Rector in Strizhavka: Parishioners who joined OCU are gradually returning
After the previous rector fell into schism, the UOC community in Strizhavka started praying in the temporary Dormition Church-trailer.
The parishioners who shifted for the OCU are gradually returning, said the rector of the UOC community in the village of Strizhavka, Vinnytsia region, Fr. Victor, reports "Pravmir".
The priest told the reporters about one of these believers – the 90-year-old sexton Leo. For more than 20 years he helped the former rector, who in 2018 moved to the OCU, and at first stayed with him, but then returned to the Church anyway.
“As a priest, I am amazed by this man,” Fr. Victor. “He can hardly walk, with a stick, sometimes he cannot come to church without help. But he attends every service. ‘How can I leave, who will help you then?’ he says. He serves in the altar quietly, humbly, and almost always there are tears in his eyes. God's man. And we have a lot of the kind.”
Now the community is praying in the temporary Dormition Church-trailer. According to the priest, the church appeared at the parish almost simultaneously with his appointment, after Easter 2019, and before that people prayed in the open air. The parish is gradually increasing – now there are about 60 people – and the small church can hardly accommodate worshipers even at Sunday services, not to mention feasts. Therefore, the priest and the parishioners are building an extension, which is almost ready.
The old Dormition Church, transferred to the OCU, is now closed for renovation. A new dome with a trident has already been installed on its bell tower, from which a cross is growing. Locked is another village church, St. Nikolas’s, – it also "voluntarily" ended up in the OCU.
As reported, the parish of the UOC in Kolo-Mikhailivka, Vinnytsia region, devoted by the rector, is completing the construction of a new church.