Evangelizing through our parish Bingo

When we think of the church ministries, the things that most readily come to mind are things like Bible studies, Liturgical and Catechetical ministries and the Outreach programs. A game like Bingo, on the other hand, seems far removed from the concept of ministry and religion. Yet, though it might be purely social, Assumption Bingo Ministry in Perth Amboy, NJ continues to play an important role in our church-wide call to evangelization by radiating Christ’s love to each and every one of its weekly guests. Our Bingo provides a welcoming atmosphere for a large group of people who come our parish hall to play and have fun. For over fifty years, bingo players from all over NJ come to us, a for very little money they have a complete evening of entertainment in a safe and fun environment.
The goal of the Bingo Ministry is to not only to raise funds for the parish school and promote Catholic Education, but also so that our special guests can positively experience Christ’s Church. In our church, we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior and we want people who come to our Bingo know that the Lord loves and cares about them, and we care about them too.
Our Bingo brings the parish and a priest into a greater relationship with the larger community. When players come to our Bingo, we become very knowledgeable of who they are – who their parents or children are, the things going on in their lives, such as the loss of a loved one due the Covid-19 pandemic. We mourn with them in time of tragedy and we celebrate with them when something happy occurs in their lives as well.
This Wednesday, after a 29 month hiatus due the Covid-19 pandemic, the famous Assumption BINGO reopened the doors for over 120 exiting players. The players were excited to return and see old friends again, many who have not seen each other in over two years.
We extend our heartfelt thanks to all of the volunteers and players who made our bingo game a success.
To Father Ivan: Thank you for your leadership, vision and trust.
To all the workers: Thank you, without you we could not put on this bingo. Your commitment is very much appreciated and admired.
To the Mrs. Shumney and the teachers of Assumption Catholic School: Thank you for setting a new standard for the bingo kitchen. The menu was delicious and well received.
To Colette K Baginsky and John Baginsky for a great job of getting Bingo back up and running it so well and smooth.
Hope to see all of you again next Wednesday September 14th.

Sr. Veronica Professes Her Solemn Vows

This Sunday was a glorious day at Assumption Ukrainian Catholic Church in Perth Amboy, NJ,   as our Sr. Maria Veronica of Jesus professed her solemn vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and Marian consecration.
The vows were taken after reading of the Holy Gospel during the Divine Liturgy and in front of Most Rev. Andriy Rabiy, Auxiliary Bishop for Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia and the Mother Mary of the Immaculate Conception Ambrogio,  the  Provincial Superior of the Sisters Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará.  Present at the Liturgy were Fr. Alberto Barattero, IVE, the Provincial Superior of the Institute of the Incarnate Word, Fr. Ivan Turyk, Pastor of Assumption Church, alongside many religious sisters, guests and parishioners. Sister Veronica was especially grateful for the presence and support of Major Superiors of Women’s Ukrainian Religious Congregations in the USA, Sr. Eliane Ilnitski, SSMI, the Provincial of the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Conception and Mother Maria Kelly M.S.M.G, Superior of the Missionary Sisters of the Mother of God.
At the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, the beautiful symbols – the ring of espousal with Jesus, the white crown of flowers, the lighted candle and the Constitution of the Sisters Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará were presented to the newly professed. The rite of perpetual profession also included the prostration of Sister during the Litany, the pronouncement of the handwritten formula of vows into the hands of the Provincial Mother Superior, the signing of the document of the vows, and greeting by other perpetually professed members of the community. The final profession of Sr. Veronica was like a wedding day, because consecrating her life entirely to God through life-long vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, Sister accepted a vocational call to become a bride of Jesus Christ. 
The solemn ceremony was followed by a beautiful reception at our school hall.

Photos by John Baginsky and some by our parishioners.

First Penance and Solemn Communion Class of 2022.

Congratulations to 17 parish and 14 school children who received their First Penance and Solemn Holy Communion today! Our parish offers its most sincere congratulations and prayerful best wishes to them on this most important event in their lives. Thanks to Sr. Veronica and Sr. Maria for preparing parish children, and Mrs. Kukuruza, 2nd grade, for preparing ACS school students for this joyful day. May God grant them many happy and blessed years because CHRIST IS RISEN! 

