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Slava Isusu Xrystu,

Glory be to Jesus Christ!

Your Excellencies Bishop Paul and Bishop Stephen, brothers priests, deacon, distinguished guests, Parishioners, Friends!

It is indeed a very special occasion in the life of St. Nicholas Parish, because today we celebrate the 90th Anniversary of the laying of the church cornerstone. St. Nicholas Parish has been around for 115 years (from 1894), but the site of the church on the corner of Fillmore Avenue and Oneida Street in Buffalo has seen 90 years of incredible memories.  The parish was visited in 1972 by servant of God Patriarch Josyf Slipyj, the one who ordained me in Rome, and five years ago by our current Patriarch Lubomyr Husar. The old church on Central Avenue even received a visit from Servant of God Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky back in 1910.  And among these great men of the church, the parish itself honors and celebrates the family of parishioners that have passed through its doors for generations. 

Our great grandparents, grandparents and parents left their homeland, and came to this country of opportunity because of economical or political reasons. Since they wanted to stay together, and not be prone to a melting pot in this country, St. Nicholas Parish was organized 1894. There were 3 churches in our parish: One on Idael Street, one on Central Avenue and the present one on Filmore and Oneida. The dream of the founders and pioneers of our church was to preserve our heritage, and eventually go back with some money saved and new experiences. But Ukraine was not free and our church in Ukraine was on the verge of destruction. Yet the dream of free Church and independent country remained vivid, they prayed constantly for their realization and 19 years ago those dreams have come true, but our founders and pioneers did not live to rejoice in them.

Many were priests who served in this Parish, as pastors, assistant pastors and visiting priests. You could read their names in your booklets. Some of them were good administrators, others fine spiritual leaders, yet others avid writers and preachers. They all gave what they received from above, according to their abilities.

To all trustees and other members of parish councils, to all who worked tirelessly from the inception of our Parish, we express our sincere thank you for good intentions during the years of their voluntary services and job well done.

May all deceased priest, deacons, trustees, cantor/diaks, choir directors and all members of our Parish, rest in peace in Lord's Kingdom! There were 1318 funerals in St. Nicholas Church. Eternal Memory - Vichnaya Pamyat'! Remember them all in your prayers.

From 1920 St. Nicholas witnessed 750 weddings and 2101 christenings. Imagine if they all remained as members of our parish. The church would be too small to fit everyone.

With today's event we conclude this year's celebration. We have seen many members of this parish working extensively. Thank you! Thanks are extended to all those who donated material things, for various events. Thank you Wilhelmina Klimechko, and Peter Stachowski, who are not members of our Parish, for donating your time and effort to enhance today's event! Thank you all who took part in our celebration.  I can not thank each of you personally, but to the jubilee committee and to all volunteers I extend my sincerest gratitude. You worked for the success of our parish.

At the end, thank you all who gathered here today. To the bishop Paul Homnycky, our eparch, to the bishop Stephen Chmilar, at one time the assistant pastor of St. Nicholas, to all members of the clergy: fr. Kyrylo Angelov, the pastor of St. Josaphat and the dean of Syracuse Deanery, fr. Mykola Krywonos, the pastor of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and the dean, to fr. Marion Struc, my predecessor, to Father Henry Orszulak, the member of Marriage Tribunal in Diocese of Buffalo, to fathers: Walter Werbicki, Ray Palko, Stepan Kuklich, Andrij Kassian, Victor Nazartchyk, to deacon Michael Evan from Auborn, to all distinguished guests, to all who took part in the program, to beautiful deanery choir, to Karpaty, who will provide a music for our enjoyment (with our Bishop's permission Thank you), to all parishioners and friends, I say again THANK YOU, and may God the Almighty continue to bless us on our every effort.

Our pioneer forefathers laid a solid foundation for our spiritual life. They instilled in us a love and dedication to our faith. May their efforts continue to serve us and generations to come for the greater glory of God and for the salvation of our souls!

Thank be to God for everything we received and may we all follow the good example of St. Nicholas, our Patron Saint, being compassionate and loving to one another. And, as bishop Fulton Sheen used to say: God Love you!