On Sunday, September 24, at 3 p.m. the newly-ordained auxiliary bishop, The Most Reverend Andriy Rabiy was welcomed by the clergy, faithful and religious of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia during a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the golden domed Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 830 North Franklin Street, Philadelphia, Pa. Bishop Rabiy was the main celebrant and homilist at the Divine Liturgy.
Philadelphia - ugcc.org.ua - Archbishop Stefan Soroka, of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia and Metropolitan of Ukrainian Catholic in the United States, who presided as the Divine Liturgy, offered words of welcome. He stated, “Our archeparchy is blessed with many priests who are dedicated and capable to exercise leadership within our church. From amidst this talented family of priests, God has called our young Bishop Andriy Rabiy to provide spiritual leadership as our auxiliary bishop.”
Msgr. Dennis Kuruppassry, representative of Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Papal Nuncio to the United States offered greetings from the Nuncio and presented the Papal Bull. The Papal Bull was read in Ukrainian by Very Rev. Roman Pitula, Cathedral Rector and in English by Very Rev. Archpriest Michael Hutsko, dean of the South Anthracite Deanery. Bishop Rabiy presented the Bull to the faithful who responded with the traditional acclamation “Axios!” “He Is Worthy!”
In his homily, Bishop Rabiy recalled the verses from Psalm 103, “Bless the Lord, my soul; all my being, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, my soul; and do not forget all his gifts.”
He continued, “Today I am full of joy. This is how I feel right now. My joy is hard to express. My heart is overflowing. I am so happy to be with you. Truly the joy is overwhelming. It is such a beautiful feeling.”
At the end of the Divine Liturgy, Bishop John Bura, auxiliary bishop of the Philadelphia Archeparchy offered words of welcome to Bishop Rabiy on behalf of the clergy, religious and faithful of the archeparchy.
Bishop Bura recalled the life experiences of both Bishop Rabiy and the situation of the persecuted Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ukraine in the 20th century. The underground church, the church of the catacombs, was the church Bishop Rabiy experienced in Ukraine.
Bishop Bura remarked, “Bishop Andriy grew up in two worlds, two realities, in Ukraine and in America. As a 17 year old youth, he responded to Christ’s call. He entered the seminary in Ivano-Frankivsk and eventually St. Josaphat Seminary in Washington, D.C. He’s lived in Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Washington, D.C., New Jersey and Pennsylvania. As a bishop, he will reveal the faith and beauty of our church to all believers.”
After Bishop Bura concluded his remarks, Bishop Rabiy went up and down the aisles of the spacious cathedral blessing the faithful with holy water.
Concelebrating bishops were: Bishop Paul Chomnysky, Stamford Ukrainian Eparchy; Bishop John Bura, Auxiliary Philadelphia Ukrainian Archeparchy; Archbishop William Skurla, Byzantine Archeparchy of Pittsburgh; Bishop Kurt Burnette, Byzantine Eparchy of Passaic; Bishop Edward DeLiman, Auxiliary Latin Archdiocese of Philadelphia; Bishop Basil H. Losten, Emeritus Stamford Ukrainian Eparchy; and Bishop James C. Timlin, Emeritus, Latin Diocese of Scranton.
Concelebrating priests were Reverend Roman Dubitsky, Very Reverend Archpriest Michael Hutsko, Very Reverend Taras Lonchyna, Very Reverend Robert Hitchens, Very Reverend Nestor Iwasiw and Very Reverend Roman Pitula.
Deacons were Deacon Michael Waak and Deacon Paul M. Spotts
Seminarians from St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Seminary, Washington, D.C. were the altar servers.
Liturgical responses were sung by the Choir of the Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine of the Holy Family Washington, D.C., led by the co-directors of Music Oksana Lassowsky and Stephen L. Szyszka.
Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) televised the Divine Liturgy live throughout the world, beginning at 3 p.m. ET, a broadcast which has been seen by over 39,000 viewers.
Bishop Rabiy, 41, was named bishop of the church on August 8, 2017 by Pope Francis, who confirmed his election by the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. He is the youngest bishop in the United States.
Bishop Rabiy was consecrated a bishop on September 3, 2017 by His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, Metropolitan Stefan Soroka, and Bishop David Motiuk, Bishop of the Eparchy of Edmonton, Canada in St. George's Cathedral, Lviv, Ukraine.
At the time of being named a bishop by Pope Francis, Bishop Rabiy was vicar-general of the Philadelphia Archeparchy and pastor of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Reading, Pa. and administrator of St. Andrew the Apostle Church in Lancaster, Pa. a newly formed mission parish which he founded in February, 2013. He will continue to serve these parishes.
After the Divine Liturgy, the clergy, religious and faithful attended a reception in honor of Bishop Rabiy in the cathedral social hall.
Rev. John M. Fields, Director of Communications