British historian Frederic Harrison once wrote that “all our hopes for the future depend on a sound understanding of the past.” In reviewing the history of the Byzantine Catholic Church in America, the greatest lesson which can be gleaned from this period of time is one of faith. It could only have been a strong and abiding faith in God which could have convinced our ancestors to leave their homeland to travel a long distance to a new and strange land in search for new freedom and opportunity. It could only have been a fierce and determined faith which sustained our ancestors to preserve and hold fast to their glorious Eastern Catholic heritage in circumstances which were often times hostile and antagonistic. Ultimately, this journey of faith proved to be a triumphant one as the faith of our forefathers, so deeply challenged on some many occasions, was amply rewarded with material blessings, honors and acceptance as a viable contributor to American Catholic life.
On this, the seventy-fifth anniversary of the founding of the Byzantine Catholic Exarchate in the United States, we fondly look back upon the great lessons of faith handed down to us not only by our forefathers but also by our steadfast hierarchs, clergy and religious who lovingly served and guided our Church to its present status as a Metropolitan Province. To them and, most of all, to Almighty God, we give thanks and praise! As we, the present members of the Byzantine Catholic Church in the United States, look forward to the future in the third millennium of Christianity with hope and optimism for our Church, may we always remember to be faithful stewards of their loving legacy of faith!