“How am I going to serve?”

Jonathan Deane | September 8, 2018

How am I going to serve? The word “deacon” (diaconos) in Greek means “servant,” and so this question is well worth asking for a man discerning a call to the diaconate. This question of how we are going to serve vividly entered the minds of the 13 men in the Diaconal Formation Program at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, Pa. on one unforgettable night this year.

It was June 22. We had received hours and hours of training in liturgical practicum from Father Robert Pipta, rector of the Seminary. On that night it was our chance to execute, and we all knew that close attention would be placed on how we were going to serve.

We had drawn a number at random, and that number stood for our order in line to practice serving as a deacon in the Presanctified Liturgy. We went from start to finish through the Liturgy with no comments on whether we were standing facing the wrong direction, using the wrong melody, and the like. How am I going to serve? What am I going to intone? Where do I stand, exactly?

These questions multiplied as the 13 men in diaconal formation took the Liturgical Practicum exam on that Friday night. As each of us had our numbers called, Continue reading

Pope Francis: Abuse victims’ outcry more powerful than efforts to silence them

Cindy Wooden Catholic News Service | September 8, 2018

VATICAN CITY — “No effort must be spared” to prevent future cases of clerical sexual abuse and “to prevent the possibility of their being covered up,” Pope Francis said in a letter addressed “to the people of God.” “I acknowledge … Continue reading

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops

Editor | September 8, 2018

cardinal daniel n. dinardo: “we are profoundly saddened” WASHINGTON, D.C. — Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, hosted a series of meetings last month responding to the broader issue of safe … Continue reading

The Jesus Prayer Project

Carolyn Ellis | September 8, 2018

W h i l e the Jesus Prayer has a long and venerable history, I’m not heading that way at all. I simply want to share about my current experience with the Jesus Prayer. Oddly enough it was abstract art, … Continue reading

Byzantine Spirituality Conference 2018

Editor | September 8, 2018

This month’s Archeparchial Assembly will lay a foundation for our parishes to RENEW, REVITALIZE, AND REJUVENATE. This year’s Byzantine Spirituality Conference is designed to equip the participants of the Assembly, Catechists and all interested adults to go from a “maintenance-mode … Continue reading

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MIROVANIJE: THE ANOINTING WITH HOLY OIL: A Traditional Custom of the BYZANTINE RITE

On solemn Holydays, the faithful of the Byzantine Rite are anointed with holy oil and receive a piece of bread blessed for this sacramental on the vigil of the feast. This venerable custom among the Ruthenians is known as ” Mirovanije” or an anointing. It is a remnant of two distinct practices of ancient times, the all-night vigils held in the church and the lighting of the oil lamps in front of the icon of the Feast. In order to better understand this relatively simple ceremony of the anointing, an explanation of the all-night vigil with Litija and that of the lighting of the lamp of oil in front of the icon of the feast is necessary. Continue reading