On Lazarus Saturday, March 31, 2018 the St. Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Monessen, PA (Very Rev. Fr. Roman Yatskiw – pastor) was visited by His Eminence Archbishop Daniel, the Ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy and President of Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA.
A small Pittsburgh suburban town, with 7,720 population was blessed to receive a visit from the hierarch of the Church. Upon the entrance to the temple, several parishioners of the parish community who arrived on Saturday afternoon for a meeting with their bishop welcomed Vladyka Daniel. Following the formal greetings Archbishop Daniel related greetings and the archpastoral blessing of the Primate of the UOC of the USA - Metropolitan Antony. As Vladyka Daniel served the Moleben Service, the church was filled with warmth as semeinarians of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orhtfodox Theological Seminary (Subdeacon Mykola Zomcha, Subdeacon Ivan Venhryn, seminarian Myroslav Mykytuyk and seminarian Yaroslav Bilohan) sang the responses.
His Eminence offered his Archpastoral prayers for all clergy, people, the sick, the suffering, and especially to all of the armed forces who have served, are serving, or those who have given their lives for the freedom of all.
In his sermon, Vladyka reflected upon the spiritual meaning of Lazarus Saturday and talked about the importance of assisting and showing love to those in need, to show more kindness, humility, and more compassion, to show what one can accomplish when working for the glory of God.
Following the services, all gathered at the parish house, where once again all shared in the love and fellowship with each other and the blessing of His Eminence. During the luncheon, a conversation took place about the strategic plan for ministerial opportunities of the parish community. Both the parishioners and their spiritual father discussed various projects and ideas in order to further the ministry of the parish in the town that according to the US Census of 1990 had the population of 13, 026 versus the 2010 Census data of 7,720. Upon the guidance of Archbishop Daniel the parish family took upon itself the task of development of various active ministerial steps for the parish until the end of 2018.
This visit of Archbishop Daniel is a blessing that the parishioners of St. Nicholas Parish will cherish and always remember.