Pascha 2019

As we celebrate Easter Sunday, we deepen our belief and understanding of its meaning on our lives. The events of Jesus’s death and resurrection show our path through this life leading to eternal life in heaven. Our perspective changes and deepens with each celebration during our lifetime.

Jesus explained to the Apostles many times everything that was going to happen. They were going to Jerusalem where He would be arrested, suffer, and be crucified. After three days, He would rise from death to new life. The resurrection of Jesus Christ would make it possible to follow him to the heaven.

However, even though the Apostles were told the plan of salvation, when the arrest, trial, and death of Jesus happened, most of the Apostles were afraid and scattered. Judas gave up his faith and turned against Jesus. And only the Apostle John remained with Jesus to the end.

Just like the Apostles, we know the story of the death and resurrection of Jesus. However, even though we know the story in our lives and the life of the Church, our faith is challenged. Scandals in the Church or problems in our personal lives or families hurt us and can cause us to question our faith. Continue reading

Pascha 2018

Christos Voskrese! Voistinnu Voskrese!

As we celebrate the Easter Season, we bring Easter lilies and other flowers and plants into our churches. The pussy willows and palms from Palm Sunday are joined with explosions of colors and scents of flowers and Easter baskets which announce that the Lenten fast has come to a close and the celebration honoring our Risen Lord is upon us!

Our Easter traditions are supported by the natural cycle of the transition from the cold and darkness of winter to the warmth and new growth of springtime. Despite the severity of this winter and flu season, the return of spring gives the hope of summer and the return of blossoms and flowers which we bring into our churches.

Today, we take plants and the food they provide for granted. Unlike the past when our grandparents and almost everyone grew their own food, we can go to the supermarket and purchase fresh fruits, vegetables, spices and flowers any time or season of the year. Our grandchildren may wonder how people could exist without online delivery of prepared dinners.

To understand Jesus’ words, we must return to a time when people were closer to nature. Jesus often used stories and parables about the growing of food from seeds, the harvesting of crops, and the preparation of food to explain His Resurrection and the kingdom of heaven. Continue reading

CHRISTMAS GREETINGS 2017

Heaven and Earth rejoice as we celebrate the birth of Our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ!

Each year we decorate, send Christmas greetings, gather our families, and come to our Churches to relive the story of the birth of a little child outside the city of Bethlehem. Our memories are filled with the images of icons of the birth, Christmas trees decorated, and beautiful Christmas lights which light up the inside and outside of our homes during the longest nights of the year. We include those with whom we celebrated in the past and who are present with us in spirit when we sing our songs of Christmas.

It is also a time we remember those who are in need this Christmas season. Like Mary and Joseph, who were without a home on the first Christmas, many families struggle to survive.

During the fall hurricane season, many families lost everything. We are thankful for those who helped them through donations and collections to enable them to start over. Even though our parishes are small and often in need, the people of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh generously gave to help them rebuild their lives so that they could celebrate this Christmas season with hope. Continue reading

Welcome, Bishop Lach

Archbishop William C. Skurla provides words of welcome to his successor as apostolic
administrator of the Eparchy of Parma, Bishop Milan Lach:

Dear Bishop Lach,
Welcome to your new position as apostolic administrator of the Byzantine Eparchy of Parma!

We look forward to your arrival and Divine Liturgy of Welcome on July 21. Preparations for
your arrival have begun.

We thank you for accepting the position from our Holy Father Francis, Pope of Rome.

You have done exceptional work within your home Archeparchy of Presov as an auxiliary bishop.

We hope that you will continue your fine work as a pastor and spiritual leader of the people of
Parma during your time as apostolic administrator.

The clergy, religious and people of the Eparchy of Parma await the announcement of the next
bishop of the Eparchy of Parma, when they will rejoice and celebrate again.

We wish you success in your new assignmment as the apostolic administrator. And, we wish you
many happy and blessed years! Continue reading

Greeting from your Summertime Vacation Church

In June, for most school is out and for many the time for vacations begins.
When we travel, the search for a Divine Liturgy should be included in our travel
plans. I rarely get the chance just to appear at a church without people knowing
who I am. But once in a while there is a weekend when I have to look up the
closest Catholic Church and attend there.

I have experienced a range of receptions. There is a moment of suspense when
you walk into a church where no one knows your name or who you are. Some
churches’ greeting is that you do not belong here. Other churches do not even
realize that you are a stranger and pay no attention to you. And others have
greeters who invite you into the celebration and to the refreshments after the
Divine Liturgy.

How do you greet strangers when they pop up in your church? Do you or someone else wait
and watch for new visitors as the father waited for the return Continue reading

Pentecost, the Gift of the Holy Spirit

The power of the Holy Spirit is revealed to us each time we celebrate Pentecost. We hear the Pentecost story of the rush of wind, the appearance of flames upon the heads of the apostles, and the reception of the … Continue reading

Palm Sunday 2017

On Palm Sunday, we offer our works and lives to the Lord Palm Sunday reminds us of the transition from the Great Fast to the preparations for the Paschal celebration on Easter Sunday. The somber Lenten hymns will give way … Continue reading