Good Friday Vespers and Procession with Holy Shroud

On Good Friday morning, April 15, 2022 ACS students along with the parishioners of Ukrainian Assumption Catholic Church in Perth Amboy, NJ 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 inside the Church, the shroud was laid out for veneration on a replica of the sepulcher. Fr. Ivan in his homily remarked that the world is haunted by Calvaries. Today, Calvary is found in Ukraine, where the innocent blood is poured from the bodies of men, women, and children who are defending their homeland. He invited everyone to enter into the mystery of the Calvary and the tomb of Christ, putting our hopes and prayers into the great news that the Lord has Risen.  

This year, the service was also attended by members of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Perth Amboy, NJ. The Rev. E. F. Michael Morgan, Ph.D., Interim Priest of the congregation, offered brief remarks about the tender love of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior who through his death on the cross invites us to walk in the way of his suffering, and share in his Resurrection. 

Delivering Aid to Ukraine

Assumption Parish and School in Perth Amboy, NJ have been collecting medical supplies for the past month and now we are happy to announce that the first shipment (27 boxes – 987 lb) of medical supplies arrived in Ukraine and was transferred to the medical hospital in the city of Dnipro. Thanks to Bishop Hryhoriy Komar, an Auxiliary bishop of Sambir–Drohobych Eparchy for his assistance with accepting packages and delivering them to Eastern Ukraine, where help is needed the most. Recently, (713 lb) of medical supplies were also shipped to Bishop Bohdan Manyshyn, an Auxiliary Bishop of Stryj Eparchy and (470 lb) of medical supplies were sent to Ivano-Frankivsk hospital. It cost us $2,366 to ship two pallets of supplies.

A big thank you goes to our parishioners Vasyl Kichula and Ganna Kichula for packing all supplies.    Thanks also to Meest-America who shipped over 60 boxes of our humanitarian aid packages for Ukraine at a discounted price. Thank you to our many parishioners and friends who so generously contributed to the Humanitarian Aid Fund for Ukraine. Together to Victory!

Perth Amboy Community Gathers for Prayer Vigil for Peace in Ukraine

By: Katherine Massopust

PERTH AMBOY – On Tuesday, March 15, 2022, the community of Perth Amboy held a prayer vigil to pray for Ukraine. The vigil was organized by the city of Perth Amboy and Assumption Catholic School. Over a hundred people gathered at city hall circle in support of Ukraine. Participantsincluded Mayor Helmin Caba, members of the Perth Amboy City Council, local politicians, students from Assumption Catholic School, and citizens of Perth Amboy and surrounding communities.

The vigil began with Principal of Assumption Catholic School Mrs. Lissette Shumny, who spoke of the generosity of the community which has been incredible. She stated that many donations were received toward the humanitarian fund for Ukrainian aid. Mrs. Shumny stated that the school has united in prayer daily for the last 3 weeks to pray to the Blessed Mother for peace in Ukraine. She gave a brief history of the Perth Amboy Ukrainian Community, “The Ukrainian Catholic Community has gathered to worship in the City of Perth Amboy since 1908 at its original location on Wayne Street. Our current church, the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary on Alta Vista Place was built in 1952 by Ukrainian immigrants which established themselves in our city.In 1963, our school (Ukrainian Assumption School which was later renamed Assumption Catholic School) opened and has been a staple in this community. It has served as an important foundation in many families lives as they entered Assumption Catholic School to educate their children. These same children have become pillars of the community of whom we are immensely proud. Currently, our demographics have added a beautiful diversity to our school, yet our Ukrainian Catholic identity is at the root at who we are. We need your generosity and support. Pray for the nearly 3 million Ukrainians, mothers, children, and refugees. Pray for the soldiers that stood their ground against all odds. Pray for the world leaders that they find the strength and guidance to help put an end to this unprovoked attack.”

Fr. Michael Morgan, Priest at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Perth Amboy gave the opening prayer. “We need to pray for peace among the nations of the world. Let us pray for peace on earth.”

