Over 60 youth, young adult leaders, volunteers, and clergy from the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma and beyond gathered together on December 8-10, 2017 at Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School and St. Ann Catholic Church in Charlotte, North Carolina for the Emmanuel Youth Rally that was held in the city for the first time. The theme of the rally was “God with Us” and was centered on the preparation for the celebration of the feast of the Nativity of our Lord.

The youth event was organized and attended by most of the Eparchial Youth Committee members under the leadership of Fr. Lubomyr Zhybak, the committee’s director and pastor of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Youngstown, OH and St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church in Austintown, OH; Fr. Joseph Matlak, co-director of the committee, administrator of St. Basil the Great Ukrainian Catholic Mission in Charlotte, NC, and coordinator of the rally as well as the following committee members: Deacon Myron Spak of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie, PA; Subdeacon Joseph Zappernick of St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Parma, OH; Mr. Joseph Levy of St. John’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Pittsburgh, PA; Mr. Michael Levy of St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Parma, OH; and Mr. Nathaniel Lischak and Alex Lischak of St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church in Austintown, OH. Fr. Matthew Schroeder, pastor of Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church in Garner, NC was likewise able to participate in the rally on December 9.

On Saturday, December 9 – the solemn feast of the Maternity of St. Anne – Fr. Lubomyr Zhybak presided over the Divine Liturgy at St. Anne Catholic Church and he was aided at the altar by Deacon Matthew Hanes of St. Basil the Great Ukrainian Catholic Mission in Charlotte, NC and Deacon Myron Spak. On Sunday, December 10, the committee members visited the community of St. Basil Ukrainian Catholic Mission in Charlotte, having participated in the Divine Liturgy, presided over by Fr. Joseph Matlak and concelebrated by Deacon Matthew Hanes and Deacon Myron Spak.

In addition to the Eucharistic celebration, fun and engaging presentations and games as well as the food, the rally participants had an opportunity to partake in the Holy Mystery of Reconciliation made available by Fr. Joseph Matlak, Fr. Matthew Schroeder, and Fr. Lubomyr Zhybak. The Emmanuel Youth Rally was a wonderful, prayerful, and engaging event for the youth of the eparchy and beyond and it provided an opportunity for the youth as well as adults to experience the presence of the Lord in their lives in the spirit of the Ukrainian Catholic faith and fellowship.

stjosaphateparchy.com


Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Pentecost

Blessed are You, O Christ our God, * Who has shown the fishermen to be all wise, * by sending down to them the Holy Spirit, * and through them You have caught the whole world in Your net. * O Lover of Mankind, glory to You. (Troparion - Tone 8)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

When the Most High descended, confusing tongues, * He divided the nations; * but when He distributed the tongues of fire, * He called all to unity; * and, with one voice, * we glorify the Most Holy Spirit. (Kontakion - Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom." (Proverbs 11:2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

No one has to be embarrassed over his sinful state. ‘There is no man who, while living, does not sin,’ and the more sinful the man, the stronger will be God’s help in leading him out of his sinful mire. But the help of God comes only when the sinner repents with heartfelt contrition and has the will to reform. Not seeing in himself enough strength of soul to break away from sinful deeds, he asks for God’s help. This is where the mercy of God, Who does not wish the death of the sinner but wants him to be converted and live, is often evident.… If the voice of conscience awakens in us a feeling of remorse or repentance, then we must pray fervently to the Guardian Angel of our human existence that he may keep us from corrupt downfalls and help us ‘serve God with fear and trembling.’

Elder Macarius of Optina