TOMS RIVER, N.J. – On August 21, following the 10:30 a.m. Ukrainian liturgy, over 130 enthusiastic parishioners and guests of St. Stephen Ukrainian Catholic Church (1344 White Oak Bottom Road, Toms River, NJ, 08755), welcomed the Rev. Volodymyr Popyk as the new parish pastor and spiritual director.
Father Popyk and his spouse, Natalia, were greeted in a decorated church hall filled with a variety of food and refreshments to a standing ovation. Following an opening address by spokesperson Gerry Tchir, Father Popyk acknowledged “the sincere and immense love parishioners have for the St. Stephen Church, and that Almighty God granted us the opportunity to go forward together on a journey toward an enriching spiritual parish life.”
He continued: “Together as a unified Christian family, we have one common goal, namely, to glorify God in our beautiful Church, built by the parishioners, and to beautify the Church with our presence and Church services. I have great faith that, with love and respect for one another, we will fulfill that which Christ wants. Our sincere prayers and good deeds will bring joy and pride to our parish. With sincere work and brotherly love, we can earn a good reputation and glory among others who know us and want to join us.”
Before blessing the food and joining the parish celebration, Father Popyk concluded his remarks with these words: “I welcome everyone to work together to enrich our St. Stephen Church, and I will always gladly share with you your joys and sorrows. May the Lord and Blessed Mother Bless and guide us, and may God Bless you.”
For more information, readers may contact the Rev. Volodymyr Popyk: rectory phone, 732-505-6053, fax, 732-505-6295; cell, 609-372-7161; e-mail: email@example.com. Information is also available on the parish website, ststephenchurch.us.
Liturgies are celebrated on Saturdays at 5 p.m., and on Sundays at 9 a.m. (English) and 10:30 a.m. (Ukrainian).