EXTRAORDINARY COUNCIL OF THE UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF CANADA
100Th ANNIVERSARY OF THE CHURCH 1918-2018
August 9-12, 2018 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Day One – Thursday, August 9, 2018, Feast of St. Panteleimon, Great-Martyr and Healer
The National Council or Sobor of the UOCC began with a Hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the Chapel of St. Petro Mohyla Institute, which was founded 102 years ago predates the establishment of the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Canada. His Grace, Bishop Andriy (Peshko) of the Eastern Eparchy presided and the responses were sung by the Clergy led by Fr. Michael Lomaszkiewicz.
The Institute played an important role in the formation of the Church. It was resistance to the efforts of the Ukrainian Catholic Bishop, Nykyta Budka (who was martyred by the Communist occupiers of Ukraine after he returned from his Canadian posting, and beatified by Pope John Paul II in 2001 during his visit to Ukraine) to take ownership of the Institute in keeping with traditional Church practise at the time, which prompted the convocation of the “confidential meeting” of 154 delegates from Prairie Province communities which took place in Saskatoon on July 18-19, 1918. That meeting is viewed as the birthplace of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, reborn on Canadian soil.
Following the Divine Liturgy an All-Canada Clergy Conference was held at the Institute. The Clergy were addressed by representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Bishop Sotirios (Athanasoulas), Exarch of Canada from Toronto, and Archbishop Job (Getcha) of Telmissos, nurtured in the UOCC, who currently represents the Ecumenical Patriarch in his office in Geneva. Archbishop Daniel (Zelinsky), President of the Consistory of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA (which also celebrates its centenary this year) gave a moving and inspirational address on the vocation of the Clergy to be the Presence – in the Parish, in the world and to each other – of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ. Fr. Taras Udod, current Chair of the Presidium of the Consistory of the UOCC, delivered an inspirational talk on the history and significance of the important post which he holds, being elected to it by the Council of the UOCC in 2015.
Concurrent with the Clergy Conference was the Annual General Meeting and Workshops of the Ukrainian Self-Reliance League of Canada held at the Holy Trinity Cathedral. Two Workshops addressed Restructuring delivered by Mr. Emil Yereniuk and Revitalization of parishes and community organizations delivered by Dr. Peter M. Kondra. Participants described these as being very informative and profoundly motivational.
All gathered for Vespers at the Mohyla Institute Chapel and this was followed by a wine and cheese reception as the delegates and guests registered for the Extraordinary National Council.
Humbly submitted by
Fr. Ihor G. Kutash