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.


Teachings of Christ

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." (John 10:10 ESV)

Holy Angels

O Supreme Leaders of the heavenly armies, * we, who are unworthy, ever beseech you, * that through your prayers you may surround us * with the shelter of the wings of your immaterial glory, * watching over us who fervently fall down and cry out: * “Deliver us from perils, * for you are the commanders of the Powers on high!” (Troparion - Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

O Supreme Leaders of the armies of God * and ministers of the Divine Glory, * princes of angels and guides of men, * ask for us what is expedient for us and for great mercy, * for you are the leaders of the Bodiless Hosts. (Kontakion - Tone 2)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The purpose of the advent of the Saviour, when He gave us His life-giving commandments as purifying remedies in our passionate state, was to cleanse the soul from the damage done by the first transgression and bring it back to its original state. What medicines are for a sick body, that the commandments are for the passionate soul.

St. Isaac of Syria