www.byzcath.org
Posted By: Yuhannon Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/05/08 01:40 AM
Shlomo Lkhoolkhoon,

I have created this thread since we were getting off subject on the other one.

First, I have never said that people who come into our Churches should not learn the liturgical languages, but I do say that if a foreign language is not necessary for liturgy then we need to be open to new members. Below is a posting of a friend on a Melkite site that I am on, and his words hit me very powerfully, since he just posted them today and we have been talking about it.

This quote is in response to a query about who is going to the Melkite Convention this year.

I went to the last two. Since I come from a small community that is far removed from any other parish, I was a complete total stranger. The first time - in Birmingham, AL - wasn�t so bad. The Melkite community was small there, and everyone mingled pretty well.

The second time (last year) - in Boca Raton, FL - wasn�t much fun at all. It was obviously far more of a social gathering for Arabic Melkites (which I�m not) than a conference, so everyone was fairly clannish. That meant they stuck with friends and family, and poor little ol� Southern white boy me was the odd one out.

I ended up leaving a day early.

I may try again when it comes to NJ, I may not. It was a disappointing experience.

For me, it certainly doesn�t help because of the large number of people there who have a lot in common, as opposed to me, who doesn�t.


To me it comes down to we should treat others as we want to be treated. Further, we have to be open to converts and most ethnic parishes by definition are not.

To quote Anthony Dragani (whom I would like to thank for letting me use his guide):

The tendency of Eastern Christian Churches to minister exclusively to one ethnic group, failing to "make disciples of all nations" directly contradicts the will of Christ. Christ's Church is to be universal, spreading the Gospel to all persons of every racial and ethnic background. In as much as we neglect evangelization, we fail to be Christ's Church.

Lastly, (again quoting Anthony) <s>tudies show that the typical congregation will lose 6% to 10% of its membership annually (Robert Bast, Attracting New Members (Monrovia, CA; Church Growth Press, 1990, pg. 11). This loss is attributed to parishioners dying, relocating, and dropping out. For a parish to thrive, it must annually replace these lost members - or face eventual extinction.

There is a prevalent false assumption in how these lost members are to be replaced. Most Eastern Catholic parishes wrongly assume that their children will take their place. The sad truth is that most of the children raised in our parishes will not be there as adults. In our transient societies, most of these children will either move away or join other Churches. Very often less than 10% of the children found in a parish will remain there to adulthood (Bast, pg 12)


A perfect example of this is St. John's Byzantine Catholic Church in Minneapolis. That Church will be dead in less than 20 years without new members. There are not a lot of Rusyns immigrating to Minnesota. And for those who live in Minneapolis they can tell you that both St. Maron's and St. John's were in the same boat 20 years ago, but the priests and parishioners of St. Maron's have made a concerted effort to expand our membership.

None of this is to say that ethnic Liturgies do not have there place. But to have a parish do them to the exclusion of any outsiders goes against our mission as Christ's Church.

Poosh BaShlomo Lkhoolkhoon,
Yuhannon
Posted By: Halia12 Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/05/08 02:02 AM
Quote
Lastly, (again quoting Anthony) <s>tudies show that the typical congregation will lose 6% to 10% of its membership annually (Robert Bast, Attracting New Members (Monrovia, CA; Church Growth Press, 1990, pg. 11). This loss is attributed to parishioners dying, relocating, and dropping out. For a parish to thrive, it must annually replace these lost members - or face eventual extinction.

I would like to see the book to see how the study was conducted. For example, how many thousands in the sample base, class, race, ethnicity and economic variety reflective of the population as a whole and so forth.
Posted By: Yuhannon Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/05/08 02:42 AM
Originally Posted by Halia12
Quote
Lastly, (again quoting Anthony) <s>tudies show that the typical congregation will lose 6% to 10% of its membership annually (Robert Bast, Attracting New Members (Monrovia, CA; Church Growth Press, 1990, pg. 11). This loss is attributed to parishioners dying, relocating, and dropping out. For a parish to thrive, it must annually replace these lost members - or face eventual extinction.

I would like to see the book to see how the study was conducted. For example, how many thousands in the sample base, class, race, ethnicity and economic variety reflective of the population as a whole and so forth.

Shlomo Halia,

That is why I did give the book's name and publishing house. It was well researched, and if I remember right, Anthony used it when he was getting his MA.

Poosh BaShlomo,
Yuhannon
Posted By: Lawrence Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/05/08 02:38 PM

The three closest Eastern churches to where I live are all Orthodox. Two are Greek Orthodox and the third one is an OCA church which strongly emphasizes the need to move beyond ethnic boundaries. After 24 years the OCA congregation is still very small, while the two ethnic churches are packed on Sundays.

I firmly believe the only way the UGCC will survive in America is if the targeted mission field is fallen away EC's.These are the people that won't need things explained to them, and nothing will have to be jettisoned to make them feel at home. And they didn't all move 100 miles away from the nearest UGCC parish either. I've met numerous RC's who have come back to be active after being away for 20 or 30 years, so people shouldn't right off lapsed EC's.

I was able to easily fit into an ethnic parish without needing to be pandered to. It's actually not that hard. A couple mentions of Khmelnytsky, Zaporozhian Kozaks and Symon Petliura and I passed the test and was accepted.
Posted By: Converted Viking Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/06/08 01:28 AM
Originally Posted by Lawrence
Lawrence:

I firmly believe the only way the UGCC will survive in America is if the targeted mission field is fallen away EC's.These are the people that won't need things explained to them, and nothing will have to be jettisoned to make them feel at home. And they didn't all move 100 miles away from the nearest UGCC parish either. I've met numerous RC's who have come back to be active after being away for 20 or 30 years, so people shouldn't right off lapsed EC's.

I was able to easily fit into an ethnic parish without needing to be pandered to. It's actually not that hard. A couple mentions of Khmelnytsky, Zaporozhian Kozaks and Symon Petliura and I passed the test and was accepted.

I really find your tone here offensive. I am in the process of changing rites and I can tell you that it isn't the easiest or most comfortable thing to do. There is much to learn and I can tell you that a little hand holding<pandered to> goes a long way in helping one along the way in making the change. Also for your information, I don't expect or want my Church to jettison anything. To say we should only concentrate on fallen way EC is denying those who are unchurched a home and it is denying that there are many of us who are Western Catholics who find that the Eastern Churches truly fill a spiritual void that we are not able to address in our original Church. Well at least for me.

In Christ:
Converted Viking
Posted By: Mykhayl Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/06/08 05:04 AM
C^BA ICYCY XPUCTY!

Why would anyone think just because we are discussing the one true church either Lawrence or Converted Viking must be wrong? A club may consist of a singular circle but a parish should not. Both of you are correct, but I possess the real answer. If you get �offended� with other�s views, I�ll just keep mine to myself.
Posted By: Converted Viking Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/06/08 10:55 AM
Originally Posted by Mykhayl
C^BA ICYCY XPUCTY!

Why would anyone think just because we are discussing the one true church either Lawrence or Converted Viking must be wrong? A club may consist of a singular circle but a parish should not. Both of you are correct, but I possess the real answer. If you get �offended� with other�s views, I�ll just keep mine to myself.

Mykhayl:

I am somewhat dense forgive me? What are you saying here? Are you saying that Lawrences views are not uncharitable? I don't think there is any charity in his view. The Byzantine Churches are not going to be around for much longer if they continue to be ethnic clubs. I apologize to everyone here on this board if I have upset them by my remarks but I stand by them. The Church is not a good old boys club.

Converted Viking
Posted By: AMM Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/06/08 12:20 PM
It's always difficult to pin down exactly what an ethnic church is. Does it mean maintaining a distinct national identity or set of customs? Is it the food? Is it the liturgy being in a language other than English? Some combination of the above? I think there's nothing wrong with a church being "ethnic", because every church has to be rooted in some culture. Every parish should also be geared to serve the community it sits in.

That said I think we mean ethnic to mean a distinct European (Eastern and/or Southern) culture tied to the Eastern Christian churches that were the points of origin for the ones here. In one sense these churches will always be ethnic, because they will probably always be outside the socio-religious norm of North America. Even if the language used is English. The problem with the ethnic idea is really that it relegates Eastern Christian churches to be niche players, whether that niche is serving recent immigrants, the 2nd or 3rd generations, or those that have fallen away.
Posted By: JonnNightwatcher Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/06/08 02:04 PM
there is nothing wrong with a parish honoring its ethnic heritage. what is wrong is when a parish closes in on itself to the unspoken exclusion of people different than themselves. this is why parishes, churches, whatever, shrink and die.
Much Love,
Jonn
Posted By: Byzantine TX Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/06/08 02:09 PM
Originally Posted by JonnNightwatcher
there is nothing wrong with a parish honoring its ethnic heritage. what is wrong is when a parish closes in on itself to the unspoken exclusion of people different than themselves. this is why parishes, churches, whatever, shrink and die.
Much Love,
Jonn

To quote Servant of God Fulton Sheen, "A Catholic who does not strive to spread his Faith is a parasite on the life of the Church."
Posted By: Mykhayl Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/06/08 02:42 PM
C^BA ICYCY XPUCTY! (Praise the Lord!)

Dear Converted Viking,

What was uncharitable, specifically? Lawrence was giving his view of a specific situation as he found it, how he coped and how he thought it could be improve. He did not say other options were not valid, just his talents (interests) could best serve in this fashion. His profile states he is from around Chicago so I have an idea of the surrounding mindset he is dealing with. You on the other hand give me no clue of where you are coming from. You may have one church in a hundred miles while the three parishes he is speaking of could be in walking distance from each other. You may not have the same advantages he does. He told us his realities of life. He told us his game plan that can work in his area. You may not have the same options to deal with in yours. He is most probably not dealing with the same people you are. Do you not think the church need different groups to deal with different issues even in the same parish? He didn�t say if we don�t play the game his way he would take his ball and go home. (Matt 7:3). Personally I prefer reality TV to a SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE Church Lady skits. Both deserve Emmys.
Posted By: Lawrence Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/06/08 02:55 PM

I never suggested EC Churches should be EXCLUSIVE ethnic clubs, and there is no excuse for rudeness to visitors, but like it or not, the EC Churches are ethnic. You begin eliminating that because it has no appeal for non-Ukrainians, non-Ruthenians, non-Lebanese, etc, and you will lose alot more people than you could possibly hope to attract.
Posted By: Converted Viking Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/06/08 10:45 PM
Dear Lawrence and Mykhayl,

The post came across to me in a bad way due to the fact that I am not of any of the ethnic stock that one finds in the Eastern Rite Churches. Also, I am in Raleigh, NC. That being said the Church that I am a member of<St Nicholas UGCC>is made up of of a mixed bag of folks. I wonder how large of an ethnic population we have down here in the South? Rather small I bet. What I am trying to say is that in order for us to grow we have to forget about where folks come from. We shouldn't change anything,what is the point of becoming an Eastern Catholic if we do that. So if folks want to become Eastern Catholics then they need to accept the Church as it is. I just don't want to see us take on a siege mentality and exclude those who should be in our Church.

Lawrence. Please accept my apology for going off. I tend to be over sensitive about certain issues and this process I am going through is a big deal for me. Please forgive me. It took my family years to finally understand that my being outside of the Byzantine Rite was killing me spiritually and that they had to let go.

In Christ:
Converted Viking
Posted By: Lawrence Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/06/08 11:32 PM

No offense taken at all CV, and I hope you'll have no problem fitting in at the UGCC parish you attend.

At the UGCC parish I attend, Ukrainians and a few Ruthenians, make up by far the biggest group, followed by non-Ukrainians who are there by marriage, and a sprinkling of Traditional Latins like myself, who come for the reverence. For me, fitting in was actually easy, because I grew up in the same neighborhood where the parish was originally located, so as soon as we broke the ice we had alot to talk about. At least 3 guys I regularly talk with during coffee hour, graduated from the same grammar school as me, and another elderly man's son once threatened to beat me up in High School. We laugh about that though.

