On Saturday, June 22, 2019 beyond our expectations, the church grounds of the Assumption Ukrainian Catholic Church in Perth Amboy, NJ swelled with neighbors and those who traveled quite a distance to appreciate Ukrainian culture, crafts, foods and entertainment at the 7th Annual Parish Festival. Throughout the sun filled day, more than 3,000 guests, could be seen enjoying themselves, eating the delicious Ukrainian food, and there certainly was plenty for everyone, listening to lively Ukrainian music, visiting our beautiful church at the church tours, socializing with friends and neighbors, and enjoying the entertainment of our incredible Ukrainian dance performances.
Fr. Ivan Turyk, the pastor of the church said that “festival creates an atmosphere of hospitality”, as people can come and have fun, and at the same time, it becomes an expression of our faith.
God blessed us with perfect weather which helped to bring many people to the Festival. The reviews were wonderful; a lot of people told us that, “It sure is a big crowd this year,” and “We had such a great time.” We were honored with the presence of NJ Congressman Frank Pallone, Mrs. Wilda Diaz, the mayor of the City of Perth Amboy and His Grace Bishop Andriy Rabiy, auxiliary bishop for the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy who opened the festival with his blessing and prayer.
A great time and great food was enjoyed by all those who attended. We served 6 thousands of purohys, 1, 550 Stuffed Cabbages, 250 pounds of kovbasa, 80 cases of the Ukrainian beer ( 20 bottles in a case), hundreds of pieces of homemade desserts and we used 415 pounds of meat to prepare our delicious shish kebab.
It was amazing to see so many people enjoying the day together! It was also wonderful to know that we have so many hardworking parishioners and school parents who are doing their best to help keep our church and school financially stable. It was another proof that Assumption Parish Community shines when we all work together as one family.
The St. Ann Society of Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption in Perth Amboy sponsored a Women’s Evening of Prayer on May 7, 2019. Catholic women from the surrounding communities joined together with Assumption parishioners who participated with fervent and prayerful song in a Moleben to the Blessed Mother of God with responses sung alternately in both English and Ukrainian. The homilist for the evening was Very Rev. John Seniw, pastor of St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in Northampton, PA., who offered his meditation on Blessed are the poor of heart: The life of Mary.
The members of Altar Rosary Societies, Ladies Guilds, and Sisterhoods of numerous Roman Catholic parishes joined with Assumption parishioners in contemplation of how Mary’s life is a reflection of what her Divine Son teaches in each of The Beatitudes. For those who were not familiar with the Theotokos of the Eastern Church, Father’s informative homily explained how, in the Ukrainian Catholic Church, the Bohoroditsya is revered and not worshipped, as many misinformed Protestant Christians believe. He also explained the Marian dogmas as proclaimed in Church Councils, including the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption. At the conclusion, Fr. Ivan Turyk, pastor of Assumption Church and spiritual advisor of St. Ann Society, underscored the homily and added the visual component by pointing to the mosaic icon of the Mother of God, Oranta, who wears a handkerchief in her belt which reminds us of how she is always ready to dry our tears.
The Marian hymns for the evening, Immaculate Mary , a Roman Catholic favorite, and Always Protect Us (O Spomahay Nas) the Ukrainian Catholic selection, were sung by all in attendance, providing a unified manifestation of faith, reflective of the Universality of the Church. Following the Moleben, visitors were guests of St. Ann Society who provided a light buffet. The joint breaking of bread and fellowship with neighboring parishes reinforced a mutual love for Mary, her Divine Son, and respect for each other’s traditions.
On behalf of all our parish staff and parish leadership organizations, I wish all of you a very blessed Easter. Enjoy the weeks ahead!
This year, the parishioners of the Assumption Catholic Church in Perth Amboy, NJ with many students of the Parish School, participated at the moving service called solemn Vespers with the burial procession bearing the Holy Shroud or Plashchanitsa. The “plashchanitsa” is a winding sheet with the picture of Christ’s body lying dead in the tomb. After the procession, the shroud was laid out for veneration on a replica of the sepulcher.