Ukraine’s Independence Commemorated In Perth Amboy, NJ.

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.

Welcome to our New Religious Sisters.

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.

Foam party

Assumption youth cool down during a foam party, part of the ACS 21CCLC Summer Program and Camp. Children in kindergarten through eighth grade attended four weeks program filled with educational and fun activities. Thank you to everyone who participated!

Blessing of Vehicles at Assumption Church in Perth Amboy, NJ

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.

Celebrating First Solemn Holy Eucharist (Communion)

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).

First Penance ( Reconciliation)

“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.

Thank you for the first 10 years, Your Beatitude Sviatoslav.

Happy 10th Anniversary of the Enthronement as Father and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. In 2015, His Beatitude Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk visited our Parish and Assumption Catholic School in Perth Amboy, NJ. Thank your Beatitude for all that You do for our church worldwide. We are so blessed and honored to have a spiritual father like You.
Сердечно Вітаємо Вас, Блаженніший Святославе з 10-річчям введення Вас на престіл Глави
нашої Церкви. Ми дуже вдячні Богу і дуже радіємо, що ВИ БЛАЖЕННІШИЙ є у нас !!! Дякуємо за відвідування з пастирським візитом у 2015 році нашої Парафії і Української Католицької Школи Успіння Богородиці, м. Перт Амбой, Нью Джерсі, США.

Teaching young students about the Birth of Christ.

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.

Feed the Hungry in Our Community.

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

Tribute to my friend a brother priest.

Sometimes in life we get lucky, and whether layperson or priest, no matter, we get to meet someone special in whom we can see a glimpse of the living Lord. For me that person was Very Reverend Archpriest David F. Clooney, a dear friend, my spiritual father and a great priest. I first met with Fr. David almost twenty years ago at St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Washington DC, where he was the rector, mentoring young men as they worked toward the priesthood.
On a hot day in September, just as I arrived from Ukraine to study for the priesthood, Fr. David greeted three fearful students at the door of the seminary with a very strange greeting: “Huey, Dewey, and Louie welcome to America.” I don’t know what the two other students were thinking at that moment, but I thought to myself “Oh my God” this new rector of the seminary is giving me a new name that I don’t like and it scared the hell out of me. Funny, it took me a while to learn about the triplet cartoon characters that Father often referred to in his conversations and the sense of humor of “batya” – Ukrainian for “dad,” the name we seminarians gave him.
And what a great dad he was for all his American and Ukrainian students. Even when seminarians weren’t able to move forward with their studies, struggled and were not responding to the rigorous seminary academic program, he continued to love and support them. Fr. David had a depth of compassion and love that would keep him working with a student as long as he could to help the young man find his way in life, either in the priesthood like in my case or being a good lay Christian man. He supported and cared for us with sensitivity and warmth, with a sense of deep concern for our physical and spiritual well-being.
I’ll always remember his deep love for the Liturgy, fostering our growth in prayer and a love of study.
I’ll remember memorable rides to stores in his small white Volkswagen Passat, my first trip to the hospital after I broke my hand playing soccer and Father giving me a pomegranate to cheer me up on the way back home. What great memories.
After completing seminary and becoming a priest myself, I also observed firsthand what an extraordinary parish priest Fr. David was and how much he was respected among his parishioners and brother priests. In my estimation, he was a deeply spiritual man, a very holy man, a very prayerful man, and he loved being a priest.
As Fr. David’s strength and energy diminished over these past few years of sickness, he remained a presence of humility and gentleness. He was not afraid of death. He continued to draw strength from the Lord whom he served so generously and well for all his life and the words of Jesus “I am the Resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me will live.”
I’m saddened by your death my good friend David, but I am grateful for that one day you touched my life by greeting me “Huey, Dewey, and Louie welcome to America.” You have done your best to make me feel very welcomed and at home in America. Thank You.
In English, the language that you taught me, when we say goodbye it seems so final. Today I don’t say goodbye to you in English, I say to you in my native Ukrainian ‘Dopobachennia,” which means ‘until we meet again.’
‘Dopobachennia,’ good friend Fr. David, until we meet again on the other side.