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We Thank You

For supporting St. Michael Church (Pittston, Pennsylvania) 25th Annual Flea Market / Ziti Dinner / Ethnic Food Fest


Our 2022 Annual St. Michael Flea Market Weekend came to a close Sunday, August 7th.  And this year marked a milestone because this event began 25 years ago (not counting the pause during 2020).  

It is a landmark also as a symbol of the perseverance and dedication of St. Michael’s parish members.

A church sponsored flea market was a novel idea 25 years ago in our community.  At the beginning, it was unique; even “untested”, to undertake as a church fundraiser.  It didn’t fit the model of the usual bazaars that mark the arrival of summers in NEPA.  

And so, we offer our kudos to the parish’s initial planners and supporters for giving it a try, and to everyone who has been able to help through the years.  That includes many, and with the passage of time, memories of all who have been a part of this. 

Twenty-five years is a very long time when you think about it.  A lifetime for some!  So it’s amazing to think about, and to think of how things have changed during these years.  But one thing hasn’t changed, and that is appreciation to our parish members and our community of friends.


So once again, we thank foremost, ALL volunteers, those old and young, those seasoned over time and first timers, all who contributed in ways big or small.  We understand the value of your time.  It all matters.  

Our Appreciation extends to EVERYONE  —-  and this  includes:


♥    The patrons who come back year after year.   Our good neighbors and faithful friends come for the food (that’s oh so good) and to shop. You are a blessing to us. We are moved by your unfailing support.  We enjoy serving you and sharing conversation with you, and for your willingness to brave the standard August heat!

♥    The drop-in shoppers/visitors who “take a chance” for the first time to enter our doors and are pleasantly surprised.  We can only hope we met your needs satisfactorily and returned the value of your time with us.

♥    The Day One bargain shoppers – the scouters of “good stuff” who patiently wait in line for the opening doors on Saturday.  We hope you found just the surprise treasure that made your day!

♥    The volunteers who gave up any part of their  time, day or night, hours or weeks of hours, or a precious weekend “off”.  May you find some rest in the weeks ahead, knowing you served your church well.

♥    Our food team volunteers who labored in the kitchen with prep, cooking, and endless cleanup.  And those hardy souls frying and grilling outdoors.  Where would we be without the great food you create for all to enjoy?  You are our success makers!  (Take a bow for the “piggie” magic and more! )

♥    Our senior volunteers helping in different ways and valued for their fortitude and dedication.   We pray that God may answer all their prayers.  We pray that others, especially younger may be moved to follow their example, in love of God and love of our Eastern rite.  In the face of challenging demographics, this is critical.  We also thank those who in their practice and presence, understand the urgency of this need for our future together.

♥    The volunteers who are not members of our parish of St. Michaels, but help on behalf of a friend who is.  We also thank volunteers and supporters from our sister parish of St. Nicholas, Swoyersville!  You are a part of our family and get a heartfelt hug in oceans of gratitude.  You are a role model for others.

♥    Let’s not forget other roles played by volunteers: the behind-the-scenes folks who also make it happen:  the bakers, flea market “pricers”, organizers, errand runners, setup, donors of supplies, and on and on.

We thank everyone.

May God bless you all.


Byzantine Liturgy at St. Ann Basilica, Scranton – Tuesday, July 20, 2021

We Welcome You to Join Us !

2021 Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy
Basilica of St. Ann, Scranton, Pennsylvania
Tuesday, July 20 – 5:30 p.m.

Bishop Kurt R. Burnette, D.D., of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic will preside at the Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy on Tuesday, July 20th.  Present with the Bishop will be area priests, deacons, altar servers and regional choir members.  Not only is this a gathering of Byzantine Catholic faithful, but an opportunity for everyone to experience the expression of the Eastern traditions of the Catholic church.

