St Vladimir’s UCC parishioners from Hempstead, NY joined His Beatitude Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk at a benefit banquet in Stamford, CT. (Pictured, from left to right) Olha Pyszczymuka, Bohdan Kurczak, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Lesya Koziy, Bohdana Kurczak, Elaine A. Diaczun, and Fr Wasyl Hrynkiw.
On Thursday, August 9, a benefit banquet was held in honor of His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, in the ballroom of the Sheraton Stamford Hotel. This was Patriarch’s first official visit to the Eparchy of Stamford since His election as Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych in March of 2011. The Dinner was attended by more than two hundred guests from throughout the Eparchy. The Master of Ceremonies for the evening, Rt Rev Mitered Archpriest Msgr John Terlecky—a former Vice-Rector of Holy Spirit Seminary, Lviv, Ukraine during the seminary years of His Beatitude (1991–94) and a homilist at his First Divine Liturgy in Stryj, Ukraine—almost stole the show with Monsignor’s quick wit, hilarious jokes and entertaining stories about Patriarch Sviatoslav’s early days in the seminary in Lviv. Before the main address by the Patriarch there were greetings from His Excellency Bishop-Emeritus Basil H. Losten, a former Bishop of Stamford, and His Excellency Bishop Paul Chomnycky, OSBM, the host of the celebration. The Dobriansky Brothers Trio provided the musical portion of the program with three selected religious songs.
The highlight of the evening, other than Patriarch Sviatoslav’s main address, was a vocal collaboration of all the priests who had studied with the Patriarch in Lviv. A group of possibly ten former seminarians, now priests, beautifully harmonized to the words of “Rosty, Rosty, Cheremshyno,” a famous Ukrainian folk song, including Patriarch Sviatoslav and Fr Terlecky.
The celebratory program concluded with the Benediction offered by the Very Rev. Archpriest Roman Malyarchuk, Rector of St Basil Seminary. After posing for pictures with the Patriarch, the roughly two hundred guests from throughout the Stamford Eparchy, all left with smiles on their faces and warm blessings in their hearts — all feeling honored and blessed to have been in the presence of the Father and Head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.