NJ Legislative District 19 Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez offered her remarks, “We are here to offer our collective support to people of Ukraine to this evil attack on democracy.” She denounced the Russian airstrike on a maternity hospital intentionally killing women and children. “Despite these horrorsand against all odds the Ukrainian people are holding strong in their determination to remain a free and sovereign nation. I am proud that our country and our state has taken action to block the Russian government in every turn to make sure that they do not engage in the world economy while waging a senseless war. I urge everyone to pray for the people of Ukraine – for the brave men and women on the front lines fighting for freedom and the loved ones they are fighting for. Let us all pray for an end of this conflict and for the recovery of the Ukrainian people.”

Members of the Assumption Catholic School choir sang a hymn to the Blessed Mother.

The next person to speak was Mayor Helmin Caba who recognized the members of the City Council, County Commissioners, and other politicians who were present to unite in the power of communal prayer. He cited the definition of local leaders, “Our job is to protect our residents and provide services to preserve the best life in our cities. We are to serve our communities and represent our residents to preserve their welfare. We are to serve our community to preserve their wellbeing.” Mayor Caba spoke of the sorrow of the people of Ukraine. “Imagine leaving all your belongings, your home, your job, your community – all of it – leaving it behind. Their reality serves as a reminder to each and every one of us that we should not take our freedom and our liberties for granted. We are a diverse community made up of many different backgrounds, cultures, religions, and beliefs. There is so much that divides us, yet there is so much that unites us, and perhaps nothing is more important than our shared beliefs on democracy and freedom.Today we stand united in support for peace with the Ukrainian people in prayer for the protection. We remain humble by their remarkable courage. We stand in solidarity for peace and for freedom.”

Assumption Catholic School Student Kiera Colon read a poem.

Mrs. Shumny explained that the significance of the Moleben Prayer Service which began in the beginning of the 20th Century in Ukraine. “It honors Mary, the mother of God, which is usually said during the month of May, but we will honor her now for the love of Ukraine.”

Mrs. Shumny introduced Fr. Ivan Turyk, Pastor at Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption in Perth Amboy. Fr. Ivan began, “It is painful to see forces of darkness at work.” He quoted the Gospel of John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” Fr. Ivan continued “What is going on in Ukraine is very dark, but each candle that is lit at today’s vigil, reminds all who gather that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World and who brings Hope and Peace to all of us even in the midst of the darkness of war. I ask you to light the candles. They are made from the beeswax, the same ingredients from Ukraine, the Breadbasket of Europe which flows with honey and milk. It is so prosperous and good. We stand here together to pray for my motherland Ukraine, and I am so proud and honored that of my adoptive land of the United States of America who gave us so many opportunities to my fellow immigrant Ukrainians to participate in today’s service to show that the voice of the Ukrainian people cannot be silenced by the munitions of the Russian army. We pray for the ceasefire and the withdrawal of the Russian occupants. We pray to the Blessed Mother of God for her to intercede on her behalf to our LordJesus to bring an end to the war in Ukraine.” Fr. Ivan Turyk then led the vigil in the prayer of the Moleben.

 After the Moleben, Assumption Catholic School Alumni Apryl Coffman Shumny sang a beautiful rendition of “Via Dolorosa”.

 Mrs. Anna Maria Kukuruza, the Second Grade Teacher at Assumption Catholic School and parishioner at Ukrainian Assumption Church gave a brief history of Ukraine. “When someone says: “Glory to Ukraine,” you respond, “Glory to its heroes!” She explained giving the Ukrainian translation.

