UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF THE USA
CONSISTORY OFFICE OF PUBLIC RELATIONS
20th Anniversary of Holy Priesthood Celebration in NY City!
By Subdeacon Adrian Mazur
On a beautiful day of the last Sunday of April ( 29 April, 2012), the congregation of Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral in New York City celebrated the twentieth anniversary of Priesthood of Very Rev. Fr. Todor Mazur. For such a special occasion His Eminence Archbishop Antony and His Grace Bishop Daniel, along with the seminarians came to pray with Fr. Todor, his family and his spiritual flock.
Fr. Todor Mazur started his path of Holy Priesthood when was a young child, going to church with his father to ring the church bells, as the prayer services were beginning each Sunday in the small village of Zorlie, Romania. Fr. Todor enrolled in seminary right after the collapse of communism in Romania and Metropolitan Nicolae ordained him a priest in the City of Timisoara, Romania, on the steps of a cathedral temple.
The cathedral is dedicated to the Three Holy Hierarchs Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom. During the communism regime the people from Timisoara started the revolt against the communism party. In order to stop the uprising, the communist regime used violent force. People were fleeing to the Cathedral, and its sacred space was full of believers to the extend that some of them could not get in to pray, and so, they started praying on the steps. The cruelty of the communism of killing hundreds of innocent children and women on the steps of the cathedral for praying - was an act of pure evil. The ordination of a new priest on this very site was a powerful statement about the inevitable victory of the Truth and power of Christ over any evil.
The anniversary celebration of the Eucharist took place with the participation of a large amount of parishioners who witnessed Archbishop Antony's elevation of Fr. Todor by awarding him with a right to wear the jeweled cross, in appreciation for his service to God. The beautiful cross is a gift of Fr. Todor's parish family and came as a complete surprise to him. Both of our hierarchs expressed their profound gratitude to Father Todor and to his wife Dobrodiyka Olena for their dedication to Christ and devotion to serving His faithful.
Following the Divine Lliturgy all in attendance were invited to the parish social center for a delicious meal prepared by the Parish Sisterhood and other parishioners. An especially moving moment came when twenty of the youngest parishioners - all of whom Fr. Todor baptized over the 18 years of his pastoral service to the parish, presented their "hearts" to their beloved pastor. Each child made a paper or cardboard heart - some with written expressions of their love and others, which were read by the children who wrote them. Fr. Todor was visibly moved by this tribute and promised to keep each of these hearts so that he can return them to the children at their weddings later in life.
In concluding the program, Fr. Todor expressed his gratitude to the bishops and the faithful present for their presence and for their devotion to their parish and the Holy Faith. He thanked his wife and sons, Danylo and Adrian for the support they provided throughout all his priesthood - in particular to Dobrodiyka Olena for keeping the family strong for the years that he was separated from it in the first years of his service here in the USA until he was able to bring everyone back together again.