Posted By: dochawk Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/06/08 11:43 PM
If our parish were purely ethnic,

1) I wouldn't be there,
2) The rest of the folks teaching ECF wouldn't be there (Every last one is actually RC, although several of us will be changing rite en masse,
3) Our Melchites wouldn't be there,
4) Our Orthodox members wouldn't be there,
5) Probably 2/3 of the church wouldn't be there,
6) We, err, they wouldn't be at risk of running out of pews if a few more families join . . .

Our RC members aren't even disaffected or tradionalists; we just kind of got gathered in . . .

hawk
Posted By: Job Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/07/08 01:19 PM
I think the question of "Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad?" Is a hard one to answer. If it is an older established church, the ethnic identity is important to those who built the parish with their blood, sweat and tears. They should not be discounted, and there should be an assimililation to allow openness to all. A newer parish (say outside of the NE corner of the USA) Should not be as ethnic since that is a newer parish and was started as an "American parish" probably not a group of people from the old country who built their own parish to accomidate being Greek Catholic in a Western Catholic world.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/07/08 02:51 PM
C.I.X.

Dear all,

This topic is a very sensitive one for me, especially with the UGCC. Coming from London, I saw at first hand the very ethnic parishes. Either the faithful were immigrants from the WW2 wave (and those were known to be the hardline 'patriarchalists'), or they were from the 'new fourth wave' (the recent immigrants). There were a few non-Ukrainians from intermarriages, but they were the exception.

Granted, the cathedral parish I attended is full to the rafters. For Pascha, we hadn't enough space, leaving the faithful to fill up the hall next door as well as the entire block around the church! The new immigrants are certainly bringing their faith with them, and they are helping the Church (at least in Europe) get back on its feet. It is a heavily weakened Church, more so than in the United States (it would seem to me). So, that is good!

However, when I came to the UGCC, I could not speak Ukrainian. My father was from Ukraine and part of the WW2 immigration, but not a 'hardliner'. So, unfortunately for me, he didn't bring me up in my Ukrainian heritage. Sure, we went to a few Ukrainian festivals here and there, but not nearly enough to 'Ukrainianise' me. My mother, being Portuguese, did differently. Therefore, today, I am culturally very Portuguese (and British, of course!). My allegiance to my Ukrainian side comes through the Church, although I try to learn as much as I can about all things Ukrainian for my own benefit.

Nonetheless, nothing could frustrate me more than a church closing itself upon itself. The anti-scriptural basis of this action is self-explanatory, and I need not say more.
There I was, at university, learning about the Christian East for the first time, and meeting Orthodox Christians (and a few Eastern Catholics) who took me to their Churches. So, there I was, hearing about the Orthodox faith in my own language. There were sermons, 'cathecheses', etc. I was falling in love, despite my legs hurting quite a bit from all the standing.

But, I had already known of certain 'Eastern Churches in communion with Rome!' I thought "My goodness, maybe I could check these out further!"
So I went, and...everything in Ukrainian. It was beautiful, and I loved the Liturgy. But I couldn't understand anything. Even the priests who served the parish church could not speak enough English to explain things to me.
So, I returned to my Orthodox friends, who happily took me on youth retreats, to churches, even to Orthodox countries where I could see, feel, hear, touch and smell Eastern Christianity. Granted, this brought foreign languages too (which I am not against, since I study them), but it was the fellowship and catechesis that drew me in.

I was in a heavy dilemma: do I become Eastern Catholic, and join an 'ethnic club', or do I enter the Orthodox Church, where I have been so welcomed and loved (in my own language!). Needless to say, my choice was not easy...and yet, it somehow seemed a little easier. There was something about the UGCC that drew me in. Somehow I felt a home there, not because of the language and ethnic traditions (beautiful though they were and are), but because of what the Church is per se.

I had known, since I was 16 years old, that I wanted to enter seminary. I'd heard of a 'Byzantine Catholic Church of America', and its wider breadth. They seemed to have, on the whole, surpassed the nationalistic barrier. However, for various complicated reasons, that didn't work out. Nor did the Melkites, for similar reasons. I'd heard how Eastern they were, etc.
So, I was encouraged to give the UGCC one more try, and was welcomed to try seminary by a wonderfully-open Eparchy (in comparison with my past experience).

Yet, the problems did not go away in the United States. Since arriving, I have had friends systematically driven away from the seminary, and thus from a vocation to the priesthood, by hard-line Ukrainians who thought that if they wanted to speak English 'they'd better go to the Vysantiyski (Byzantines...i.e. Ruthenians)'. And yet these people dare to stand in church and pray for vocations every Sunday. I have seen, and heard, of converts (esp. non-western...i.e. non-white) faithful driven away from our parish churches by an astonishing lack of charity and Christianity. These people will not return on principle, and ended up joining the Roman Catholic Church. When young people come our way to be evangelised, I've been told to 'send them to the Latins!' And then, there's me. I have been pushed, even by priests, to 'Ukrainianise' myself inside-and-out. One priest even said that I would not be able to read the signs to go to heaven when I die, because St. Peter would speak to me in Ukrainian to see how good of a Ukrainian Catholic I was. My attempted friendships with Ukrainians have consistently been thwarted, because they see in me an 'anti-Ukrainian' out to 'Americanise' the UGCC. How ridiculous a statement this is: how can I can anti-myself? Even a young lady I dated, who is Chinese-American and absolutely in love with the UGCC, was told that a condition for our getting married was that she learned Ukrainian. You should have seen some parishioners' faces when they found out I wasn't dating a Ukrainian girl!

Please, if there is anyone out there who has an answer to this, speak out! When are we going to learn? When are we going to read the true signs of the times? If the Latins and the Byzantine-Ruthenians can do it, why can't we be more open and inclusive?
Why do we have to exclude anyone, because of their race or language?
For my beloved Church (UGCC), a Church of martyrs and confessors for the faith: are we willing to become a Church exclusively for immigrants and hard-line Ukrainian-Americans? Or, are we to follow Christ and thus be Christian:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age." (Matthew 28:19-20)

Your servant in Christ,

Joseph.
Posted By: Roman Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/07/08 03:16 PM
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Joseph.

Your post left me wondering about the language requirements, if any, of the UGCC seminary in DC (either for admission or for graduation) and of the Philadelphia eparchy for ordination.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/07/08 03:27 PM
C.I.X.

As far as I know, there is no official requirement. We are exhorted to learn as much Ukrainian as we can, to be able to communicate with some of the immigrants who cannot speak English. All of us can sing the Liturgy in Ukrainian.
Some seminarians participate in the Ukrainian Summer Program at UCU in L'viv (one is going this year, two next year).
Having said this, some do not share the view that it should be an exhortation, but a requirement.
Posted By: Roman Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/07/08 06:02 PM
B.B.! (all 6 UGCC parishes here are old calendar)

Thanks for the reply, but I'm still somewhat perplexed. How is it that a "wonderfully-open Eparchy" that apparently doesn't require fluency in Ukrainian of its priests has a seminary that "systematically drive[s] away" candidates who aren't fluent?

What are the obstacles that are presented?
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/07/08 07:29 PM
X.B.! (I guess I'm still thinking ala Greg!)

Sorry for not being clearer. I am studying for the Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma. What I mean about 'wonderfully-open' can be best summed up by our mission statement, to be found on the eparchial website.
The seminary, as it is in Washington DC, belongs canonically to the Archeparchy of Philadelphia. When I said 'driven away', I did not mean by any of the seminary staff or the hierarchy, but rather by other individuals (cleric and/or lay). Our rector is an American, and is still learning Ukrainian. Our spiritual director is Ukrainian, but a really nice man.

It is not so much that those people aren't fluent, but that they aren't Ukrainian. So when my Italian friends mention their surnames, or when my Asian friends attend church, this hasn't usually gone down well (again, with certain individuals, who happen to be outspoken). Their experiences have led me to hear things like: "Well, I guess I should join the 'Byzantines', because I'm American and that would be the obvious choice."

I have had one or two friends who came to visit the seminary, and were put off because some of my Ukrainian brethren held public conversations in Ukrainian around them...despite the OFFICIAL house rule that English is to be spoken in public (particularly when we have guests).

Joseph.

P.S. I notice you're from Montreal. We have some lovely parishioners at the National Shrine of the Holy Family, originally from Montreal. They give me ample opportunity to practise my French! I hope very much to visit.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/07/08 07:31 PM
X.B.!

I noticed a little error in my message. When I said "Our spiritual director is Ukrainian, but a really nice man", I did not mean to say that Ukrainians are bad. Rather, I hoped to imply that he is an open Ukrainian Greek Catholic priest, welcoming of everybody!
Posted By: Mykhayl Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/07/08 08:06 PM
C^BA ICYCY XPUCTY!
Everyone has an opinion as everyone has a personal perspective. We need to know where you are coming from so we can understand how you are going to arrive. Here is Ecumenical 101: First off let us review East / West ideology. The East is suppose to get their direction organically from the grass roots up (Sunday of Orthodoxy). The West directs from the top guy down (Papal infallibility). East God is mystical in the West God is up close and personal. Being that I do not have personal ethnic experience beyond Central European (fold a map of Europe in half) let�s review an old adage I was taught. Rome leads through their respect of law. The Greeks embrace the allure of philosophy. The Save endear themselves to their love of beauty, no matter how they come by it (blessing Paschal foods). Rome translate Tradition as rubrical, Greeks translate Orthodox as true belief, the Slave translate Pravoslavnikh as true glory (we are as we pray). To quote (supposedly) Saint Augustine �In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, liberty; and in all things, charity.� (Who says you can�t give a sermon in 5 minutes?)

All parishes are ethnic, Presbyterians, Methodists and synagogues are ethnic too. English is only a common denominator in North America, it�s not law. Get a prayer book with an English translation; with or without the Liturgical language alongside depending if you want to go church shopping. It�s like buying a new gadget where the directions are written in Spanish also (or RC missal). Unless you are visually impaired, especially the Divine Liturgy is visually self explanatory if versed in it. It is not a follow along scripted bible class (that�s a different ethnic expression). Different people will embrace services differently at the same time. Someday you will even read the �secret� prayers with the priest, other days you will play �Name That Tune� with the cantor, and if you are really moved you will zone out in a mystical daydream from which you will return to reality refreshed and renewed, even if you can�t explain where you were. Remember you are only one of the chorus, cast or crew as there is only one in the audience; God. Or three; God, God�s Mama, and Saint Nicholas.

If a particular parish is too cosmopolitan for your ask where the next parish is. The further from a metropolitan center often the weaker the bounds to the motherland. Some parishes over a century old you will be served pie for coffee hour, sold jalape�o pyrohy as a fund raiser, pray all in English IF you don�t forget the secret password. In Rusyn-Ukrainian circles it is Slava Esusu Khrysty, and don�t expect to get away from staring every service during Easter with Khrystos Voskrece, during Christmas with Boh Predvychnyee and every requiem ending with Vychnay Pamyaet and wedding with Mnohiya lita. Oh and when they pray the rosary after Matins and before Liturgy don�t be surprised if they don�t use 3 Otche Nashs and 30 Bohorodytsya Devots during it. It�s not being ethnic to them, it�s their way of defending their version of Orthodoxy. By the way you may find the promoters of ethnic ways are the converts, they are proud of what they learned and you will use it. Every parish is suppose to be different (despite the clergy) and has its unique sets of checks and balances. Unfortunately it is when foreigners (from another North American community / town) come in to save them that they get wounded and dye. If it�s not broke DON�T fix it.
Posted By: Tim Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/07/08 09:17 PM
Byzantine Latino struck a chord with me.

I am a "transfer-of-canonical-jusirdiction" UGC who has worshipped in UGC parishes in North and South America as well as Europe, including Ukraine where I have lived and worked. I was part of the struggle to introduce English in my former UGC parish in the Midwest some years ago and witnessed the aftermath of the calendar/language split in the DC parish.

