Sunday, September 14, 2008

Nativity of the Mother of God Feast Day - Odpust

Each year around the beginning of September, we look for good weather. We hope for good weather so that the clergy, followed by our Bishop, can process from the rectory to the church. This year, on September 7th the weather did not cooperate. Since it was raining on and off, the decision was made to gather at the back of the church and only have the procession from the back door to the altar. However, even if the weather was not exactly great, the church was full of parishioners and guests.Bishop John was preceeded by clergy of our Eparchy: Fr. Andrew Kormanik, Fr. John Girhiny, Fr. Martin Vavrak and Fr. Ron Comeau. They were joined by Fr. Martin Huk, C.Ss.R., a latin rite Redemptorist from Bratislava Vice Province. Fr. John Fetsco, C.Ss.R was waiting for them at the altar. Following the duties at their own parishes, Fr. Stephen Williams and Fr. Jozef Mucha later joined their fellow clergymen at the altar. Among the guests were: the wife of Fr. Andrew Kormanik (Mrs. Margaret Kormanik and their son), the wife of Fr. John Girhiny (Dr. Valerie-Dawn Ruddell Girhiny), the wife of Fr. Martin Vavrak (Mrs. Anka Vavrak and their 2 sons) and the wife of Fr. Stephen Williams (Mrs. Lucia Williams with their daughter and son) and several members of the Knights of Malta with their wives.

Divine Liturgy began with HE Bishop John Pazak, C.Ss.R. blessing the east/west/north/south with the dikirion and the trikirion; then Fr. Andrew began the litanies. Just before the sermon, Fr. Andrew welcomed Bishop John and the visiting clergy as well as all the parishioners and guests from near and far, and asked Bishop John to deliver the homily in English. We had the honour of listening to Fr. Martin Huk as he delivered the homily in Slovak. His sermon was inspiring and he reminded us what love really is by using the examples of children’s definition of love. We later learned that Fr. Martin Huk is in Canada visiting his sister: Mrs. Anka Vavrak.

At the end of the liturgy, we sang “Mnohaja lita” to two of the clergy: on this day, 33 years ago, Fr. Andrew Kormanik, Pastor of Cathedral of the Nativity of the Mother of God, and Fr. John Girhiny, were ordained to the priesthood by the late Bishop Michael Rusnak, C.Ss.R.
Following anointing (mirovanije) all guests moved to the church hall. Parish ladies prepared a delicious meal for everyone to enjoy. Thus another annual odpust came to an end and we look forward to 2009 and hope for a lot of sunshine so that the procession can actually be around the outside of the church.
By Mary Siroky Snell
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