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 »


Friday’s Flannery: Parker’s Back by Flannery O’Connor

April 25, 2009

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Friday’s Flannery is an occasional series of commentary from a Catholic point of view on the short stories of Flannery O’Connor.


In her last work, completed shortly before her death, Flannery O’Connor depicts the great clash of the two principles of Creation: the Spirit and the Flesh and their only resolution in the Incarnation represented by an icon.

Sarah Ruth is the epitome of the iconoclastic tendencies of a puritanical Calvinism. She negates the body, pleasure, the material, and every attempt to represent God who is as she says, “pure spirit.” Preoccupied with the wrath of God on Judgment Day, she is a cold and fearsome character–lean, gaunt, colorless, with piercing eyes:

“She was plain, plain. And the skin on her face was thin and drawn tight like the skin on an onion and her eyes were gray and sharp like the points of two ice picks.”

Parker, on the other hand, is a man of the flesh, made graphic in his pursuit of body art. He is a man of lust attracted to women with plenty of meat on them. He is a denier of God and seeks to live fully in the material world.

There are forces stirring in Parker. The twin forces of wonder and sacrifice began with seeing the tattooed man at the circus and the day of his first tattoo: Read the rest of this entry »


October 30: Blessed Oleksa Zarytsky, Greek Catholic Martyr, 1912-1963

October 30, 2008

Blessed Oleksa Zarytsky
Greek Catholic Martyr 
1912 – 1963 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
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Who Laid the Easter Egg? 

Basilian Bishop, Kyr Dionysius Lachovicz, OSBM.

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Four Basilian Consecrated Without Mandate This Month

In November 2007, the Catholic World News (www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=54919) 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 »

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 (http://www.byzantinediscalcedcarmelites.com/) 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: http://www.byzantinediscalcedcarmelites.com/page17.html 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.