Every second Saturday of the month, 4 pm - Divine Liturgy in English of Sunday - Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Family, Duke Street, London W1K 5BQ. Followed by refreshments.
Next Liturgy: Saturday 10th June, 4pm
SSJC Committee Open Meeting: Monday 19th June, Cathedral of the Holy Family. 6-15 Liturgy, Talk at 7-15, followed by meeting.
To purchase The Divine Liturgy: an Anthology for Worship (in English), order from the Sheptytsky Institute here, or the St Basil's Bookstore here.
To purchase the Divine Praises, the Divine Office of the Byzantine-Slav rite (in English), order from the Eparchy of Parma here.
The new catechism in English, Christ our Pascha, is available from the Eparchy of the Holy Family and the Society. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Monday, 20 April 2015
Over the years, I came in touch with him in various places. I remember encountering him at Gatwick airport, when we were about to board a ‘plane for Rome in 1996. He was on his way to an ad limina meeting when bishops and priests of a certain rank have to report to the Holy See. Father Alexander made it quite clear that ad limina visits were not particularly popular to him. “I would rather be in North Finchley,” he quipped.
Father Alexander stood his ground against the Latins when he thought they had overstepped the mark in relation to the Eastern Catholic Churches. I well remember being with him at a gathering of clergy, when I protested at an attempt to impose a Latinisation by a Roman Catholic prelate. “But as a member of the Latin Church, you ought to be used to Latinism,” the prelate admonished me. “But,” I replied, “I have never been a member of the Latin Church” (having passed from Anglicanism to the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarchate). “And neither am I,” piped up Father Alexander.
Father Alexander worked closely with his friend Bishop Ceslaus Sipovitch, the Apostolic Visitor for Byelorussian (now Belarusian) Catholics at Marian House and the prep school of St Cyric of Turov. Between them they made Marian House a vibrant centre for the Byelorussian Catholics, one of the smallest of the so-called “Uniate” Churches and one which had many difficulties to surmount, particularly in Byelorussia and Poland, countries where the Church was misunderstood by the Orthodox and all the Latins too. Here in England, Alexander and Ceslaus established excellent relations with the Byelorussian Orthodox of both the Synod and the Constantinopolitan jurisdictions; and when the Orthodox established themselves at my Church of St Silas in Islington, Mrs Guy Picarda, an expert on Byelorussian music, was sent from Marian House to train a choir for the parish priest, Father John Pierkarski, who was always a welcome guest at Marian House.
Father Alexander worked hard to make Marian House library a repository of works on Byelorussian culture and I remember giving him a deacon’s robe of red velvet, embroidered with silver, which I had found in a dressing-up box in my first parish.
He will be missed by those who worship at Marian House, but also by those clergy who met him on a regular basis at the Catholic Ethnic Chaplains’ gatherings in London. He himself was, “a great priest, who in his days pleased God.” May the Lord God remember His servant Alexander in His Kingdom, now and unto the ages of ages. Amen.