The annual nine-day solemn novena to St. Ann at the National Shrine of the Basilica of St. Ann, Scranton begins on Saturday, July 17 and culminates on Monday, July 26, the feast day of St. Ann.  This year the novena will span two full weekends, affording the opportunity for many to attend.

Novena week is the largest gathering of Catholic faithful coming from points near and far, focused in Northeastern Pennsylvania.   Several thousand people attend daily Masses and the novena.  It is a beautiful tradition and pilgrimage for all faithful.

The Liturgy will be in the expansive, air conditioned upper main church.  Preachers for this 2021 novena are:  Fr. Robert E. Carbonneau, C.P., PhD. And Fr. Robert Joerger, C.P. .  

New this year on Sunday, July 25th, Special Blessings for Grandparents and Elderly in Observance of the First Annual Grandparents Day inaugerated by Pope Francis

For information about the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic visit :  eparchyofpassaic.com

Photo Gallery previous years of the Byzantine Liturgy at St. Ann Basilica

If you plan to attend the Divine Liturgy, it is recommended to arrive very early if you wish to avoid heavy traffic.  You will want to have time for a visit around the monastery grounds; light a candle, and have prayer time in the lower church in front of the icon of St. Ann and the Holy Theotokos.  There is also a food stand for your convenience at the bottom of the hill.

We are ever grateful to the Passionist community, staff, and St. Ann parish family at the Monastery who are always our gracious hosts and friends.  It is a gift and blessing to be united as Catholics in worship to God and with reverence to St. Ann.

Hope to see everyone in Scranton for novena week!

Let us pray for great weather to the benefit of all.

Additional information will be on St. Ann Scranton Novena Facebook page and local newspapers for listings.

Summary of Novena Week :

DAILY Novena Devotions after each DAILY Mass8:00 & 11:45 am 5:30 & 7:30 pm
Novena Service only 3:30 pm daily in the Basilica

(There will be no individual blessing with the relic this year)

Confessions 45 min Before all Masses & 3:30 Novena Service in Lower Basilica

1:30 pm Mass of the Anointing of the Sick Thursday – Main Basilica

10 am  Children’s Mass & Novena & Blessing for Infants and Children

5:30 pm
Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy

Eastern Rite of Catholic Church

Bishop Kurt Burnette, Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic, NJ
This Liturgy is in place of the 5:30 pm Mass/novena

in Observance of the First Annual Grandparents Day
Inaugerated by Pope Francis

MONDAY JULY 26  St. Ann’s Feast Day
Masses:  4:30, 6:00, 7:00, 8:00, 9:00, 10:00, & 11:45 A.M.
1:30 pm – Polish (Upper Basilica)
3:30 (Novena only)
Mass: 5:30 pm
7:30 pm **  Pontifical Closing
with Bishop Joseph Bambera, D.D., J.C.L.

If you cannot attend, if available, you may be able to listen on
JMJ Catholic Radio 98.9 FM
12 noon (Mass) 12:30 pm (Novena)
7:00 pm (Mass) 7:30 pm (Novena)

24th Annual Flea Market

2021 Annual Indoor Flea Market & Ziti Dinner
We are Back !

St. Michael the Archangel Byzantine Catholic Church
205 North Main Street, Pittston, Pennsylvania

Great Finds!  Great Food!  Don’t Miss it!

SATURDAY, July 31      9 AM TO 4 PM
SUNDAY, August 1       9 AM TO 3 PM

More information below this photo gallery

Ziti Dinner  $12 Adults and $7 Children

  • Saturday July 31   12 noon to 4 pm
  • Sunday August 1   10 am to 3 pm
  • Take Outs only
  • Purchase tickets at the door
  • See more details below
  • Bake Sale Saturday July 31 only

Something for Everyone !

If you love scouting flea markets, but not the extra travel driving from place to place, St. Michael’s Byzantine Catholic Church, Pittston should be on your agenda.

Father Andrii, our pastor, and the parishioners of St. Michael’s invite you to visit.

