Annual Prayer Service for Ruthenian Hierarchs

Moleben for Causes of Beatification, Canonization Nov. 1

PITTSBURGH — The Archieparchial Office of Beatification and Canonization will mark its 29th Annual Prayer Service for the Causes of Beatification and Canonization for the four Holy Hierarchs of Subcarpathian Ruthenia in Eastern Europe. This commemoration has a long-standing tradition of being rendered on or near the last Sunday of October, and will be the 30th time since its inception in 1986 that an official celebration occur on an archieparchial level.

A Moleben to the Holy Virgin Mary will be offered at this year’s celebration, beseeching her continual intercession and assistance in this sacred work. The 2015 liturgical celebration will take place at Holy Ghost Church, 225 Olivia Street, McKees Rocks, Pa. on Sunday, Nov. 1, at 3:00 p.m.

Archbishop William is scheduled to be the principal celebrant; Father Frank A. Firko, STL, Archieparchial Postulator of the Causes and pastor of Holy Ghost Parish will deliver remarks. Attending clergy are invited to concelebrate. Responses will be led by the Archieparchial Choir.

This annual event is held to perpetuate the bold and virtuous witness of the lives of these four blessed and holy servants of God and to encourage continual prayer for their beatification and canonization. During the Soviet Communist invasion of their homeland between 1945-50, they staunchly professed their Catholic faith with uncompromising loyalty and fidelity to the Vicar of Christ, the Pope of Rome. They indeed demonstrated what it means to live a full life in Christ. This is why we must continue to work and have them officially recognized by the Universal Church as Canonized Saints.

These holy hierarchs were: Blessed Bishop-Martyr Theodore G. Romzha, eparch of Mukachevo, who was poisoned to death in the Mukachevo hospital on November 1, 1947; Blessed Bishop-Martyr Paul P. Gojdich, O.S.B.M., eparch of Prešov, who died as a result of unjust aggression on July 17, 1960, after spending ten years of hard labor in prison; Blessed Bishop-Martyr Basil Hopko, auxiliary of Prešov, who after spending many years of suffering physical and mental tortures in prison, and later released, died of complications arising from unjust aggression on July 23, 1976; and Servant of God Alexander Chira, auxiliary and later ordinary of Mukachevo, who after suffering at the hands of the Communists, surrendered his life to God on May 26, 1983.

It would be excellent and a true demonstration of solidarity among our Byzantine Catholic faithful if each parish of the Archeparchy would ensure one or more representatives at this Moleben. The general public also is encouraged to attend. Those interested in obtaining more information concerning this day of prayer may contact Holy Ghost Church at 412-771-3324. The event also will be streamed online at Information on the lives of these holy prelates also will be available in the parish social hall following the 3:00 p.m. liturgical celebration, where light refreshments will be served.