Great joy was felt by the faithful and all guests who came to this village for a holiday on November 20. Bishop Milan consecrated a new church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. At the end of Liturgy, concelebrated by the Bishop with 14 priests, letters of thanks were given to foreign and domestic benefactors.
Indeed, thank God, that building a new church put an end to the enmity of the two religious communities. Bishop Milan thanked the Greek Catholic community, which thus ended an unworthy situation.
The present masonry church was erected in 1765-1770 to replace an older wooden church. As other churches of our diocese, the temple was taken in 1949 by the Russian Orthodox. After the legalization of Mukachevo Greek Catholic diocese the Orthodox failed to return it, or even to allow alternate prayer services . For 17 years the Greek-Catholic faithful prayed at the walls of God's house in the heat, rain, and cold.
Debate over use of this church lasted until 2007. It was then that Fr. Vladimir Malakiyev managed to convince people that the only way out of this situation is to build a new church. Thanks to the assistance of the district and village councils, land was allocated [In Ukraine, land is permanently leased to the churches by local governments, but not sold- editor]. Bishop Milan consecrated the plot with the cross and the cornerstone of the future temple on September 22, 2007.
While construction continued, the Greek Catholic congregation prayed for four winters in a military tent. To erect the church, help came from local sponsors and sacrifices of the believers, and the Roman Catholic parish of St. Vincent from Rome (Italy) diocese and the city of Augsburg (Germany).
On the feast of St. Nicholas, in the village of Suskovo in Svaliava raion, the new Greek Catholic Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius and St. Nicholas was consecrated. This is the 115th church consecrated by Bishop Milan since his episcopacy.
The Greek Catholic Church had tried to reach accommodation with the Orthodox parish, and use the old church with alternate Liturgies. The Orthodox failed to implement this, even after the Greek Catholic believers had the support of the village council.
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November 14, 2010, was a long-awaited event in the Greek Catholic community of the village Rodnykivka Svalyava region - dedication of the Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Archangel Michael.
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 ..."