This year, as always, you will find an abundant amount of items.  A special “treasure” might be waiting for you!

The Flea Market is in the lower level of the church.  Entrance by stairway is on Main Street next to the side parking lot.  The line forms early Saturday morning outside the church.   Arrive early if you must, or any time either day.  There will be plenty to explore yet if you visit on Sunday.   It’s exciting to be part of the fun!   Doors open at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday.

Take a break from hunting for treasure and visit the food bar.

Known for Traditional Ethnic Food

Select something as eat in or take out.   St. Michael’s is known for outstanding Carpatho-Rusyn and Slovak style – homemade ethnic food:  “Piggies” (stuffed cabbage), pierogis, and halushki (cabbage and noodles).  Or try a sampler with a little bit of each!  Also potato pancakes will be on sale too.  Yum !  Fast food lunch items and soda available too.

A ziti dinner with fresh homemade sauce and meatballs, salad and bread will be a featured item.  Generous portions.  Take out only.   Tickets at the door.

With all these delicious selections there is no need to cook at all.

Saturday Bake Sale

Don’t forget to pick up something sweet at the Bake Sale: Saturday, July 31st only.

You are sure to find something temptingly delicious!  Items sell fast.  Be sure to stop by early for the best selection.


Divine Liturgy at Basilica of St. Ann, Scranton – Tuesday, July 21, 2020


Changes in place
for this year’s
Solemn Novena to St. Ann
The Basilica of the National Shrine of St. Ann

Watch the streamed video of the 2020 Liturgy:¹ 



Note Time:
Tuesday, July 21 – 5:30 p.m.


Bishop Kurt R. Burnette, D.D., of the Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of Passaic, New Jersery will preside at the Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy on Tuesday, July 21st.  Joining the bishop will be area priests, deacons, altar servers and regional choir members.

The annual nine-day solemn novena to St. Ann at the National Shrine of the Basilica of St. Ann, Scranton begins on Friday, July 17 and culminates on Sunday, July 26, the feast day of St. Ann.


2018 – 2019 Photo Gallery of the Byzantine Liturgy at St. Ann Basilica



The Diocese of Scranton has published the following article (see links below) on their website.  It describes the challenges faced by those planning this year’s event along with the changes faithful will need to know in advance if attending.


Please carefully read this article if you wish to attend so you can adjust your plans accordingly.  There are changes to some of the customary services normally available on the Basilica grounds.




The Liturgy will be in the air conditioned upper main church, however the number of faithful allowed inside the Basilica for the Liturgy will be limited to 135 people.  The traditional blessing with a relic of St. Ann will be made as a general blessing only.

This year it is recommended that anyone with underlying medical conditions consider remaining in the safety of home and instead pray the devotions in other ways.




Diocese of Scranton Catholic Television (CTV) will air the daily novena services on cable and over the air.

Monday-Friday: noon, 3:30 and 7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 6 p.m.
The closing service will be broadcast July 28 at 8 p.m. & July 29 at 10 a.m.

Channels 7 & 807
Monday-Friday: 6:30 a.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 4 p.m.
The closing service will be broadcast July 27 at 4 p.m.

Online Streaming  facebook.com/StAnnsNovena, facebook.com/

¹  Video streaming courtesy of the volunteers of St. Ann’s Basilica parish and the Knights of Columbus Council 12572 and Assembly 938



IMG_3331We pray that in future years we will be able to celebrate as we have in the past honoring the mother of our blessed Theotokos, the Mother of Our God.

In our present time, God understands our needs, knows the intentions of our hearts and hears our petitions for bringing us through these trials and sacrifices.  No matter how we participate in this year’s novena, whether at home or at the Basilica, our voices are united both now and eternally.

We are ever grateful to the Passionist community, staff, and St. Ann parish family at the Monastery who are always our gracious hosts and friends.  It is a gift and blessing to be united as Catholics in worship to God and with reverence to St. Ann.


