Dear brothers and sisters,
Last September, we received a letter from Fr. Joel Barstad, which we produced on page three of this publication, where he requests the donation of the icon screen and any other available furnishing from when St. Elizabeth’s was bi-ritual. At the time, the Sts. Cyril and Methodius community was not in a rush to get these items since they had not already secured a place to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. Therefore, I was waiting to get some other donated furnishing to give the icon screen and other items to Fr. Joel. We were supposed to get those pieces of furniture donated last April, but that was delayed.
However, Fr. Joel told me last Monday that Sts. Cyril and Methodius is ready to use the icon screen immediately. After praying on it and consulting with our Pastor, Fr. Sam Morehead, we are going to give the icon screen to Fr. Joel soon.
While the icon screen is beautiful, it is proper to the Byzantine liturgy and we don’t have a use for it in the Roman liturgy. This will give us an opportunity to reconfigure our sanctuary, bringing back the ambo and the presider’s chairs to their proper places. The additional space will give us an opportunity to bring the pews closer to the altar.
Please, take your time to read Fr. Joel’s beautiful letter. It underlines the gratitude of the Byzantine community for our generosity. They will treasure these sacred items as much as we have. I’m glad we are in a position of supporting and loving our Byzantine brothers and sisters as they reestablish their community in a physical building.
I thank every one of you for your understanding in this matter. I realize that change is not easy, but I trust that our discernment will lead us to what the Lord desires for St. Elizabeth’s community.
May our Lady of Guadalupe continue to intercede powerfully for us before her Son!
Yours in Christ,
Fr. Richard, MC
Letter from Fr. Joel Barstad
September 22, 2022
Very Reverend Samuel Morehead, Pastor Reverend Richard Castro Huergo, MC
Saint Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church 1060 St Francis Way
Denver, CO 80204 Glory to Jesus Christ! Dear
I am the administrator not only for Holy Protection Byzantine Catholic Church here in Denver, but also, as of July 1, 2022, for Sts Cyril and Methodius Russian Byzantine Catholic Community, which was born at St Elizabeth of Hungary.
I was part of that community for ten years from its founding in 2003 and was deeply involved in the design and implementation of the sanctuary with its unique icon screen and ambo that allowed both Roman-rite and the Byzantine-rite liturgies to be celebrated with a common altar.
Now that Sts Cyril and Methodius no longer meets at St Elizabeth, I am writing to ask whether you would consider donating the icon screen, and any other furnishings that were part of the bi-ritual use and which may not have an ongoing usefulness to your church, to the Sts Cyril and Methodius community.
Sts Cyril and Methodius currently meets in the John Francis Regis Chapel at Regis University, but that arrangement will end next summer. We are working to find a new home for the community that will allow us to configure a space more perfectly conformed to the tradition and dynamics of the Byzantine liturgy. It would be a great personal joy, but also a fitting communal continuity, if we could incorporate into the new space the original icon screen, and any other furnishings available from the days when the community was part of St Elizabeth.
Thank you for considering this request. Please call me if it is one that you and the St Elizabeth community might be willing to consider further.
Fraternally yours in Christ,
Reverend Joel I. Barstad, PhD, Administrator
Sts Cyril and Methodius Russian Byzantine Catholic Community