The Eparchy of St. Josaphat Has a New Protodeacon
The clergy and the laity from the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma and beyond gathered together on Sunday, September 25, 2022 at St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church in Austintown, OH for the elevation of Deacon Donald Billy to the dignity of Protodeacon.
The celebrations commenced with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy presided by Bishop Bohdan J. Danylo, Eparch of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma, and concelebrated by Fr. Lubomir Zhybak, pastor of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Youngstown, OH and St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church in Austintown, OH; Fr. Walter Wysochansky, a retired priest of St. Josaphat Eparchy who for over two decades was the pastor of St. Anne Church; the honoree Deacon Donald Billy; Deacon Tom Bury who used to minister at St. Anne Church and who currently resides with his wife Charlene in the State of Delaware; and Deacon Myron Spak from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Carnegie, PA (Deacon Mark Prokopopvich from Sts. Peter & Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ambridge, PA did not concelebrate the Liturgy but was in attendance with the congregation). The Liturgy was likewise attended by numerous faithful from Holy Trinity Ukrainian Catholic Church in Youngstown and St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church in Austintown as well as many guests. During the course of the Liturgy, Fr. Lubomir Zhybak read an official decree from Bishop Bohdan J. Danylo, which was followed by a blessing bestowed on Deacon Don by the bishop, raising Deacon Donald thereby to the dignity of Protodeacon that was ensued by the lively singing of the ‘Axios.’
Following the Divine Liturgy a reception was held at St. Anne Church’s hall that was commenced by Bishop Bohdan with a prayer of blessing. A couple of other priests and some lay people joined the reception in addition to those who attended the Liturgy among whom was Fr. Michael Polosky, St. Josaphat Eparchy’s Protosyncellus and the pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Ambridge, PA, Sts. Peter and Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Aliquippa, PA, and the temporary administrator of the Assumption of the Mother of God Ukrainian Catholic Church in Latrobe, PA as well as Fr. David Misbrener, a bi-ritual priest from the Roman Catholic Diocese of Youngstown who is the pastor of St. Jude Roman Catholic Church in Columbiana, OH and Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in East Palestine, OH. During the course of the reception, which was filled with a jovial atmosphere, Fr. Lubomir addressed the honoree and the congregants with his remarks, especially mentioning his family, in particular his wife of many years, Jeanne, which was followed by Protodeacon Don’s own reflections and the words of gratitude. Afterwards, some members of the protodeacon’s family were able to share their own genial ruminations about the honoree. The reception was concluded with a benediction led by Fr. Michael Polosky.
On behalf of the entire Eparchy of St. Josaphat, heartfelt congratulations to Protodeacon Don on his elevation to the dignity of Protodeacon and many wishes of our Triune Lord’s copious blessings in his diaconal ministry through the intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos and all the Holy Angels and Saints for many healthy and happy years! Axios!
Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of St. Josaphat in Parma