DAILY Novena Devotions after each DAILY Mass :  
8:00 & 11:45 am 5:30 pm

Novena Service only 3:30 pm daily in the Basilica;  No daily 7:30 Masses except for Closing Feast Day

Milestones June 2020

It’s June 2020 and we have reached two milestones.   First, you are invited to visit the new Facebook page of our sister parish, St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church, Swoyersville, Pennyslvania.  You can find it here at this link:

Facebook Page of St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church, Swoyersville, Pennyslvania 

Be sure to watch live streamed Eastern Catholic (Byzantine rite) Liturgies from St. Nicholas church.   Periodically there will also be news specific to the parish.   Live stream liturgies will follow the routine parish schedule of services:  Sundays at 11 am and additionally as announced.    Please remember to like the new page to get St. Nicholas’ site off to a fresh start.

Our gratitude goes to Fr. Andrii, pastor of St. Michael Church, Pittston and St. Nicholas Church, Swoyersville.   Fr. Andrii independently and technically manages the live streaming from both churches.  Thank you especially to the St. Michael team of Deacon Larry, altar server Carl, cantors Diana and Donna, sexton Michael, church secretary Linda and our media managers for their reliable service during the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.   Our parishioners stayed connected through the teamwork of all.


A second milestone is the fifth anniversary of our St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church media outreach with our website and Facebook page.  Yes, to everyone who still hasn’t believed …. we do have a website !

Appreciation for building and managing both and media communications in general goes to St. Michael’s tech team (Mary Anne, Nancy, Heather, and Fr. Andrii).  An online presence puts our parishes on the map resulting not only in visibility within our local community but extending around the globe!  We cannot believe it has been five years already for our church website and Facebook page.  These serve as public affirmations of our Byzantine Catholic faith, and honor the call to the new evangelization, the renewal for all faithful to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Listed below are some interesting statistics for the website of St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church since its inception in 2015.  The site was developed for the parish 100th Anniversary.

As of this posting, the site has a cumulative 83,689 hits from 102 different sovereignties including Vatican City (not listed).  Also seen below are the top 50 pages visited.

Visits to St. Michael’s Website from Countries over a Five Year Span
(In order of frequency by column, left to right)
Countries that have visited St. Michael Website
Most Visited Pages During Last Five Years  (by column, left to right)

Top 50 pages visited

What are we commanded to do as Catholic Christians and believers?
  Jesus is clear on this in Mark 16:15 not long after his resurrection with these words —
  “Then he told them: ‘Go into the whole world and proclaim the good news to all creation.’ ” 
How?   In our words, actions, and behavior.  The time is now!

Bright Week in the Eastern Catholic Church

img_2076-1280x960-1-1The first week starting with Pascha is known as Bright Week.  In our Byzantine Catholic churches, the entire week of Easter or Pascha is given extraordinary significance.  Pascha, being the Feast of Feasts is the greatest historical event on the liturgical calendar and we carry the salutations and hymns of the resurrection from Pascha to Christ’s Ascension.

Everything about Bright Week emphasizes the salvific act of Christ’s resurrection and the triumph over darkness.  The magnitude of Christ’s Resurrection is intertwined in the liturgical celebrations to such a degree that there can be no doubt in the minds of the faithful that what has transpired has changed the world and humanity forever.  Everything is brought into the fullness of the light shining in the world.  As the Gospel of John Chapter 1 proclaims about Christ, that it is “through him all things came into being, and apart from him nothing came to be.  Whatever came to be in him, found life, life for the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, a darkness that did not overcome it.”  (John 1: 3-5).

