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Caritas distributes aid in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine.| Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of PhiladelphiaBy the Rev. John M. Fields | www.ukrweekly.com

PHILADELPHIA – The Pennsylvania anthracite coal region town of Shenandoah is some 4,550 miles, as the crow flies, from the city of Lviv, in western Ukraine. And Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love, is some 4,750 miles from Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine. Yet despite time and distance, these towns and cities have a unique relationship, which has its beginning in the latter half of the 19th century.

As immigrants from Eastern Europe came to the United States in the 1880s, a large number of Ukrainians settled in the northeastern Pennsylvania coal region. In the Schuylkill County town of Shenandoah, these new arrivals to America established in 1884 the first Eastern Catholic Church in the United States. From this Ukrainian Greek-Catholic parish, the Church experienced rapid growth as more immigrants from Ukraine arrived and, with the arrival of Bishop Soter Ortynsky in 1907, Philadel­phia became the home of this developing Church.

 

Continue reading at ukrweekly.com. Photo: Caritas distributes aid in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine.| Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia


Teachings of Christ

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God." (Matthew 5:9 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)

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, 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

"God is a fire that warms and kindles the heart and inward parts. Hence, if we feel in our hearts the cold which comes from the evil - for the devil is cold - let us call on the Lord. He will come to warm our hearts with perfect love, not only for Him but also for our neighbor, and the cold of him who hates the good will flee before the heat of His countenance."

St. Seraphim of Sarov