Congratulation to 30 youngsters, who have come to the Divine Liturgy this Sunday morning to receive Jesus’ body and blood in their lives in a very special way. As your Pastor, I am very proud of you for studying and learning about Jesus to prepare for this day and that you have said yes to Jesus’ sacramental grace and love. Thanks to Sr. Veronica, Sr. Trijtsi, Sr. Svitanku for preparing parish children and Mrs. Kukuruza, 2nd grade teacher for preparing ACS school students for this joyful day. May God bless you always.
The ambulance for Ukraine
It’s been over a year since Russia invaded Ukraine, and the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in Perth Amboy, NJ of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, has all this time been trying to help those who are wounded, bleeding and injured by Russian bombs and bullets.
A few months ago, after making a report to the parish about an ambulance purchased in March, Fr. Ivan Turyk was approached by parishioners Bohdan and Halyna Jasinski (Medical Career Institute, NY) who offered a donation of $15,000 to purchase another ambulance. The vehicle was purchased in Italy by the their charitable donation and recently handed over to the Ukrainian Military Brigade A4576.
The ambulance is already being used in the front lines, transporting wounded to the military hospital in Dnipro and saving the lives of those who are giving their all to save the lives behind them.
The purchase of the ambulance was a collaborative effort of people from three countries – the USA, Italy and Ukraine. We are very grateful to Bishop Hryhoriy Komar, Auxiliary Bishop of Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy in Ukraine, for the logistics of the process and for providing a driver. We are especially thankful to Fr. Vasyl Verbitskyy from Ferrara, Italy for the actual purchase and a smooth transfer of the vehicle from Italy to Ukraine.
Thanks to all volunteers in Italy and in Ukraine who packed the ambulance with medical supplies and additional critical equipment before it was sent to the front line. The recently purchased ambulance is literally a lifeline for many defenders of Ukraine.
Thank you all, for your solidarity, and may God bless you and your families for standing up with Ukraine.
Women’s Evening of Prayer
By: Katherine Massopust
PERTH AMBOY – On Tuesdays in May, the Moleben to the Most Blessed Mother of God is celebrated at the Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Assumption. The Moleben is a devotion to Mary. On one Tuesday in May, it has become a modern tradition to invite members from other local churches and parishes to attend the Moleben and celebrate the devotion to Mary together at The Women’s Evening of Prayer. This event was put on hiatus for three years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This year the event resumed on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, and over 100 people attended the service.
The Sister Servants of the Lord and Virgin of Matara, Perth Amboy, NJ sang the Opening Hymn, “Immaculate Mary,” in Ukrainian. Very Rev. Ivan Turyk, Pastor of Assumption Parish led the Moleben service which was sung in both English and Ukrainian. The Gospel was Lk: 1,39-49.56: which is when Mary visited her cousin, Elizabeth.
Rev. Ivan Turyk introduced The Rev. Archpriest Michael Hutsko, Pastor of Saints Peter and Paul Church, Mount Carmel, PA and Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, Centralia, PA. Archpriest Hutsko drove three hours to get to Perth Amboy.
Archpriest Hutsko gave the Homily titled: “Mary: Mother, Intercessor, Protector.”
“This morning, I saw the post on Facebook, and I saw the picture of me as a young man and wondered how many people would expect to see a young man and see an older priest. When I came here and saw all the Jersey plates, I realized (like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz) “I’m not in Kansas anymore.” When I was asked to give the homily, the threefold role of Mary: the devotion states: Mother of Our Christ God; Mother of Eternal Love; Mother of Divine Grace; Immaculately Conceived… All the challenges we face in our daily lives – every one of us here this evening is one of these things or more – the human condition. Mary was entrusted to the Apostle John (when Jesus was on the cross). Mary is portrayed in prayer. I can remit three instances:
1.) The Feast of Protection of the Mother of God: On October 1, every year since the year 911, when our church first celebrated the Feast of Protection of the Mother of God. The people of Constantinople gathered in church and prayed to the Blessed Mother to protect them and their city. The church had a relic of Mary in it. Mary appeared in the center of the church with her arms open. She took her veil off and spread I her arms symbolizing to the people that she was an intercessor protecting them. The city was saved. The heavenly protection of Mary is in all of our hearts.
2.) St. Sophia’s Church: In the Capital City of Ukraine, Kyiv, in the Church of St. Sophia, there are frescos, icons, of Jesus, the apostles, saints throughout the ages. Behind the altar, there is a mosaic of the Most Holy Mother of God. As you gaze at her, you can see her motherly care of her hands extended. She is the intercessor on our behalf for the safety of her people. The mosaic is known as the Indestructible Wall. The belief is as long as that wall stands, Ukraine will never be defeated by its enemies. Ever since this was known, enemies have tried to damage the wall. During the (Communist) Revolution, there was an attempt to shoot that wall – the bullets bounced off that wall. She is the wall who protects us against the devil himself. She is the indestructible agent of the power of God. As we pray, our prayers will be answered. She will pray for us as our protector. Hundreds of thousands of people prayed the rosary and prayed for the corrupt (communist) government to be overthrown – and it was.