A tradition of our Byzantine churches on Bright Monday is the proclamation of the four resurrection Gospels.  The priest together with the faithful walk in procession while chanting resurrectional hymns to the four corners of the earth, represented by the four “corners” of the church.  The significance of this relates to the command of the angel who appeared to the myrrh bearing women upon arrival at the tomb, directing them to go forth and proclaim the good news of Christ’s resurrection and in these gospels we hear this account.  It is a beautiful tradition and one that if possible, all are encouraged to participate in when available.  It reminds us that in the baptismal vows made by our sponsors on our behalf, that we too are obligated as Christian believers and held accountable to do the same, to witness Christ to the world.   When we are able to join in this service, we are publicly making visible our commitment to all that we believe.  In every sense, we demonstrate Christ’s life in us.   Do we not want to shine to others also?

In the reading of the following Gospels which are chanted at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy on Bright Monday, we find ourselves mystically at the tomb with the disciples and the holy women.

Matthew 28: 1 – 28
Mark 16: 1 – 19
Luke 24: 1 -12
John 20: 1 – 10

As we listen and meditate on the accounts, our hearts are stirred with the same wonder as the first witnesses.  The sheer astonishment of the apostles in seeing the empty tomb and burial garments left in place brings to life  – paints an icon – of the reality and actuality of the Resurrection.  We can only imagine the rush of emotion they felt at the time as indescribable.

It is why their reading on this day after Pascha further confirms the authenticity of all we profess and believe.  While the manner in which the Resurrection physically occurred is beyond the grasp of our human intelligence, the facts of the Resurrection cannot be disputed.  Our faith in God lies in our surrender to trust in the mystery.  And in our trust, God can do great things.  The reading of the four Gospels should inspire us even more of the beauty of God’s plan and love for us.  Our faith is emboldened in this beautiful tradition of their reading.

In the liturgical services during this festal period, everything points heavenly and unites all creation in praise and glory to God.   Pascha is celebrated as a solemn feast for three days and liturgically observed the whole week.  During this week, the doors of the iconostasis or icon screen including the Royal Doors  remain open.  This symbolizes visually that Christ’s resurrection opened heaven for all of us.  We sing the Paschal troparion of “Christ is risen…” with the opening of each liturgy, during and closing.  And in the final blessing, the priest continues to bless us three times with the hand cross loudly and emphatically proclaiming “Christ is Risen!”  to which the faithful respond enthusiastically that “Indeed He is Risen!” while making the sign of the cross.

Our joy in the resurrection should be jubilant to the highest degree throughout Bright week and in the following 39 days because this is the summit of our Christian faith.  As we sing “Shine in splendor” everything in Bright week does shine in splendor in the beauty of the white altar linens, vestments, candles, flowers, and intensified church lighting.  Our celebration, as in other particular feast days, also removes the requirement to abstain or fast on the Friday of this week.   And so our joy is extended to all aspects of our life.  Let us fill our domestic churches – our homes – with joy and symbols of our unity of faith.

Our hearts rejoice in the hope of eternal life with our Lord.  Let us sing and rejoice!

The post-festive period of the Resurrection lasts until Ascension, the next feast day in the awesome continuation of God’s plan.


Christ is Risen! Indeed He Is Risen!

“It is the day of Resurrection.  O People, let us be enlightened by it.
The Passover is the Lord’s Passover, since Christ, our God, has brought us from death to life,
and from earth to heaven.
Therefore we sing the hymn of victory!”

The words above are from Ode 1 of the Resurrection Canon sung at Resurrection Matins in our Byzantine Catholic churches.   The words summarize what the Resurrection of Jesus Christ accomplished across all measures of time and space for all people.   Our hymn of victory is our proclamation that “Christ is Risen” and that He is our God, “the Giver of Life”.

IMG_2021 (1012x1024) (2)Our Hymn of Victory is made visual each time we see the symbolic letters of
IC XC NIKA,  shorthand derived from the Greek language meaning  JESUS CHRIST CONQUERS!   Everytime we see these letters — on icons, on our hymnal books, in stained glass windows, and also imprinted on the prosphora the priest uses for Holy Communion — we are emboldened with strength in knowing that regardless of any hardships we have, that Christ triumphs over darkness.

