The youth and young adults of the Holy Ukrainian Orthodox Church have always been the main concern and love of His Beatitude Metropolitan Constantine. By his own words, he was happiest when he was with them. This page is an expression of love from his spiritual children - Remembering Vladyka. Submissions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To a man that gave us wisdom, faith, love but most of all hope, He was a great man that would care for others and loved them as well, he gave us the inspiration that we needed. His name was Constantine, a name that everybody expects great ...things to come and they did. He was our friend and the Metropolitan of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church but he also was a person that would speak what was on his mind, and he would tell you off but still be your friend, and the only reason why he would do that is so he could help you. We all know reality hurts but we have to face it, as he did. You know I have one memory of Metropolitan Constantine and I think it's time that I told everybody. I was seven years old and it was the first time that I went into the huge church at Bound Brook by myself and everybody was gone because they were all in the graveyard and as I walked up those large white steps up to the church and finally I reached the large glass doors and pulled with all my strength and walked in with a scared but also curious face.
I had never seen such a tall church in my life, and as I walked further and every step I took all I could hear was the heel on the bottom of my shoes. Further and further I went with such wonder of seeing the most beautiful paintings and then I stopped for that was the moment that I took one glance at the huge Icon of Jesus on the front of the wall, and I was so tempted to enter into the altar but as I was just standing there, thinking and wondering of things, camp came into my mind and I felt at peace, for at that moment I felt a hand and so gentile it was placed on my shoulder like a dove had landed to give me something and I didn't want to look up because I wanted to think of who it might be to come to see me from heaven but I finally looked up, and it was Constantine just standing there but not looking at me but his hand was on my shoulder, but his eyes were right at the Icon of Jesus, and I looked at him for 3 seconds and then I slowly started to look at the Icon as well as he did and you know I never felt so at peace in my life, and that is my story of Constantine and Constantine. May he rest in peace, and now unto ages of ages..........Amen.
Remembrances of Metropolitan Constantine
• His frequent talk/lectures about the suspension of time during the Divine Liturgy
• Coming to read the genealogy of Christ gospel on the Sunday before Nativity for many years
• His sermons about the "going up" on the three Sundays preceding Great Lent
• Him filling in at Sts Peter and Paul while we were without a pastor
• Having my first confession with the bishop (as we had no pastor that year)
• His humbleness in almost always wearing the same old tattered vestments and not regaling himself and his stubbornness to not accept being vested splendidly
• Him tonsuring me reader
• Him ordaining me subdeacon
• His love of movies
• Going to the movies with him and the altar boys or junior UOLers
• Picking him up - home to church, hotels to church, airport to hotels
• Getting "ice cream money" when he would distribute the final collection to the altar boys for that expressed purpose
• Being in charge of his eye glasses throughout the liturgy
• His seemingly insatiable sweet tooth
• His love for his mother, his emulating her in many personality traits and mannerisms and his pain at her falling asleep
• Chapter challenge judge at convention - his encouragement of me that I knew the answer and to just buzz in (sometimes feeding me the answer on the sly)
• Diving judge at TC
• Him playing piano, playing piano duets with him at my parents' house and at camp
• His probing, frequent and off the cuff question to me "when are you going to be priest?"
• Looking on at him with awe that he must be talking straight to God as peered up to heaven at the altar with arms raised supplicating the prayers
• Him moving his arm in a fist-clinched, slamming sort of way as a way of putting emphasis on the end of a supplicatory prayer – a very physical AMEN
• Repeating many times throughout the litany for the departed "which only You O Lord rememberest" as he struggled to call to mind all the names for whom he wished to pray
• And many more which You O Lord only remember. Memory Eternal
I have so many memories of His Beautitude Metropolitan Constantine. For as long as I can remember, he has been a part of my life. As a young girl I was asked to greet him with flowers countless times. He would always give a flower back to me and say, "Lyalya, daj tsiom! (Give me a kiss, Lyalya)" I always had a feeling of excitement when I knew I'd see him. That excitement remained with me even into adulthood. I know so many others that share that same excitement-- not just youth!
