Fine Day for ‘Faith & Fun’

8th Annual Event Draws 50 Servers from Archeparchy

Oh, what a glorious day this was . . .

Thursday August 20 – the day of the 8th annual gathering for altar servers of the Archeparchy – began as a rainy, humid morning as participants opened their umbrellas or dodged the raindrops to enter Holy Ghost Church hall in McKees Rocks, Pa. to check in for Faith & Fun Day 2015.

Thankfully, the rain subsided, and following a greeting from Father Kevin Marks and Darlene Fejka, Assistant Director and Coordinator for the Office of Vocations respectively, (and on behalf of Vocations Director Father Dennis Bogda, who was unable to attend the event), the near 100 in attendance filed out of the hall and walked across the parking lot to the church, where all were seated to hear a vocations presentation by Father Vasyl Symyon. A priest of the Eparchy of Mukachevo, Ukraine and now serving the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, Father Vasyl’s personal story of discernment preceded the Divine Liturgy, which he concelebrated with Metropolitan Archbishop William, Father Kevin, Father Mykhaylo Shkynda, Father Vasyl Banyk, and Holy Ghost pastor Father Frank Firko, who graciously has hosted this first leg of the Faith and Fun event at his parish since 2012.

Lunch by Hanlon’s of downtown Pittsburgh awaited the 50 hungry altar boys and their chaperones, who were served by volunteers from Holy Ghost parish.

Leaving “home base” until the end of the day, everyone boarded the two buses engaged to chauffeur the group to all stops in between, which included: a tour of Consol Energy Center in Uptown Pittsburgh (home of the Pittsburgh Penguins NHL hockey team); a trip to Laser Storm in Pittsburgh’s North Hills for an afternoon of laser tag fun; shuttle to the Northshore and PNC Park to see Major League Baseball’s Pittsburgh Pirates play (and beat!) the Chicago Cubs; and the last event of the evening, “Faith Night” presentations at the ballpark by Manager Clint Hurdle and several Pirates players. And, the weather turned out to be picture perfect through day’s end.

A surprise event of the evening was the Faith & Fun crew being selected by the Pirates front office to walk onto the warning track at PNC Park and be acknowledged as a participating group in the 3rd annual Faith Night. Twirling their souvenir “Faith & Fun Day” rally towels, the 100-strong group of Byzantine Catholic altar servers, clergy, and chaperones showed both their pride in the home team and their pride and belief in their Christian faith before a sellout crowd – a memory none will soon forget.