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Glory to Jesus Christ!

On Oct. 11, Father Vasyl Symyon celebrated the Divine Liturgy at Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio for the faculty, staff, and students.
I was blessed to have partaken in my campus’ first Divine Liturgy in years.

My name is Chad Durante, a current student here at Franciscan University of Steubenville and vice president of Franciscan University of Steubenville’s Byzantine Club, which has 20 members.
The club and its members have been spreading awareness of the East on campus since it was formed in 2015, long before I entered college.
In part of sharing the beauty of the East was the desire to bring Divine Liturgy to campus.

Thankfully, after a failed attempt last semester due to the pandemic, the club was able to bring the cornerstone of Byzantine Catholicism to our campus. Franciscan University is a truly Catholic institution filled with students desiring to discover the true universality of the Church.
Many of my close friends love to discover different forms of the Mass and even different rites within the Church like the Byzantine Rite.
This led to an amazing turnout of over 200 students and faculty attending the Divine Liturgy

Father Vasyl, myself, and the rest of the club could not have been more thrilled.
We advertised across campus with fliers and I personally approached students in classes and in our student union, the JC Williams Center.
I was hopeful we would have 100-plus students. Considering the official attendance count was 208, I was elated and happily surprised at the response.
Many of my friends showed up early to help set up too. I even saw one of my professors there with his wife! Seeing my professor and several of my friends along with those I have never met was a great feeling.
I was an altar server at the Divine Liturgy on campus as I often do at St. Mary in Weirton, W. Va.. However there was something different about this one. Looking out into the crowd of my peers in a full fieldhouse adorned for Divine Liturgy was a little scary Uniontown, Pa.
The special group rate is available from Sept. 2 to 6, 2021.
The special rate is $129 per night (before taxes) for all rooms except the King Suite, which is $159 per night before taxes.
To make your reservations, use the Hilton Garden Inn Uniontown web site: http:// hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/pennsylvania/hilton-garden-inn-uniontownMGWUNGI/index.html.

When booking, please select the option to “Add Special Rate Codes” and enter Group Code ANN21.
Contact the hotel at 724-434-7200 to make reservations. Tell them that you want the 2021 Annual Pilgrimage Group Rate (Group Code ANN21).
A limited number of rooms are available. but really humbling and exciting as well. It was great to see many of my peers interested in something so close to my heart.
The Divine Liturgy reminds me of my passed grandmother and the Slovak traditions she held throughout her life. I also love the constant chant, the recitation of the Catholic faith throughout the entire Liturgy, and the constant emphasis on the Divine.
Many students I have never even met before have been approaching me asking where to find Divine Liturgy off campus or how to join our campus’ Byzantine Club.
Thankfully this Divine Liturgy was not the end of our attempts to share the beauty we hold dear. We are extremely excited to bring the light of the East back to campus on Nov. 8 and Dec. 6!