On July 14, the Saint Nicholas Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Homewood will celebrate Rev Boris Zabrodsky's 59th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood and installation as pastor.
Over the years, largely due to Zabrodsky's efforts, this small parish has attracted members from Joliet, Crest Hill, Shorewood, Plainfield, New Lenox and Channahon.
Zabrodsky has been a moving force in bringing the Orthodox Divine Liturgy to the south suburbs as well as to inquiring converts. This has resulted in many converts to the Orthodox faith finding a parish home at St. Nicholas.
St. Nicholas, once located in Harvey, relocated to Homewood in 1976, which gave the church extra room to grow.
As a point of reference, Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church have the same root and are similar in liturgical services.
One difference is the Orthodox Church holds services in the vernacular, that is, the language of the people. The Roman Catholic Church has been offering services in the language of the congregation since the II Ecumenical Council.
The Orthodox Church has always offered services in the language of the people it serves. Since 1953, St. Nicholas in Homewood served Ukrainians; therefore, each service was in Ukrainian.
The more common language today is English, although some prayers are still said in Ukrainian.
Zabrodsky said he focuses on what is common between the Roman Church and the Orthodox Church rather than create division.
Both churches profess Jesus Christ as Lord, God, and Savior. Both churches focus on the Eucharist as the most significant part of the Divine Liturgy.
For decades, Zabrodsky has encouraged weekly reception of the Eucharist for Eastern Orthodox Christians. Zabrodsky also encourages frequent confession.
Zabrodsky has encouraged 12 parish sons to seek priesthood ordination. His extraordinary leadership and devotion to Christ and the Church served as a living role model for these men.
Many have been reassigned to other parishes, save one, Rev. Joseph Gawlik who was ordained to the priesthood in May 2000. Gawlik serves St. Nicholas as the second priest and supports Zabrodsky's ministry initiatives.
In the late 1970s, Zabrodsky became involved in the charismatic movement and, for many years, hosted weekly prayer and praise gatherings at St. Nicholas.
For several decades and continuing today, Zabrodsky has also held monthly healing services, where he shares thoughts about healing – physical, mental, emotional and/or spiritual – before anointing attendees with oil.
Members of St. Nicholas may request prayers and anointing at other times, too. Zabrodsky also has a vibrant hospital ministry.
Besides frequent reception of the sacraments, Zabrodsky exhorts parishioners to "walk in praise" because it directs their focus away from themselves and toward God.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: Divine Liturgy
WHEN: 10:30 a.m. Sundays
WHERE: 17935 Springfield Ave, Homewood
ETC: The church has a large hall for meetings.
INFORMATION: Call 708-799-1023 or visit stnicholas-homewood.tripod.com.