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…
At Assumption Church, our kids are considered just as much a part of the Church Family as are the adults. Remember what Jesus said? “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” Mark 10:14. Jesus makes it clear that He wants children to come to know Him, and that He considers it a grave offence for an adult to hinder this process.
Today, after children have partaken in the Holy Eucharist at the Children’s Liturgy, they left with our catechists Mrs. Nancy and Kenny Bialkowski, for their first Sunday Religious Class. Later this month, Sisters Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matara, Sister Maria Veronica and Sister Maria of the Cross-will join Religious Education team.
2021-2022 First Confession and Solemn Holy Communion classes are held every Sunday at the Assumption Catholic School building from 10 -11 am. Please plan to have your children join us! It’s going to be a great year! You can register your children by calling the church office at 732-826-0767
The Ukrainian-American community of Perth Amboy, NJ celebrated the 30th anniversary of Ukraine’s Independence on Tuesday, August 24, 2021 with a celebration of the Moleben to the Blessed Mother of God at the church, followed by a flag-raising ceremony. Many of the attendees were dressed in the traditional and colorfully embroidered Ukrainian blouses, shirts, and dresses. A group of children dressed in traditional Ukrainian costumes carried the Ukrainian national flag from the church and offered it to be raised and flown on the flag pole near the parish school. Choir “Boyan” members and parishioners sang the Ukrainian national anthem. As the ceremony concluded the crowd also sang “Bozhe Velyky Yedyny”, the spiritual anthem of Ukraine, which asks for God’s help in troubled times.
I am writing to share with you the great news that two religious sisters from Ukraine are arriving in the USA this fall and will be residing in our parish convent in Perth Amboy, NJ. Yesterday, I meet with sister Veronica and discussed her and sister Maria’s plans of arrival and ministry at our parish and school. Thanks to Bishop Hryhoriy Komar, an Auxiliary bishop of Sambir – Drohobych for his help with transportation, support and presence.
The two sisters are from the Servant of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará, SSVM, which is part of the Institute of the Incarnate Word. They belong to an Eastern branch of sisters that opened their mission in Ukraine in 1998. Both of them are experienced in working with youth, children, and young adults, and therefore, will be helping the parish and school in its catechesis efforts. I am also hoping that the religious presence of the energetic nuns at our school building will help boost the school’s enrollment and will help grow and mold our students into responsible, faithful adults.
Let’s prepare to give the sisters a warm American Welcome! Please make sure you keep them in your prayers that they may have a successful apostolate in our Assumption community and help many people come closer to the Lord through their service.
In commemoration of the holy prophet Elijah (July 20) who was taken into heaven on a fiery chariot, Fr. Ivan blessed parishioners cars at the conclusion of Sunday’s Liturgies.
Through the prayers of the Holy Prophet Elijah, may God and His angels protect and preserve all in your travels this summer. May the Lord keep the drivers and passenger in safety, as they strive glorify God through the use of their vehicles.
This is indeed a happy occasion for our parish community, school and for the children’s families. Even in the midst of the pandemic, our parish Catechists and Assumption Catholic School religion instructors were able to have in-person instruction for our communicants. That is quite a tribute to them, students and parents! One more example of what can be accomplished when everyone works together! Thank you for helping to prepare our children for the greatest gift they will ever receive. We can only hope and pray that their parents will provide the opportunities for their children to continue to receive the Holy Eucharist at weekly Liturgy (Mass).
“Bless me, Father, for I have sinned …” Today, our children were blessed to have their first Confessions heard and this Sunday they will be welcomed around the Eucharistic table for the first time. The girls will be dressed in white dresses and the boys in their Sunday best with their hair combed and shirts tucked in. The purity and innocence of the children will be on full display. Congratulation children and their parents. The day will truly be full of faith, hope and love.