2009 Rededication of Ss. Peter & Paul Byzantine Catholic Church


On June 20-21 2009 Reverend Father Andrew J. Deskevich, His Eminence, Metropolitan Basil Schott, Archbishop of the Byzantine Catholic Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, and the parish family and friends of SS Peter & Paul Church gathered for the Consecration, Blessing, and Rededication of the newly renovated church.

The year-long journey towards rededication began by honoring and remembering all of the vocations that came from SS. Peter & Paul Parish (More...). Individual parish members were asked to sign a personal rededication pledge, committing themselves to God, to the Byzantine Archeparchy of Pittsburgh, and to SS. Peter & Paul Church.

The theme of rededication was incorporated into the homilies preached throughout the preceding year. On November 21, 2008, Bishop Trautman of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie was invited to be the guest homilist for the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple (More...). On December 4, 2008, Reverend Deskevitch celebrated a Divine Liturgy for the 8th grade students of Erie's Cathedral Center (More...).

On Saturday evening of the rededication weekend, Archbishop Basil, assisted by Father Andrew, Father Valerian M. Michlik of St. George Ukranian Catholic Church of Pittsburgh, PA, and parish vocation Deacon Will Rupp, consecrated the Holy Table. The ceremony for the altar table consecration corresponds to those for the Mystery of Initiation, as the table is cleansed and then anointed with chrism, and the Eucharist is celebrated upon it the next day.

To remind the faithful that the Church was built on the blood of the early martyrs and their faith in the Lord, the relics of a saint are sealed into the table. For the Holy Table of SS Peter & Paul Church, the relics are those of Blessed Bishop Theodore G. Romzha (More...).

Sunday afternoon saw guests gather for the rededication ceremony and Divine Liturgy under clear blue skies and radiant sunshine. Metropolitan Basil blessed the new iconostasis and all of the other new icons within the church. Concelebrating the Divine Liturgy with Archbishop Basil were Bishop John M. Kudrick, Eparch of Parma, and Father Andrew. Father Valerian was the master of ceremonies and Deacons Will Rupp and Timothy Corbett assisted. Byzantine, Latin, and Orthodox clergy from the Archeparchy, the Eparchy of Parma, and the Erie area attended. The Archieparchial choir, directed by Darlene Fejka, led the liturgical responses.

A celebratory banquet followed in the parish social hall.