Current Issue
September, 2019
Volume 45, Number 3
4 March 2019
Catholic News Service

Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy staff welcome Metropolitan-Archbishop Borys Gudziak to the pastoral center on 1 March 2019.
(photo: CNS/courtesy Ukranian Catholic Metropolitan Archeparchy of Philadelphia)

While a graceful cascade of white snowflakes gently fell to the ground outside the chancery on 1 March, the staff of the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia welcomed the new Metropolitan-Archbishop Borys Gudziak to the archeparchy’s pastoral center.

Standing in front of a banner reading, “Welcome, Metropolitan Borys,” in both English and Ukrainian, featuring the Ukrainian colors of blue and gold, Bishop Andriy Rabiy offered a warm welcome to Archbishop

Gudziak, as he was presented with the traditional greeting of bread and salt and a bouquet of sunflowers.

After the welcome, Archbishop Gudziak met with the staff in the chancery conference room for an informal get-together. He briefly shared his goals for the archeparchy and also asked staff members for their prayers and to express what their expectations were of him: “What do you need of your new archbishop? What type of archbishop do you want?” he asked them.

Among the thoughts he shared with them, he said he wants to lead the archeparchy as a spiritual brother, father and shepherd, who would inspire the presbyterate, the religious and the laity, the entire archeparchy, to grow in their relationship to Christ.

For the church, for the world, in this age, he said, Catholics need to become a holy and spiritual presence to inspire all to live a life of virtue as they follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and do his will in the world.

He emphasized: “I want to be a good listener and I ask you to be my teachers.”

Archbishop Gudziak reflected on two qualities his mother sought to impress upon him and instill in him: kindness and gentleness. He hopes these character traits can be shared in his relationships with the clergy, religious and laity.

The new spiritual shepherd of the Philadelphia archeparchy, a native of Syracuse, New York was named to this hierarchical position by Pope Francis on 18 February. At the time of his appointment he was the Eparch of St. Volodymyr the Great Eparchy of Paris serving France, Benelux and Switzerland.

He will be formally enthroned 4 June in the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Philadelphia.

Bishop Rabiy, an auxiliary of the archeparchy, has been serving as apostolic administrator since his appointment by Pope Francis after the pontiff accepted the resignation for health reasons of Metropolitan-Archbishop Stefan Soroka on 16 April 2018.

Auxiliary Bishop John Bura also serves the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Philadelphia, which includes the District of Columbia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and parts of eastern Pennsylvania. It has a total Catholic population of about 15,000.

Tags: Ukrainian Catholic Church

1 March 2019
Catholic News Service

People ride motorbikes on the outskirts of Amritsar, India, 1 March 2019, before the arrival of an Indian air force pilot, who was captured by Pakistan two days earlier and later released. Catholic groups have joined the protest of military escalation in the region.
(photo: CNS/Danish Siddiqui, Reuters)

Catholic groups joined a protest against a military escalation in Pakistan and India following the recent suicide bombing in Indian-administered Kashmir, reported

“If we don’t end war, war will end us,” read placards held by staff of the National Commission for Justice and Peace, the Catholic Church’s human rights body in Pakistan, at the protest in front of Lahore Press Club 28 February.

Archbishop Sebastian Shaw of Lahore also expressed solidarity with Pakistan’s armed forces in an interfaith news conference at the press club, reported.

“All issues must be resolved through peace talks and dialogue. War is not an option,” he said. Carrying Pakistani flags, the archbishop and clerics also prayed for peace.

Peace activists, including Christians nongovernmental organizations, also protested about “war mongering” and “bomb blasts.” Simultaneous demonstrations were held at press clubs in Islamabad and Karachi.

India and Pakistan conducted airstrikes on each other’s territory in late February as tensions ran high after 40 Indian paramilitary troops were killed in a 14 February suicide attack. A Pakistan-based terrorist outfit, Army of Muhammad, claimed responsibility.

Kashif Aslam, program coordinator of the National Commission for Justice and Peace, praised Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan for announcing the release of an Indian air force pilot captured 27 February after his jet was shot down. A video of Pakistani soldiers trying to protect him from villagers has gone viral on social media.

