Over 60 youth, young adult leaders, volunteers, and clergy from the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma and beyond gathered together on December 8-10, 2017 at Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School and St. Ann Catholic Church in Charlotte, North Carolina for the Emmanuel Youth Rally that was held in the city for the first time. The theme of the rally was “God with Us” and was centered on the preparation for the celebration of the feast of the Nativity of our Lord.

The youth event was organized and attended by most of the Eparchial Youth Committee members under the leadership of Fr. Lubomyr Zhybak, the committee’s director and pastor of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Youngstown, OH and St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church in Austintown, OH; Fr. Joseph Matlak, co-director of the committee, administrator of St. Basil the Great Ukrainian Catholic Mission in Charlotte, NC, and coordinator of the rally as well as the following committee members: Deacon Myron Spak of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie, PA; Subdeacon Joseph Zappernick of St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Parma, OH; Mr. Joseph Levy of St. John’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Pittsburgh, PA; Mr. Michael Levy of St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Parma, OH; and Mr. Nathaniel Lischak and Alex Lischak of St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church in Austintown, OH. Fr. Matthew Schroeder, pastor of Sts. Volodymyr and Olha Ukrainian Catholic Church in Garner, NC was likewise able to participate in the rally on December 9.

On Saturday, December 9 – the solemn feast of the Maternity of St. Anne – Fr. Lubomyr Zhybak presided over the Divine Liturgy at St. Anne Catholic Church and he was aided at the altar by Deacon Matthew Hanes of St. Basil the Great Ukrainian Catholic Mission in Charlotte, NC and Deacon Myron Spak. On Sunday, December 10, the committee members visited the community of St. Basil Ukrainian Catholic Mission in Charlotte, having participated in the Divine Liturgy, presided over by Fr. Joseph Matlak and concelebrated by Deacon Matthew Hanes and Deacon Myron Spak.

In addition to the Eucharistic celebration, fun and engaging presentations and games as well as the food, the rally participants had an opportunity to partake in the Holy Mystery of Reconciliation made available by Fr. Joseph Matlak, Fr. Matthew Schroeder, and Fr. Lubomyr Zhybak. The Emmanuel Youth Rally was a wonderful, prayerful, and engaging event for the youth of the eparchy and beyond and it provided an opportunity for the youth as well as adults to experience the presence of the Lord in their lives in the spirit of the Ukrainian Catholic faith and fellowship.

stjosaphateparchy.com


Teachings of Christ

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40 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, 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

Faith and love which are gifts of the Holy Spirit are such great and powerful means that a person who has them can easily, and with joy and consolation, go the way Jesus Christ went. Besides this, the Holy Spirit gives man the power to resist the delusions of the world so that although he makes use of earthly good, yet he uses them as a temporary visitor, without attaching his heart to them. But a man who has not got the Holy Spirit, despite all his learning and prudence, is always more or less a slave and worshipper of the world.

St. Innocent of Irkutsk, Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven.