The Byzantine Catholic Seminary is grateful to announce that, with eased pandemic restrictions in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, two of its seminarians and one of its recent graduates were ordained to the orders of subdeacon, deacon, and priest in the middle week of July 2020. B.C.S. remains ever grateful to God that it will continue forming leaders for the Church, even during these challenging times.
Prayerful congratulations are extended to Father Paul West, his wife Alissa, and their children as they were joined by a limited number of clergy, family, and friends at St. Mary Church in Hillsborough, New Jersey on July 18 for the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and Priestly Ordination at the hand of His Grace, Bishop Kurt Burnette of the Eparchy of Passaic.
Masks were unable to muffle the exuberant singing of Axios! – He is worthy! – which accompanied the vesting of the new priest at the end of the ordination ceremony, which was live streamed. Those who were fortunate enough to be able to witness the event in person also enjoyed an outdoor picnic following the ordination. Father Paul graduated from the Byzantine Catholic Seminary with a Masters of Divinity degree this past May.
On Sunday, July 12 at the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist in Munhall, Pennsylvania, His Eminence, Metropolitan William Skurla ordained Readers Robert Jones and Kyprian Wojciechowski to the minor order of Subdeacon. As is customary, this ordination, which includes the washing of the ordaining hierarch’s hands, coincides with the beginning of the Divine Liturgy. Following the Anaphora of the Divine Liturgy, the new subdeacons are ushered into the sanctuary and assist by serving for the hierarch.
On this particular occasion, newly ordained Subdeacon Robert Jones was escorted out of the sanctuary to be presented once again to the Metropolitan for immediate ordination to the Diaconate – the first of the major orders of the Church. He reentered the sanctuary, now through the holy doors for the very first time, venerated the corners of the holy table three times, and was ordained at the hand of Metropolitan William of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh.
Let us pray for Subdeacon Kyprian and Deacon Robert as they begin their final year of formation at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary. Likewise, let us raise up in prayer the newly-ordained priest, Father Paul West, as he and his family embark on a new adventure of new city, new home, and new ministry for the planting of the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Photo credits: Al and Pat Beronio; Nick Havrilla