I recall my optimism, decades ago, when I discovered that one of the students at the UGC seminary was an African American. (Unfortunately, he did not continue to ordination.) But I also recall a phone conversation I had with a UGC hierarch many years later on the English-language issue, when I was told "We take care of our own." Fortunately, that attitude did not prevail within the UGCC in the US on the issue of English, but it is still reflected in the reluctance of the UGCC and, I believe, the BCC to consider themselves called, along with other Eastern and Western Churches, to "teach all nations."

In Ukraine, the UGCC seems to show some signs of an awareness of being called to bring Christ to other than ethnic Ukrainians. As one moves east of Kyiv, there are UGCC parishes where the language is Russian. When I lived in Kyiv, however, it was left to the Latins there to offer liturgies and homilies in the language spoken by the Russophone majority. And, in America, even when my midwestern parish, sitting at the edge of the 'barrio', was being served by UGC priests from South America, it never occurred to any of them that a Spanish Liturgy, or readings, or homily, might be a gesture of Christian welcome and friendship to our unchurched neighbors.

Even in BCC parishes, I see a tendency to emphasize the Slavic elements in the Church's tradition rather than efforts to express the essence of that tradition in ways that resonate with other cultures.

I have the greatest of respect for Ukrainian (and for Carpatho-Rusyn) tradition and culture, but the time has come for our Byzantine Churches in this hemisphere to accept the task of being a 'Light of Revelation' to the communities in which they are located, and indeed, to the entire country. If we really are the "other lung" we must breathe for everyone, and not just for "our own."
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/08/08 02:01 AM
C.I.X.

Originally Posted by Mykhayl
It's not being ethnic to them, it's their way of defending their version of Orthodoxy.

I remember speaking to a parishioner once at Pascha time who was saddened by the fact that the Liturgy was "half-na-piv" (half-and-half) and not completely without English. After speaking with the priest, he remarked that oftentimes those people who make such statements are not regular church goers, but come on special occasions in order to 'hear it in their own language'. This particular person, by the way, later went to the Latin parish for the Easter Vigil. There was no problem, it would seem, for the Latins to speak English as long as we don't do it. "What", I asked myself, "must be the difference between the Latins and us? Is it that we have distinct traditions (theological, liturgical, spiritual, canonical)? Or it is primarily the language (in which case we are simply 'Roman Catholics with a 'funny Mass')?

Originally Posted by Mykhayl
By the way you may find the promoters of ethnic ways are the converts, they are proud of what they learned and you will use it. Every parish is suppose to be different (despite the clergy) and has its unique sets of checks and balances.

Indeed, if you define 'ethnic ways' as being the important traditions that come part and parcel with the Church. Pyrohy and dances, wonderful though they be, are unfortunately not crucial to Eastern Christianity. Personally, I like them very much, but do not impose them upon others.
Every parish should be unique, while not being closed to new possibilities with every single person who makes up that parish. It has been precisely those people who are unwilling to humbly change their minds and hearts, both to Grace and to other people, that have caused extreme stagnation in parishes.

Originally Posted by Mykhayl
Unfortunately it is when foreigners (from another North American community / town) come in to save them that they get wounded and dye. If it's not broke DON&#146;T fix it.

I remember speaking with a young lady, aged 16, who came from a combined Ukrainian and Asian background. She, and her siblings, were in the process of leaving the UGCC for the local Latin parish. I took the time to ask her why she preferred the latter over the former, and her answers were informative. Other parishioners subsequently confirmed her view, and lamented to me: "Why aren't the young people coming to church any more?"

Indeed, this was a prime case of something that was broke and needed to be fixed!
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/08/08 02:22 AM
Originally Posted by Tim
I have the greatest of respect for Ukrainian (and for Carpatho-Rusyn) tradition and culture, but the time has come for our Byzantine Churches in this hemisphere to accept the task of being a 'Light of Revelation' to the communities in which they are located, and indeed, to the entire country. If we really are the "other lung" we must breathe for everyone, and not just for "our own."

Amen! Indeed, they are our mother Churches and should be loved as such. I hope that I could give an ounce of what the faithful from the old countries gave under persecution to the Church! Their sacrifice was not simply meant for their immediate children, but for Truth...and consequently for the whole world which is called to live the Truth! If the blood and tears they shed is to have the fullest possible meaning, then let us be truly catholic!
Posted By: Mykhayl Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/08/08 04:25 AM
C^BA ICYCY XPUCTY!

With all the glitches in what we call the Eastern Churches in America, the one perpetually fix-all is language? Those that do the pushing recognize it as an ethnic ornament not a defense of orthodoxy. While in a liturgical language (like Latin) the Liturgy (or mass) is less likely to be embellished with guitars or the like as an introduction of modernizations or Americanizations aka Latinizing our way. Counterreformation if you will, as the vernacular hasn�t protected orthodoxy among the US RCs. There seams to be more fuss into putting English into the Liturgy than the Liturgy into America. Is the Divine Liturgy an experience or only a study guide?

After 125 years of US translations there still is not an American standard. If the people are still cling to their �Svyatiy Bozhe� are you going to tare it from their hearts? If it doesn�t happen organically its not our way. Remember Nikon.

There is so much more that needs fixed first. Maintenance may not be exciting but it is better than tearing everything down so only egos remains.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/08/08 12:42 PM
Originally Posted by Mykhayl
With all the glitches in what we call the Eastern Churches in America, the one perpetually fix-all is language? Those that do the pushing recognize it as an ethnic ornament not a defense of orthodoxy.

You raise some very interesting issues, I must admit. Indeed, the vernacular does present those problems. I for one lament the disappearance of the Latin language altogether, although am not an opponent of the vernacular for obvious reasons. I take as my inspiration Ss. Cyril and Methodius, who took Christianity with them in the vernacular of the people. If there wasn't one codified, they invented it. This is the tradition of the Eastern Christian Churches. Remember, it was the West that stood for the imposition of a 'sacred language'.
For both East and West, translation into the vernacular carries with it the baggage of rendering the translated text 'faithful to orthodoxy'. I recall someone telling me about the translation of the Anaphora of the Latin Mass into Japanese. Apparently, they could not understand the concept of 'sacrifice' (or something to that effect). This is a wider issue that needs to be addressed: how can we inculturate without losing orthodoxy? Thankfully, in English this is less of a problem.

Originally Posted by Mykhayl
While in a liturgical language (like Latin) the Liturgy (or mass) is less likely to be embellished with guitars or the like as an introduction of modernizations or Americanizations aka Latinizing our way. Counterreformation if you will, as the vernacular hasn&#146;t protected orthodoxy among the US RCs. There seams to be more fuss into putting English into the Liturgy than the Liturgy into America. Is the Divine Liturgy an experience or only a study guide?

I don't understand. Are you implying that the introduction of 'Americanization' equals to 'Modernization' and 'Latinization'? If so, I think we need to be very careful. We have a Christian duty to inculturate the Gospel in a sound, orthodox, faithful way (see the documents of the Church). This has to be done very carefully and selectively. A priest once suggested to me that he would like to see the so-called 'Gospel Spirituals' sung in our churches, since they are non-instrumental, very moving, and akin to our worship but from another cultural perspective. As long as the text is orthodox, then why not? The same could be said of Spanish hymns in Hispanic areas. The Ruthenians are beginning to recognize this, and I think we should as well. But to go as far as introducing guitars into our worship, as modernizers tend to push, is clearly out of the question.
I am simply saying that these were interesting and thought-provoking suggestions, and could be part of an orthodox 'Americanization', which is what should happen when we attempt to bring Christianity to America. We are not the Byzantine Church, but the Byzantine Church in (of) America.

I couldn't even say how many translations of the Liturgy into the English language exist (Orthdox and Catholic together). However, I do believe that if it were done there should be, as far as possible, one translation for the use of all Byzantine Churches. Perhaps there could be minor differences for each jurisdiction, but if only they could get together and produce one text...yet I recognise that I am a dreamer. Trying to get Eastern Christians to agree with each other is like asking a wall to move.

Originally Posted by Mykhayl
There is so much more that needs fixed first. Maintenance may not be exciting but it is better than tearing everything down so only egos remains.

Indeed there's a lot of work to be done. But we have to be careful not to stay put either 'so that our ego remains'.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/08/08 12:51 PM
Originally Posted by Mykhayl
After 125 years of US translations there still is not an American standard. If the people are still cling to their 'Svyatiy Bozhe' are you going to tare it from their hearts? If it doesn't happen organically its not our way. Remember Nikon.

Nobody loves a Slavonic 'Sviatiy Bozhe' more than I do. Pastorally, this is indeed a difficult one. In bilingual parishes, compromises can be reached. For example, one could take all the changeable parts (and perhaps some of the longer texts) in the vernacular, while reserving the unchangeable parts in the 'sacred language' (Slavonic, Greek, etc.). I do love the sacred languages, but imagine what would happen when a non-churched person walks into our churches (if we let them) and hears us singing/praying. They may be moved, indeed to repentance of heart, but will they then hear the Gospel being preached in their own language? (see the Epistles of St. Paul).
I agree that there is to be no violent tearing! Pope Benedict XVI adequately sums up the negative effects that follow from this, in his commentary upon the reform of the Latin Liturgy following the Second Vatican Council. People can always work with each other, but it requires much humility and patience. But, with the Holy Spirit, nothing can go wrong!
Posted By: Mykhayl Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/08/08 05:23 PM
C^BA ICYCY XPUCTY!
Yes you are correct and naturally so am I; compromise. Salt and pepper has been �ponashumo� (our way) since 873 when Saint Methodius and Pope John VIII agreed on tandem scripture readings. Maybe it should be in English and Spanish in some sections of the US, whatever cosmopolitan is not anti US, it just shows inclusivity. If prays are a concert or soloists dominating are they prayers?

The Liturgy needs to be a part of contemporary Life not a Sunday school bible study. TV is teaching our youth how they are expected to live. The only TV churchgoers are usually black sitcoms. White storylines literally battle demons with spells not prayer. There was a Legion of Decency which kept the movies honest for decades. We can write letters to the networks and add a petition in the Liturgy so that our children and those who are influenced by electronic airway icons are protected from entertainment directed by the evil one.

The Holy Spirit is not only a dynamic administrator, but He has a sense of humor. If parish leaders are egocentric, whether it be the clergy, clerical family, cantor, councilors or committee it will fail. If it is His will, even if all seams hopeless often there is a last minute revival FROM GOD. The parish of my youth use to call itself �the most American parish in the diocese� even though they sang everything in "kolomaka" tempo. Then the Fourth Wave came and guess where they landed. By the way the Slavonic / Ukrainian service is usually attended by the American born while the real Ukrainians often attend the English services.

We could brainstorm improvements, but let us leave language to �local custom�. If we are speaking of parishes enough of �one guy� or �this church lady�, instead �I visited this parish and felt welcome because THEY�� How about reaching out to them convert spouses by singing a Protestant hymn before or after "Sluzhba" (Liturg aka Mass)? That is how they teach orthodoxy, but would that be a "Latinization"?
Posted By: Yuhannon Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/09/08 06:17 AM
Shlomo Mykhayl,

Originally Posted by Mykhayl
C^BA ICYCY XPUCTY!

With all the glitches in what we call the Eastern Churches in America, the one perpetually fix-all is language? Those that do the pushing recognize it as an ethnic ornament not a defense of orthodoxy. While in a liturgical language (like Latin) the Liturgy (or mass) is less likely to be embellished with guitars or the like as an introduction of modernizations or Americanizations aka Latinizing our way. Counterreformation if you will, as the vernacular hasn�t protected orthodoxy among the US RCs. There seams to be more fuss into putting English into the Liturgy than the Liturgy into America. Is the Divine Liturgy an experience or only a study guide?

First, I have to say that language is not the issue for me. Under my Church's Canonical rules Our Qobono (Service For The Holy Mysteries)requires that we use the vulnacular and Syriac-Aramaic. Within the Armenian Catholic Church requires Old Armenian. Want many of us are saying, as our Brother Byzantine Latino wonderfully wrote, is that we have to be open to any person joining Our Churches. Never have I, nor any one else here have stated a parish should loose its history, but when you have African-Americans coming into Our Churches and being asked what they are doing there, that is not Christian. Nor is it making the Children of mix race feel unwelcome since they are not "pure".

