Saturday, January 30, 2010

Seminarian Daniel's presentation at The Cathedral of Transfiguration Mission Church in Thornhill

Finally, Saturday, January 30th arrived and so did the much awaited visit of Sub-Deacon Daniel Cerny! Bishop John picked him up at the airport and brought him home; that will be Daniel’s base for the duration of his visit. Many of you may remember Daniel from his last visit: summer of 2007. He spent time with us in the Toronto area, attended odpust in Hamilton and the funeral of Msgr Sinal in Montreal.

Sunday morning, Daniel assisted at the liturgy celebrated by Bishop John and concelebrated by Fr. Comeau. Daniel read the Epistle. Following the liturgy, Bishop John re-introduced Daniel to the parishioners. Daniel is here in Canada to do some research for his licentiate, to interview parishioners in our Eparchy and he is here for another important reason - a mission: to run a series of presentations at churches in our Eparchy to prepare us for the upcoming Lenten season. His very first talk was at the Mission church and the topic was: “Our Father”. Daniel asked all those in attendance to come closer to the front so he didn’t have to strain his voice and he also wanted us to feel like a community we are. He asked the children to recite the first line of “Our Father”. He spoke of God as “our” not “mine or yours”. He also asked about the food being spoken of in the prayer: the bread. The bread represents not only food that satisfies our stomachs, but food that also satisfies our spiritual hunger. Daniel concluded with the line that comes right after the daily bread: forgive us our trespasses. We are heading for the time before Resurrection: the time of Great Fast – Lent. This is the time when we need to prepare ourselves for Pascha. One of the ways to do that is to go to confession and to examine our conscience. It’s time to forgive and prepare our hearts for the Resurrected Christ.

All parishioners were invited to Bishop John’s house for coffee, bagels and cake.

Text and photo: Mary Siroky - Snell.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Epiphany in Windsor

When celebrating the feast of the Theophany, i.e. the baptism of Our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, some of the villages in Slovakia still preserve the custom of blessing rivers or streams,. Most of the parishes however bless the water only in the churches. This same custom of blessing the water in the churches is still kept among our faithful in Canada. Fr. Martin Vavrak was blessing the water in the parish church of St. Michael the Archangel in Windsor, and afterwards the parishioners took the water with them to their homes to use it throughout the year.

Readings for the blessing of the water include also a lecture from the First letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, where we read: "Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ."

So, we are all invited to drink from that very same Rock - Christ, who is the only One, who could satisfy our thirst, a thirst for a life eternal.

Photo credits: Fr. Vavrak's family