Pastors are incredibly busy people, especially during this Christmas season. Still, Fr. Ivan always finds time to be with his students at the Assumption Catholic school. Today, he took lower grades students and their teachers to the church and explained the story of Christ’s birth by observing the icon of Nativity. The students had a wonderful opportunity to learn more about main characters in the icon: Mary (the Theotokos), baby Christ, Joseph, the angels, the shepherds, the Magi. He pointed to the scene of Christ’s bath and explained why it is important (it shows that Christ was a real baby). He explained why Joseph is sitting away from the Theotokos and Child (he was not Christ’s father). He also identified the devil in the icon and explained that devil is tempting Joseph not to believe in the Incarnation of God. All students learned that through his birth, Christ has healed a wounded humanity and restored our harmony and friendship with God.
In preparation for the Christmas Holiday, Saturday, Nov. 14 until Sunday Dec. 22, our parish will have a special collection of nonperishable goods and children’s new toys for the needy people in Perth Amboy, NJ. Please leave your donation in the Church foyer or downstairs on the bench next to the bulletin board. You may also donate a gift card that will be given only to our parish or school families in need. “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink?…” And the King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even to the least of them, YOU DID IT TO ME.” – Matthew 25:35-40
Celebrating First Penance and a Solemn Holy Eucharist with the two special students of Assumption Catholic school. All ACS students are taught to actively live their faith and a religious education is a part of our daily curriculum.
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the celebration of First Sacrament of Reconciliation and Solemn Holy Communion was delayed throughout parishes in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Not wanting our students to think they have been forgotten, last Saturday eight students participated in these special sacraments, following all liturgical precautions and keeping with social distancing requirements. It was a blessed day, truly a day the Lord had chosen, and we rejoiced in it.
Beloved in Christ,
Jesus, You teach us to “fear no one,” but we are afraid, body and soul. There is so much fear in our world these days, from pandemic to civil unrest. It is time to cling to Christ, the Rock of ages, and His Church built upon Peter, a man transformed by the Holy Spirit. Are you clinging yet? I hope so. It’s been a challenging time but today I WELCOME you back to your spiritual home.
In order to protect everyone, and to accommodate the needs of our Parishioners while meeting the social distancing guidelines and other guidance of health officials, we will be implementing the following steps at every Liturgy:
1. While in Church, face masks or coverings MUST be used at ALL TIMES except when receiving Communion. Please bring your own mask.
2. Social distancing must be observed between all present at the services. No handshakes, hugs or kissing when greeting one another. No touching or kissing of icons, venerate them with a simple bow.
3. Some pews have been cordoned off and the pews that are open have been marked with blue tape indicating where people may sit. Please note that family groups may sit together and are not bound by social distancing. All should remain in place once seated. The church and pews are sanitized and cleaned regularly.
4. Hand sanitizer is available at the entrance of the church. You are also encouraged to bring your own small sanitizer.
5. Collection Plate Location: Two Baskets for both collections (2) are located at each side of the church back wall; no baskets will be passed at this time. You can place your gracious contribution into a basket before or after Liturgies.
6. All Hymn Books and Liturgy Books have been temporarily removed from church. You are welcome to bring your own prayer book.
7. The cantor will assist the priest by leading the faithful in worship. There will be limited use of singing by congregation.
8. Communion will be given as usual out of the chalice, but once you approach the chalice, lower your mask, tilt your head back and open your mouth so that Fr. Ivan can pour the gifts in your mouth without touching. Father will use two spoons in rotation. Each spoon will be sanitized immediately after each communicant by pure alcohol (at least 60-50%). People will process to receive communion while maintaining social distance following marks on the floor.
9. The floor is taped to reflect appropriate social-distancing of 6 ft. for the Communion line. We ask communicants from the center pews of the church to be first in line for Holy Communion. Then communicants from the side pews to follow. Please, no cutting through center aisle pews.
10. Dismissal will be permitted out the front and side doors; The main and side doors will be open for exit after the Liturgy.
11. There will be no in-person coffee hour fellowships.
12. Parishioners who are sick or symptomatic must stay at home.
All these procedures were established for your protection. Thank you for your cooperation and please pray for each other.
The responses to our streaming Lenten services and Sunday’s Liturgies have been overwhelmingly positive and grows each week. At this time, I want to thank Deacon Paul Makar, Thomas Dochych, Anna Lawrence, Sub deacon Alex Bricki and his mother Terri for helping with cantering all our services. Thanks to our secretary Anna for her work at the parish office, to Maria Alvarez for changing altar linens and Colette Baginsky for baking the Artos bread. I am grateful to you for remembering me in your prayers and for enthusiastically responding to my phone calls. I also want to thank all of you who have continued your financial support of our parish. Your labors, time, and offerings did not go unnoticed but instead are greatly appreciated! May the Risen Lord bless you all!
Here are some of the Testimonials written by parishioners of Assumption Church about + Metropolitan-Archbishop Emeritus Stephen Sulyk, former Pastor of Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption, Perth Amboy, NJ 1962-1981
Archbishop Emeritus Stephen Sulyk, my former pastor and friend of sixty years to myself and my family. A person of goodness and generosity to all he knew which were reminders of the true meaning of God. Thank you for being the blessing you were to all who knew you. You will Always be with us.
Beloved in Christ,
I can only hope and pray that all of you are well and out of harm’s way during these days of confinement and restrictions. I pray that our Lord, whom apostle Paul calls the “The God of All Comfort” (2 Corinthians 1:1-11) comes and comforts you and gift you with the faith, perseverance and courage during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please be informed that even though there is no access to public worship in our parish church ( because of social distancing) the Lenten Services and the Sacred Liturgy – the Holy Eucharist is being offered on the sacred altar in our church. During these private services you and yours are remembered at the holy table and there also your special intentions both for the living and the deceased are being offered, mentioned and fulfilled. As your Pastor, I humbly ask that you unite yourself with me by making a fervent “Act of Spiritual Communion”.
We are reminded that there is no better prayer than the Divine Liturgy at which we commemorate our Lord’s sacrifice on the Cross and his Resurrection from the dead, that transcends the limitations of time, space and location.
On Sunday, March 29th at 9:00 am, the Divine Liturgy (Ukrainian/ English) from our parish will be live streamed on my Facebook page. Join us online!
Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Don’t hesitate to call me if you need any help, the Parish Office 732-826-0767 or Fr. Ivan’s cellphone 202-368-2408