Lenten Spiritual Journey to Christ’s Passion and Resurrection

The first gathering of the catechetical program Generations of Faith was held on Sunday, April 3, 2011 at Assumption Ukrainian Catholic Church in Perth Amboy, N.J. The day began with one Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am sung by the Boyan Choir under the direction of Mrs. Alla Korostil in Ukrainian and parts in English sung by the congregation.

After the Divine Liturgy, on  a crisp, sunny Sunday afternoon when parishioners could have enjoyed many different outings, over 100 adults and 28 children and teenagers gathered in the school auditorium for the first presentation of the parish catechetical program, Generations of Faith. The tables were beautifully decorated in Lenten deep purple with fresh potted plants of purple and white pansies all donated and prepared by Olga Yurechko.

Father Ivan Turyk welcomed all present then blessed the luncheon foods for all to share that were  coordinated by Eleanor Kataryniak and Wasyl Kiczula and borscht prepared by Marika Huna. Father Ivan invoked a prayer to the Holy Spirit to guide and inspire all present. After lunch, the two speakers from the parish, Mrs. Helen Cheloc in English and  Mr. Andrew Wowk  in Ukrainian began the presentation “Lent – Commission/Omission” In order to keep some of the children under 5 occupied during the presentation,  Joan Zaleski had graciously provided Lenten Coloring Books and crayons for them.

Following the presentation, three groups left the gathering to assemble in their own groups. The children, ages 4 to 7 were taken by Sister Maria Kelly, MSMG; the second group, ages 8 to 12 was led by Sister Yosaphata Litvenczuk, MSMG; and the third group, 13-17 was led by Mr. Anton Massopust.  Meanwhile; each table was assigned a facilitator, accordingly in English or Ukrainian. The facilitator was given a set of questions that were to serve as guides for discussion. The discussions about Lent and spiritual life sparked active participation by all.  Following the discussion, each facilitator presented a few observations and comments as to the discussion at  his or her respective table. The students then returned to the auditorium to present their discussion with first the teenagers, followed by the intermediate group and finally the youngest members who brought a smile to every attendee’s face with their animated song.

The day had been planned for  weeks by a dedicated and enthusiastic committee that included, Father Ivan Turyk, Deacon Paul Makar, Sister Yosaphata, MSMG Sister Maria, MSMG, Maria Alvarez, Glenys Bilohowski, Robert and Helen Cheloc, Tom Dochych, Melanie Fedynyshyn, Ronald and Ana Mascenik, Anton and Marcella Massopust, and Joan Zaleski.

To further promote the evangelization in the parish, each participant was given a folder with printed material, generously provided by John Baginsky, as well as a special crucifix and a prayer card with the prayer of St. Ephrem. Those present were asked to recite the prayer as a family once a week at a specified time, continuing the theme of spiritual growth of the family and of the parish family. Attendees were also asked to share the printed material about the Eastern Church with their other family or friends.

The first Generation of Faith program brought together parishioners of all ages to learn, to share and to grow spiritually by gaining a deeper understanding of the Lenten Journey that leads to the Glorious Resurrection of Christ, the center of our faith.

PS: more pictures from the program are in the Image Category