis, Pa. donated a 4 by 8 feet trailer load of baby carriages, high chairs and toys, which Very Rev. Robert Pipta of our Byzantine Catholic Seminary, graciously provided storage and a distribution center. We see history repeating itself; in the late 1800s and early 1900s the Mukacevo and Presov eparchies in the Austro-Hungary Empire sent priests to fill vacancies in our newly created Greek Catholic parishes.
Our parishes have been celebrating their centennial anniversaries but once again some are in need of priests. At the requests of our American bishops, the bishop of Mukacevo, Milan Sasik, and archbishop of Presov, Jan Babjak, are generously providing those much needed priests from their flourishing seminaries. The American Byzantine Catholic Church is grateful to Archbishop Jan and Bishop Milan for their kindness and concern for their American brethren.
In his remarks during his homily at Holy Trinity Church, Bishop Milan stated that he wants to see the “resurrection” of our Church and is sending vocations so that “no parish is without a priest.” May God grant the benevolent bishop many blessed years!