Archpastoral Visit of His Eminence, Metropolitan Antony to St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church, Dover, DE
By Christina Mentis, Parish Secretary
As tropical storm Ophelia soaked Delaware’s Capitol with rain on Sunday, September 24, the Parish Family of St. Nicholas anxiously awaited the arrival of our Shepherd, His Eminence, Metropolitan Antony. Arriving with him were newly ordained Deacon Andrii Vatrych and his wife Anna, and Subdeacons Mykola Stefanyk and Nicholas Worobey. Two of the youth, Philip Rus and Annabelle Harden greeted his Eminence with white roses as a token of the pure love that the Parish Family has for their Father Metropolitan. As Parish Secretary I was next to greet the Metropolitan with the traditional bread and salt. It is always a privilege and a joy to have him come to our little Parish and especially to set aside a new Reader and ordain him to the Subdeaconate. Father Stephen greeted His Eminence and reminded him that this was the second visit made to ordain a new subdeacon. After Subdeacon Marc’s ordination, Kevin asked the Metropolitan, “When do I get my haircut?” This day was the culmination of that question. Father reminded Vladyka that these things come in threes, so we anxiously await the time when our Metropolitan will return for another visit.
As we moved into the Church, the service for setting apart a Reader began. Kevin Minnich, a member of the Parish Community and an altar server together with Subdeacon Marc Jaskolka, was brought to the Metropolitan by our two Seminarian Subdeacons. His Eminence reminded Kevin that the order of Reader carried with it great responsibilities. He must always be prepared to read at Church Services with a strong voice and to read Holy Scripture on a daily basis so that it becomes a part of is life. Next was the ordination to the Subdeaconate. His Eminence reminded him that he must serve at the altar with great piety and awareness of where he is in the Church. After vesting him, the new Subdeacon washed the hands of the Metropolitan and the Divine Liturgy was about to begin.
Concelebrating with Metropolitan Antony were Protopresbyter Constantine Christo and Father Stephen together with Deacon Andrii. The Responses were lead by Choir Director Veronica Perrine.
During his Sermon on the talents and the Cross (as it was the Sunday before the Exaltation of the Holy Cross) the Metropolitan said that we may think we have stored up all these treasures in heaven because of using our talents but if we did not do them from love, then it means nothing. It is only out of love that we follow in Christ’s footsteps and the ultimate love that the Lord showed us from His Cross. Subdeacon Marc talked about this after the Liturgy on how this statement really moved his heart.
After the Divine Liturgy, Father Stephen again thanked His Eminence for his visit. Roses were presented to our new Subdeacon and a gift from the Parish was presented to him. Roses were presented to our newly ordained Deacon Andrii and his wife Anna in thanksgiving for their new service to the Church. Roses were also presented to Protopresbyter Constantine and Pani Dobrodyka Georgia Christo in thanksgiving for their service to the Parish Family. Special thanks were offered to Dmitra Cookson for organizing the cleaning of the Church and for organizing the dinner that followed the Liturgy. Special thanks to all who helped in the cleaning, the set up, the preparing of the food and the cleanup afterwards. Special thanks were offered to our new Subdeacon Kevin for his zeal and love to serve in a special way at the altar.