In a true family-like atmosphere, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony, Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, joined by Archbishop Daniel – President of the Consistory of the UOC of the USA as well as Very Rev. Fr. Stephen Hutnick – Treasurer of the Church, Protodeacon Ihor Mahlay – president of St. Andrew’s Society, Very Rev. Fr. Vasyl Pasakas, Dean of Students and Rev. Fr. Ivan Tchopko – assistant Dean of Students and seminarians of St. Sophia Ukrainian Orthodox Theological Seminary welcomed the leadership of Kind Deeds Inc., a non-for-profit charitable Bayonne, NJ based organization for the formal dinner at the Seminary on Tuesday, January 17, 2023.
The dinner was hosted by the Seminary faculty and student body in honor of four wounded Ukrainian soldiers, who are in the United States of America for medical rehabilitation and prosthetics treatments.
Metropolitan Antony greeted the guests of the Seminary and in fact of the entire Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA in a parking lot of St. Sophia Seminary, welcoming them to the Spiritual Center of the Church.
Archbishop Daniel offered the guests a brief tour of the Seminary building, ending it in the Three Holy Hierarchs Chapel of the Seminary for a short prayer service for the nation of Ukraine in time of Russian aggression against the peace-loving people of Ukraine. Special prayerful petitions were offered for the wounded men and women of the Ukrainian Armed forces, especially those who are undergoing major medical treatments in the United States of America.
During the formal dinner in the Seminary Great Dining Hall, Mr. Oleksandr Rubtsov, President of Kind Deeds Inc., presented a brief overview of the organization’s work with the wounded soldiers from Ukraine as they undergo prosthetic treatments in New York City.
He stated that “…Kind Deeds Inc. is a Nonprofit Organization created by a team of volunteers whose proceeds go directly to those who need it most- our fellow Ukrainians fleeing from a county that’s being bombed and destroyed.
We help people who lost their limbs during the war to return to normal life as soon as possible. The organization helps with facilitating treatment in Ukraine and later transfer patients to the USA to receive prosthesis and rehabilitation. The treating doctors donate their time and the organization covers the cost of prosthesis and costs of rehabilitation.”
Introducing the three soldiers in attendance by name: Mykola Zaritskyi, Maksym and Victor (Roman Los was absent due to medical illness), the attendees of the dinner learned personal stories of life of each of the soldiers, thus recognizing the sacrifices of people of good will in Ukraine that are protecting with their lives the precious land and traditions of Ukraine against the aggression of Russia.
“Will show how Ukrainian soldiers with prostheses dance hopak” – a soldier of the 57th brigade, Mykola Zaritskyi shared with all in attendance.
Mykola – Champion of Ukraine in athletics, originally from Bilopol’, Sumy region. He went to the frontline as a volunteer from the very beginning of the full-scale invasion, fought in the hottest regions – near Lysychansk and in the Kherson direction, until he was wounded on October 11. As a result of the injury, he lost a limb.
In conclusion of the dinner, seminarians of St. Sophia Seminary treated the guests of the Seminary with a brief prayerful presentation of Ukrainian Christmas Season Carols.
Prior to the final prayer of the dinner, His Eminence Metropolitan Antony offered brief remarks in support of the ongoing project of medical treatments of the Ukrainian Soldiers via the work of Kind Deeds Inc, and presented Mr. Rubtsov with a donation of $50,000 for the medical needs of the soldiers in attendance and others as they arrive to the United States for medical rehabilitation.
As the evening concluded, Archbishop Daniel presented personal gifts to the guests of the Church on behalf of the UOC of the USA, committing the Church’s continued support for the work and ministry of Kind Deeds, Inc.
Thanks to the generous donations of the faithful of the UOC of USA, the Church continues to provide necessary care to those in need, to those who are laying down their lives for their neighbors, and to all the innocents who are suffering wrongly from Russian aggression. While providing material goods, the Church also continues to pray fervently for the safety of the civilians and defenders, and a speedy cessation of the hostility, allowing the people of Ukraine to live in peace and prosperity.
Please, visit our web site for the most recent updates on our humanitarian efforts and CONTINUE TO SUPPORT US IN OUR MISSION TO HELP THE PEOPLE AND NATION OF UKRAINE!
Photos by Fr. Vasyl Pasakas