It will take me some time to write this page. So please be patient.

My church life can probably be divided into Roman Catholic, Byzantine Rite Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox. But such a division would be artificial since once I was exposed to the Ukrainian Catholic Church, my life as a Western Rite Catholic did change to a certain extent.

Roman Catholic, Western Rite

From the fourth grade through high school I was more or less considered a member of St. Martin Catholic Church because I went to the school. I did not always go to Mass there. However, at the time I did not have a concept of belonging to a parish. I generally went to Mass at St. Gabriel when I lived near Holy Family Ukrainian Catholic Church, and at St. Aloysius or Holy Redeemer when I lived near downtown. Both churches were about the same distance from where I lived during high school. If I attended daily Mass, it was always at St. Aloysius because the time was more appropriate for my life style at the time. I would attend Holy Redeemer because they had high Mass. Some times I would walk down to St. Patrick for a solemn High Mass.

Often I would pass St. Gabriel Roman Catholic Church in the evening and the priests would be outside enjoying the weather. In residence there was Bishop John McNamara and I got to know him.

As a Western Rite Catholic, I was never involved in a parish life. When I was in college, I belonged to the Sodality at college during my first year but dropped out of that and the altar servers in my second year. In my third year I rarely attended Mass. Much of this was due to Vatican II but some of it was due to the Cathlicism was being fed to us and I did not accept it and I still do not accept that method today. It was during this time that I began to reject the infallability of the Bishop of Rome and also the concept of mortal sin. I had no problem with murder being a mortal sin, but eating meat on Friday? Give me a break! God loves us so much that He died for us and then will condemn us to hell for all eternity because we had meat on a Friday?

Byzantine Rite Catholic

When I left college, I became a member of St. Gregory Byzantine Rite Catholic Church and in time officially changed rites. In time I considered myself to be Orthodox under Rome. Now, I know that many Orthodox people have a problem with this, but these people have never been in our situation. Politically I was under Rome, but I did not accept many of the doctrines that Rome was promulgating.

After I got married, I moved to New Hampshire, God's country. I loved it there. I attended both St. Joseph Melkite Catholic Church in Lawrence MA and Our Lady of the Cedars in Manchester NH. I think that we considered the former our parish. Ruth taught church school there.

While living in New Hampshire I had the opportunity of getting to know some wonderful people. One of them was Fr. Fred Saato, a Melkite Catholic priest who was at my ordination. He also came to my college graduation party. One of the women at the party was after him until somebody told her that he is a Catholic priest.

Another person was Archbishop Joseph Tawill. He was a very gentle man and I think loved by all. During a pastoral visit a woman told me that her father was in the hospital and that afternoon he went to the hospital to visit her.



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