The First Commandment: You shall not make for yourself an idol

Vasyl Symyon | August 3, 2020

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever!

The Ten Commandments are the basis of our Christian morality and our moral behavior. The commandments are God’s divine laws, unchangeable, given for humanity’s sake once and forever. Therefore, the importance of explaining them, studying them and remembering them should be obvious to every Christian.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in my last article I explained the First Commandment in general as well as in its theological context (Who is my God?). In this article I will reflect on the second part of the First Commandment: You shall not make for yourself an idol or a likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth (Exodus 20, 2-5). We refer to this part of the First Commandment as Pastoral (How do I believe in my Lord?).

This part of the First Commandment strictly prohibits us from creating an idol of any kind. An idol is biblically defined as a created image or representation of a god used as an object of worship. An idol is something that distracts a person from our living God. Something that invites affection and passion. Something a person can serve, given the time or the money.

When a person makes an idol for himself, he overlooks — perhaps abandons — Almighty God. When a person creates, worships and serves an idol, he commits one of the greatest mortal sins — Idolatry, which can vary in kind. Continue reading

The First Commandment: How do I worship my God?

Vasyl Symyon | September 28, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ: Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory Forever! We continue our short meditations on the Ten Commandments of our Lord. But first, let me remind you of what I wrote in my previous articles. I started with the First Commandment: “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall not have other gods beside me. You shall not make for yourself an idol or a likeness of anything in the heavens above or on the earth below or in the waters beneath the earth; you shall not bow down before
them or serve them” (Exodus 20, 2-5).
The First Commandment consists of three parts: Theological (Who is my God?), Pastoral (How do I believe in my God?), and Liturgical (How do I worship my God?).
I already have explained the first two parts. Therefore, I will concentrate — and meditate — on the commandment’s third and final part: Liturgical (How do I worship my God?).
The third part reads: You shall not bow down before them or serve them. Here we note some significant nonactions: “not bow down” and “not serve” other gods. To better understand these terms, let us examine their definitions.
The first is a phrasal verb “bow down,” which means to show respect to someone, to show that someone is very important, to become prostrate before someone or something. The second verb “serve” means to perform duties or services for someone.
Our Lord strictly prohibits us to bow down before or to serve other gods. We cannot serve an “idol or god” and our Creator at any time, in any way. Continue reading

Diaconate studies in a changed world

Michael Sivulich | October 8, 2020

We are currently attending the School of Diaconate studies of the Byzantine Catholic Seminary of SS. Cyril and Methodius in Pittsburgh, Pa. Our class size is 17 men representing the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, the Eparchies of Passaic, Phoenix, and the Ukrainian Eparchy of Stamford.

Our first year was a fantastic academic and spiritual journey with deacon candidates of different backgrounds. There were policemen, college professors, nurses, members of the Air Force, a security specialist guarding religious artifacts in New York City, mechanics, firefighters, and an EWTN theology advisor. There was an immediate brotherhood among us. The academic atmosphere was supportive.

We could not imagine how much would change in the next few months. The coronavirus(COVID-19) has changed the world, perhaps forever. The Diaconate program was not immune. We were notified that the second year would be 100 percent online. Not getting together was met with a sense of loss, even though our commute By Michael Sivulich Deacon student of the Eparchy of Parma, St. Nicholas of Myra, White Plains, N.Y. would be a bit shorter. We were all thinking, “What will that be like?” Our class was grateful to God that we were all safe. We kept in touch with emails and texting, praying for one and other, our families, and the world. We all met one Friday night in a Zoom chat before classes started on June 15. It was a welcomed virtual reunion. Continue reading

A gift greater than one could imagine

Sister Barbara Jean Mihalchick | August 3, 2020

Glory to Jesus Christ!
Have you ever received a gift from someone that was way more than you could have expected from that person? What did it make you feel?

Continue reading

Virtual Young Adult Retreat

David Donohoe St. Mary, Cleveland, Ohio | August 3, 2020

Even a global pandemic couldn’t stop a group of young adults from participating in a retreat.