3.) Mystery Solved: Archpriest Hutsko explained that the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Centralia PA is built in a mining town. In 1962 there was an underground mine fire. Forty years ago (1983 – years after the residents were evacuated and money was allotted for the residents to relocate), we were asked by the government if the church should stay or leave. Archbishop Sulyk spoke with the people and asked them what they thought. He prayed to Mary. He said to drill some holes by the church. There was no coal found underneath the church. They said the church stands on solid rock. Hutsko stated this blue domed church stands on top of a mountain and the presence of God is here. Bells ring during the liturgy which calls all the people here to come worship and pray. A stone wall surrounds the property. In 2015 Patriarch Sviatoslav came for a visit. We went to church and prayed. He saw the icon of Our Lady (icon of the Mother of God of Pochaiv). We had found it in the closet and put it on an altar for veneration. Patriarch Sviatoslav saw the icon and stated that the church must become a place for prayer and pilgrimage to pray before this icon. I wondered why. Mystery Solved – I was reading the book: At the Foot of the Cross: Lessons from Ukraine an Interview with Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk. In the book, Archbishop Sviatoslav states: “I was thirteen years old. I visited the monastery in Pochaiv on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. Because of the feast, the miraculous icon of eh Mother of God of Pochaiv was brought down and people were allowed to come venerate it. I was waiting to see the icon and I was praying. I was praying, “Mother of God, I want to be a priest. I know it is impossible; I know that everybody will say that I’m crazy. But for you, nothing is impossible. I approached the icon and kissed it.”” – Mystery Solved! The icon is still on display in the Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Mary. It is funny how God works. Mary has so many names and is revered in many ways. The best way to refer to her is as the God-bearer. We are all called to be God-bearers – not as she did but carrying her in heart and sorrow. The sovereign redeemer – His will and all called to God – will bring Christ and the word of the divine.”
Two hymns were sung by all: “Always Protect Us,” in both Ukrainian and English, and Immaculate Mary in English. Fr Ivan said, “Mary was a doer. She always listens, always intercedes on behalf of us. She is the Holy Theotokos.” He thanked Archpriest Hutsko for coming despite the long trip and giving the homily. He thanked The St. Ann’s Society and President Melanie Fedynyshyn, for coordinating the event and providing refreshments. He also thanked parishioner John Baginsky for making the program.
At the reception under the church, President of the St. Ann’s Society Melanie Fedynychyn spoke, “I sent letters to 19 different parishes.” There were participants from Ukrainian Assumption Church, St. John Paul II Parish, Most Holy Name of Jesus Parish, St. James Church (Woodbridge), and other churches.
Mrs. Fedynychyn spoke how Ukrainian Assumption Church was founded over 100 years ago in 1908 on Wayne Street, Perth Amboy when the grandparents of many of today’s parishioners were teenagers and immigrated from Ukraine. She explained that every local catholic church had an organization for women and for girls (sodalities). “Once a year in May, the Blessed Mother was crowned in Waters Stadium. The bleachers on both the home and visiting side were packed. I had to walk from my home on Kennedy Street because it was so overcrowded. But, little by little there were less and less sodalities, so around ten years ago, I thought that all the women in the catholic community could gather together for the Moleben. We celebrate the Moleben every Tuesday in May, and you are welcome to come.”
The evening ended with refreshments and fellowship with all the participants.
Sviachene Easter Dinner
The Annual Easter dinner at Assumption Parish in Perth Amboy, NJ started right after the Divine Liturgy in our school hall. Tables covered with festive colors were filled with over two hundred people enjoying a delicious dinner and fellowship. A sincere thank you to the kitchen volunteers for preparing the delicious Sviachene meal and to our parish Sisters for a very entertaining music program. Homemade desserts were also available, so many participants could indulge in the sweets they gave up for Lent.
My Lord and my God
The crowds of faithful this year for both Easter Services at Assumption Church in Perth Amboy, NJ were exceptional. All our services were beautiful, inspiring and uplifting. Either last or this Sunday, you come to our church on Easter morning and encounter hundreds of believers, so many of them celebrating their first Easter in America. People were standing in the vestibule and spilling out into the church sidwalk, all here because they needed to say on the most joyful day of our calendar, “I believe.”
Assumption Parish purchased an ambulance for Ukraine
In response to the tragic humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary parish in Perth Amboy, NJ of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia recently purchased an ambulance to help save the lives of Ukrainians. With the assistance of Bishop Hryhoriy Komar, Auxiliary Bishop of Sambir-Drohobych Eparchy in Ukraine, an ambulance has been purchased in Italy with the donation from the Medical Career Institute, NY and proceeds from the New Year’s Dance (Zabava) fundraiser that took place in the parish on December 31, 2022. An ambulance for Ukraine as it defends itself against Russia’s invasion was purchased for 13,000 euros ($14,500) and was delivered to the city of Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine for the A7015 Tank Brigade. God Bless America and God Protect Ukraine!
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.