 Mrs. Kukuruza continued, “I am here today to talk to you a little about courage. I am a second-generation Ukrainian, which means my grandparents came here from Ukraine. My family and I have always been active participants in the Ukrainian American Community. We have never been shy when talkingabout our Ukrainian background or explaining where Ukraine is. We are proud of our Ukrainian ancestry. Our families were forced to leave our beloved homeland to escape during World War II and never to return for fear of retribution. Being courageous was instilled in us to never forget what we left behind, our country, culture, and language. Twenty days ago, Russia illegally invaded the independent country of Ukraine. Millions of Ukrainians have become displaced refugees. Prior to February 25th, Ukraine had a total population of 40 million people. To put it in perspective, it would be as if the entire city of Los Angeles, the second most populous city in the United States would just up and leave. Families leaving everything behind with nothing but a backpack on their backs to leave home for safety. Others are staying behind to preserve what has and always been rightfully theirs. If there is any word to describe Ukraine or its people, it is “Courage”. Olena Zelenska, wife of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described the blitz of Russian missiles, especially the death of at least 71 children as genocide. We are no strangers to that. In 1932, Russia tried to eliminate Ukraine by hunger, a genocide called the Holodomor (forced famine), yet we survived, and we have courage because we refuse to let history repeat itself. We here today must have courage. We must no longer silently observe like we had for decades during the Russian regime where you cannot express your opinions and beliefs in peace, where the nation has turned into slaves. We must have courage and understand that Ukraine is not only protecting itself, but alsoEurope and the world’s shared values. We must have courage in our convictions to help in any way we can. So often we have seen the power of prayer. Our brothers and sisters in Ukraine need our help more than ever.”

 Fr. Michael T. Chendorain from St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church gave the ending prayer. Students from Assumption Catholic School then sang another hymn. Fr. Ivan Turyk then led the vigil singing “God Bless America” and then the Ukrainian National Anthem. “The glory and freedom of Ukraine has not yet perished”. This ended a beautiful evening of prayer.…

Donate to Humanitarian Aid Fund for Ukraine – Updated

March 7th Update:

The most needed supplies for Ukraine.
Dear Assumption Catholic Church and  School families,
We continue to support the people of Ukraine and pray that peace may return to the region. If you are looking to donate, our church and school are collecting these items and monetary donations for humanitarian aid.
We are ONLY going to be accepting items from this linked list.

All donations can be dropped off at the school during an office hours or in the church hall  for NEXT TWO WEEKS from 8 am – 8 pm.

For the monetary donation, you can write a check to Assumption Catholic Church, leave your donation at the school office or send it to our parish office at Assumption Church, 684 Alta Vista Pl, Perth Amboy, NJ 08861. All funds collected at the parish will be transferred to the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia’s Humanitarian Aid Fund.
God Protect Ukraine and God Bless the United States of America!

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The Metropolia of the Ukrainian Catholic Church that covers the territory of the United States invites you to make donations to the Humanitarian Aid Fund for Ukraine. This can be done as follows:

Write a check to the “Ukrainian Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia” and send it to the office at 810 North Franklin Street, Philadelphia PA 19123. Please write on the check “Humanitarian Aid Fund for Ukraine”;

You can also write a check to Assumption Catholic Church, leave your donation in the parish basket, drop it off at our parish office at  684 Alta Vista Pl, Perth Amboy, NJ 08861. All funds collected at the parish will be transferred to the Philadelphia Metropolia.

You can donate on the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s website www.ukrarcheparchy.us, and click on Donate through PAYPAL and select  “WAR VICTIMS AND HUMANITARIAN CRISIS IN UKRAINE”;

Encourage local financial and other institutions to make contributions.

There are no small or large donations. But your donation can change someone’s life for the better. The Lord God will repay the happy donor a hundredfold. Pray for the people of the war victims! May the Lord bless you and our brothers and sisters in Ukraine!

Most Reverend Borys Gudziak
Archbishop of Philadelphia for Ukrainians
Metropolitan of Ukrainian Catholics in the United States

Most Rev. Andriy Rabiy…

Sviachene – Easter Dinner

We are happy to announce  that our annual Parish Easter Dinner/Sviachene  will be held  in the school hall on Sunday, May 1st, 20202 following a 10:00 AM Divine Liturgy. As in the past, only one liturgy will be held that Sunday. The dinner will consist of traditional Easter food, such as ham, kobasa, eggs, paska, cold salads, beets with horseradish, etc. 