My favorite story, which I got to witness is when Chorbishop Joseph (Feghali) (of bless memory) gave the following sermon in
Detroit. First, I have let the folks here know that an African-American family had just joined our Church.

We Maronites are part of the Church of Christ. We are Catholics because our Church is spread to all corners of the World. Catholic also means "universal", that means all are welcome to "Salvation".

But I have to say that some of you feel that the Maronite Church is exclusively yours, and that if you do not have Lebanese Blood then you should not be in this Church. Well have only have this to say:

GET OUT! WE DO NOT NEED YOU, NOR YOUR MONEY. YOU DO NOT REPRESENT CHRISTIAN VALUES, AND YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST IN THIS CHURCH, UNTIL YOU SINCERELY REPENT.

This is a Church of God, who loves everyone, and if you can't then GET OUT!


That has stuck with my for over 20 years. As a matter of fact when you go to St. Maron's [saintmaronchurch.com] website you will see this Saint Maron Maronite Church
Where Everyone is Welcome!

[quote]After 125 years of US translations there still is not an American standard. If the people are still cling to their �Svyatiy Bozhe� are you going to tare it from their hearts? If it doesn�t happen organically its not our way. Remember Nikon.

There is so much more that needs fixed first. Maintenance may not be exciting but it is better than tearing everything down so only egos remains./quote]

Well I do not know what has happened with the Byzantine Liturgical reforms, but we Maronites have been successful in intregating the vulnacular into the societies we are live in. Our Qorbono is in Arabic, English, Spanish, French, Greek, Swedish, Portugese, etc.

In closing, I am publishing a news item from my other home parish of St. Maron in Minneapolis, which makes my point.

Importance of Parish Hospitality
(Keep the doors of our Church open, but most important keep your heart open)

Dear Msgr. sharbel,

On behave of Regions Hospital and the Chinese Delegation that accompanied me to our Church on the Feast of Pentecost, I write to thank you and the entire Church community of St. Maron for your wonderful reception with open arms. As always, your warm welcoming embrace made me truly feel proud of my heritage and of our Church. Each of the physician delegates from China as well as the project coordinator from Nepal expressed enthusiasm and great appreciation for how warmly they were welcomed into our Church (most of them are not Christians).

To be honest, the Nepali representative who is Moslem has since asked me if he could come to our Church on a more regular basis. He has purchased a Bible and is interested in learning more about our faith. What an impression you have made on all of them, on all of us. They made a point of commenting about your sermon, how they were able to understand every word. It truly meant a lot to them to be able to attend Church services on Mother's Day when they are so far from their respective families. Distribution of roses to all us mothers was an extra nice touch; the icing on the cake! Special thanks also for permitting our delegates to take pictures of the service and with you personally.


The above says it all. It has never been about the language, it has always been about welcoming people different than you in the Church family.

Poosh BaShlomo,
Yuhannon
Posted By: Pustinik Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/09/08 06:42 AM
Yuhannon points out the sacred tension between maintaining one's identity but not being ethnocentric. Jesus was incarnated as a man with a culture and a history - like us in all things but sin. He and his followers struggled with this as in the early Christian conflict with Judaizers - SS Paul and Peter debated over this but the decision was that one did not need to become a Jew and be circumcised to be a Christian.

We do not deny our Jewish origins, and if I understand Yuhannon, the Maronites do not deny their Lebanese origins but show the best of that tradition in the welcoming embrace of all who cross the doors of their Church. I have experienced this myself.

Some within the Byzantine tradition, however, seem to indicate that one must be purified of one's ethnicity. This is ultimately a Gnostic argument -saying that somehow Jesus must lose his Jewish identity. Ruthenians must not lose their Rusyn-ness. Ukrainians must not lose their Ukrainian identity; nor Hungarians, nor Russians, nor Greeks..... But we are all one in Christ, celebrating what He has done for us. We do not want to forget our ethnic origins - this is our history. We do not, as pointed out in Yuhannon's contribution, to have a heart closed to others. In celebrating our own origins, we acknowledge that God has been and continues to work in all cultures and times - reaching out to each person as he or she is - in Divine Love.
-------------------
"Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved." �St. Serafim of Sarov
Posted By: Yuhannon Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/09/08 07:43 AM
Shlomo Pustinik,

Originally Posted by Pustinik
Yuhannon points out the sacred tension between maintaining one's identity but not being ethnocentric. Jesus was incarnated as a man with a culture and a history - like us in all things but sin. He and his followers struggled with this as in the early Christian conflict with Judaizers - SS Paul and Peter debated over this but the decision was that one did not need to become a Jew and be circumcised to be a Christian.

Thank you for simplying my words.

Quote
We do not deny our Jewish origins, and if I understand Yuhannon, the Maronites do not deny their Lebanese origins but show the best of that tradition in the welcoming embrace of all who cross the doors of their Church. I have experienced this myself.

Some within the Byzantine tradition, however, seem to indicate that one must be purified of one's ethnicity. This is ultimately a Gnostic argument -saying that somehow Jesus must lose his Jewish identity. Ruthenians must not lose their Rusyn-ness. Ukrainians must not lose their Ukrainian identity; nor Hungarians, nor Russians, nor Greeks..... But we are all one in Christ, celebrating what He has done for us. We do not want to forget our ethnic origins - this is our history. We do not, as pointed out in Yuhannon's contribution, to have a heart closed to others. In celebrating our own origins, we acknowledge that God has been and continues to work in all cultures and times - reaching out to each person as he or she is - in Divine Love.

Our Church is trying to be welcoming, but we too have our problems. Here in Las Vegas, we are divided between American born and Lebanese Maronites. The Lebanese demand that the Qorbono be in Arabic, while we Americans want it done (as our Eparch has also demanded) that it be in English. The children of these people go to services, but do not enjoy it. Further, the Lebanese will not permit the Church to by English language Qorbono Books.

In Toronto, our Church there is almost all first generation, and I can tell you that it is one of the most racist Churches I had ever been to. I actually started going to the Syriac Catholic Church because of the un-Christian conditions there. That includes a physical fight between the priest and parishioners while the Cardinal-Archbishop of Toronto was there for Divine Liturgy.

So please do not think that we do not have our problems, but the vast majority of our Hierarch, clergy and laity are working to make our Church truly "catholic".

Poosh BaShlomo,
Yuhannon
Posted By: Lawrence Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/09/08 04:37 PM

I was well treated during the times I visited Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Church in Hillside back in the 90's. I remember a woman being flattered when I told her that one of the reasons I came was to hear the Aramaic liturgy. And I know this will rankle a few feathers, but I also recall the priest saying to me with a smile on his face "We are very similar to Roman Catholics"
Posted By: Latin Catholic Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/09/08 06:00 PM
Benedicite!

While staying for a couple of months in Damascus in the mid-'90s I mostly attended St. Paul's Syriac Catholic Cathedral there and was struck by the warm welcome I received from everyone, especially the late Archbishop Eustathe Joseph Mounayer who graciously took the time to greet me personally. Based on this experience, I feel that every Catholic should be made welcome in every Catholic Church, while always preserving his canonical membership in his proper Church sui iuris.

Indeed, the Eastern Catholic Churches are just as Catholic as the Latin Church. For historical reasons, the Eastern Catholic Churches have not been able to take part in missionary activities on the same scale as the Latin Church, but this does not mean that the Eastern Catholic Churches do not have the same missionary mandate as the Latin Church. The Latin Church is not the "default option" for someone who wishes to be baptized into the Catholic Church. Therefore, the Eastern Catholic Churches in the United States and elsewhere have the same responsibility as the Latin Church to reach out to the unchurched and the unbaptized and to bring them (back) to the true faith. As the stewards of a great liturgical, theological and spiritual tradition, the Eastern Catholic Churches have so much to offer to so many people!
Posted By: Yuhannon Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/09/08 06:28 PM
Shlomo Latin Catholic,

Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Benedicite!

While staying for a couple of months in Damascus in the mid-'90s I mostly attended St. Paul's Syriac Catholic Cathedral there and was struck by the warm welcome I received from everyone, especially the late Archbishop Eustathe Joseph Mounayer who graciously took the time to greet me personally. Based on this experience, I feel that every Catholic should be made welcome in every Catholic Church, while always preserving his canonical membership in his proper Church sui iuris.

Indeed, the Eastern Catholic Churches are just as Catholic as the Latin Church. For historical reasons, the Eastern Catholic Churches have not been able to take part in missionary activities on the same scale as the Latin Church, but this does not mean that the Eastern Catholic Churches do not have the same missionary mandate as the Latin Church. The Latin Church is not the "default option" for someone who wishes to be baptized into the Catholic Church. Therefore, the Eastern Catholic Churches in the United States and elsewhere have the same responsibility as the Latin Church to reach out to the unchurched and the unbaptized and to bring them (back) to the true faith. As the stewards of a great liturgical, theological and spiritual tradition, the Eastern Catholic Churches have so much to offer to so many people!

I agree with you, but the subject of evangelization is also one that I hold dear. Nearly all of our Eastern Eparchs have not been willing to fight for our right to evangelize. Right now there is an Maronite priest that I know who is in Taiwan who is forebidden to preach about is Holy Tradition. In Western Europe we are not permitted to establish exarchs or eparchies. But to me, we laity need to agitate for proper structure.

What I hope to see is that we evangelize both internally and externally. That way we will be able to have open Churches for people to join.

Poosh BaShlomo,
Yuhannon
Posted By: Yuhannon Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/09/08 06:58 PM
Shlomo Lkhoolkhoon,

Just so members here do not think that I was beating up the Byzantines, I thought that I would share some interesting news with you all. My friend, Hieromonk Richard S. Soo, S.J. is now Chancellor for the Archeparchy of Winnipeg for the Ukrainians. Abuna Richard, is 100% Chinese and fell in love with the Ukrainian Tradition. He speaks Ukrainian, and was very popular at St. Elias in Metro Toronto.

Also, here is what St. Elias has posted for visitors:

Feeling a little over your head?

First Time in our Church?

Don't worry!

Just ask anyone of us, "What was that all about?"

We're a friendly and pretty welcoming parish (even if we do say so ourselves).

Please come up and say hello to our parish priest, Father Roman Galadza. He would love to meet you.

And chances are, if you come downstairs for coffee, which we hope you will, he will catch up with you and introduce himself and say hello and welcome.

But just in case our very well informed and theologically educated parishioners did not get a chance to tell you stuff you were wondering about when you came to Church, here is a Helpful Hint Section of the parish website, f.y.i.

It's a kind of "Dear 'Abba' " web-column of Ecclesial Etiquette guaranteed to minimize Faux Pas.

(Actually you needn't worry about such things, for the Scriptures say: "And He will set his angels charge over you, lest you strike your foot against a stone")

Do's and Don'ts Bottom Line:

Do.....Come and Enjoy

Don't.....Worry


My who issue is that we should not be suprised within our Churches seeing a Chinese-Canadian, African-American or what ever Ethnic background the priest, and servers on the alter are. It should be as regular as it is in our everyday lives.

Poosh BaShlomo,
Yuhannon
Posted By: Roman Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/10/08 11:40 AM
Originally Posted by Byzantine Latino
Sorry for not being clearer. I am studying for the Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma. What I mean about 'wonderfully-open' can be best summed up by our mission statement, to be found on the eparchial website.
The seminary, as it is in Washington DC, belongs canonically to the Archeparchy of Philadelphia. When I said 'driven away', I did not mean by any of the seminary staff or the hierarchy, but rather by other individuals (cleric and/or lay). Our rector is an American, and is still learning Ukrainian. Our spiritual director is Ukrainian, but a really nice man.

