Seminary Hosts Retreat for Wives of Priests and Deacons
On June 21, 2005, St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary, Washington, DC, hosted a retreat for the wives of priests and deacons of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia. Archbishop Stefan Soroka presided over the bi-lingual (Ukrainian and English) retreat. Speakers included: Reverend Wasyl Kharuk, Spiritual Director of the Seminary; Sr. Marina Bochnewich, Director of the Basilian Spirituality Center, Fox Chase; and Sr. Elizabeth Bertoldi, Director of the Office of Evangelization for the Archeparchy. Reverend Robert Hitchens, Rector of the Seminary, and the Sisters Servants of Marty Immaculate acted as hosts in welcoming the women and preparing all the essentials needed to make their stay at the Seminary a pleasant and enjoyable experience.
Attending the retreat were: Myroslava Demkiw, Mariya Demyanets, Maria Dudkevych, Nataliya Klanichka, Jaroslava Lonchyna, Tetyana Pitula, Anna Makar, Aristida Staruch.
Upon arrival, the women were escorted to their rooms where they found a beautiful floral arrangement, a copy of the retreat schedule, and a copy of Henri Nouwen’s book Here and Now.
Biding farewell to their families, all gathered in the dining area where a delicious dinner was served. After the meal, the retreatants assembled in the Seminary Chapel where they joined Bishop Stefan, Father Kharuk, Father Hitchens and two seminarians in celebrating Moleben to Jesus, Lover of Humanity
Archbishop Stefan Soroka addressed the women, welcoming them and expressing his deep appreciation for their special ministry and the unique role they play in the life of the Church. His Grace expressed the wish that this retreat would be a restful, peaceful, happy and spiritually uplifting time for them. Archbishop Stefan spoke of the important role women played in Salvation History-- women who are recorded in Scripture in roles of leadership, wisdom, prophesy and faithful ministry—women who utilized their gifts for the benefit of others and for an increased understanding of God’s Will for them and the nation.
The evening ended with a wine and cheese social.
June 22, 2005, began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, followed by breakfast. Father Kharuk spoke to the women on the role of the wife of a priest or deacon—her role as an encourager, a listener, and a support to her husband in his ministry. Father stressed the fact that although a wife needs to be engaged in the husband’s ministry, she must not neglect her own unique and personal call. It is essential that she care for her own needs, allow time for personal prayer, spiritual enrichment, and growth in her calling, allotting time for a hobby or other special interest.
Sister Elizabeth showed a video entitled ORDINARY WOMEN—EXTRAORDINARY LIVES. It relates the story of five deacons’ wives and their experiences, discusses their expectations of their role and the expectations placed upon them by others in the community, the need not only to be supportive of their husband’s calling but to recognize that they have a unique, personal call—associated with their husbands but also distinct from his call.
After lunch, everyone boarded the seminary van for a tour of the city—Father Robert, driver, Father Wasyl, tour guide. Time was spent visiting the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and then on to the Museum of Natural History, after which all returned to the Seminary for dinner.
Sister Marina spoke to the group about the Gospel story of Martha and Mary and the importance of uniting the roles of action and contemplation--the need to take time to sit quietly at the feet of Jesus and to listen to what He is calling us to do, and the need to go out and be of service to others. Sister distributed a comparison of a STRONG WOMAN vs. A WOMAN OF STRENGTH which illustrates the difference between a person who is simply active and one who unites contemplation with action.
An evening of sharing and refreshments followed.
June 23, 2005, began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and a talk by Father Kharuk in which Father asked the women to reflect on what and who is important in their lives—are they taking time for what is important—what is it they need to let go of and what is needed to add to their lives—and what one message can they take home with them as a result of this retreat.
Archbishop Stefan then blessed the oil for anointing. After conducting a Missioning Service, each woman approached the Archbishop to be anointed with the Holy Oil and to receive a plaque of the Holy Family.
Brunch was served and the women prepared to leave.
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Ascension Manor Apartments
911 N. Franklin Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123
Ascension Manor is a non-profit senior citizen apartment complex for people 62 and older. It is located one block away from the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia. It is under the direction of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia. For more information on Ascension Manor or for an application, please call 215-922-1116 or visit the website link below.
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Conveniently located in Langhorne, PA, near the intersection of Rt. 1 and Rt. I-95. We are just minutes from center city Philadelphia, Bristol, and Trenton. Our plots are reasonably priced, with pre laid foundations included in the purchase price of the plot. Contact the cemetery office for additional information.
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The museum was founded in 2002 and was established to manifest and preserve the Catholic faith, courage, and determination of our ancestors. It reflects the roots and history of our Ukrainian Catholic Church in the United States of America. The museum houses artifacts from parishes within the Philadelphia Archeparchy. Contact the Treasury of Faith Museum for more information and tours.
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