Monday, October 17, 2016

Ukraine Day 1

Thank God that today we had the opportunity to serve the Divine Liturgy before leaving for Ukraine. This is the best way - to serve the Liturgy on a day you will fly. Fr. Victor Trotskyy and I left from Detroit. Archbishop Peter left from Chicago. We met in Frankfurt and flew to Kiev from there. Fr. Victor tells me that we have a very full schedule in Ukraine. That is good. This will make the trip most fruitful. We hope to visit Kiev, Poltava, Svyatogorsk, Pochaev, and a few other places as well. I hope this will give me a chance to meet with Rectors of several of the seminaries in Ukraine. This is the reason I am on the trip in the first place, after all. But that is only part of the trip. Archbishop Peter was invited by Metropolitan Phillip of Poltava on an official visit to the Poltava diocese.

We met with Vladyka Peter in Frankfurt. If you fly to Russia on Lufthansa you know exactly where we met. All the flights to Russia (and Ukraine we found out) leave from that "gate". This is a gate where you scan you boarding pass and then get on a bus. The plane is out in the middle of the field and the bus drives you there. I have never seen that done in the US, but this is not unusual in Frankfurt at least.

The flight from Detroit was a good one. Not too bumpy. But it leaves so early that it is hard to sleep on it. By the time you land in Frankfurt it is about midnight Michigan time - just in time to go to sleep.

We were met in Kiev by our host, Metropolitan Phillip of Poltava. Metropolitan Phillip, in addition to heading one of the larger dioceses in Ukraine, is also the head of the Ukrainian Church's Education Commission. Thus, he is exactly the right person to talk with about our diocesan seminary.

His Eminence kindly transported us back to Poltava (we drove - about a three hour drive). The views of the Ukrainian countryside were really marvelous. The Lord gave us an especially beautiful view in that the crops are being harvested now and it was a partly cloudy day with lots of sunbeams poking through the clouds - quite beautiful.

After we settled into our hotel Metropolitan Phillip graciously hosted us at his home for dinner. Tomorrow, God willing, Archbishop Peter will head the Divine Liturgy at the Monastery of the Exaltation of the Cross in Poltava.

I will try to include pictures in future posts and I will try to write a post daily. Try is the operative word here - but I really will try. :)

We ask your prayers as we travel!

Fr. Gregory


  1. Safe travels, dear Fr. Gregory. Enjoy your trip, beautiful Ukraine. Looking forward to your return!

  2. Thank you Lilia! This is such a beautiful country - it is a real blessing to be able to visit here. So many holy places. Today we go to Kharkov...

  3. Bless me Father, I have enjoyed following your blog of your trip. Hope all is well there. Alexandra