We turn to Christ as a trusting child, knowing that the victory he has won for us is the answer.

The victory of our Risen Savior is found in another beautiful hymn sung at Resurrection Matins, the Hypakoje, gives a wonderful description of what we read in the New Testament — the discovery of the empty tomb, and along with this, a short command given to the “myrrh-bearing” women to act immediately.   A call to action, nonetheless!  This is also a command for us to go and be disciples.  To joyfully proclaim the same wonderous news to all.  When we share the “kerygma” we are following in the footsteps of the women at the tomb who in their discovery were the first to proclaim the revelation of the good news.

“The women with Mary, before the dawn, found the stone rolled away from the tomb – And they, heard the Angel say: ‘Why do you seek among the dead as a mortal , the One who abides in everlasting light?  Behold, the linens of burial – Go in haste and proclaim to the world – that having, conquered Death, the Lord is risen for He is the Son of God, the Savior of mankind.”

And as we rejoice and celebrate, we sing with emphasis the words of another refrain:

“All you who been baptized into Christ, have been clothed with Christ! Alleluia!

The church wisely reminds us that we are clothed in Christ as having been initiated into the Body of Christ through the Sacraments.  We live in Christ and Christ lives in us.   This is such a great gift freely and sacrificially earned for us by our Lord and Savior.   Such a victory!  Such a gift !  No one can give such a valuable gift as this !   Every time we receive the Sacraments, we renew our life in Christ.   Let us be mindful when we approach the Sacraments, such as Holy Communion, who we are receiving and what a sacred privilege to be so closely united with Christ, to be filled with all the graces and love He pours into our soul.

Not inconsequentially — our promise to God in our baptism is to live our Christian beliefs, all that Jesus taught his own disciples.  We are pledged and commissioned, just as the angel instructed the women at the empty tomb, to share through action and words, the message and joy of the Gospel.

023 (768x1024)
This is why in the Byzantine Catholic Church we sing repeatedly:   “Christ is Risen!”  It is just as He foretold.  The amazing power of God.

May we strive with unfailing intention, to bring the spirit of that  first Easter and evidence of our life in Christ to those we encounter along our life path.

Christ is Risen !  Indeed He IS Risen !

You can find more about these related topics on this website:


Explanation of the Descent into Hades Icon

Reflections during Holy Week 2020

img_0481-443x800Our journey with our Lord brings us to this most solemn week for all Christians.   Yet we find ourselves both anxious and expectant of what may come next.  It is not the events of our Lord’s passion that has us most anxious.  Rather we feel the vulnerability and risk associated with a microscopic adversary, the novel coronavirus.  This tiny entity that we cannot see, but fear greatly, has presented every person with never before foreseen challenges.  We have been forced to submit to authorities in new ways, we have been stripped of our complacency and distanced from our self-created sense of comfort and self-reliance.

For us as Christians and Catholics it has been a Lenten journey like no other, one seen in a new light if we are able to see all that has come upon us through our spiritual eyes.   This Lent has given us a stark reminder more powerful than any of our rituals of faith, of our human condition — the finite reality of our human physical bodies.

Now imagine for a moment the world back in the time of Jesus Christ.  We may have an idealized view of what it was like.  But it was a world of difficulties, of hardships, and of discomforts.  During Jesus’ three years of public ministry he walked and lived the day to day realities of that time. And for what little the apostles had in terms of possessions, Jesus asked them to give up all for the greater treasure he offered.  Now consider the works of Jesus during his travels in the many towns and villages around Galilee.  Aside from his preaching, you would probably agree that his healing of the sick is among the most mentioned topics in Scripture. Wherever he traveled, Jesus was surrounded by people who sought to be healed.

