After Hiding and Wandering - Until a New Church

Consecration of Altar
November 14 was a long-awaited event in the Greek Catholic community of the village Rodnykivka Svalyava region - remarkable dedication of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Cathedral of Archangel Michael and that made Reverend Bishop Milan together with 14 priests.

After the prohibition of the Greek Catholic Church in Transcarpathia in the village community Rodnykivka did not collapse. Believers secretly served with Father Ivan Sokol, and after 1966 Fr. Joseph Shtylyha came. He was the former vicar of the Cathedral.

Occasionally Bishop Ivan Semediy led secret Worship services. The believers gathered mainly in the house late cantor John Kohut.

After the legalization of the Greek Catholic Church Fr. George Hvasta served the community. Worship continued to be conducted in the premises of homes, as the old Greek Catholic St. Michael's church, like many of our churches, unfortunately, was not returned from the Orthodox. Attempts to introduce alternate Liturgies in the temple were also unsuccessful.

In 2005 efforts of Bishop Milan began for a new setup. Fr. Basil Babintsy purchased a house in the parish region, and the building together with the appropriate land to build a new church. This year started work on the construction of the church. On the day of the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus the cornerstone was solemnly by Bishop Milan. There were also many priests, including Fr. Alexander Dufynets , who then served the community.

In 2009, the congregation began to hold services at the new parish house, after having held them at the home of Nicholas Kosty for several years. And finally November 14, 2010 is the time when the community can move to the new church. At this event, consecration of the majestic temple the Sacred Heart of Jesus and of Archangel Michael was held. Many people came from surrounding villages, and the new church could not contain them all. They gathered not only to look at the new church, but above all to celebrate together and thank God.

It was significant that the Bishop’s Liturgy consecration included Fr. Shtylyha Joseph, who served the underground believers of this community for years. Father Joseph gave the new church the cup which he had used as the dyskos, cup for chalice and the small spoon, which he secretly had used in Liturgies in the homes in Rodnykivtsi.

Looking at the tears of joy elderly people who have waited for this event last night, according to an old church song, which many people know about it: "Sweet Jesus, the Savior of peace, You confirmed our holy faith ..."

Congregation packed in to every available space, with all ages represented.