It seems, then, that officially - and to some extent in practice - the UGCC welcomes non-Ukrainians (witness the recent appointment of a Chancellor in Winnipeg who is of Asian heritage), while in practice, there is still resistance from conservative elements.

But isn't that to be expected? Anyone with basic knowledge about the post WWII Ukrainian emigration knows that it was dominated by patriotic/nationalistic elements, one of whose goals was the preservation of the language and culture. In the long run, the project will likely fail, but some are committed to trying.

As you no doubt know, right now in North America, there is quite a range in terms of Ukrainian language use among members of the UGCC. Some don't speak Ukrainian at all while recent immigrants are much more proficient in that language than in English. Generalising, some parishes are more Ukrainian speaking than others. One would think that reasonable matches can be made between priests and parishes in term of language requirements and proficiencies. One would also hope that laypeople - including the more "patriotic" - would recognise the need for priests from various backgrounds.
Posted By: Kahless Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/11/08 03:07 AM
Originally Posted by Roman
It seems, then, that officially - and to some extent in practice - the UGCC welcomes non-Ukrainians (witness the recent appointment of a Chancellor in Winnipeg who is of Asian heritage), while in practice, there is still resistance from conservative elements.

But isn't that to be expected? Anyone with basic knowledge about the post WWII Ukrainian emigration knows that it was dominated by patriotic/nationalistic elements, one of whose goals was the preservation of the language and culture. In the long run, the project will likely fail, but some are committed to trying.

As you no doubt know, right now in North America, there is quite a range in terms of Ukrainian language use among members of the UGCC. Some don't speak Ukrainian at all while recent immigrants are much more proficient in that language than in English. Generalising, some parishes are more Ukrainian speaking than others. One would think that reasonable matches can be made between priests and parishes in term of language requirements and proficiencies. One would also hope that laypeople - including the more "patriotic" - would recognise the need for priests from various backgrounds.

That is one of the most bigoted posts I had the displeasure to read on this forum. The Ukrainian "nationalists" as you call them (that is post WWII immigrants who fled from communist-occupied Ukraine), and there are quite a few at my parish, have no problem with me or my family and have been extremely kind to us and I'm a Hungarian. They treat us and the other non-Ukrainians at my parish like we are one of them. I sometimes even speak Russian to them and they pleasently talk back to me in Russian too! Just because you set up camp on a foriegn country dosen't mean you have to stop speaking your own language so the one in a hundred local who gets curious and stops by on a sunday can understand what is going on.

Another thing too, my priest is not a Ukrainian, his family comes from the balkans actually, and grew up Latin Catholic and became a Ukrainian priest and the Ukrainans adore him. And he was ordained for the eparchy years ago. But he learned Ukrainian, as all semiinarians for the Ukrainian Catholic Church should.
Posted By: Mykhayl Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/11/08 04:25 AM
C^BA ICYCY XPUCTY!

Clarification, is not Orthodoxy aka Eastern Christianity to amalgamate into the culture? If so what other teaching models do we have for emulation then our ethnic subculture, lifestyles? When we learn about Saint Nicholas we cannot substitute the Santa Clause (Father Christmas) model. Svwaty Vecherea (Holy Supper) is not really a Thanksgiving Dinner. A Parastas (requiem) at the funeral home is not the same as a rosary said by the bereaved family. Voices of polyphony hymns or chanted prayers do not offer the same mystical imagery when accompanied with a simultaneous organ.

Roman, as you said the cosmopolitan aspect of languages vary from parish to parish. After all the grass roots of the UGCC is the 1st and 2nd wave offspring not just the post WW II wave. Does anyone think we use SOME Greek at Pascha because as �Greek Catholics� we understand the language of the gods? That is our way, with organic historical variances celebrating what we find beautifully meaningful. So why would anyone want to whitewash everything the same like a picket fence?

Please give this peasant boy from the Allegheny highlands some specific community faux pas rather than that of a close-minded individual. Generalizations are just too vague for my simple mind to understand the real irritation behind these complaints.
Posted By: Job Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/12/08 12:06 AM
Originally Posted by Pustinik
Some within the Byzantine tradition, however, seem to indicate that one must be purified of one's ethnicity. This is ultimately a Gnostic argument -saying that somehow Jesus must lose his Jewish identity. Ruthenians must not lose their Rusyn-ness. Ukrainians must not lose their Ukrainian identity; nor Hungarians, nor Russians, nor Greeks..... But we are all one in Christ, celebrating what He has done for us. We do not want to forget our ethnic origins - this is our history. We do not, as pointed out in Yuhannon's contribution, to have a heart closed to others. In celebrating our own origins, we acknowledge that God has been and continues to work in all cultures and times - reaching out to each person as he or she is - in Divine Love.
-------------------
"Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved." �St. Serafim of Sarov

Amen! The only issue I would have with this statement is "some within the Byzantine tradition..." I would have to say this is not only an issue with those of the Byzantine tradition...I know Poles and Italians(insert whatever nationality you would like) often have the same types of arguments against them as well...
Posted By: Pustinik Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/12/08 01:11 AM
Job,
I agree with your observation about other ethnics. David Roediger wrote a great book, "Working towards whiteness - how America's immigrants became white - the strange journey from Ellis Island to the suburbs" (Basic Books, 2005).


"Roediger recounts how American ethnic groups that are considered white today, such as Jewish, Italian-, and Polish-Americans, once occupied a confused racial status in their new country."

-----------------------------------------------

One Ruthenian-rite Catholic parish with which I'm familiar is dominated by non-Rusyn slavs and western Europeans, to the degree that Rusyn's who are quite numerous are not allowed to "officially" meet there. Yet Ukrainian knick-knacks are openly labeled and displayed at that parish's festivals. Too bad that a small ethnicity like Rusyns cannot openly celebrate its own specific heritage at a Ruthenian-rite parish of the Passaic Eparchy. Agreed, building on your point, I do not think our parishes should have an ethnic litmus test (maybe that was a fault in the past?). But to achieve oneness in Christ, one thinks we don't need to be forced to hide or deny our own ethnic heritage- especially in our own Rusyn rite parishes. Secular society is doing better than the Church in celebrating ethnic diversity in the particularity of cultures. I think of all the different ethnic festivals sponsored by the State of NJ - or see at the Pittsburgh Folk Festival. Lasting peace cannot be achieved by turning a blind eye to another's culture or to one's own culture.
----------------------------
"Acquire a peaceful spirit, and thousands around you will be saved." �St. Serafim of Sarov

Posted By: Orthodox Pyrohy Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/12/08 02:52 AM

Everything is ethnic. Nothing is new under the sun. The real issue is adapting to a new situation and a new environment or allowing oneself to become a part of a community that has customs that are different than what the newcomer is used to.
It's like the proverbial scape-goat, blaming everything on "ethnic" issues.
The great Father Serge once said something about the American culture, that the Calvinist approach is to take something and make it bad instead of dealing with the real issues.
This follows this thinking;
People are getting drunk, ban alcohol
Our church is shrinking in population, ban anything that is "ethnic"
These are easier solutions--err bandage solutions, point and blame instead of solve. But solving takes a lot of work and effort, and a lot of co-ordination and teamwork to accomplish.

Want to flip the coin? I know many Russians who attend a parish that only uses English. They speak English very well, but it isn't their native language. Do they complain? No. They come to church and are a vital part of the community. The only thing I have ever heard them say was that the English is so fast and hard to understand. Do they go across town, build another church, hire a Russian speaking priest and conduct services in Church Slavonic and Russian? No. They stay at the parish and strengthen it. Why? Because they realize it isn't about their personal wants and needs but the community's needs.
Think about it. Many people get upset because a parish sings a few parts of the liturgy in Slavonic. Or they have to attend a Ukrainian Liturgy. Well, the Russians, Greeks, Romanians, Serbians, Ukrainians, I know they all go to a parish that uses 100% English and is ethnically American. Instead of complaining they have fun and help with church projects, community outreach programs and live the message of the Gospel.
Posted By: Mykhayl Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/12/08 04:07 AM
C^ABA ICYCY XPUCTY!
What is ethnic American? Super Bowl Sunday? Halloween? Santa Clause? Chocolate Easter baskets? Saying �Happy Holidays�?
Posted By: Etnick Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/12/08 05:06 AM
Originally Posted by Mykhayl
C^ABA ICYCY XPUCTY!
What is ethnic American? Super Bowl Sunday? Halloween? Santa Clause? Chocolate Easter baskets? Saying �Happy Holidays�?

Mykhayl, You're the man! biggrin

P.S., I know the season is over, but I have to say this one more time....Christos Voskrese!
Posted By: Mykhayl Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/12/08 12:48 PM
C^ABA ICYCY XPUCTY!
Etnick,
Assuming you are speaking of the Archangel, they are gender neutral.

Humbly yours,
Mykhayl
Posted By: Prester John Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/12/08 11:17 PM
I'm new to this forum, but let me just say that by 'ethnic' I mean a parish that is primarily about and for one ethnic group. I believe that is a heresy (philatism - a fancy word for racism).

I know that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese considers one of its primary functions the advancement of "universal hellenism" whatever that is.

And whatever it is, who cares. Culture is a learned thing, and not being greek (or russian, or serbian, or arabic, or romanian, or ukrainian, etc...) I have a culture I'm already a part of. One that needs Orthodox Christianity.

Ethnic parishes can only be sustained by immigration.

Once they actually receive converts, they either change, or die.

I'll happily be proven wrong, but I don't think I will be.
Posted By: Mykhayl Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/13/08 03:05 AM
C^ABA ICYCY XPUCTY!
Reverend Father,
Birds of a feather will stick together. What heresy do birds commit? I am still awaiting for someone to come up with communal examples.
Being of the second, third, fourth, fifth and even sixth generation of ethnic Americans you can no longer flash inferiority accusations giving complexes so the foreigners will huddle under baskets. We are as relevant as any other social, economic or fraternal groups. The rest of you may be the ones with prejudice.
What has America given us to build on? Volunteerism yes, so we like to make and sale pyrohy (dumpling pockets). Equality ok, we hold parish meetings so the clergy has to answer. Why would you prefer us to teach our children to make peeps out of pipe cleaners rather than batiqueing colored eggs? Why would you prefer us welcoming Santa rather than the Epoch Saint Nicholas to our Christmas celebrations? Why should we bless pets and forget our paschas (Paschal foods)? Why is tandem chanting of the Scripture anti-American when one language will almost inevitably be English, or Spanish?
Stop clanging sabers and tell us what WE do heretically? Not what one baba (granny) here did or a good o boy there said but communal celebrations of ethnicity that is so offensive. Is it that in Pittsburgh the �hunkies� decorate their churches with foliage and the people wear green for Pentecost while we don�t do it on March 17th (March 4 Julian)? What?
Posted By: Alice Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/13/08 06:30 AM
Originally Posted by Prester John
I'm new to this forum, but let me just say that by 'ethnic' I mean a parish that is primarily about and for one ethnic group. I believe that is a heresy (philatism - a fancy word for racism).

I know that the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese considers one of its primary functions the advancement of "universal hellenism" whatever that is.

And whatever it is, who cares. Culture is a learned thing, and not being greek (or russian, or serbian, or arabic, or romanian, or ukrainian, etc...) I have a culture I'm already a part of. One that needs Orthodox Christianity.

Dear Father John,

Bless....

Quote
Ethnic parishes can only be sustained by immigration.

Once they actually receive converts, they either change, or die.

I'll happily be proven wrong, but I don't think I will be.

Does that mean not celebrating any of the holiday traditions which Mikhayl responded to? These and other ethnic traditions, are so beautiful in a country that has little tradition of its own. Isn't that the reason which you play the beautiful music of the bagpipes, and why you have introduced them into some services? I think that is beautiful, and I have always been moved by their music, whether at parades or at funerals...and surely, bagpipes were not invented on these shores!! wink

In the Greek tradition, for instance, on New Year's Day, we attend church, cut the Vasilopita, both at home and in church, and celebrate the day like a holiday, rather than a day to nurse hangovers like our non-ethnic American counterparts...

