His Eminence Archbishop Daniel Visits Two Ukrainian Orthodox Communities in Paris, France
His Eminence Archbishop Daniel Visits Two Ukrainian Orthodox Communities in Paris, France

In the serene town of Vesines-Chalette-Sur Loing, nestled in the suburban landscape of the French capital, stands the Holy Apostle Andrew, the First-Called Ukrainian Orthodox parish. This humble yet vibrant community recently had the honor of hosting His Eminence Archbishop Daniel, who led a poignant Memorial Service at the Memorial of Ukrainian-French heroes and leaders of the Ukrainian National Army. This memorial, located in the local French-Ukrainian cemetery, serves as a solemn reminder of the intertwined destinies of the Ukrainian and French people.

The prayer service, solemn and deeply moving, was followed by an engaging visit with the Ukrainian Orthodox faithful, pastorally guided by Rev. Fr. Vasyl Bahlai and Fr. Viacheslav Bubniuk. In his heartfelt remarks, Archbishop Daniel emphasized the significant contributions of the Ukrainian ancestors in their efforts to establish themselves in France during the turbulent periods before and after World War I and II. He reminded the congregation of the sacrifices and dedication of their forefathers, whose resilience and faith laid the foundation for the community they cherish today.

Vladyka Daniel's call to action resonated with a profound sense of urgency and hope. He urged the Ukrainian-French faithful to be active and engaged in their parochial activities, invoking the words of Christ: “While in the past, the parishes were built and communities fostered, the new generation of Ukrainian-French faithful must accept the Torch of Living Faith in order to continue the legacy of our forefathers, fulfilling the Commandment of Christ the Savior – to proclaim the Word of God throughout the world.”

On May 26, 2024, another Ukrainian Orthodox community, St. Symon Zylot in Paris, warmly welcomed Archbishop Daniel. The youth of the parish presented His Eminence with flowers and a wreath of Ukrainian poetry, symbolizing the rich cultural heritage that binds them. The parish’s board of administration greeted Vladyka with the traditional bread and salt, a gesture of hospitality and respect.

In his sermon, Archbishop Daniel delved into the practical aspects of Living Faith, emphasizing the need for a complete surrender to the presence of the Lord in daily life. Reflecting on the Gospel narrative of the paralytic who had been ill for 38 years, the Archbishop explored the spiritual implications of the man’s healing. It was not merely his physical ailment that was cured, but his entire being was restored, symbolizing the holistic salvation offered by faith.

The visit was also marked by the joyous occasion of uniting the parish board president, Pavlo Frolov, and his wife, Khrystyna, in the Holy Mystery of Matrimony. This sacrament underscored the importance of family and community in the spiritual life of the parish.

During a formal banquet, Archbishop Daniel engaged in a Q&A session with the faithful, addressing various social and moral issues facing the community. He provided invaluable guidance to both the parishioners and clergy on their responsibilities in pastoral care, particularly for the numerous Ukrainian immigrants who have recently settled in France.

Archbishop Daniel’s visit was more than a ceremonial event; it was a powerful reaffirmation of faith and community. His words and actions inspired the faithful to continue the legacy of their ancestors, embracing the Torch of Living Faith and ensuring its flame burns brightly for generations to come. The Ukrainian Orthodox communities in France, guided by their spiritual leaders, remain steadfast in their mission to proclaim the Word of God, nurturing a vibrant and resilient faith amidst the challenges of contemporary life.

His Eminence Archbishop Daniel Visits Two Ukrainian Orthodox Communities in Paris, France

Photos by St. Symon Zylot Ukrainian Orthodox parish in Paris, France

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