The annual Young Adult Retreat was scheduled to be held from June 26 to 28 at the House of Prayer at the beautiful grounds of Mount St. Macrina in Uniontown, Pa.
Continue reading

Thoughts For Our Day

Archpriest David M. Petras | August 3, 2020

The Anaphora of St. Basil is a complete proclamation of our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.

There are three components to this profession. The first is the mystery of the incarnation, that the Son and Word of God chose to take on the human nature for our salvation. The meaning of this mystery was expressed by quotations from Hebrews 1:3, the Letter to the Philippians 2:6 and the Old Testament prophecy of Baruch 3:38. Continue reading

After lockdown, Italy’s bishops to seek new ways to engage parishioners

Carol Glatz Catholic News Service | August 3, 2020

VATICAN CITY — Italy’s bishops will need to help their communities participate more in parish life and return to taking part in the sacraments in ways that continue to respect evolving measures to contain the spread of the coronavirus, according to their conference leadership.
Continue reading

“Pilgrimage of the heart”

David Mayernik Jr. | September 28, 2020

Making a list of all the events and experiences n e g a t i v e l y a f f e c t e d by the coronavirus
pandemic is an exhausting experience.
Everyone’s personal worlds have been thrown for a loop. Continue reading

Basilian Sisters joyfully celebrate Jubilees

Editor | September 28, 2020

Beginning with a Divine Liturgy of Thanksgiving on July 20, three Sisters of St. Basil celebrated their anniversaries of religious life: Diamond Jubilarian, Sister Leocadia Sevachko; and 70th Anniversary Jubilarians, Sister Salome Yanochko and Sister Fabian Krassa. Continue reading

Come and be renewed in the Lord

Sister Barbara Jean Mihalchick | September 28, 2020

Glory to Jesus Christ!
Recently, our chaplain made some comments about words. Any words and the Word of God. And I said to myself:
“Sister, you use a lot of words.” Of course, I must in a setting like this and especially in the retreats that I do. And I began to say, “What am I always talking about?” Continue reading

“Humankind”: Be both

Sister Ruth Plante | September 28, 2020

Dear Friends,
A short time ago while driving I stopped at a red light. The car that was
in front of me had a bumper sticker which caught my interest. The first
line read HUMANKIND. I thought to myself: “What is the point?” Then
I focused a bit more on the small words on the second line. They read: Be
Both. Continue reading

Each wedding is a revelation

William Skurla | October 9, 2020

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Welcome to the 2020 Virtual Archeparchy of Pittsburgh Wedding Celebration! It was historic because it was the first and hopefully the only time the celebration and prayers were offered online. Continue reading

We have the gift of grace

Sister Barbara Jean Mihalchick | October 9, 2020

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Have you discovered that there are some people you naturally like and some people you naturally don’t like? What happens in a chance encounter? Continue reading

Seminarians safely return to campus

Editor | October 9, 2020

Glory to Jesus Christ!

Dear friends and benefactors,

We are overjoyed to share with you that our 70th Anniversary Late-summer Appeal has already reached nearly half its goal: $17,709.02.
This time of viral disturbance is challenging us in many ways. Continue reading

Promise to protect

Editor | October 8, 2020

Child abuse is a horrific experience with potential lasting effects. Unfortunately it is a common experience in America and has become a societal issue not just a clergy issue. The National Children’s Alliance tells us that an estimated 678,000 children were victims of abuse and neglect in 2018. Continue reading

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An Explantation of the Byzantine Rite Liturgical Practice of Observing All Souls Saturdays

ETERNAL MEMORY! VIČNAJA PAMJAT’! ALL SOULS SATURDAY “The Holy Fathers were convinced that the commemoration of the departed by alms and sacrifices (Divine Liturgies) brings great com­fort and benefit to them.” (SYNAXARION FOR MEAT-FARE SATURDAY) O Church, equally observed in … Continue reading