The Feast of Ascension of our Lord in Los Alamos, NM
The Feast of Ascension of our Lord in Los Alamos, NM

On a serene morning in Los Alamos, NM, the faithful of St. Job of Pochaiv parish community gathered with anticipation and joy. Their hearts were filled with the spirit of the Ascension of our Lord feast as they prepared to welcome Archbishop Daniel, the spiritual father of the Western Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA. This visit was not just a formal act but a deep spiritual encounter, imbued with tradition, reverence, and the grace of the Holy Spirit.

As Archbishop Daniel approached the church, he was greeted with the heartfelt hospitality that is a hallmark of Ukrainian-American culture. Children and members of the parish board of administration presented him with flowers, bread, and salt. This ancient tradition symbolizes the welcoming of an honored guest with the essentials of life: the beauty of nature, sustenance, and the preservation of well-being. Father Theophan Mackey, the devoted pastor of St. Job of Pochaiv, extended his welcome with humility and respect, beseeching the Archbishop's prayers for the parish community.

The day’s spiritual journey began with a profound and sacred liturgical prayer. Before the Divine Liturgy commenced, Archbishop Daniel tonsured two Readers for the parish, Tyler Silouan Jordan and Steven Snapp.

During the Divine Liturgy, a particularly touching moment occurred at the Small Entrance. With the blessing of Metropolitan Antony, Archbishop Daniel awarded Father Theophan with a gold ecclesiastical cross. This honor was bestowed on the occasion of Father Theophan’s 10th anniversary of ordination, a decade marked by faithful service, spiritual leadership, and devotion to his congregation. The congregation responded with a heartfelt "AXIOS! WORTHY!" affirming their pastor’s dedication and the honor he received.

In his sermon, Archbishop Daniel eloquently spoke about the Ascension of our Lord, a feast that commemorates Christ’s ascent into heaven and the promise of the Holy Spirit. He reflected on the period of prayerful expectation that the disciples experienced, a time between Ascension and Pentecost, filled with anticipation for the arrival of the Holy Spirit. This message resonated deeply with the congregation, reminding them of the power of prayer and the presence of divine grace in times of waiting and uncertainty.

Over 30 parishioners approached the Holy Chalice to receive Communion, partaking in the Body and Blood of Christ. This act of unity and faith reinforced the spiritual bond within the community and their connection to the broader Orthodox Christian world.

The service concluded with a unique and heartfelt blessing. Archbishop Daniel blessed a mobile firetruck, a symbol of hope and aid, destined for Ukraine. This firetruck would soon join the efforts of Ukrainian firefighters in their courageous work to save lives amidst the ongoing war. This act of blessing was a poignant reminder of the interconnectedness of the Orthodox faithful and their shared commitment to peace, justice, and humanitarian aid.

The day of spiritual enrichment and community celebration concluded with a festive luncheon in honor of Archbishop Daniel and Father Theophan Mackey. The meal was a time of fellowship, reflection, and joy, allowing the community to come together in gratitude for the blessings received and the spiritual guidance provided by their leaders.

In reflecting on this visit, the faithful of St. Job of Pochaiv parish found renewed strength and inspiration. Archbishop Daniel’s presence, his words, and the sacraments celebrated that day deepened their faith and reinforced their commitment to their spiritual journey. As they continue to navigate the challenges of life, they carry with them the blessings and teachings of this significant and holy day.

The Feast of Ascension of our Lord in Los Alamos, NM

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Mailing Address
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA
P.O. Box 495
South Bound Brook, NJ 08880

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135 Davidson Avenue
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