St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Church, Lansford, and St. Mary's Byzantine Catholic Church, Nesquehoning, recently welcomed their new priest, the Rev. Vasyl Chepelskyy, his wife, Maria, and daughter, Victoria.

Chepelskyy was born in Lviv, in the Ukraine, and attended the Ukrainian Catholic University and the Holy Spirit Seminary for a total of seven years. He then attended the International Theological Institute in Austria. He graduated with a doctoral degree in Theology from John Paul II University in Krakow, Poland.

Chepelskyy was ordained to the priesthood on Oct. 10, 2010, in the Ivanho Frankivsk Eparchy in the western Ukraine.

After his ordination, he held a few temporary assignments before coming to America in July, 2011. he was assigned as a priest in residence at St. Nicholas of Myra Byzantine Catholic Church in White Plains, New York.

On March 14, he became pastor and administrator of St. John's in Lansford and St. Mary's in Nesquehoning.

Chepelskyy is very excited about this assignment and hopes to rejuvenate interest in the Panther Valley area in the Byzantine Catholic Church, with its rich traditions and heritage. New members are always welcome.