Blessed Theodore Romza, November 1

November 1, 2009

Blessed Theodore RomzaBlessed Theodore Romza, Bishop and Martyr
Veliky Bickiv (Ukraine), April 14, 1911 – Mukachevo, October 27, 1947

On the day when the Church indicates for us to contemplate the glory of all the saints, in communion with all of us on earth, in heaven already living eternal happiness, also used the liturgical feast of Ukrainian Romza Teodoro, one of the martyrs of the twentieth century Beatified by Pope John Paul II. He was born April 14, 1911 in the Carpathian region. After studying in Rome he was ordained a priest of the Greek-Catholic community in 1936. Returned to his diocese of Mukachevo, he became a bishop at only thirty-three. He bravely lived his ministry during very difficult years, between the horrors of war first and then the communist threat. On October 27, 1947 he was authorized to visit a church in his district. But in reality it was a trap, his carriage was struck by a truck and survivors beaten with iron bars. To be sure to kill him, the Bishop Romza was taken to a hospital where he was also poisoned. But the courageous testimony that he had left did not die: the years of persecution the against the Greek-Catholic community kept his memory alive.

Roman Martyrology: In the town of Mukachevo in Ukraine, Blessed Theodore Romza, Bishop and Martyr, who, during Prohibition of faith, responsibility for achieving the palm of glory for having preserved fidelity to the Church.

Source: Santi e Beati

May 17: Blessed Ivan Ziatyk – Greek Catholic New Martyr

May 17, 2009

Blessed Ivan Ziatyk, 1899 – 1952 Read the rest of this entry »

May 1: Blessed Kliment Septyckyj, Greek Catholic New Martyr

May 1, 2009

Blessed Kliment Septyckyj, 1869 – 1951  Read the rest of this entry »

A Saint From New Jeresey? Servant Of God Sister Miriam Teresa

June 11, 2008

A Saint in New Jersey?

Servant of God Sister Miriam Teresa (1901-1927)

“The Church does not MAKE saints; GOD DOES …
The Church only RECOGNIZES them.

Who is Sister Miriam Teresa?

Teresa Demjanovich, a 20th Century American girl, was born in Bayonne, New Jersey in 1901, the youngest of seven children of Alexander and Johanna (Suchy) Demjanovich, Ruthenian immigrants to the United States from what is now Eastern Slovakia. Teresa received Baptism, Confirmation, and her First Holy Communion in the Byzantine-Ruthenian rite of her parents.

Where did she live out her brief life?

After attending Bayonne public schools Teresa entered the College of Saint Elizabeth in Convent Station, New Jersey. She was graduated with highest honors in 1923. Two years later, in 1925, she entered the community of Sisters of Charity at Convent Station. After profession of vows as a Sister of Charity, Teresa died in Saint Elizabeth Hospital, Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1927. She was 26 years of age. Read the rest of this entry »

May 16: Blessed Vitalij Volodymyr Bajrak, OSBM – Greek Catholic New Martyr

May 16, 2008

Blessed Vitalij Volodymyr Bajrak, 1907-1946 Read the rest of this entry »

May 1: Blessed Kliment Septyckyj, Greek Catholic New Martyr

May 1, 2008

Blessed Kliment Septyckyj, 1869 – 1951  Read the rest of this entry »

Who Laid The Easter Egg?

March 28, 2008
Who Laid the Easter Egg? 

Basilian Bishop, Kyr Dionysius Lachovicz, OSBM.


Four Basilian Consecrated Without Mandate This Month

In November 2007, the Catholic World News ( reported on excommunication of Father Basil Kovpak, the head of the Priestly Society of Saint Josaphat Kuntsevych (SSJK), a group with ties to the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) which has been active among Byzantine Catholics in the Ukraine since the early 1990s. Bishops of the SPPX – themselves excommunicated because they were consecrated without approval from the Holy See – ordained two priests and seven deacons for the SSJK. On 23 March 2008, this past Easter Sunday (according to the Gregorian Calendar), the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (UGCC) published a communiqué about the latest schism to divide its unstable ranks. Four members of the Basilian Order of St. Josaphat – Eliáš Dohnal, Metoděj Špiřík, Markian Hitiuk and Robert Oberhauser – were consecrated bishops without having been nominated by the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Synod and without a papal approval. Thus, according to CCEO, canon 1459 §1, they have automatically encurred the penalty of excommunication.

