This year’s 74th Slovak Day in Milton threatened to be a wet one; all around us the clouds were darkening. On the way to the Croatian Park, a few raindrops hit the windshield and once we reached the park, we had to keep windows closed for a while because it did rain. However, the sky cleared up, the sun came out and all threat of rain disappeared.
Slovak Days start with a liturgy or a mass; this time it was a Byzantine Liturgy where the main celebrant was H.E. Bishop John S. Pazak, C.Ss.R., Eparch of Slovak Byzantine Eparchy of Sts. Cyril & Methodius in Canada. Concelebrating with him were: Fr. Jozef Mucha (Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Slovak Byzantine Catholic Church in Hamilton), Fr. Miroslav Cajka, C.Ss.R., (Michalovce Vice Province in Slovakia), Fr. Jaroslav Lajciak (from Rome, currently serving St. Michael the Archangel Slovak Byzantine Catholic Church in Windsor) and Fr. Sub-Deacon Winsen Zouzal from Windsor. Liturgy was celebrated in Slovak with many parishioners from Oshawa, Hamilton, Welland, Toronto, Windsor and Thornhill singing the responses. More than a hundred parishioners and guests (including many from Slovakia) listened intently to Fr. Jaroslav who delivered the homily. He very appropriately focused on the two men who were instrumental in bringing religion, faith and culture to our forefathers: Sts. Cyril & Methodius. He reminded us a bit of the history associated with the two saints and recounted their trek to Rome to meet with Pope Hadrian. Through it all he brought to our attention that just like Sts. Cyril & Methodius, we are also urged to spread the faith to all around us. We need to focus on delivering that same faith to our children, friends and neighbours. The liturgy concluded with singing of “V sedmobreznom kruhu Rima” (Mnohaja lita) to our Holy Father, Benedict XVI, “Mnohaja lit” to our Bishop John Pazak and to all clergy and guests present. Everyone then went to enjoy their lunch and spend time with friends and acquaintances one always meets at Slovak Day. The beautiful sunshine only made things that much nicer.
See you next year at the 75th Slovak Day.
Mary Siroky - Snell