St Josaphat in Warren, Michigan Celebrates 50 Years: 1961-2011
On Saturday, November 12, 2011, St. Josaphat Ukrainian Catholic Church celebrated its Golden Jubilee at the Ukrainian Cultural Center with a banquet with 400 people attending. The Master of Ceremonies welcomed Bishop Richard (Seminack) of the Eparchy of St. Nicholas in Chicago, clergy, honored guests and all present.Bishop Richard was greeted in English and Ukrainian with the traditional Ukrainian custom of bread and salt, symbols of respect and hospitality. Bread symbolizes prosperity, sustains life, and at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, is Jesus, the true Bread of Life in the Eucharist. Salt preserves life, symbolizes eternal friendship, and recalls Christ’s words; “You are the salt of the earth.”
A moment of silence was held in memory of the founders of St. Josaphat, especially Reverend Joseph Martyniuk, Michael Chupa Sr., William Gulawsky, and Michael Wowk. A program consisting of religious songs and poetry by the Ukrainian pre-school, students of Immaculate Conception Schools, St Josaphat English and Ukrainian choirs and singers followed. After the opening prayer dinner was served. Greetings from civil leaders, religious and former pastors were read. A synopsis of the history of St. Josaphat Parish was presented prior to final reflections and closing prayer ending the banquet. The celebration continued with a dance after the banquet.
On Sunday, November 13, a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated in St. Josaphat Church. The church was filled to capacity. A procession led by a large number of altar servers bearing the processional cross and ripidia, was followed by Bishop Richard and the concelebrating priests. Bishop Richard was greeted in English and Ukrainian with bread and salt, flowers and poetry. Very Reverend Mario Dacechen OSBM, pastor of St. Josaphat Parish asking Bishop Richard to bless all present, presented him with the hand cross and invited him to celebrate the Divine Liturgy.
Concelebrating with Bishop Richard were Very Reverend Philip Sandrick OSBM, Provincial of the American Province of the Order of St. Basil the Great; Very Reverend Daniel Schaicoski OSBM, Pastor and Superior of Immaculate Conception Ukrainian Catholic Church, Hamtramck; Very Reverend Dean Protopresbyter Volodymyr Petriv, Pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Ukrainian Catholic Church, Dearborn Heights; Very Reverend Mario Dacechen OSBM, Pastor of St. Josaphat; Reverend Walter Rybicky OSBM, Assistant at St. Josaphat; and Reverend Andrij Burda.
St. Josaphat Choir sang the responses resembling the angelic choir. It was a moving, uplifting celebration. In his homily Bishop Richard welcomed the clergy and parishioners and praised the dedication of the priests at St. Josaphat, and the cooperation between the clergy and laypeople and the assistance provided by the various church organizations. After the Liturgy, coffee and sweets were served in the parish hall. “This is the day the Lord has made, rejoice and be glad.”
By Fr. Walter Rybicky OSBM –Assistant; St. Josaphat Parish