In the situation of our present moment, we have been humbled to change our behavior, our thinking, our habits, relationships and more.  Like the people in Jesus’ time on earth, we are a people and a world in need of healing.  We have been in need of healing for some time.   Our plea of healing is not only for our physical problems, but for healing of the many ways we fail to live the virtues that Jesus calls us to.  Those failings are our sins.   Jesus not only wished to heal the people of his time on earth of their physical infirmities, but in many ways their spiritual blindness, a blindness that is prevalent in our time.  Jesus’ love and desire is to heal people of all time for all eternity.

A tradition during Great and Holy week in the Byzantine Catholic church has always been the chance for all Byzantine Catholics –  not limited to those with physical ailments — to receive the Sacrament of Sick, usually on Holy Wednesday.  Our Eastern view of the Sacrament is that we are all in need of healing, whether that is spiritual or physical and we are invited as a church family to receive this Sacrament during Great and Holy Week.  Unfortunately, during this time of cloistering and distancing, we are unable to receive this important Sacrament of our Catholic church.   However, we can still ask Jesus to heal us wherever we may be.  We can “attend” one of the many streamed services online, even to chant and pray along as participants.

We do not know what comes next in our present crisis.  In any crisis we do not know.  But we do know what comes next in the upcoming and final days of Holy Week.  And as we participate in our domestic church services this week, we can appreciate more clearly what Jesus endured for us, we see the price of sacrificial love, and the meaning of the cross.  We also see what Jesus wants us to have, wants us to possess, and that is the constancy of hope, a hope in all that is Truth, all that is eternal.  For the cross is more than a symbol.  Jesus Christ our Lord has conquered what we fear most.  He shows us the Way, loves us as children, knows our fears and hears our prayers.

We call to mind the many ways Jesus healed those who sought his help in total trust. In faith we can obtain those same graces and spiritual healing.   Jesus, the great Physician of Souls is always near to the hearts of those who seek and ask.

  • Please pray this week for healing for those who are suffering in any way and those who are grieving the loss of loved ones.
  • Pray for all who tirelessly serve the needs of others in sacrifice, that they may have the physical strength and patience they require.
  • Pray for healing and softening of the hearts that reject and mock God or are lukewarm in their relationship with Him.
  • And do not fear to ask for your own spiritual healing to trust God in all the trials of life, in asking for protection in the Most Holy and Blessed name, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Gospel in Our Lives

“Your word, O Lord, endures forever; it is firm as the heavens.  Through all generations your Truth endures.”
Psalm 119:89-90



Dear brothers and sisters in Christ:

I want to share with you at this time some thoughts that have inspired me.

The first of these are in reference to general concepts in the Word of God or the Gospel. I believe that in today’s realities, in today’s circumstances of life, these are most relevant to the needs and challenges we are facing as they relate to the essence of each person’s life.

The questions we are presented today in the face of these challenges are ones that should be the foundation for every Christian, but unfortunately, this is not always the case. It is not because in times of suffering, the suffering that we are experiencing now, that not everyone can answer the question: “Why does it happen that innocent people suffer?”  We may simply find ourselves less hopeful in such situations.

In times of suffering, what Jesus Christ proposes remains valid and is relevant.   Jesus says:  “Take my yoke …. and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble of heart.  Your souls will find rest, for my yoke is easy and my burden light,” writes Matthew the Evangelist in Chapter 11:29-30.

If so, then the question is: How can this yoke be carried and remain light? How can one bear the cross of problems, suffering, fears, anxieties, emotions and not lose hope?  What’s more, how can we be sharing hope and love with others? It is possible when we focus on how Jesus Christ carried the cross and how he answered the question of human suffering.

The word “gospel” itself is what we are now going to consider in exploring these questions.  I am convinced that many of you know that from the Greek original form, the word “gospel” sounds like or translates to “Good News”, but we will deepen our knowledge of this word “gospel”.