I remember about 10 years ago, Vladyko was unable to make a visit to camp because he had a heart attack. The news came to us while we were playing games in the Millenium Building -- we were all shocked and devastated. In the days to follow, a number of us decided to make a video for Vladyko to show him how much we missed him. We staged scenes without endings, showing him how the camp couldn't run without his presence. I remember videotaping someone on the pool's diving board waiting to be judged on a dive. Another person sat at a picnic bench offering a seat to Vladyko with a sullen face. We went to the volleyball courts and served the ball to no one on the other side. The Mess Hall was filmed barren, no campers, no sound of laughter, no life without Vladyko. In a dramatically staged ending, we taped all the campers in the Pavillion with crocodile tears, draped over one another, embracing, in dire need of a visit from Vladyko. Finally, on a serious note, we all stood (50+ campers) and sang Is Polla Eti Despota for His Beautitude. Vladyko showed everyone that video. He loved it! It was the least we could've done for our beloved Vladyko.
A part of me doesn't want to believe that he's gone. I feel there's so much more he could have taught me. I feel there's so much I want to tell him. Selfishly, I want more time with him. I want to hear his words of advice. I want/need his spiritual guidance and his love. I want one more chance to tell him how much I love him and how grateful I am for all the times we've spent together. You're irreplaceable, Vladyko!
Today, I sit here with tears in my eyes and a heavy heart. I know Vladyko wouldn't want this for me or any of the people mourning his death. Soon I will leave to meet him one last time here on earth before we are again united in the Kingdom of Heaven. Vladyko, I know you can hear me. When I give you the last kiss, please know I do it with profound respect and gratitude. You gave me a sense of belonging through your abundant love. Thank you for taking my hand when I was a little girl and leading me to where I stand today on my spiritual path. I hope and pray that you will look down on us from heaven and remind us of your love. Your memory will remain in my heart forever!
In Christ's Love, PM Laryssa "LyaLya"
I may never actually become part of the clergy, but if I ever did Metropolitan Constantine would be the reason why. He may have tweaked the introduction each time "Hello my son..."; "So Nicolas..."; "You look well, my boy..." but the conversation was always a nudge about my potential future as a seminarian. I suppose he saw in me 10+ years ago what I finally see in myself now, that urge to be selfless and help others - and as far as he is concerned, what better quality to have as a leader of a flock? He even mentioned to me, upon seeing that I had grown out my goatee, "good planning - growing out your priest beard like that."
I have never fully given up on the idea of joining the clergy, perhaps if I am called after my current career path has ended, and that is based largely on the fond memories I have of interacting with him. In that sense, I suppose he has accomplished exactly what he desired; creating an environment where the youth are encouraged to flourish within the church and use their skills to become the next generation of leaders that the UOL so needs.
During the Divine Liturgy on October 11, 2009, Metropolitan Constantine, on behalf of the Council of Bishops of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA, elevated Very Rev. Fr. Myron Oryhon to the rank of mitred priest in honor of his 30 years of dedicated service to our Lord and His Church. The Metropolitan placed the mitre on Fr. Myron’s head during the entrance with the Holy Gospel. This entrance commemorates the public ministry of that Gospel by our Lord during His earthly ministry and the Metropolitan reminded Fr. Myron of how important his own ministry would continue to be in today’s world.
Everyone's stories are about him being metropolitan, but to
Me he was so much more than that. He has taught me so much and I don't know what life's going to be like without him. He was a part of my everyday life. I would talk to him almost everyday and see him at least three times a week. There is going to be a huge gap in my life without him. I remember the first time I went to camp. He came up to visit and I went and gave him a hug. All of my friends were like "you know him!!" "And I was like he is my uncle." At that point I realized
how important he is and how many people love him. And as I grew older the more people I met who love him drastically grew. Thank you for everything you have taught me in life. You have been a huge impact in my life. You are so Important to me. I will carry your memory through my children and the younger cousins. I love you bishop. I will miss you Uncle Teddy. My life will never be the same
It was the last day of the UOL convention at Maplewood and I was chosen to be the Metropolitan's driver back to Pittsburgh. Following the luncheon our long trip home began. This trip was filled with small talk and accompanied by the sounds of his favorite Opera, Faust. As we approached our halfway point of our trip, he turned and asked me a question that I will never forget. "Will the children cry for me at my funeral," he asked with a humble look in his eyes. I did not have words that could express what I wanted or needed to say. He was not asking this out of pride or seeking some sort of recognition. I think
what he really meant to ask was "Have I done enough for the children
so the church will continue?"
I cannot remember what my response was to him. I was caught up in the emotion of the question and the thought of losing such an important person in my life. I know I assured that we will all cry for him, but I could not formulate an answer that would be sufficient or express how important he was to everyone.
I am still at a loss of word to describe how I feel. I am full of sorrow at his passing, but I know that he is now in the full embrace of Christ's loving arms.
I will miss you very much Vladyko. Memory Eternal!