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

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God." (John 3:16-18 ESV)

Theophany

When You were baptized in the Jordan, O Lord, * worship of the Trinity was revealed, * for the Father's voice bore witness to You, calling You His “beloved Son”, * and the Spirit in the form of a dove confirmed the certainty of these words. * O Christ God, * Who appeared and enlightened the world, glory to You! (Troparion, Tone 1)

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

You have appeared to the whole world today, * and Your light, O Lord, is signed upon us, * who with knowledge sing praise to You: * "You have come, and You have appeared, O Unapproachable Light." (Kontakion, Tone 4)

Random Proverb

"My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge." (Proverbs 5:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

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

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

The enemy of our salvation especially strives to draw our heart and mind away from God when we are about to serve Him, and endeavours to adulterously attach our heart to something irrelevant. Be always, every moment, with God, especially when you pray to Him. If you are inconstant, you will fall away from life, and will cast yourself into sorrow and straitness. 

St. John of Kronstadt