risu.org.ua - On Sunday, October 30 at 3 p.m. a special moleben prayer and panakhyda service in memory of the late Bishop Soter Ortynsky will be led by Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan Soroka at the golden domed Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 830 North Franklin Street, Philadelphia, Pa.  Archbishop Soroka will be joined in the prayer service by brother bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic, Byzantine Catholic and Latin Catholic Churches, together with the priests and deacons of the Philadelphia Archeparchy.

This year, 2016, the Ukrainian Catholic Church observes the 150th anniversary of his birth in 1866 and the centennial anniversary of his death in 1916.

Father Kaszczak recently authored a book "Bishop Soter Stephen Ortynsky: Genesis of the Eastern Catholic Churches in America", which recounts the struggles Bishop Ortynsky experienced as the first hierarch for Eastern Catholics in the United States in the early twentieth  century, before the canonical establishment of separate jurisdictions for Ukrainian Catholic and Byzantine Catholic Churches in the United States.

Bishop Soter Stephen Ortynsky (1866-1916) was the first Bishop of all Eastern Catholics in the United States.

He was born in Ortynychi, Lviv Oblast, Ukraine on January 29, 1866.  He made his vows with the Order of Saint Basil the Great on January 1, 1889 and on July 18, 1891 he was ordained a priest by Metropolitan of Lviv, Sylvester Sembratovych and celebrated his Liturgy of Thanksgiving at the Monastery Church in Dobromyl.

Pope Pius X appointed him bishop for the Eastern Catholics in America and named him titular Bishop of Daulia on March 26, 1907

He was consecrated bishop on May 12, 1907 by Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky, Bishop Constantine Chechovych and Bishop Gregory Chomyshyn in St. George's Cathedral, Lviv.

On May 28, 1913, the Apostolic See named Bishop Ortynsky as exarch, granting him full ordinary jurisdiction, making him independent of the jurisdiction of every Latin diocese in the United States.

Bishop Ortynsky contracted pneumonia and died in Philadelphia on March 24, 1916. An estimated 10-15 thousand people attended his funeral. The celebrant was the Vicar General of the Philadelphia Eparchy, Very Rev. Aleksander Dzubay.

His body is buried in the crypt of the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia, Pa.


The Mystical Supper

Let me this day, O Son of God, be a partaker of Your Mystical Supper; for I will not reveal Your Mysteries to Your enemies, nor will I betray You with a kiss as did Judas; but like the repentant thief I openly profess You: Remember me, O Lord, in Your kingdom.

Sung at the Eucharistic Liturgy of Holy Thursday

Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not lose sight of these — keep sound wisdom and discretion, and they will be life for your soul." (Proverbs 3:21,22a ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Adam, God's first-formed man, transgressed: could He [God] not at once have brought death upon him? But see what the Lord does, in His great love towards man. He casts him out from Paradise, for because of sin he was unworthy to live there; but He puts him to dwell over against Paradise: that seeing whence he had fallen, and from what and into what a state he was brought down, he might afterwards be saved by repentance.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 2 no. 7)