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

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." (Matthew 5:6 ESV)

Encounter

Rejoice, O Mother of God, Virgin full of grace. * From you has risen the Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, * shining upon those who are in darkness. * Rejoice also, you righteous Elder; * for you received in your arms the Deliverer of our souls, * Who has given us resurrection. (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.

O Christ God, through Your birth You sanctified the Virgin's womb; * and blessed, as it was proper, the hands of Simeon. * Now, having come, you saved us. * Give peace to Your commonwealth in times of war * and strengthen our civil authorities, whom You have loved, O You who alone loves mankind. (Kontakion, Tone 1)

(The Feast of the Encounter is February 2nd - the 40th Day of Christmas)

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

Do not pray that things may be according to your desires, for your desires are not always in keeping with the will of God. It is better to pray as you were taught, saying: "Thy will be done" (Matthew 6:10). Pray in this way about all things, for He always desires what is good and profitable for your soul, whereas you do not always seek it.

Saint Nilus of Mount Sinai: "153 Texts on Prayer"