Infact, I have found that non-ethnic Americans (like part of my extended family and many of our parishioners by marriage) just soak up these traditions, and are glad to be around ethnic groups that have them, and on occassion, to also adapt some of them, because they are so often sorely lacking in any sense of community and identity of their own.

Ofcourse, we Americans do have one national holiday of religious significance and tradition that we all hold dear, and which unites us as a people, and that is Thanksgiving. That is why, in the Greek Archdiocese, economy is granted to break the fast on that day in which the foods we eat are so symbolic of the identity of the day.

Just some humble thoughts....

Respectfully,
In Christ,
Alice
Posted By: Orest Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/13/08 03:49 PM
Quote
I'm new to this forum, but let me just say that by 'ethnic' I mean a parish that is primarily about and for one ethnic group. I believe that is a heresy (philatism - a fancy word for racism).

From your remark above I am wondering just how familar you are with history. Throughout history there have always been multi-lingual and multi-cultural empires.

For example, in what is now Ukraine, there are the descendents of Greek colonists on the Black Sea. Thus, the MP has parishes for them where the liturgy is celebrated in Greek which is the the ancestoral language of the people.

In many parts of the world there are colonies of Armenians which have existed for centuries and the liturgy is celebrated in their liturgical language and their ancestral language has been maintained through many generations in this diaspora. Yet by your definition these are "ethnic" parishes and should not be permitted.

In the Austrian Empire in Bukovyna, the province was split between Romanian speakers and Ukrainian speakers. They had their own parishes. Should they have been forced to celebrate in German, the official language of the Austrian Empire in their part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire?

In Argentina, I believe a study was completed on a colony of originally English settlers who maintained their ancestral language and churches throughout multiple generations. What about Volks Deustch who before WW2 were all through Eastern Europe for centuries maintaining their ancestral language with their own churches.

Should the remnants of Greek speakers left in modern day Turkey be forced to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in modern Turkish? Are the few remaining parishes "ethnic" parishes?

There was a funeral my parents attended recently at which 5th generation Ukrainian-Canadians were present and all were members of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/13/08 06:42 PM
Originally Posted by Mykhayl
The Liturgy needs to be a part of contemporary Life not a Sunday school bible study. TV is teaching our youth how they are expected to live...We can write letters to the networks and add a petition in the Liturgy so that our children and those who are influenced by electronic airway icons are protected from entertainment directed by the evil one.

Wonderful ideal, Mykhayl!
Posted By: Collin Nunis Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/13/08 06:42 PM
Ah well... Culture's great, really... I love it... The dancing, the feasting, the merrymaking, the joy and the laughter. If we'd stick to culture and ethnicity in that form, and by all means, it really works fine for those who are just afraid of being ostracized for not being Arab, Serb, Greek, or Russian.

By the ways, I've heard that most Ukrainian bishops accept non-Ukrainian speaking Catholics into service in their churches. Is this true? No one mentioned learning how to speak Slavonic, but yes, they've graciously accepted non-Ukes. How true is this?

Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/13/08 06:43 PM
Originally Posted by Mykhayl
How about reaching out to them convert spouses by singing a Protestant hymn before or after "Sluzhba" (Liturg aka Mass)? That is how they teach orthodoxy, but would that be a "Latinization"?

Maybe if the words are orthodox and the music isn't too wild...!
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/13/08 06:46 PM
Originally Posted by Pustinik
But we are all one in Christ, celebrating what He has done for us. We do not want to forget our ethnic origins - this is our history. We do not, as pointed out in Yuhannon's contribution, to have a heart closed to others. In celebrating our own origins, we acknowledge that God has been and continues to work in all cultures and times - reaching out to each person as he or she is - in Divine Love.

I like this comment. I wish everybody could experience the traditional Slavic hospitality.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/13/08 06:48 PM
Originally Posted by Latin Catholic
Indeed, the Eastern Catholic Churches are just as Catholic as the Latin Church. For historical reasons, the Eastern Catholic Churches have not been able to take part in missionary activities on the same scale as the Latin Church, but this does not mean that the Eastern Catholic Churches do not have the same missionary mandate as the Latin Church. The Latin Church is not the "default option" for someone who wishes to be baptized into the Catholic Church. Therefore, the Eastern Catholic Churches in the United States and elsewhere have the same responsibility as the Latin Church to reach out to the unchurched and the unbaptized and to bring them (back) to the true faith. As the stewards of a great liturgical, theological and spiritual tradition, the Eastern Catholic Churches have so much to offer to so many people!

This, I think, best sums up what I perceive my vocation to be. Thanks for expressing it so well!
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/13/08 06:56 PM
Originally Posted by Collin Nunis
By the ways, I've heard that most Ukrainian bishops accept non-Ukrainian speaking Catholics into service in their churches. Is this true? No one mentioned learning how to speak Slavonic, but yes, they've graciously accepted non-Ukes. How true is this?

Well, they accepted me (thanks be to God!) biggrin
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/13/08 07:16 PM
Originally Posted by Kahless
That is one of the most bigoted posts I had the displeasure to read on this forum. The Ukrainian "nationalists" as you call them (that is post WWII immigrants who fled from communist-occupied Ukraine), and there are quite a few at my parish, have no problem with me or my family and have been extremely kind to us and I'm a Hungarian. They treat us and the other non-Ukrainians at my parish like we are one of them. I sometimes even speak Russian to them and they pleasently talk back to me in Russian too!

May I say that, from what you say, you are in the minority. I mean, if you're going to start speaking Russian to patriotic Ukrainians, on the whole it will not work. I have been to Ukraine, and I've even tried it here. Each time, I was shunned. The kindest and most gentle of people refuse to speak with me as soon as I utter one 'spasiba'.

Originally Posted by Kahless
Just because you set up camp on a foriegn country dosen't mean you have to stop speaking your own language so the one in a hundred local who gets curious and stops by on a sunday can understand what is going on.

Just remember that many 'curous' locals who stop by on Sunday are not just passing by a museum piece, but are looking for God too.

Originally Posted by Kahless
Another thing too, my priest is not a Ukrainian, his family comes from the balkans actually, and grew up Latin Catholic and became a Ukrainian priest and the Ukrainans adore him. And he was ordained for the eparchy years ago. But he learned Ukrainian, as all seminarians for the Ukrainian Catholic Church should.

So, do all Roman Catholic seminarians have to learn Italian?

Ukrainian immigrants who come to the United States are contributing to the building up of American culture and society, and they should continue to do so. This includes contributing with their beautiful language. But, they must also learn English to be able to live within society, and not in a ghetto. They, in turn, will evangelize the poor and needy around them.

I have many non-Ukrainian friends who love our Church more than most Ukrainians do, and I'd rather go elsewhere than see Ukrainian forced on them. I am of Ukrainian origin, and never cease telling them to be as Italian, Chinese, African American, etc., as possible. It brings greater color to my life and that of the parish. I want them there because I love them. I want their faith and love for our Church to inspire those who have a so-called 'birthright' to love their Church even more. It should be done out of deep love and respect, not coercion. As for priests and seminarians, they should learn Ukrainian IF and/or WHEN it is needed, not on principle! We are not in Ukraine, we are in America!
If we're in a parish where many people speak Ukrainian ONLY (e.g. recent immigrants), then it's useful if the priest can speak with them. But there's always the danger of ghetto mentality (I've seen and lived it). If a priest speaks English only, I don't know...maybe it will help immigrants learn English more quickly (and vice-versa, if one moved to another country).

P.S. This applies to all other cultures, Eastern or Western.
Posted By: Halia12 Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/13/08 08:12 PM
Quote
I have many non-Ukrainian friends who love our Church more than most Ukrainians do, and I'd rather go elsewhere than see Ukrainian forced on them. I

How on earth are you able to judge how much Ukrainians love their church. Or that your many non-Ukrainians friends love the church more.
All I cansay is that Thank God I am Ukrainian Orthodox and live in a country like Canada where we can freely practise our religion. No forces "Ukrainian" on anyone. We want to be Ukrainian-Canadians if if we didn't we could leave the church and go elsewhere.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/13/08 08:28 PM
Originally Posted by Halia12
How on earth are you able to judge how much Ukrainians love their church. Or that your many non-Ukrainians friends love the church more.
All I cansay is that Thank God I am Ukrainian Orthodox and live in a country like Canada where we can freely practise our religion. No forces "Ukrainian" on anyone. We want to be Ukrainian-Canadians if if we didn't we could leave the church and go elsewhere.

You're right. I can't judge everybody. This has only been my experience. I've travelled a bit, and noticed how quickly our parishes fill up for Pascha and Christmas. In many cases, these faithful come twice a year, and begin to dictate how the services should be. When they don't see or hear things as they knew it, they become defensive. Whereas those who attend faithfully every Sunday are brushed aside.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/13/08 08:33 PM
Originally Posted by Byzantine Latino
All I cansay is that Thank God I am Ukrainian Orthodox and live in a country like Canada where we can freely practise our religion. No forces "Ukrainian" on anyone. We want to be Ukrainian-Canadians if if we didn't we could leave the church and go elsewhere.

Please remember that I'm not arguing against freedom at all, but simply against the many instances of exclusion I have witnessed because of un-Christian attitudes. Chief amongt these is the notion that one must be Ukrainian in order to worship in Ukrainian churches. I am not Ukrainian (by birth), but I want to worship in a church whose mother is in Ukraine. So does that exclude me?
Posted By: Mykhayl Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/14/08 02:36 AM
C^ABA ICYCY XPUCTY!

�against the many instances of exclusion I have witnessed because of un-Christian attitudes. Chief amongt these is the notion that one must be Ukrainian in order to worship in Ukrainian churches.� Quote Byzantine Latino

Was there a boarder guard checking passports at the door?
Posted By: Slavipodvizhnik Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/14/08 02:41 AM
Mykhayl,

I don't know if you are aware, but your header reads "Sava Isusu Xrustu", which is gibberish. Please either fix it or delete it, as it is quite annoying.

Alexandr
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/14/08 02:48 AM
Originally Posted by Mykhayl
Was there a boarder guard checking passports at the door?

Funnily enough, it seems that this was the case, because this happened to one of my closest friends the moment they walked into one of our churches. And, he's full-blooded Ukrainian, American born (non-Ukrainian speaking). And, he's a seminarian! His pastor, however, is great at stopping such behavior.
Passports are not needed, though, if the person isn't caucasian.
Posted By: Roman Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/21/08 02:22 PM
Originally Posted by Byzantine Latino
As for priests and seminarians, they should learn Ukrainian IF and/or WHEN it is needed, not on principle! We are not in Ukraine, we are in America!

Here in Montreal, all six UGCC parishes (all old calendar, BTW) are served by pastors who, having arrived in Canada in the last twenty years or so, are more proficient in Ukrainian than in French or English. In my opinion, it would be a good thing if we had at least one parish where the priest was born in the West as I suspect that parishioners born here may be somewhat more reluctant to discuss matters with pastors who aren't completely fluent in English. Given that Montreal has produced at least three locally born currently active UGCC priests, I wonder why our Eparchs haven't been appointing any "Western" priests to local parishes in recent years.

In the above paragraph, I have attempted to set out "where I'm coming from". I do not know what the current state of affairs is in the UGCC in terms of calendar and language of services in the various North American eparchies (if anyone has this info or could venture a good guess, please do so). Given my perspective, I would be surprised to hear that the majority of US UGCC parishes hold services in English. And if indeed it is the case that most UGCC services in the US are still in Ukrainian, then I cannot see how a proficiency in Ukrainian should not be a requirement for graduation from a US UGCC seminary.
Posted By: Roman Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/21/08 02:45 PM
At home, I have a copy of "The Webster Home & Office Dictionary". Not sure of the year it was published, but I would guess some time in the 1960s. At about 2 inches of thickness, it's of decent size; I've never seriously considered getting another.

For the word "ethnic" used as a noun, it gives the following definition:
Quote
a heathen; a pagan
Nothing else.

