Celebrating "33 Happy Wedded Years" at WDW
True Ecumenism has always existed and has its beginnings at the "grassroots" level. It has been going on for centuries and is all around us but unknown to the casual observer. For nearly 17 years I was blessed to have served with the Melkite Greek Catholics and Ruthenians in Columbus, Ohio. It was an honour to witness the True Faith with their congregations and I thank their Hierarchs for believing that we are truly ONE HOLY CATHOLIC CHURCH!
Like the long walk in the rain as a Seminarian many years before in New Orleans (with my brother Father Hector Perez who serves as a Roman Catholic Priest in the Diocese of Pensacola), the Lord has a way to Shower us with His Blessings and the direction he wants us to take in life.
As Sub-Deacon, Deacon and Priest, I served in the Eastern Rites of the Church. I was blessed to serve with the Antiochian Orthodox and Ukrainian Orthodox Churches in Florida and with the Melkite Greek Catholics and Ruthenian-Byzantine Catholics in Central Ohio.
I am presently under the Ukrainian Orthodox Church Worldwide, Metropolitanate of Kyiv.
(The artwork is a life size "bas-relief" wood carving that graced the lobby of a Medical Bldg. in Mobile, Alabama)
I received my Theological Studies at St. John Vianney Minor Seminary in Miami, Florida and St. Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland...the largest and oldest Roman Catholic seminary in the United States.
After Seminary days, I was blessed to marry; my Wife and I were honoured to receive a special Apostolic Blessing from Pope St. John Paul II on the occasion of our marriage which took place on All Saints Day in 1981.
The following year, I was ordained to the Diaconate and Venerable Priesthood in Christ.
For anyone who's been to the Eternal City, there's no doubt that it's filled with history beyond comprehension and words. The splendor of the Papal Mass for the Holy Year in 1975 and the Faithful participating was very moving and beautiful.
With the immensity of the Church of Rome, I could not help but think about the Orthodox Christians and how their Headquarters in Constantinople (modern day Istanbul, Turkey) were in no comparison...at least "building wise"...but they were EQUALLY RICH in the most important reality of all...the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist and the validity of the Holy Mysteries (Sacraments) received from valid Apostolic Succession.
I am so glad that you found my website, especially to learn about Our Lady of Soufanieh! Avail yourself of the many videos on YouTube that have been produced by both Orthodox & Roman Catholics.
I have no doubt that from my early days in the seminary, Almighty God has been preparing me to write this book...it has been a "soul searching" and "faith building" experience...and I hope that it will be the needed catalyst for the new Pope of Rome, Francis, and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, to accomplish things & Proclaim the UNITY of The Catholic Church!
"The Family that Prays Together..."
...behind every good man...an even greater Wife and Sons...
For a Priest to be blessed with a supportive Wife & children is indeed a Gift from God!
Encouragment from the Great Church of Constantinople...
And, now, our book is finally finished!
Thanks Be to God!