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St. Sophia Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church
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An Eastern Catholic parish in Dallas/Fort Worth where all are welcome!
An Eastern Catholic parish in Dallas/Fort Worth where all are welcome!

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We were so blessed to have Fr. Dennis give our lenten mission this year! In this talk, he walks through the liturgical calendar applying each feast to our lenten journey.

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There is so much going on at St. Sophia in The Colony, TX! What an amazing blessing! http://www.stsophiaukrainian.cc/parishlife/

-Sat, March 17, 10AM: 4th All Souls Saturday. Divine Liturgy followed by Parastas (memorial prayers for the dead).

-Sun, March 18, 10AM: Children’s homily in the regular Sunday liturgy followed by ”Footprints of God” DVD series by Steve Ray being shown after Liturgy.

-Fri, March 23, 7PM and Sun, March 25, 10 AM: Two-part Lenten Mission with Fr. Dennis Smith. Fr. Dennis will give a reflection and will be available for the sacrament of reconciliation during the mission.

-Sat, March 24 and 31, 1-5PM: Pysanky Workshop for children and adults.

-Sun, March 25, 11:45AM: Taras Shevchenko and Ukrainian Poets Day celebration.

-Pre-Sanctified Liturgy every Wed and Fri of the Great Fast at 7PM.

-Liturgy of St Basil the Great on all Sundays during the Great Fast.

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To Our Reverend Clergy, Reverend Religious, Seminarians and Faithful,

Glory be to Jesus Christ!

In twenty-first century America, it is impossible to escape the influence of fundamentalist Protestantism: it dominates the airwaves in the person of charismatic preachers, and it undergirds many of the positions taken by politicians. For them, the Bible is the only source of revelation. In this they are very different from Catholics and Orthodox, who are aware of the revelation manifested by the Holy Spirit in the living Tradition of the Church. For example, fundamentalist Protestants would discount the value of the Great Fast since it is not found in scripture; we, on the other hand, know that out Lenten observances provide an opportunity for us to encounter the Lord in a special way.

For us Ukrainian Catholics, our Lenten observances take on a distinct flavor, which is very different even from what is experienced among the Roman Catholics. These differences go beyond the fact that we begin the Great Fast two days before Ash Wednesday and finish it earlier than they, on Lazarus Saturday - that is, the day before Palm Sunday. Our emphasis is in fact very different from the Roman Catholics, who focus on the sufferings of Christ; this is evident in the Stations of the Cross - a quintessential Roman Catholic devotional practice not native to our spirituality.

Our Byzantine spirituality chooses, rather, to focus on conversion. This is expressed in the English word "repentance" which, contrary to popular belief, does not refer to sorrow for sins; rather, repentance is about a change of direction - that is, away from sin and toward God. This is also expressed in the Greek word metanoia, from which we get our Ukrainian word metania,which refers to the bow that we make every time we enter the church. As ourmetanias are not limited to the Great Fast, neither is our metanoia, our conversion; in fact, our ever-deeper conversion to the ways of the Lord Jesus Christ is the sum of the Christian life. The Great Fast is but a microcosm of the spiritual life, inviting us to focus more intently upon the life, which we should be living all year long.

The theme of conversion comes out clearly in our liturgies. In the weeks leading up to the beginning of the Great Fast, the Gospel readings provide us with examples of conversion to emulate: the eagerness of Zacchaeus, the repentance of the publican, the return of the prodigal son. This theme continues during the Great Fast, where the Church holds up for us the dramatic conversion of Holy Mother Mary of Egypt.

You are certainly all familiar with our Lenten practices: prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Of the three, fasting has probably received the greatest emphasis, as is evident in the question "What are you going to give up for Lent?" For those who make the extra effort to come to church, we see that fasting even invades the liturgical realm: Divine Liturgy is forbidden on the weekdays of the Great Fast as we fast from that joyous celebration of "dynamic" Eucharist, so we need to content ourselves with the "static" Eucharist - that is, reception of the reserved sacrament during the majestic yet penitential Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts. So often forgotten is the almsgiving which might give an indication that the other practices are more than theatrical. Remember: the Lenten practices are not an end in themselves; rather, they are aimed at our conversion of heart, and this includes a growing recognition of the "neighbor" whom God has given to us so that we might share our blessings.

Let us support one another during this holy season of the Great Fast, so that we - as individuals and as Church - might indeed come to the conversion which Christ desires of us.

+Stefan Soroka
Metropolitan-Archbishop of Philadelphia

+Richard Seminack
Eparch of St. Nicholas in Chicago

+Paul Chomnycky, OSBM
Eparch of Stamford

+John Bura
Apostolic Administrator of St. Josaphat in Parma

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Bishop Richard Stephen (Seminack) of the St. Nicholas Eparchy for Ukrainian Catholics stands with his brother bishops in the USCCB in saying “We cannot–we will not–comply with this unjust law.”

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With the Anglican Ordinariate getting a lot of media attention right now, the ancient practice of allowing married men to be ordained to the priesthood is also getting a lot of talk time.

This article on our website will give you a quick primer on the history of celibate and married clergy to help navigate the conversation.

It's the feast of Our Holy Father Nicholas the Wonderworker, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia. We're having Liturgy at 7PM. Come join us!

Troparion: The truth of your deeds made you for your flock a rule of faith* and an image of meekness,* a teacher of continence.* And so you gained the heights through humility,* riches through poverty,* father and bishop Nicholas.* Intercede with Christ our God* for the salvation of our souls.

Kontakion: In Myra, O holy one, you proved yourself a priest.* You fulfilled the Gospel of Christ, O venerable father.* You laid down your soul for your people* and saved the innocent from death.* And so you were sanctified as a great initiate of God’s grace.

Prokimenon: The just man shall be glad in the Lord, and shall hope in Him (Ps 63:11).
verse: Hear, O God, my voice, when I make my petition to you (Ps 63:2).

Pierogie making on Saturday,
weekly Liturgy on Sunday,
Liturgy for the feast of St. Nicholas on Tuesday,
Liturgy for the Feast of the Conception of St. Anna on Friday,
then weekly Liturgy on Sunday with a children's homily followed by food and a visit from St. Nicholas!

This is going to be a busy week at St. Sophia's! We hope to see you there!

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Father Pavlo shared his reflections on Thanksgiving today, which you can read at the link.

We hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy!
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