Saturday, September 19, 2009

Invitation to Oshawa

On behalf of Rev. Stephen Williams, pastor of the Protection of the Mother of God Church in Oshawa and his parishioners we would like to invite you to their annual "ODPUST", that will take place Sunday, October 4th 2009 at 1 PM. Price of the ticket for festive luncheon is 20 dollars. Feel free to join our Oshawa family for their celebration., as they are looking forward to seeing as many of you as possible. More info available at: Protection of the Mother of God Byzantine Catholic Church, 464 Ritson Road S., Oshawa, ON L1H 5J9, Phone 905 245 0629.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Nativity of Mother of God Cathedral Odpust 2009

This year’s odpust was held on Sunday, September 13th, 2009. It began at 1pm with a procession into the church. Led by the processional cross and banners, the Bishop and clergy walked into the church while the faithful sang “Vosel jesi, Archijereju”. About 120 parishioners and guests participated in the liturgy, celebrated by H.E. Bishop John Pazak, C.Ss.R. and concelebrated by Fr. Mucha (Hamilton), Fr. Williams (Oshawa), Fr. Girhiny (Welland) and Fr. Kormanik, the pastor of Nativity of the Mother of God in Toronto. The liturgy was celebrated in English and Slovak. Fr. Andrew Kormanik read the Gospel in Slovak and English and Bishop John had the homily. At the end of the liturgy there was mirovanije.

Following the festivities in the church, the faithful gathered in the church hall for a banquet. Fr. Comeau joined Bishop John and the concelebrating clergy at the head table. The banquet started with the singing of “Our Father” and Bishop John blessing the food. Following the introduction of the head table, the delicious meal was served. Between the main meal and coffee and cake, the senior dancers from Vychodna Dance Group performed three dances: Parchovany, Margecany and Trencin. What a talent! It was a very enjoyable performance. Vychodna Dance Group is celebrating their 25th anniversary and we encouraged all to come and show their support by attending their gala afternoon with guest orchestra Zemplin from Slovakia. Judging from their performance here it will be an excellent show.

After coffee and cakes, Bishop John had a brief speech and so did Fr. Kormanik. Towards the end of the celebrations in the hall, the faithful acknowledged the 34th anniversary of Fr. Andrew Kormanik and Fr. Girhiny by singing "Mnohaja Lita" to the two of them. Guests were also invited to the next odpust, October 4th, 2009 at 1pm in Oshawa. The MC thanked Bishop John, Fr. Andrew, the priests and their families, parishioners and guests who attended, all those who helped make this odpust a success and especially all the ladies who prepared the delicious meal. Having our spiritual selves satisfied by the liturgy and homily in the church, and having our stomachs filled with the delicious homemade foods in the hall, we all left happy and look forward to the next odpust in Oshawa.

Text and photo: Mary Siroky - Snell

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Pilgrims from our eparchy in Uniontown

This year's Annual Labor Day pilgrimage of the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia in Pittsburgh, organized by Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Province was marked with special solemnity, as the pilgrims gathered there for 75th Diamond Jubilee Pilgrimage. As many times in the past, several pilgrims from the Eparchy of Ss. Cyril and Methodius in Canada traveled there to pray and encounter our Lord in peace and spiritual exchange while meeting other faithful. Headed by their shepherd, H.G. Bishop John S. Pazak were present also Fr. Martin Vavrak from Windsor with his wife, Pani Anka, sons Martin, Jr. and Richard, cantor Nikolaj Nagrant, who helps in Windsor, Mr. Peter Snell, Mrs. Mary Snell, Mrs. Zuzana Siroky, Mr. John and Mrs. Irene Revtak, Mrs. Helen Lucky, Mrs. Irene Barbora, Mrs. Gabriela Di Fabio formed the group from our Eparchy. Some of our faithful traveled for seven and half hour one way, so it was a realy spiritual journey, however no one comaplained, as everyone experienced wonderful spiritually enriching weekend. This "odpust" was really like the one in the "Old Country" as it was possible to hear there Rusyn, Saris, Zemplin and also official Slovak there. By far the most moving parts of these pilgrimages are the processions. The Parastas that was celebrated at the tombs of our deceased hierarchs is the most beautiful service and the candlelight procession to and from the cemetery is so uplifting. Sunday night's procession from the Prayer House to the main altar with banners and especially the number of young people is absolutely beautiful. The candlelight procession leaving the altar at the conclusion of services and returning back to the altar is heavenly. The petitions being chanted and the response of "O, Jesus, Lover of Mankind, have mercy on us" is so inspirational. Just close your eyes, listen and respond.

Nice symbol of the unity of the Church was to see all ruling hierarchs of the Pittsburgh Metropolia gathered there including its head, metropolitan Basil Schott, accompanied by bishop John Kudrick of the Eparchy of Parma, bishop William C. Skurla from the Eparchy of Passaic, and bishop Gerald Dino representing the Eparchy of Van Nuys. Each year one hcan also attend the Church Slavonic liturgy being celebrated, and this Fr. Deacon Jaroslav Lajciak from the Eparchy of Kosice participated. This is the heritage of faith brought to the USA and Canada by our ancestors. O Lord, preserve the heritage of our faith!

Fr. Martin Vavrak and Mary Siroky - Snell

Photo Credits: Pani Anka Vavrak and Martin Vavrak, Jr. and Mary Siroky - Snell
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