Spiritual February Report
Founders’ Day - Remembering and Going Forward
Recently I was going through some old photographs. Looking at pictures of my childhood, my Mother and Father, and old friends brought back many memories. Not only did I remember certain events, but I also “re-lived’ them in my memory. Recently we celebrated the great Feast of the Nativity of our Lord and the Feast of Theophany, the manifestation of God in the Trinity, and soon our Lord’s suffering, death, and resurrection. The Church asks us to not only remember the events of our Lord, Jesus Christ, but to relive them. For example, look at the prayers of the blessing of water on the Feast of Theophany: “Today is the time of feasting, today the grace of the all-holy Spirit comes down upon the waters… today the moon is bright, today the waters of the river Jordan are changed into remedies…” We are there, at the birth of our Lord, at His baptism, and at His death and Resurrection. If we visit the Holy Land, we see where these events in the life of our Lord took place, but if we don’t have that opportunity, we can be there through our prayers and the liturgical life of the Church. This remembering and “reliving” of events is a great gift from God. Not only is nostalgia fun, it helps us to see how we got where we are, and how we can go forward in the future.
On February 14, 1892 the GCU was founded, our Founders’ Day. Little did the clergy and the 743 members there representing 14 independent parish Greek Catholic lodges, realize that this organization that had only $600 in total assets, was laying the foundation for an organization today worth over two billion dollars. More importantly this group of individuals wanted to ensure that its members were cared for financially, provide the means for a good education, promote friendship among its members, and to help their Greek Catholic parishes. The GCU in its 129-year history has done much for our Church. The monies given to our Seminary, the Matching Funds project which has helped our parishes tremendously, the grants given to write our catechetical books, and the recent donation given to help each of our 214 parishes during this time of the COVID-19 Pandemic are just a few examples of this. Until 1924 when the Greek Catholic Church was given its first Bishop, in the person of Basil Takach, the GCU provided a structure in which the Church could grow. By following the example of these early pioneers of the GCU, help and support is given to many community projects throughout the United States.
For any organization, with its ups and downs, as surely the GCU has experienced, it is no little accomplishment to not only exist for one hundred and twenty-nine years, but to grow and flourish as the GCU has. Other organizations that claim 1892 as the date of their origan are the Coca Cola Co., General Electric and Florsheim Shoes.
Do not let this Founders’ Day go by unnoticed. Join me in prayer on that day, February 14, 2021, for all those members who have gone before us to make the GCU the great organization it is today and to St. Nicholas, our Patron, to intercede to our Lord to guide us as we go forth in the future. May God grant to the deceased members of the GCU eternal memory and a place of light, joy, and peace; and to the living members many happy and blessed years.
HAPPY FOUNDERS DAY!
Mitred Archpriest John S. Kachuba