IIRC, I have seen in other dictionaries that the etymology of the word is Greek. I therefore find it quite ironic to see ethnic or liturgical Greeks self-identify as such in a conversation about Christian praxis.

I know that the word has changed meaning (at least to some extent) in recent decades and that today one meaning is something along the lines of "member of a minority ethnic group" and that this is supposedly not meant to be pajoritive, but I'm not quite convinced of that. I know that about a decade ago, The (Toronto) Globe & Mail, perhaps the premier English daily in Canada, was still putting quotes around "ethnic" when using it as a noun (not sure if they still do). The quotes were signifying that the word was not quite being used in the correct sense, but that it was being used as shorthand for something else.

Just some "food for though" for the time being; I'd like to expand upon this (in another thread in another forum, of course) when I have a little more time.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/21/08 07:14 PM
Originally Posted by Roman
Given my perspective, I would be surprised to hear that the majority of US UGCC parishes hold services in English. And if indeed it is the case that most UGCC services in the US are still in Ukrainian, then I cannot see how a proficiency in Ukrainian should not be a requirement for graduation from a US UGCC seminary.

That would be, following my own thought, one case of when Ukrainian might be useful/necessary. I would say that all the non-Ukrainian seminarians can at least serve the Liturgy in Ukrainian, and that all the Ukrainian seminarians can do so in English. However, they might not be able to preach, hear confessions, etc. Such stuff is more useful in certain centers of immigration (e.g. Chicago, New York, Cleveland, etc.)

It would be difficult, for example, if there were a young man who entered seminary from an English-speaking parish (perhaps being non-Ukrainian in the slightest, or fourth/fifth generation), but suddenly found himself having to learn a foreign language. What if he were not apt in languages? Could there be a way in which he could learn to function with the minimum (i.e. serve the Divine Liturgy) but not feel coerced to learn another language fluently? I know a couple of seminarians, and aspirants to the seminary, in that position. My worry was that they would feel put off when such is not necessary. I pray they become good and holy priests, who love our Church, regardless of their linguistic and cultural abilities.
Posted By: Mykhayl Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/21/08 11:40 PM
C/IABA ICYCY XPI/ICTY !

Excuse me but I think we need further definition. When we speak of services are we speaking of primarily the Divine Liturgy or of the other multiple diverse possibilities? When attending these services are there multilingual, or at least English translation booklets available?

When we are speaking of visitors feeling unwelcome is it through ungracious hostility or inner-city prudence? You would be surprised of how many purses have disappeared from pews as their owners go up for Communion, or �Babas� (Granny) felt intimidated by a pushy stranger telling here if she was a good Christian she would give them $20 to get a �meal�. Please be more specific and less general.

As far as staffing a metropolitan area with only foreign born priests, is there a significant lack of native born priests available in the eparchy? Have these �missionaries� taken English as a second language� courses? Are the suburbs likewise served, or are they in greater need of English speaking clergy? How many parishes are pre 1950 in origin? Are their parish councils set up, if so who staffs them?

What is true on the south-side may not work on the north-side. Eastern custom comes from the grass roots up not the despot down. If parishioners leave where do they go, or don�t they? Those that do go elsewhere, what are they really looking for? If language was the answer, it is surprising the Episcopal church is not doing better.
Posted By: Fr. Jon Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/22/08 12:30 AM
My ruminations on this subject after much thought:

(I've mentioned it before), my perspective is that of a Latin Catholic cleric living in central Pennsylvania, with more than a casual knowledge of the situation of the Eastern Churches of the southern Antracite coal regions. I could never pretend to speak of the Eastern Catholic parishes which have experienced the 3rd and 4th wave immigrants.

I also work in a parish which is bi-lingual/bi-cultural. This presents pastoral problems which I only read about before. I believe that the corrolary between East and West is undoubted. Case in point: I met a kid, 8th grade, in our Youth Ministry program. He is of half Puerto Rican/half Mexican parentage. He was born in the US, and is able to speak Spanish at home. He is not in the Hispanic youth ministry, but the Anglo-youth program. I asked him which Mass he attended and he said that he goes to the 12:30 (Spanish) Mass which his parents, but likes to go earlier (7,9, or 11a.m.) so that he can understand what is being said. Is he being Americanized? Surely.

Can the Church stop that process? Perhaps she can try, but the Church's role is to sanctify and evangelize, not to serve as a cultural hallmark. If she starts doing the latter, those who become "Americanized" will start to see the Church as a cultural club and thus look forward to places which preach the gospel and not what could be perceived as an apparent nationalism.

I think this is Byzantine Latino's concern: that some of the church leadership (both lay and clerical) may see that there is a necessary link between a national identity and religion, and that due to the present vibrancy of 1st Generation immigrant communities these parishes may be rather healthy and thus there is little concern. But this is the clincher: What happens when the children and grandchildren forget the Blue, Yellow, and Green and focus on the Red, White, and Blue?

I share his concern that present policies may not be primed to address the results of this Americanization (language, culture, etc.). I know of a specific advertisement last fall offering a diaconal formation program: one of the qualifications was that the candidate must speak Ukrainian. I mentioned this to a Ukrainian-Greek Catholic deacon friend of mine (ordained less than 10 years ago) and he said something like "I'd be out of luck, I can't speak Ukrainian!" Extremely few parishioners, if any at all, in the area (Anthracite Coal Regions) speak Ukrainian. They would be out of a prospective deacon-candidate because of a rule which is almost absolutely useless to them or their pastoral concerns!

We must always remember that culture serves religion, not religion the culture. When the culture starts serving itself and religion the culture, then it becomes a self-feeding beast which will eventually devour itself leaving nothing but a mess to be eaten by a larger animal. This may be harsh, but the command of Christ is "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" not "Go out to all nations and make them patriotic and loyal Jews!"
Posted By: Yuhannon Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/22/08 01:21 AM
Shlomo Mykhayl,

Quote
Excuse me but I think we need further definition. When we speak of services are we speaking of primarily the Divine Liturgy or of the other multiple diverse possibilities? When attending these services are there multilingual, or at least English translation booklets available?

We are speaking of Divine Liturgy, where even if there are English Translation booklets the new people do not know where in the booklet to begin.

Quote
When we are speaking of visitors feeling unwelcome is it through ungracious hostility or inner-city prudence? You would be surprised of how many purses have disappeared from pews as their owners go up for Communion, or �Babas� (Granny) felt intimidated by a pushy stranger telling here if she was a good Christian she would give them $20 to get a �meal�. Please be more specific and less general.

No we are speaking of visitors being received ungraciously. Being asked, <B>what are you doing here; do you know this is a (Ukrainian, Lebanese, Greek, etc.)Church?</B>

Quote
As far as staffing a metropolitan area with only foreign born priests, is there a significant lack of native born priests available in the eparchy? Have these �missionaries� taken English as a second language� courses? Are the suburbs likewise served, or are they in greater need of English speaking clergy? How many parishes are pre 1950 in origin? Are their parish councils set up, if so who staffs them?

There are many times that we have priests that are native born, but the parishoners drive them away since they are not of the proper ethnic background. Or the priest wants to de-Latinize the parish and the older folks do not want to loose their traditions.

Or how many of these Christian parishoners will stay away from the Church if the had a Chinese, African-American, Native American priest?

Quote
What is true on the south-side may not work on the north-side. Eastern custom comes from the grass roots up not the despot down. If parishioners leave where do they go, or don�t they? Those that do go elsewhere, what are they really looking for? If language was the answer, it is surprising the Episcopal church is not doing better.

The true question is "is this congration a Church or a Social Club." No one is saying that customs need to be wiped out, but we need to look at the customs that are legitimate parts of Church Tradition, which should remain part of the Liturgy, and those that need to be placed in social situations. My parish back in Minnesota, we still had a Lebanese Festival, since that is the roots of the parish, but many non-Lebanese parishoners participated since it was part of the social aspect of our congration. They were never made to feel that they are not a 100% Maronite, no matter how they came to our Church.

Poosh BaShlomo,
Yuhannon
Posted By: Mykhayl Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/22/08 02:25 AM
C/IABA ICYCY XPI/ICTY !

Reverend Father,

Clarification, was the qualification for the deacon program you were referring to requiring a student to �speak� or �read� Ukrainian? There is a difference, as I know many who can publicly read Shevchenko�s poetry, yet only know their meanings through translation.


Sometime we can get more out of the Divine Liturgy from experiencing it than understanding the words. English services are often attended by immigrants probably for the same reason American born often attend Ukrainian or Slavonic services. It give them a feeling of belonging. For guests instead of announcing the number of the Tone maybe we should announce the page number.

Some clerics are slaves of the canons rather than servants of the people. I am incensed when large parishes uniform their local customs by streamlining their service schedules, which in actuality only streamlines their parish population. Do those who vote with their feet go somewhere else or are they lost to wander while the despot finds himself? As they say if you don�t use it you will loose it, so why are multiple services and �half na pvel� (50/50 language) services unpopular? Saint Methodius and Pope John VIII agreed scripture would be don in tandem languages. Our way is to be inclusive not exclusive, and that goes both ways. Yuhannon I can trump everyone of your complaints with an opposite war story. So what is the real problem? That we are working with sinners not saints? Reread your copy of the lives of the saints.

If �experimental� approaches wasn�t so rampant during English services while traditional approaches safeguarded during Slavonic / Ukrainian usage there may not be such a stigma today. We�ll soon see if this is specifically a Ukrainian curiosity when the Roman�s actually start reusing Latin. As a majority they feed our inferiority complexes, now they expect us to stimulate their orthodoxy?
Posted By: Lawrence Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/22/08 04:06 AM

Very well stated on all points Mykhayl ! And I'll add that your comment "Sometime we can get more out of the Divine Liturgy from experiencing it than understanding the words" immediately made me think of the times I've attended Saints Volodymyr and Olha, not to mention the fact that I always attend the Ukrainian liturgy at my parish and not the English one.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/23/08 12:11 AM
Originally Posted by Mykhayl
Excuse me but I think we need further definition. When we speak of services are we speaking of primarily the Divine Liturgy or of the other multiple diverse possibilities? When attending these services are there multilingual, or at least English translation booklets available?

Since the Liturgy is effectively the 'work of the people', and since they should be second nature to everyone of the parish community, such books should not be necessary.

Originally Posted by Mykhayl
When we are speaking of visitors feeling unwelcome is it through ungracious hostility or inner-city prudence? You would be surprised of how many purses have disappeared from pews as their owners go up for Communion, or &#147;Babas&#148; (Granny) felt intimidated by a pushy stranger telling here if she was a good Christian she would give them $20 to get a &#147;meal&#148;. Please be more specific and less general.

So let the 'babas' take their purses with them up to Holy Communion, as my mother always did. And, as I am doing, let us all learn how to address those who ask us for money on the spot if and when the situation arises. These things only take practise.

Originally Posted by Mykhayl
As far as staffing a metropolitan area with only foreign born priests, is there a significant lack of native born priests available in the eparchy?

Yes

Originally Posted by Mykhayl
Have these &#147;missionaries&#148; taken English as a second language&#148; courses?

Some refuse to do so.

Originally Posted by Mykhayl
Are the suburbs likewise served, or are they in greater need of English speaking clergy? How many parishes are pre 1950 in origin? Are their parish councils set up, if so who staffs them?
What is true on the south-side may not work on the north-side. Eastern custom comes from the grass roots up not the despot down. If parishioners leave where do they go, or don&#146;t they? Those that do go elsewhere, what are they really looking for? If language was the answer, it is surprising the Episcopal church is not doing better.

Correct, language is not everything, as the pre-Vatican II Latin Church has shown. Rather, it is the whole culture that must be conformed to Christ. In all things, charity.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/23/08 12:14 AM
Originally Posted by Jon
Can the Church stop that process? Perhaps she can try, but the Church's role is to sanctify and evangelize, not to serve as a cultural hallmark. If she starts doing the latter, those who become "Americanized" will start to see the Church as a cultural club and thus look forward to places which preach the gospel and not what could be perceived as an apparent nationalism.
...
We must always remember that culture serves religion, not religion the culture. When the culture starts serving itself and religion the culture, then it becomes a self-feeding beast which will eventually devour itself leaving nothing but a mess to be eaten by a larger animal. This may be harsh, but the command of Christ is "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit" not "Go out to all nations and make them patriotic and loyal Jews!"

