Sunday, August 16, 2009

Uspenije - Odpust in Hamilton

They predicted a nice day with no rain for the weekend and that’s how it turned out. The day was sunny and became extremely warm and humid as it progressed however that did not deter the large number of people who came to the odpust. Faithful started arriving shortly after noon. The liturgy began at 1pm with a procession from the back of the church. Bishop John Pazak, C.Ss.R. was the main celebrant. He was joined at the altar by Fr. Andrew Kormanik, pastor of the Cathedral Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God (Toronto), Fr. Martin Vavrak, pastor of St. Michael’s Church (Windsor), Fr. Viktor Crissan, Fr. Eugen Rybarsky, assistant pastor of St. Cyril & Methodius Slovak Roman Catholic Church (Mississauga), and of course, Fr. Jozef Mucha, pastor of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The sermons were in English, delivered by H.E. Bishop John and in Slovak, delivered by Fr. Eugen Rybarsky. It is customary for this special day to bless flowers in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Bishop John blessed them and as people came up for mirovanije, all the ladies received one.

After liturgy, all those who had tickets for the banquet went to the parish hall to continue the celebration. Along with celebrating the odpust, there were congratulations and presentations to Bishop John on his birthday, to Fr. Viktor on his birthday and a special congratulation to Fr. Mucha who recently celebrated his 20th anniversary of priesthood. Good wishes and a congratulatory letter from Sr. Stefania Jurcenko, SSMI and Archbishop Jan Babjak, SJ from the Archeparchy of Presov, Slovakia, were also read. To top it all off, there was a special cake presented to all three: Bishop John, Fr. Mucha and Fr. Crissan.

The cultural program included performances by the extremely talented dancers from Vychodna Dance Group (Toronto) and some readings by parish children, explaining the significance of the Feast Day.

Following the delicious meal, coffee, cakes and the program, there was a raffle. Lots and lots of happy people won some very interesting prizes. Bishop John and Fr. Mucha were also among the lucky winners. Thank you, Bishop John, for sharing your prize (a box of Fereero Rocher chocolates) with us. Everyone loves Ferrero Rocher!

Among the guests at the odpust were Mrs. Anka Vavrak, wife of Fr. Martin Vavrak, and their son Matko.

By Mary Siroky - Snell

Photo credits: Pani Anka Vavrak and Mary Siroky - Snell

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