Strangely, the UGCC communiqué has an air of uncertainty about it. It does not explicitly state they are excommunicated; rather, if all that is stated about these four Basilians is true, they await excommunication. What is not certain is who was their consecrator. A possible candidate seems to be Mychajlo Osidach, who claims to have been Read the rest of this entry »

March 25: Blessed Omeljan Kovc, Greek Catholic Martyr & Righteous Among The Nations

March 25, 2008
Blessed Omeljan Kovc, 1884-1944
Greek Catholic Martyr & Righteous Among The Nations

from “The Servant of God Fr Emilian Kovch was born on 20 August 1884, near Kosiv. In 1911, after graduating from the College of Sts Sergius and Bacchus in Rome, he was ordained to the priesthood. In the spring of 1943, he was arrested by the Gestapo for aiding Jews. On 25 March 1944 he was burned to death in the ovens of the Majdanek Nazi death camp. On 9 September 1999 he was honoured with the title “Righteous Ukrainian” by the Jewish Council of Ukraine.”

Not Too Shabby Greek Catholics!

July 28, 2007

The following are vocations from the Eparchy of Van Nuys – A Byzantine Catholic Diocese covering over 15 States from Anchorage to Las Vegas. At last count 20 parishes…

1 seminarian, 1 postulant, and 6 oridnations to the diaconate this year.

Keep them in your prayers!

* Ms. Melissa Morrow from Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church, Albuquerque, entered Holy Annunciation Monastery of the Byzantine Carmelite Nuns in Sugarloaf as a postulant on July 16.

* Mr. Diodoro Mendoza of Our Lady of Wisdom Church, Las Vegas, has been accepted as a candidate to study for the holy priesthood at SS. Cyril and Methodius Seminary for the Fall Semester of the 2007–2008 Academic Year.

* Mr. Brian D. Escobedo was ordained to the Minor Orders, Subdiaconate and the Diaconate on July 22 at Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Albuquerque.

* Mr. John Bradley will be ordained to the Minor Orders, Subdiaconate and the Diaconate July 29 at Saint Anne Church, San Luis Obispo.

* Mr. Michael Mandelas will be ordained to the Minor Orders, Subdiaconate and the Diaconate on August 19, 2007, at Saint John Chrysostom Church, Seattle.

* Mr. James Danovich and Mr. Michael Hanafin will be ordained to Minor Orders, Subdiaconate and Diaconate on August 25 at St. Stephen’s Pro-Cathedral, Phoenix.

* Mr. Michael Sullivan will be ordained to the Minor Orders, Subdiaconate and the Diaconate on August 26 at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church, Gilbert, Arizona.

Hat tip to Sophia Wannabe from the Byzantine Forum for the info.

His Grace, +JOHN (The Eparchy of Parma, OH) already ordained 5 men to the diaconate this year:

* Fr. Dcn. William Frederick (St. Joseph Byzantine Catholic Church Brecksville, OH)

* Fr. Dcn. Paul Latcha (St. Basil Byzantine Catholic Church Sterling Heights, MI)

* Fr. Dcn. Jeffrey Martin (St. John Chrysostom Church Columbus, OH)

* Fr. Dcn. Daniel Surniak (St. Mary Magdalene Church Fairview Park, OH)

* Fr. Dcn. Nicholas Szilagye (St. Luke Church Sugar Creek, MO)

Recent ordinations by Bishop Andrew to the diaconate for the Eparchy of Passaic (Covering most of the Eastern searboard down to Florida):

June 23, 2007 at St. Mary Church, Wilkes-Barre, PA.