Tickets for the Sviachene will be available soon following Saturday evening liturgy, during Coffee Hour and after the 11:30 a.m. Sunday Liturgy  or at the rectory during office hours. Please purchase your tickets in advance! The cost is minimal, $10 per adult, children under 12 free, $5  for children age 12 to 18. Join us for this traditional event, the first big event after pandemic!  

Metropolitan-Archbishop Borys Gudziak Visit

On Sunday, November 28, 2021, Metropolitan-Archbishop visited the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Perth Amboy.
Rev. Ivan Turyk, Deacon Paul Makar snd parish trustees welcomed the archbishop to the parish at the door of the church. Two children welcomed Metropolitan Archbishop Borys Gudziak with bread (on traditional Ukrainiancloth), salt, and flowers. This long-standing Ukrainian tradition symbolizes eternity (bread) and hospitality (salt). Pastor of theUkrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Rev. Ivan Turyk presented the archbishop with a cross.
Archbishop Borys Gudziak, Rev. Ivan Turyk, celebrated the divine liturgy with the assistance of Deacon Paul Makar, Deacon Volodymyr Radko, and several altar boys. In attendance at the service were over 55 nuns including Mother Mary of the Immaculate Conception Ambriogio, Provincial Superior of the Sisters Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara SSVM and Sister Veronica who will begin their ministry at the parish. Members of the parish welcomed the archbishop and the visiting sisters. The sisters come from all over the world to join their order. They are Latin Rite and wear blue and grey. These two different colors signify Jesus as both divine (blue) and his humanity (grey). Sister Veronica and Sister Maria wear the black habits because they belong to Byzantine Rite branch of the order.
Archbishop Borys’s sermon was on the day’s gospel Lk 13:10-17 which is about a woman who had been humped over for 18 years. The woman entered the synagogue and Jesus called her over to him and he healed her. This made the synagogue leaderjealous, so he complained because Jesus healed on the Sabbath. Jesus calls him a hypocrite stating that the woman has a right to be healed after 18 years of being bound by her disfigurement.
The archbishop stated, “The American slang would be, “Give me a break!” He continued, “All of our prayers, abstinence, self-denial, sacrifice – love of God and love of your neighbor. Religion comes from the Roman (Latin) word ligare – to join(reconnect). Jesus wants our heart. He gives us the love of God. Jesus is saying, “Give me a break! You tell me about rules of the Sabbath. The woman has been in pain for 18 years.” Rules keep order the community. But if the rules get in the way, sometimes the rules need to be suspended. Rules are our comfort zone. Our Lord is not negating the law. There is one fundamental criteria – love. Love is always for others. You can’t love all by yourself. God is a relationship. In God, there is love. Jesus is a relationship with the Father and the Holy Spirit. We are living in a time where we have all these rules – vestments, robes. There is true love – God is calling us to come back to Him – to love. There is no more radical counterculture movement in the 20th(and 21st) century when a woman becomes a nun. You have in your order more than fifty women when everything is crying money, power, sex – you are obedience, poverty, chastity. We pray for you, sisters. We have great trust in God and the community. We pray through your ministry in Perth Amboy that you have many vocations. We see something we only have by grace. Be armed with the word of God. The life of the church is only beginning. It is only 2,000 years old. The church is very young. The universe is billions of years old. Maybe around 20,000 years from now, people will talk of the early years of the primitive church. God bless you!”
At the end of the divine liturgy, Archbishop Borys blessed Sister Veronica a Superior of the convent in Perth Amboy, NJ and Sister Maria for the beginning of their ministry in Perth Amboy. The nuns in attendance sang the prayer, “Hail Mary,” in old Slovanic.
After the liturgy, there was a reception at Assumption Catholic School cafeteria prepared by parishioners and ladies from the Ukrainian National Women’s League of America ( UNWLA) branch 135. Assumption Catholic School Principal Mrs. Lissette Shumny and several school children presented ArchbishopBorys, Rev. Ivan Turyk, Mother Mary and Sister Veronica with flowers and a song.
After eating lunch, some of the sisters who attended the service got up on stage to sing. One spiritual hymn was, “Down by the Water Side We Meet,” while the postulates sang, “I Saw the Light.” It was a pleasant day for all.
Article written By: Katherine Massopust…