Category Archives: Eastern Church

St Michael Ukrainian Catholic Church New Haven

st-michael-ukrainianA brand new website for St Michael the Archangel Ukrainian Church, New Haven, Connecticut.

St Michael’s is a (Byzantine) Greek Catholic Church under the Eparchy of Stamford.


Byzantine New Year 7525

Lord Maker of the UniverseHappy New Year!

September 1st is the Byzantine New Year 7525. Western Christians begin their new liturgical year on the First Sunday of Advent. The Greek Church, today.

Historically, “the First Ecumenical Council established that the Church’s year would begin on September 1st, continuing the practice of the Roman Empire at that time. For centuries, the beginning of the civil year coincided with the Church year, but later changed, first in western Europe, then in Russia in the time of Peter the Great.”

IN the Divine Liturgy we sing the following trope:

O Lord, Maker of the Universe, who alone has power over the seasons and times, bless this year with your bounty. Preserve our country in safety. Keep your people in peace. Through the prayers of the Mother of God, save us. (from the Troparion)

Joint Committee of Orthodox-Catholic Bishops 2016

Joint committee of Catholic Orthodox Bishops 2016A photo taken today (23 May 2016) at a meeting of the Joint Committee of Orthodox-Catholic Bishops (meeting at St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center) in Contoocook, NH.

Raymond Thomas Gawronski meets the Lord

Gawronski Jason crocker Sophia CWeddingA man who followed Christ to the priesthood and to the personal companionship in the spiritual life died recently. Jesuit Father Raymond Thomas Gawronski, 65, died after living with cancer on 14 April 2016. His most recent ministry was to serve as professor of dogmatics at St. Patrick’s Seminary and University in Menlo Park, California.

I knew Father Gawronski as gifted in very many ways due to the natural gifts of his humanity and because of the integration of his intellect and life of prayer. All his friends and associates would say this. Most keenly he was nurtured by the Eastern Christianity and served as a Byzantine (Melkite) priest for the Eparchy of Newton.

In an interview with CNA, seminary rector Father Stevens said what he appreciated about Father Gawronski was the insistence he placed on integration of faith and reason: “we have to do a better job bringing together the intellectual and spiritual life.” He was speaking of the seminarians he was mentoring. Further, “That comes a lot from his work on von Balthasar. This recognition that the life of the mind and the life of the spirit cannot be seen as two separate things to be cultivated: and that was certainly apparent when he put together the spiritually program, but that’s how he approached everything. In his homilies, his spiritual direction, in his class, he just went back and forth between his life of prayer and his scholarship without skipping a beat, and I admire that so much.” Indeed, this is THE ONLY model of Christian living that’s tenable.

If you are inclined to read good theology then I would recommend Father Gawronski’s book, Word and Silence: Hans Urs von Balthasar and the Spiritual Encounter Between East and West. There is also: A Closer Walk with Christ: A Personal Ignatian Retreat.

May Father Gawronski’s memory be eternal!

Good Friday for the Orthodox Christians

Cathedral of Monreale, Sicily, Italy. 12th-13th cenToday our Orthodox Christian brothers and sisters are observing their Paschal Triduum according to the Julian calendar. The beauty of our Church is the ability to allow different and venerable traditions to co-exist.

We can do nothing apart from the Paschal Mystery of Christ. Hence, it is key to keep in mind that the Cross and Resurrection is central to our Hope in communion with God. In this Mystery we come to know the transformative nature of Love. Regrettably, too many Catholics and dare I say, Orthodox, have forgotten the centrality of the Mystery.

Let us pray for our Orthodox brethren during these days.

“Today he who hung the earth upon the waters is hung upon a Tree,
He who is King of the Angels is arrayed in a crown of thorns.
He who wraps the heaven in clouds is wrapped in mocking purple.
He who freed Adam in the Jordan receives a blow on the face.
The Bridegroom of the Church is transfixed with nails.
The Son of the Virgin is pierced by a lance,.
We worship your Sufferings, O Christ,
We worship your Sufferings, O Christ,
We worship your Sufferings, O Christ,
Show us also your glorious Resurrection.”
~Antiphon XV, Holy Friday Matins

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement, and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]
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