“This is a diplomatic scoop. We are on high moral ground at this moment. Hope sanity prevails with this peace gesture. We appreciate such steps by the Pakistani government but condemn the ongoing aggression on electronic and social media. Only people-to-people contact can improve our strained relations,” Aslam told

“The ever-escalating defense budget should instead be diverted toward developing the people,” Aslam added. “Only demilitarization can promise progress.”

Pakistani priests are using pulpits and social media platforms to pray for peace.

“In the name of God almighty, give peace a chance. Come and negotiate and find a solution to the issues that displease us,” the Rev. Abid Habib, former regional coordinator of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic religious major superiors, posted on Facebook.

India accuses Pakistan of supporting “a freedom struggle” in Kashmir against Indian administration. Some groups have also taken up arms in an effort to separate Kashmir from India.

An estimated 100,000 people have died, including civilians, militants and army personnel, since 1990, when Muslim militants began an armed struggle to free the region from Indian rule.

The conflict dates back to 1947 when India and Pakistan become separate states after British rule ended.

Both countries claim Kashmir in full and have fought at least three major wars and regularly exchange artillery and small-weapons fire across a disputed border.

Tags: India

28 February 2019
Greg Kandra

Syriac Catholic Archbishop Yohanna Moshe of Mosul, Iraq, elevates the Eucharist during a liturgy at St. Thomas Syriac Catholic Church in the old city of Mosul on 28 February 2019.
(photo: CNS /Khalid al-Mousily, Reuters)

Tags: Iraqi Christians

26 February 2019
Greg Kandra

A boy receives Communion at an Ethiopian Orthodox church in Temple Hills, Maryland. Read more about America’s Horn of Africa in the March 2009 edition of ONE.(photo: Erin Edwards)

Tags: Ethiopia Ethiopian Orthodox Church

25 February 2019
Greg Kandra

The Rev. Boulos Nassif strives to serve marginalized communities in Egypt. Learn how he is among the many Signs of Hope in that country in the current edition of ONE. (photo: Roger Anis)

Tags: Egypt Priests

22 February 2019
Catholic News Service

Abbot Nicholas Zachariadis, founding abbot of Holy Resurrection Monastery in St. Nazianz, Wisconsin, holds a pair scissors to the head of Deacon Paiisi during a tonsure ceremony at St. Gregory Church in St. Nazianz, Wisconsin. (photo: CNS/Sam Lucero, The Compass)

A Divine Liturgy brought together four jurisdictions of Eastern-rite Catholic communities, as well as the local Latin-rite Catholic community, at St. Gregory Catholic Church in St. Nazianz.

The 16 February liturgy celebrated the life tonsure of Father Paiisi into the monastic brotherhood of Holy Resurrection Monastery.

Catholics worldwide number around 1 billion, with the vast majority belonging to the Latin-rite Catholic Church. About 20 million belong to 22 Eastern-rite Catholic churches, which trace their roots to five ritual families. The largest of these are churches of the Byzantine tradition, to which the monks at Holy Resurrection belong.

Father Paiisi, whose birth name is Patrick Firman, is a member of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. In honor of his faith background, Bishop Benedict Aleksiychuk, of St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in Chicago, joined Abbot Nicholas Zachariadis, leader of the Holy Resurrection monastic community, for the tonsure ceremony, which is equivalent to a solemn profession in the Latin-rite Catholic Church.

“Holy Resurrection Monastery belongs canonically to the Romanian Greek-Catholic jurisdiction and is now the largest of these Greek-Catholic monasteries,” Abbot Zachariadis said. “It has always seen its mission as extending to all jurisdictions.”

The tonsure ceremony was a prime example of this collaboration.

The abbot explained that in the Byzantine Catholic Church, there are “basically two vocations or charisms of the Christian life: marriage and monastic life. Even priests and deacons are either married or monks.” Eastern Catholic priests are not allowed to marry after ordination.

In general, in Eastern-rite Catholic churches in their homelands, married men may become priests; they cannot marry after ordination. Under a Vatican rule in the early 20th-century, married priests could not serve the Eastern-rite churches in the United States, Canada and Australia.

