SAN DIEGO – An atypically overcast Sunday morning did not dampen the spirits of over 100 members and guests of St. John the Baptizer Ukrainian Catholic Church in San Diego, who came to welcome Bishop Benedict Aleksiychuk of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Chicago during his visit here on August 22.
Bishop Benedict was greeted with fanfare by both Parish elders and children before entering St. Augustine Monastery Chapel, where the Parish holds liturgical services while raising funds for its future, permanent church in Santee, Calif., a suburb of San Diego.
Participating in the Vesting of the Bishop and the pontifical divine liturgy were Parish administrator Yurii Sas along with clerics from local parishes, from Oregon and Tijuana, Mexico. The choir, led by Luke Miller, added to the reverence of the occasion.
An outdoor luncheon followed the Divine Liturgy, where Fr. Sas announced two Legacy Gifts toward the Building Fund for the new church: $100,000 from Bohdan and Vera Skop Kniahynyckyj and $25,000 from Myra Heltsley and family in memory of Ms. Heltsley’s recently deceased aunt. With those donations the parish how now raised $483,000 for the Building Fund.
As the San Diego sun made its appearance, a memorable visit ended with a group photo and well-wishers bid Bishop Aleksiychuk a fond farewell.