Thursday, March 21, 2019

Join us for Bridegroom Matins on Great & Holy Wednesday

We invite you to join us for Bridegroom Matins, our patronal commemoration, on Great & Holy Wednesday, April 17, at 8:00 a.m. at the monastery. The readings and hymns of this service rouse the heart to conversion and vigilance for the coming of the Bridegroom and offer strength to His Bride the Church as we journey with Him in His passion. A light breakfast will follow.

Please RSVP to christthebridegroom@gmail.com or 440-834-0290 by Friday, April 12.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

ByzanTeen Lenten Day of Reflection with the nuns & Bishop Milan!


We will host the annual ByzanTeen Lenten Day of Reflection (for ages 12-18), on Palm Sunday, April 14, 2019, from 12:30-4:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Parma, Ohio. This year's program is titled Journey with Jesus: From "Hosanna" to "Crucify Him" to "He is risen!". The day will begin at 11:00 a.m. with Divine liturgy at the Cathedral: 1900 Carlton Rd. in Parma. After Divine Liturgy, lunch will be served, and the program will begin. We will lead breakout sessions about the services of Great & Holy Week, followed by a talk by Bishop Milan.  Please RSVP to Kim Kocuba at smbevents@ameritech.net or 216-337-2673 by April 11. Bring a friend! We hope to see you there! 

Monday, March 18, 2019

Join us for the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, April 4

Join us in a deeply-moving, once-a-year Lenten experience on Thursday, April 4, at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, 1900 Carlton Rd., Parma, Ohio.  The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete takes us on a journey through the entire Bible, placing us in the shoes of the penitents of the Old and New Testaments and teaching us from their examples.  The hundreds of prostrations unite our body and soul as we repent of our sins and experience God’s mercy.  We will also listen to the life of St. Mary of Egypt and venerate her relic.  The opportunity for the Mystery of Holy Repentance (Confession) will also be available.  A simple Lenten meal will be served 5:00-5:45 p.m., and the Canon will begin at 6:00 p.m.  All are invited to come for part or all of the Canon, even if you are not physically able to participate in the prostrations.  The duration of the Canon is approximately 3.5 hours.  If you plan to come for dinner, please RSVP by Friday, March 29, to 440-834-0290 or christthebridegroom@gmail.com.

Monday, March 4, 2019

Lenten talks by the nuns

March 9
Lansing, IL
Mother Gabriella will speak on prayer during a women's day of reflection at St. Archangel Michael Serbian Orthodox Church, and will lead sessions consisting of prayerful reading of Scripture and discussion. See poster to the right for more information.

March 23-24
Youngstown, OH
Mother Iliana will speak at a lock-in retreat for teens and young adults.

Theme: ” He who has ears to hear let him hear” (Mt 13:9)
Key Note Speakers: Mother Iliana, Christ the Bridegroom Monastery, Burton, Ohio; Father Alex Wroblicky, Eparchy of St Josaphat in Parma, POH.
Additional Speakers: Seminarians Michael Kunitz and Kyprian Wojciechowski, Byzantine Catholic Seminary of Saints Cyril and Methodius, Pittsburgh, PA. 
Date: Saturday, March 23rd to Sunday, March 24th (1:00pm to 1:00pm)
Location: Saint Anne’s Ukrainian Catholic Church, 4310 Kirk Rd, Youngstown, Ohio 44511.
Costs: $30.00 (presentations, book, meals & T-shirts included)

Contact: Fr. Deacon Myron Spak @ 412-303-9086 / mjspak@verizon.net
RSVP: by Sunday, March 10th.   

March 31
Brecksville, OH
Mother Cecilia will lead an afternoon of reflection at St. Joseph Byzantine Catholic Church with a talk titled, "Who, me? Contemplative prayer?" The program & lunch are free (donations accepted). RSVP required to Darlene Hritz, 440-237-5237 or dar.hritz@gmail.com, by March 28. Babysitting is available (include in your RSVP.)

About the Talk: Contemplative prayer may sound like something that's only for monastics, but it's not! We're all called to this type of prayer, but I find that many people have misconceptions about what it is or worries about doing it right. I would like to share with you what I have learned and the joy I have found in contemplative prayer.

10:30 am Divine Liturgy
11:30 am Lunch in the New Orleans Party Center
12:00 or 12:15  Program in New Orleans Party Center (talk and a short video)
Opportunity for Confession

St. Joseph Byzantine Catholic Church
8111 Brecksville Road
Brecksville, OH

April 14 (Palm Sunday)
Parma, OH
We will lead an afternoon Lenten program for teens at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. More information to come.

Monday, January 21, 2019

In need of two elliptical machines

Update: Our need has been fulfilled!  Thank you for your prayers and support!

We have 3 nuns who have mandatory exercise programs for varying health conditions, which involves exercising 5 to 6 days per week.  We are looking for help to obtain two new or gently used gym-grade elliptical machines to aid the nuns in these health conditions.  If you have an elliptical or know someone who does, or would like to donate towards these machines, please contact us at christthebridegroom@gmail.com or 440-834-0290.  Thank you so much!

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Bishop Milan calls for renewal of personal holiness during eparchy's 50th-anniversary year

Bishop Milan's first pastoral letter to the Eparchy of Parma was read at our parishes--and our monastery--this past Sunday, inaugurating the eparchy's 50th-anniversary year. We are encouraged by his call to a renewal of the grace given at baptism, and we pray that all the people of the eparchy (and beyond) will accept this challenge.