* Fr. Dcn. Edward Frey
* Fr. Dcn. Soroka
* Fr. Dcn. Lawrence Worlinsky

July 1, 2007 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Rahway, NJ.

* Fr. Dcn. Mark Koscinski
* Fr. Dcn. Charles Laskowski

Please understand that the largest two or three Roman parishes in the US have more members tha all of the Byzantine Catholic Church in America put together. Most of our parishes are so small they would not have full time priests in most Latin Diocese. At the last training period at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary there were 16 candidates from 3 of the 4 eparchies in the Metropolia present.

16 men ordained across the country from a population of some 30,000 or so just this summer. As a Greek Catholic, to me that is very special, and encouraging. We are a little flock in the great sea of America that did not even ordain married men deacons ten years ago.

Even a flock that is small in numbers yet large in faith can offer much fruit. Sometimes we look around at the low Mass attendance in churches built to hold much more and we think to ourselves “There should be more!” and despair. Well there in fact SHOULD be more, but there is no room for despair!

Many faithful years to them all! Keep them in your prayers!

Byzantine Carmelite Sisters

July 16, 2007

(On the Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 2007) In the city I grew up in, there was a monastery for women located in the inner city. Well, more accurately, it was nestled into a cemetary.

Located at the end of a long drive in an old brick building with vines creeping all over the façade, I had figured it was yet one more empty old church building that had seen better days. One more testament to more active days, with more vocations. I had assumed the grounds were kept due to its location on a cemetary where folks are regularly still interred for their period of physical repose before the Second Coming.

I was wrong.

Home to 15 nuns who engage in contemplative life, without active apostalate into the world but rather for the world in prayer, there were still quite active. And, blessedly, attracting every few years, a young member to keep their median age rather lower than a good deal of the orders out there.

Good for them. Better for us!

What is it about the monastic cloistered life and the pursuit of Christian perfection that calls some to – against all impulses instilled in our fallen nature and fallen culture – to leave the world and pursue such a vocation? My best guess would be pure Love.

The image at the start of this post is Bl. Mary of Mary of Jesus Crucified. An Eastern Catholic Carmelite of the the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in Palestine of the 1800s and a stigmatist at that she achieved much sanctity even in the context of a belagured and persecuted culture among Catholic Christians in withdrawing to contemplative life. She did not less that participate in the establishment of a missionary Carmel in India. All this in an age where travel was not easy, Christians were especially persecuted in these places, and women traveling abroad were definately targets.

Now I have come to find out that here in America a Carmel has just established its 25th Jubilee in the Byzantine Catholic Church. In Sugarloaf, PA, it has not only been going strong for 25 years, it now has established a daughter Carmel back in Europe after the collapse of Communism, it is now the home of 5 Carmelites from India of the Syro Malabar Church!

So what do these sisters do? They pray. For you. For me. That is what they do.

On the side they do some baking and raise mini-horses…. Yea, I don’t get the mini-horses thing either. (Maybe they get better MPG?) But their true apostalate and goal is prayer.

Folks interested in learning more about the good Byzantine Sisters may visit their website ( or write them at:

Holy Annunciation Monastery
Byzantine Carmelite Nuns
403 West County Road
Sugarloaf, PA 18249

If you could happen to find some extra change between your couch cushions or in the bottom of the washing machine, I am sure they could use it.

Folks interested in hearing the good sisters in prayer and seeing video of their chapel should check out: The recording was made some several years ago (Pope John Paul II is commemorated in the opening litany) when the community was slightly smaller. I would rather love to hear recordings of them today. I am not sure if any are available.

But what can these folks teach those of us who are not called to monastic life? In a word faith. In two words, hope & faith.

Remember, no matter how over-grown the façade of the Catholic Church becomes in some areas, how abandoned it looks, how quiet it seems, worthy prayers are being offered therein, with total faith and hope.

Pray for this simple sinner.