Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma (USA) Held an Annual Pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Holy Cross

Monday, 17 September 2018, 15:10
Faithful, clergy, and religious from the States of Ohio and Pennsylvania of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma and beyond took part on September 15, 2018 – Saturday after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, according to the Gregorian calendar – in the pilgrimage to the Shrine of the Holy Cross of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Youngstown, Ohio.

The pilgrimage, led by Bishop Bohdan Danylo, Eparch of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma and organized by Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Youngstown, Ohio under the leadership of the church’s pastor, Fr. Lubomyr Zhybak, provided an opportunity for the pilgrims to enrich their faith through the Eucharistic Celebration, Holy Mystery of Reconciliation, prayer, and fellowship in the spirit of the Ukrainian Catholic faith. The theme of this year’s pilgrimage was “Christ’s Prayer on the Cross: “Behold your Mother!””

The pilgrimage began with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy presided over by Bishop Bohdan Danylo and concelebrated by Chorbishop Anthony Spinosa, Director of the Basilica and National Shrine of Our Lady of Lebanon of the Maronite Catholic Church in North Jackson, OH; Fr. Douglas Lorance, pastor of St. Michael the Archangel Church in Lyndora, PA; Fr. Joseph Rudjak, Pastor of Holy Apostles Roman Catholic Parish in Youngstown, OH; Fr. David Misbrener, Pastor of St. Peter of the Fields Roman Catholic Church in Rootstown, OH; Fr. Lubomyr Zhybak, pastor of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Youngstown, OH and St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church in Austintown, OH; and Deacon Donald Billy from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Youngstown, OH in addition to many lay and religious, who participated in the pilgrimage. Fr. Ihor Hohosha, pastor of St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church in Pittsburgh, PA and St. John the Baptist Ukrainian Catholic Church in McKees Rocks, PA as well as Fr. Jason Charron, pastor of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie, PA and Our Lady of Perpetual Help Ukrainian Catholic Church in Wheeling, WV heard confessions. The responses were provided by a joint choir of Holy Trinity Church in Youngstown and Saint Anne Church in Austintown under the leadership of Mrs. Marie Woloszyn, the choir director from Holy Trinity Church.

During his homily (edited), Bishop Bohdan said: “When we are starting this new [Church] year, we once again place the cross of Christ as a sign to follow. And for us as a community of Cleveland and Pittsburgh we chose for the last couple of years to establish for ourselves a tradition to come on this Saturday here in front of this beautiful monument of the cross and remind ourselves that our life should and can be Christian as long as we look into the face of this cross.” The hierarch also said: “We chose this year as a theme for our pilgrimage here to the Holy Cross: “Behold your Mother!” These are the words of Christ giving Mary to His disciple John and offering her as the Mother to all of us. So, it will be fitting for us today to look as to why Mary is becoming the one as a symbol of Christian living. Mary is the one, who is an example of faith, hope, and love.” Throughout her entire life, “Mary is faithful to her call as the Mother of Christ” even at the cross, continued Bishop Bohdan, adding that “Mary with the strong faith and hope in God is able to stand at the cross and that is why Jesus is offering her to the apostle and through the apostle to all of us as Mother to all of us: “Behold your Mother!” And because of that faith and love, Mary is capable throughout her entire life to walk with the Church through Pentecost, through the loving gift of the Holy Spirit” and Mary is with us as often as we, as the Church, proclaim her protection. “She is with us today, as we stand at the cross of Christ.” “So, I pray and I ask you,” accentuated the bishop, “that especially today as we come to this cross with our own crosses, with all troubles and tribulations that we may ask God to give us a portion of the faith that Mary carried, her hope and love for the Church.”

After the Liturgy, the pilgrims had an opportunity to share lunch and fellowship with Bishop Bohdan, clergy and other fellow pilgrims in the parish’s social hall.

Following lunch, the pilgrims took part in the Akathistos in Honor of the Venerable and Life-Giving Cross of our Lord, presided over by Bishop Bohdan and concelebrated by Fr. Lubomyr Zhybak, who delivered a homily, and Deacon Donald Billy – the service that concluded the pilgrimage.

During the pilgrimage, Bishop Bohdan likewise thanked all the pilgrims for coming on this spiritual journey. In particular, the hierarch thanked Fr. Lubomyr Zhybak and all of his parishioners for organizing the pilgrimage and hospitality. In turn, Fr. Lubomyr expressed his gratitude to Bishop Bohdan for leading this year’s pilgrimage as well as thanked all the pilgrims for participating in the spiritual event.

The pilgrimage was also an opportunity for the participants to partake in the Holy Mystery of Reconciliation as well as to visit and pray in the parish church, located next to the shrine.

Sharing his thoughts on the pilgrimage, Fr. Lubomyr Zhybak stated: “This was our third pilgrimage since we established a tradition in 2016 of holding annual pilgrimages to our shrine on Saturday after the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, and it is our sincere hope that it will become more and more popular among the faithful of our eparchy and beyond. We come to this beautiful shrine with the glorious cross reaching out to the sky under the leadership of our shepherd, Bishop Bohdan Danylo, because we want to reaffirm to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ our faith in Him. We come to the cross of Christ, because we know that although at times we fail to follow our Lord faithfully, we concomitantly know that Christ’s victorious sign of the cross is also our personal protection as well as assurance of final victory over sin, accomplished by our Lord on the cross once and for all as a sacrifice offered by Him to our Heavenly Father. Hence, today’s Divine Liturgy, presided over by Bishop Bohdan was not a repetition of Christ’s sacrifice on Golgotha, but was the very same sacrifice offered by our Lord on the cross two thousand years ago. Thus, all of us gathered around the Eucharistic table, having transcended time and space, if you will, were standing at the foot of the cross together with our Lord’s and our Most Holy Mother, St. John the Apostle, and other disciples. And so, Christ’s words on the cross directed to St. John: “Behold your Mother!” – the theme of this year’s pilgrimage – were the words directed also to all of us, pilgrims, for Mary is our heavenly Mother and perpetual Protectress, constantly leading us to her Son and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,” concluded the pastor.

Reference:

Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Youngstown, Ohio (USA) was founded in 1911. In 1986, on the occasion of the 75th parish anniversary and the millennial anniversary of the Baptism of Rus-Ukraine, the Shrine of the Holy Cross was erected through the sacrificial efforts of parishioners and their long-time pastor, Very Rev. Mitred Archpriest Leo Adamiak, who fell asleep in the Lord in March 2010. Since January 2013 the parish and the shrine have been entrusted to the spiritual care of Fr. Lubomyr Zhybak.

 

Department of Information of the UGCC


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