Meet Deacon Andrii Rubel

Born on September 1, 1993 in a priestly family. One of four children. Father - Rev. Orest Rubel serves in the Sokal-Zhovkva eparchy.

2000-2008 – studied at the elementary school in Zabuzhya village

2008-2011 — studied at the Lviv Professional Lyceum of Computer Technologies. At the lyceum, professionally played for the soccer team Sokil.

2011-2017 — studied at the Ivano-Frankivsk Theological Seminary of St. Josaphat

On January 3, 2017, received the Sacrament of Ordination to the rank of Subdeacon

2017-2021 – studied at the Pontifical Salesian University.

On July 18, 2020, got married to Halyna Vasylytsia

On December 12, 2021, was ordained to the diaconate.

On July 10, 2022, Deacon Andrii and Halyna welcomed their first-born son Amadeo

When exactly did you discover/hear/feel the call to the priesthood? Was it sudden or gradual?

My vocation to the priesthood evolved gradually until I finally understood that I wanted to dedicate my life to serving God and the people. It probably started in my childhood, when I looked at the example of my father, who is a priest. It was the first step, but at that time, it was at the level of childhood ideas, when the idea of priesthood was contemplated together with the ideas of football or the world of computer technology. A clearer understanding of the vocation happened in my teens when I began to set priorities. The near-final decision to become a priest probably was taken at the time when I was finishing the computer lyceum. The environment, family, events, and people built this vocation with their words and examples, which later turned into the choice to go to seminary.

When I was a child, everyone thought that my older brothers would go to the seminary but it did not happen. As a passionate football player, I was not even considered a candidate for the seminary, because I did not openly express this wish to my parents or friends. When I was studying at the computer lyceum, coming home on the weekends, I occasionally started reading the history of the Church, and one day my father saw it and jokingly asked: maybe you want to go to the seminary? To which I gave an uncertain answer - "Um, I don't know..." (although at that moment I was already thinking about it). Then, step by step, I began to prepare for entering the seminary and to discern whether this was a true vocation or a temporary wave. Today we see that the decision is final.

 

After a year of diaconal ministry in the Archeparchy of Philadelphia, what are your most important lessons? What is something new that you learned about the Church, God, and yourself?

The most important lesson of my diaconal ministry in the Archeparchy was learning to overcome the language barrier and the fear of not being understood by communicating and serving in a foreign language that I had to learn almost from the beginning. The example of people where I had the opportunity to serve as a deacon taught me to be myself and to be human, realizing that language will improve over time, and people understand it.

The Lord said: “The lamp of the body is the eye. If your eye is sound, your whole body will be filled with light; but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be in darkness. And if the light in you is darkness, how great will the darkness be." (Mt. 6,22-23). When we wear glasses, things are magnified. When we wear sunglasses, the world becomes darker around us. Often things do not change but it depends on how we look at them. Therefore, I am learning to look through the prism of God's love and will try to encourage others to do the same.

Also, life in the USA has taught me to value my family and the time spent with them, because we often do not have this time. When my son smiles and is happy that I am with him, it recharges me when I feel tired. Despite duties and different projects, it is important to find time for the domestic church - family. Mother Teresa said: “What can you do to strengthen peace in the whole world? Go home and love your family." A happy family is the first step, teaches how to move on and how to allocate time correctly so as not to spin like a squirrel in a wheel.

 

What challenges do you see for your priestly ministry - both existing challenges and new ones?

One of the challenges for my priestly ministry will be to pay attention to the new needs of modern people. That is, to help them to keep faith and values in a world that is increasingly secularized.

The work with the youngest parishioners and their spiritual support is important for the future of the Church. Working with children and youth in the parish is important because this is the age of forming a worldview and setting life priorities. Today's young people move very rapidly but sometimes without knowing their destination. It is important to show everyone that God loves them and is waiting for them through their neighbors, family, and community. The Church must be a community that leads by example, that witnesses and that loves. I wish not to serve people, but together with people to serve God, encouraging them to be active participants in the Body of Christ.

In the modern age, necessary new tools for priestly ministry when communicating with the faithful and preaching the Gospel are modern technologies and social media. Having said this, I will try not to lose personal communication and relationships.

Also, a challenge will be working with people who were forced to flee because of the war as well as encouraging others to help those who remained in Ukraine and continue to suffer from the war. How to work? How to heal the wounds of war? This question is addressed by His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk who gives several pieces of advice: to be with people, not to leave them alone and not to get used to war. These are difficult questions that need to be addressed together and we together need to search for the remedy. In one video His Beatitude Sviatoslav said: “Young men and women who saw death often return home with gray hair. They feel deep disappointment when they meet an immature politician or public leader, and especially when they encounter an immature priest." These words struck me. Therefore, it is so important to try to feel more deeply the needs of people who are sincere and seek sincerity and help in the Church.

Speaking in the context of our Archeparchy, not only young people need priestly dedication but also elderly people. It is important to be here and now, at this very moment, with those who are in need and often feel lonely, the value of every moment in life is equally important. Once, while making pierogi with the parishioners of the Church of the Holy Myrrh-Bearer (Swarthmore, PA), where more than 40 elderly people were very focused on the process but at the same time in a relaxed and happy way they shared the achievements of their children, the joy of health improvement, and plans for the future, I stopped for a moment and thought - this is what the Kingdom of Heaven looks like.

Related News

More News
New appointments in the Archeparchy

#Archeparchy

New appointments in the Archeparchy

Archeparchy of Philadelphia Joins Inter-religious Prayer to Stop Gun Violenece

#Archeparchy

Archeparchy of Philadelphia Joins Inter-religious Prayer to Stop Gun Violenece

Bohdan Vasyliv: It is crucial to constantly keep in mind that God is ultimately in control

#Archeparchy

Bohdan Vasyliv: It is crucial to constantly keep in mind that God is ultimately in control

Ihor Demydas: My great-grandmother Anna taught me to pray

#Archeparchy

Ihor Demydas: My great-grandmother Anna taught me to pray