Our liturgy started with Bishop John carrying the cross, adorned with roses and ivy, around the altar and placing it on the tetrapod. With the singing of “We bow to Your cross..”, we all made the prostrations. The church had a few more parishioners join us on this day; we had three young ladies visiting with their grandparents. It was nice to see the girls eagerly follow the liturgy, singing responses and paying attention to the liturgy.
The beautiful red vestments that Bishop, Fr. Ron & Fr. Peter wore added to the solemn atmosphere at the church. Before starting his homily, Bishop John introduced our special guest, Fr. Peter Pidskalny, C.Ss.R.. Fr. Peter is a fellow redemptorist. He is also a former classmate of Bishop John. Fr. Peter is the pastor of St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Yorkton, Saskatchewan. He is no stranger to our community: as a seminarian, he spent his summers at the Nativity of the Mother of God on Shaw St in Toronto. He was with us at Bishop John’s ordination and he always makes an effort to visit with us whenever he is in our area and his busy schedules permits him to do so. Bishop John then had a very inspiring homily. At the conclusion of the liturgy, we once again sang “We bow to Your Cross..” and after prostrations, everyone came forward for individual adoration of the cross and to say a silent prayer.
All the parishioners were then invited for coffee and fellowship. It was a very special coffee hour, since we were also able to meet and spend some time with Fr. Peter. It’s always nice to have guests with us, especially ones “whose smile lights up the whole room” – as one of the parishioners described it.
By Mary Siroky - Snell