Bishop Matthias visits Saint Joseph Church, Wheaton, Illinois

WHEATON, IL [MW Diocese Communications] — His Grace, Bishop Matthias, made his first official archpastoral visit to Saint Joseph Church here on Sunday, May 13, 2012.

The celebration, which marked the altar-feast of the parish’s side altar, dedicated to the Holy Child Martyr Gabriel of Zabludow, also marked the parish’s 23rd anniversary.

Archpriest John Matusiak, council president John Voytilla, and the parish clergy greeted Bishop Matthias at the entrance to the church as the congregation, under the direction of Alexa Geeza, sang “The Angel Cried.”

After the customary vesting, Bishop Matthias tonsured Sergey Shevtsov to the order of Reader. During the Little Entrance, he elevated Priest Joseph Kopka, associate pastor, to the dignity of archpriest.

Others concelebrating, in addition to Fathers John and Joseph, were Archpriest Mykola Bodnarchuk, associated pastor; the parish’s Protodeacon John Coleman and Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak, New York; and the parish’s Subdeacons Abe Rihani, Wiaczeslaw Sadowski, Jeff Patronik, and Jerzy Pietrowski.

At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, awards were presented to 24 Sunday School teachers and six parish scouts, who for weeks had been working hard on their scouting awards. A check for $1,000.00, received during a special collection that morning, was presented to Bishop Matthias for the needs of our Midwest Diocesan seminarians.

A procession to the parish’s outdoor shrine and the veneration of the relics of the Holy Child Martyr Gabriel and the North America Saints concluded the day.

A festive cookout, prepared by the parish’s expert “grilling team,” followed in the parish’s newly constructed hall.

Established in 1989 by some two dozen faithful, Saint Joseph’s today is one of the diocese’s largest parishes. The faithful look forward to celebrating their 25th anniversary in 2014.

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