Dear brothers and sisters,

On this day, as we celebrate the feast of the Theophany of Our Lord, I would like to open and dedicate this year — which marks the golden anniversary of the establishment of the Eparchy of Parma of the Ruthenians and of the Metropolitan Church Sui Iuris of Pittsburgh — as the year of renewal and deepening of our faith.

Blessed Pope Paul VI issued a decree February 21, 1969, entitled Quandoquidem Christus, which transformed the status of the Byzantine Catholic Church in the United States, creating the Metropolia of Pittsburgh with two suffragan eparchies — Passaic and Parma. Prior to that, when our ancestors came to this country and brought with them a desire to worship in their own rite and have their own churches, we were part of the Eparchy of Pittsburgh.

Fifty years provide the opportunity to look back and reflect on the life of our Church. We do this in thanksgiving, recognizing the many examples of sacrifice, piety, dedication and vitality that resulted in growth, especially in the 1970s and 80s. Without a doubt, many souls were led to their heavenly reward. With gratitude we remember that cloud of witnesses — the bishops, priests, religious and laity, who, in countless ways offered testimony to their faith.

The anniversary year also offers an occasion to acknowledge the negative events that weakened our eparchy and caused a loss of vitality and, at times, even a loss of hope for the future. We should approach the Lord with repentance in our hearts and ask forgiveness, individually and as an eparchy.

Above all, we need to look forward with hope. This is only possible with renewed faith and a firm decision to follow the Gospel that contains the commandments of Christ. If our hearts have abandoned this willingness, we should look into the reasons why. St. Theophan the Recluse says this happens when the grace given at baptism is not preserved. He provides the following causes:

1. Leaving the church and its grace-giving means, which starves the root of the Christian life, disconnecting it from its sources. In this way it wilts, just as a flower does when it is not watered.
2. Failure to pay heed to one’s bodily nature, which opens the door for passions to take hold of the soul.
3. Forgetting the main goal of life: People do not have direction and lack the means to achieve union with God.
4. Neglecting the spiritual life: Prayer, the fear of God and conscience are overshadowed by earthly cares.
5. Neglecting to put into practice Christian principles and God’s way of life.

Could this point to the lack of vitality in our individual faith and lives, and in the eparchy as a whole? I would like you to join with the clergy at your parish and meditate on these causes. My hope is that this exercise will lead to spiritual activities in your parish that could renew the grace of baptism in our souls. We must first, however, be convinced that personal holiness, which leads to salvation, is a priority. This will take courage and conviction. I challenge you to make a pledge to begin the process that leads to this goal. I challenge all priests to preach during this 50th-anniversary year about how to avoid the five points of St. Theophan the Recluse above and to teach the art of spiritual living, the importance of prayer and the sacraments, and of giving up small things for the sake of gaining everything.

We sing in the Kontakion of the feast of the Theophany of Our Lord the beautiful and profound words, “You have revealed yourself to the world today; and your light, O Lord, has set its seal on us. We recognize you and exclaim to you: You have come and revealed yourself, O Unapproachable Light.” Let us not be afraid to renew the grace of our baptism in us, to recognize the Unapproachable Light who has set a seal on us.

We pray at the Great Blessing of the Jordan Water: “The waters beheld you, O Lord; the waters beheld you and they trembled. The River Jordan turns back on its course as it beholds the fire of the Godhead coming down upon it and entering it in the flesh.” We need to understand that the River Jordan turning back on its course as Christ enters its waters is symbolically its turning away from the Dead Sea (death) towards the Sea of Galilee (life).

As we begin this year of renewal and of deepening our faith to mark the 50th anniversary of the Eparchy of Parma and the Metropolia, I exhort you to make a pledge to renew your faith, as well as our Church, with the pledge cards that were distributed to your parish and that may be found in a visible place in your church.

As we commemorate the Baptism of Our Lord, let us be mindful of our own baptism, when we first received the grace to live the life of Christian discipleship. I pray that we are renewed in our journey and that we accept Christ in our lives, so that Life can turn us back to life as individuals, parish communities, and as the Eparchy of Parma.

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

Most Rev. Milan Lach, SJ
Bishop of the Eparchy of Parma

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Happy Theophany!

Happy Feast of Theophany! (The baptism of Our Lord in the Jordan) In this feast, we celebrate the revelation of the Trinity and our re-creation in Christ through baptism. May we overflow in gratitude to Him for the gift of salvation!

Enjoy these photos from our celebration of Vespers, the Great Blessing of Water, and the blessing of the poustinias and monastery. To read the 13 powerful readings from the Old Testament that are read at Vespers and prefigure this feast, visit this web page and scroll down to "Eve of Theophany, January 5." 

"Let us imitate the wise virgins; come, let us go to meet the Master who is now present, for He approaches John as a Bridegroom. When the Jordan saw Him, it bowed down in fear and stopped; John spoke out saying: I am unworthy to touch Your immortal head. The Spirit descended in the form of a dove and sanctified the waters, and a voice was heard from on high: This is My Son who comes into the world to save all. O Lord, glory to You!" (Hymns of the Litija, Great Compline for the Feast of Theophany)