Amen!
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/23/08 12:22 AM
Originally Posted by Mykhayl
Some clerics are slaves of the canons rather than servants of the people. I am incensed when large parishes uniform their local customs by streamlining their service schedules, which in actuality only streamlines their parish population. Do those who vote with their feet go somewhere else or are they lost to wander while the despot finds himself? As they say if you don&#146;t use it you will loose it, so why are multiple services and &#147;half na pvel&#148; (50/50 language) services unpopular? Saint Methodius and Pope John VIII agreed scripture would be don in tandem languages. Our way is to be inclusive not exclusive, and that goes both ways. Yuhannon I can trump everyone of your complaints with an opposite war story. So what is the real problem? That we are working with sinners not saints? Reread your copy of the lives of the saints.

Many times (not every time!) those who end up leaving the parishes are the weaker links. They do not have the right intentions in the first place. As Pope Benedict XVI has adequately stated in an interview (as Cardinal Ratzinger) I vaguely remember reading, we must focus on purifying that which we have (so that we might become more holy, and so that the holy saints of God might bring more people into their communities, that God will sanctify them also!)

Originally Posted by Mykhayl
If &#147;experimental&#148; approaches wasn&#146;t so rampant during English services while traditional approaches safeguarded during Slavonic / Ukrainian usage there may not be such a stigma today. We&#146;ll soon see if this is specifically a Ukrainian curiosity when the Roman&#146;s actually start reusing Latin. As a majority they feed our inferiority complexes, now they expect us to stimulate their orthodoxy?

Very interesting words indeed. Here is much food for thought.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/23/08 12:24 AM
Originally Posted by Lawrence
Very well stated on all points Mykhayl ! And I'll add that your comment "Sometime we can get more out of the Divine Liturgy from experiencing it than understanding the words" immediately made me think of the times I've attended Saints Volodymyr and Olha, not to mention the fact that I always attend the Ukrainian liturgy at my parish and not the English one.

I've had similar experiences, but they have also taught me that the majority of people don't feel this way and are not the same. If they did, more of our churches would be full, but they're not...they're emptying out (if not empty already). So, what are we going to do about it?
Posted By: Mykhayl Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/23/08 12:57 AM
&#1057;&#1083;&#1072;&#1074;&#1072; &#1030;&#1089;&#1091;&#1089;&#1091; &#1061;&#1088;&#1080;&#1089;&#1090;&#1091;!

Our churches are not full because of peer pressure. The me generation�s peer pressure is learned from the TV. The only people who go weekly to church are black Baptists, everyone else only goes on Christmas and Easter or Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Unless you are a covenant of sister witches or demon fighting roommates then you are visited. EWTM doesn�t count as they have no prime time sitcoms.

Do? Write their sponsors.
Posted By: Lawrence Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/23/08 01:57 AM

At the UGCC parishes I've attended in the Chicago area, my experience has always been that people prefer the Ukrainian liturgy to the English one. At my parish they prefer it by a better than 2 to 1 margin. At St Nicholas in Ukrainian Village, I've noticed that the English liturgy was poorly attended and that most people prefered the Ukrainian ones by a wide margin. That might not jibe with the vision some people have of what the UGCC needs to evolve into, but that's the way it is and I say God Bless Them.
Posted By: Mykhayl Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/23/08 06:41 AM
&#1057;&#1083;&#1072;&#1074;&#1072; &#1030;&#1089;&#1091;&#1089;&#1091; &#1061;&#1088;&#1080;&#1089;&#1090;&#1091;!
Again and again in peace�

From the time of the Apostles Saints Cyril and Methodius we have been discovering unique treasurers here and others there in use amongst our peoples. The Holy Spirit works with what there is not forcing what there is not. Egotists have tried to uniform the church from the top while the people organically resist by glorifying their lives with the mystical Trinity at their own grass roots level, as during the iconoclast heresy. The migration of the Orthodox during this persecution is the true evangelization of the Slavic peoples. One parish has more people at a liturgical language Liturgy another parish might have more at a vernacular language Liturgy. Why make them choose, offer both. Small communities may offer both during the same Liturgy. I have witnessed where the priest and deacon chanted their parts in Ukrainian while the choir and people answered in Slavonic and the �silent� prayers which use to be secret were offered in English. Amazingly we found not only God was multilingual.

Rome is again learning from the East what was attributed to their own Saint Augustine �in essentials unity, in nonessentials diversity and in all charity�. What are we saying? Listen to the people for nowhere is it written pastors are infallible. Often the perception is not infallibility but scandalous lazy arrogance. If we don't use it we will loose it, and if they don't lay the groundwork it will not generate.

So much for generalizations. Offer some specific examples and see if the unwashed masses here can brainstorm charitable solutions. To exaggerate this invitation lets review what may soon need to be reversed. The Gregorian Calendar was driven down the throats of the American peasantry with edicts and manipulation. Going to church on January 6th for Christmas Eve people found garbage cans with the church�s Christmas trees conspicuously curbside. Inside water was blessed where they were smacked in the face with more than the holy. Would it not have been better to keep the decorations and sing the carols until the Meeting (Presentation) in accordance with our 40 day custom? Would a February 2 or 15 end to the season have been so detrimental? With hind sight we can see how a pot luck �Schedry Vechere� (Bountiful Supper) could have been used to explain our customs do not stop the day after Christmas. Besides the Christmas Eve �Svwaty Vechere� (vegan Holy Supper) we have the Schedry Vechere (Festive supper) at midnight of the feast of First Blood and another Schedry Vechere (vegan Bountiful Supper) for the eve of the Baptism. Like Shevchenko addressing his epistle to the ancestor, those present and those yet to come we would still be celebrating with our persecuted brothers and sisters under the Soviet yoke, and also with our present next door neighbors simultaneously. It was not when that was important but how. Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Protestant parishes organically accepted the spoils from this unjust holy war of ours.

If we do not know our past we are bound to repeat it. It was not a trivial attempt to uniform the calendar. Remember that is why Emperor Constantine called the First Ecumenical Council. It was the execution that was arrogantly uncharitable. On the other hand the 1954 prayer book CHRIST WITH US distributed under Bishop (Archbishop) Ambrose (Senyshyn) was charitably revolutionary. English translation and rubrics on one side and the Slavonic on the other. The marvelous part was the Slavonic was rendered in alternating lines of the Ukrainian alphabet and English alphabet syllable by syllable. He did more with this book to teach Europeans to read English and the American to read Ukrainian than any other project I know. It is ashamed subsequent publications reverted to what I will refer to afterward as a lazy way.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/23/08 01:26 PM
Originally Posted by Mykhayl
Our churches are not full because of peer pressure. The me generation&#146;s peer pressure is learned from the TV. The only people who go weekly to church are black Baptists, everyone else only goes on Christmas and Easter or Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Unless you are a covenant of sister witches or demon fighting roommates then you are visited. EWTM doesn&#146;t count as they have no prime time sitcoms.

Do? Write their sponsors.

Cultural and peer pressure is certainly a factor (as is, likely, demographics), but if this were the only factor then many of the Protestant (especially Evangelical) faithful would be affected by this. However, they don't seem to be letting peer pressure get the better of them. Their churches are full, and ours are not. No, in our Eastern Catholic case, there must be another more substantial reason.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/23/08 01:27 PM
Originally Posted by Lawrence
At the UGCC parishes I've attended in the Chicago area, my experience has always been that people prefer the Ukrainian liturgy to the English one. At my parish they prefer it by a better than 2 to 1 margin. At St Nicholas in Ukrainian Village, I've noticed that the English liturgy was poorly attended and that most people prefered the Ukrainian ones by a wide margin. That might not jibe with the vision some people have of what the UGCC needs to evolve into, but that's the way it is and I say God Bless Them.

Your citation of Chicago is not a good one, simply because the majority of the UGCC faithful there are NEW IMMIGRANTS from Ukraine. Of course they are going to prefer the Liturgy in their own language, and this is to be culturally expected.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/23/08 01:38 PM
Originally Posted by Mykhayl
One parish has more people at a liturgical language Liturgy another parish might have more at a vernacular language Liturgy. Why make them choose, offer both. Small communities may offer both during the same Liturgy. I have witnessed where the priest and deacon chanted their parts in Ukrainian while the choir and people answered in Slavonic and the &#147;silent&#148; prayers which use to be secret were offered in English. Amazingly we found not only God was multilingual.

Agreed, this is a good example of something practical. I have seen many Orthodox parishes that have bi-lingual liturgies (as per the norm of Christian Liturgy, where only one is served each day). We should offer both, because both are included within the treasury of our tradition. As long as we catechize people as to the full meaning of what's going on. Certainly, if people pray better in a 'sacred' language (whatever that means), then go for it. Who am I to stop them? Personally, I absolutely love the Greek and Slavonic. My only concern is that some people, who could have been touched by charity and perhaps hear something prayed in their vernacular, may not be. Lets keep 'em both, and praise God with our whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. Furthermore, let each linguistic adherent show love for the others.
Posted By: Mykhayl Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/23/08 02:16 PM
&#1057;&#1083;&#1072;&#1074;&#1072; &#1030;&#1089;&#1091;&#1089;&#1091; &#1061;&#1088;&#1080;&#1089;&#1090;&#1091;!
��the UGCC faithful there are NEW IMMIGRANTS from Ukraine. Of course they are going to prefer the Liturgy in their own language, and this is to be culturally expected�. Quote Byzantine Latino

That may be less accurate than you think. They may be use to different languages from the services from home, depending on the rubrics, gestures, sounds and smells more than the words. Besides going to the English Services will give them a feeling of US belonging; �Welkom to Amrika�. The priority I think is they go when thy think their friends will go. Community.
Posted By: Lawrence Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/23/08 07:55 PM

I've never seen figures for the Chicago area, but at my parish, the vast majority of those attending the Ukrainian liturgy are most definitely not new arrivals, and at other parishes I've spoken with or overheard conversations with more than a few who obviously speak English as there first language, yet attend the Ukrainian liturgy. It's certainly not a case of people going for the language they're more conversationally fluent in.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/23/08 10:22 PM
Originally Posted by Lawrence
I've never seen figures for the Chicago area, but at my parish, the vast majority of those attending the Ukrainian liturgy are most definitely not new arrivals, and at other parishes I've spoken with or overheard conversations with more than a few who obviously speak English as there first language, yet attend the Ukrainian liturgy. It's certainly not a case of people going for the language they're more conversationally fluent in.

My sources are new Ukrainian immigrants who are either centered in and around Chicago, or who are well-acquainted and/or connected with the city. I have been told that the majority of the new immigrants cannot speak English. Some, it seems, are learning. Most, however, seem to find work illegally and probably intend to return to Ukraine once they've earned enough money. One of my friends, who was visiting from Ukraine, was heading out to Chicago to stay with a cousin. She asked me to telephone her cousin's cell phone, and mentioned that he couldn't speak English...meaning I would get a good linguistic work-out.
Perhaps your parish is an exception to the area.
Certainly, some people prefer the Ukrainian liturgy. Often, for example, the English liturgy is the second-class one...the singing not being so great.
Posted By: Byzantine Latino Re: Ethnic Parishes Good or Bad - 06/23/08 10:30 PM
Originally Posted by Mykhayl
That may be less accurate than you think. They may be use to different languages from the services from home, depending on the rubrics, gestures, sounds and smells more than the words. Besides going to the English Services will give them a feeling of US belonging; &#147;Welkom to Amrika&#148;. The priority I think is they go when thy think their friends will go. Community.

This may all very well be the case. I think community is the single, most important act of welcome, and it has more success than any other 'tactic'.
© The Byzantine Forum