In the history of the Roman Empire, the term “gospel” was widely used in relation to the person of the emperor, who the people considered divine. Because this was the belief that was held, everything related to or associated with the emperor was also attributed as sacred.   The thinking in the time of the Roman Empire was that the emperor expressed the will of the gods the people believed in.  Therefore, all that he proclaimed was gospel, good news for the people.

Interestingly, this gospel not only applied to the emperor, but everything that was deemed pleasant for the people;  but in reality, some things proclaimed were not so pleasant. For example, information that required tax increases probably did not please people, but even that was also called a gospel.   Another  example would be when a son was born to an emperor, it was considered a gospel.  Now the question arises: “Why were so many things in the various spheres of the Emperor’s life called the gospel?”  Because the people at that time believed him, and believed that everything he was doing was the gospel of good news for everyone. Very interesting concept, isn’t it?

That is why in the time of such historical realities, when Christ walked the earth, preached, died and rose again, the disciples could relate to the use of this word (“gospel”) as the basis of God’s word, “Good News.”

When the disciples saw that the doctrine of Jesus Christ, his attitude toward people, and all that he did transcended any human experience that was before, they wanted to reformat this word and give it a qualitatively different meaning, to fill it with a new essence. Since the word “gospel” until the time of Christ’s coming to earth presented a premature guarantee of a good life on earth, how much more authoritative it is for the same word to give meaning and reference to all that Jesus Christ taught and said.  Jesus is responsible for his spoken words both here on earth and in heaven.

One day, Peter asked Jesus, “Have we trusted your life, left everything we will have for it?”  [“Then Peter said to him …. ‘We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?’ ” Matthew 19:27]

Christ answered Peter that they would have one hundred times more than they left; that life is the eternal inheritance.  [“And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life.” Matthew 19:29]

When we hear or read the words of Jesus Christ, we do not receive the words of an emperor, king, or president who is limited by earthly boundaries and authority, but we receive the words of a God who created everything and controls everything and is responsible for every word of it.

Therefore, we must consider that sometimes the word of God takes us where we do not want, reveals to us the secrets of ourselves about which we would prefer to remain silent, but it is still the word of God.  In his letter to the Hebrews, the Apostle Paul says this very aptly: “The Word of God is lively and active, sharper than any two-edged sword; “. That’s just the good news. Jesus comes to us in his Word as a caring doctor who treats not only the outside, just as changing one’s appearance is now very fashionable, but changing the essence of our very soul and spirit.

I wish all of you my dear parishioners a deep experience of the Word of God that comes into our lives and an openness to its realization.

I wish you as holy Faustina Kowalska, who has lived through the experience of meeting with the merciful Jesus Christ, has said: “Without God, I can do nothing, only sin, but with God I can do everything.”

With my heartfelt prayers for all of you,

Fr. Andrii


We Thank You: 2019 Annual Flea Market


To everyone who made our 23rd Annual Flea Market and Ethnic Food Event such a great success, we say THANK YOU

Our event was held on Saturday, August 3rd, and Sunday, August 4th

We thank each volunteer who together with all volunteers in determined effort made it possible.  No event such as this is achievable without the combined teamwork to the benefit of all.  Everyone applied their particular skills, knowledge, talents, energy, and time when and where needed.  For this we are beyond appreciative and impressed by your commitment to St. Michael’s.

We sincerely thank our community at large who support us with their presence.  These are the many visitors from near and far, new and familiar friends, dropping in for the first time or making their visit an annual event also.  We are grateful and humbled by your compliments on our ethnic food (yes, all the ethnic food really is amazing!).  We thank you for shopping for treasures, dining, and returning year after year, or on day two for more of everything !  It was great fun meeting and serving everyone!

In return, we offer our prayers of blessing to all — volunteers and visitors and all who donated — and to your families and friends for health, well-being, and happiness in gratitude for your charitable kindness.  †  MAY GOD BLESS ALL!

See Photo Gallery for additional photos

View of Iconostasis and Sanctuary area with Icon of the Sign above altar