But by the early 2000s, the Vatican had stopped suspending married men ordained to the priesthood for service in the Eastern Catholic churches of North America and Australia. In 2014, the Vatican lifted its ban on the ordination of married men to the priesthood in Eastern Catholic churches outside their traditional territories, including in the United States, Canada and Australia

With married Eastern-rite clergy becoming much more common, even in the United States, the witness of monastic life will be even more important than ever to emphasize the two charisms in the church,” Abbot Zachariadis said. “This tonsure celebrates the witness of monastic life in the Greek-Catholic churches in the USA and the co-operation between all the Greek-Catholic churches in order to make this happen.”

The tonsure -- from the Latin word “tondeo,” meaning to shear or shave -- is rich with historical symbolism. It consists of cutting the hair of the candidate, a gesture that is found in Scripture.

For example, Chapter 18, Verse 18, of the Acts of the Apostles, describes Paul being “at Cenchreae, where he had his hair cut because he had taken a vow.”

Before the tonsure rite, Abbot Zachariadis addressed the assembly that numbered over 100 people.

“We hope that this will be the beginning of many more associations with the Ukrainian community of Chicago,” he said, in his welcome to Bishop Aleksiychuk, who brought with him from Chicago a choir that led the congregation in song.

The abbot said the gathering of so many communities bodes well for their future. “This shows a very, very important direction of our monastery and, hopefully, of our Greek-Catholic churches in the USA,” he said.

He also acknowledged the presence of six nuns from the Byzantine Catholic Christ the Bridegroom Monastery in Burton, Ohio, in the Eparchy of Parma.

In its 25-year history, the monastery in St. Nazianz has been unique, Abbot Zachariadis said.

“We were traditional, we were in America and we were a monastery especially for all Greek Catholics,” he said. “Not just for Romanians, not just for Ruthenians, not just for Ukrainians, not just for Melkites, but for all Greek Catholics. ... I appeal to all the Greek-Catholic jurisdictions in the U.S. to be inspired by this vision, to promote monastic life.”

He said that, unlike the Latin-rite Catholic churches, the Eastern-rite Catholic churches are small and need each other to succeed. “Each of our jurisdictions is too small, too lacking in resources, too uninformed about the richness of monastic life for each jurisdiction to recreate the wheel of monastic life,” he said.

Father Paiisi’s tonsure is a positive sign for the future, added the abbot, showing that Eastern- and Latin-rite Catholics “are in this together.”

“I’m very proud this morning to be kind of cementing this reality,” he said, by receiving Father Paiisi, a deacon of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, into the monastery. He hoped it would be the beginning of many such “monastic vocations to our monastery.”

“May Father Paiisi, as I will be tonsuring him for life, be a witness, and an important witness, to that reality,” Abbot Zachariadis added.

With the tonsure of Father Paiisi, he said, the monastery now has 10 members. Two novice monks are scheduled for life tonsure this year.

“We are growing, but the size of a monastic community is not as important as the quality,” he said. “I am very impressed by the quality of our monastic candidates.”

Tags: Priests Ukrainian Catholic Church

21 February 2019
Greg Kandra

Armenian Christians at the Black Church in northwestern Iran venerate the site of the apostle Thaddeus’s death. (photo: Armenian Catholic Patriarchate of Antioch)

Tags: Armenian Catholic Church Iran

20 February 2019
Greg Kandra

Sister Shubba Poovattil visits with an elderly resident in Malayatoor, India. Read about how the remarkable Deivadan Sisters uplift Kerala’s abandoned elderly with Fearless Grace in the July 2010 edition of ONE. (photo: Peter Lemieux)

Tags: India

19 February 2019
Greg Kandra

Students at the Don Bosco Institute in Cairo collaborate on a project in electrical technology class. Discover more about how schools in Egypt are Building Persons, Forming Good Citizens in the January 2009 edition of ONE. (photo: Shawn Baldwin)

Tags: Egypt

15 February 2019
Greg Kandra

Students take notes during a lesson at the St. Vincent de Paul School in Alexandria, Egypt, run by the Daughters of Charity. Learn more about how Charity’s Daughters are changing young lives in Egypt in the December 2017 edition of ONE. (photo: Roger Anis)

Tags: Egypt

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