A GREETING TO STUDENTS
ON THE FIRST DAY OF A NEW ACADEMIC YEAR
FROM THE LOCUM TENENS OF THE METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL OF THE UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF CANADA
Beloved in Christ, youth & young adults of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada!
Today, 01 September 2021, marks the beginning of a new academic year for most of you. You will be transported to your schools, filled with excitement and in anticipation of gaining new knowledge, once again, about the world around you! I, too, am excited for you, all!
Dear students! Fulfill your desire for knowledge of the sciences, history, language, and the arts: they grant you understanding of this age and equip you to be valuable citizens of this world. Strive for knowledge but seek the wisdom of Christ, also, always and in all things! Anchor your learning, in humility – the great virtue which cultivates Holy Wisdom, revealing to us not only knowledge about the wonders created by God in this world, but also the path to salvation and the great reward of citizenship in the Heavenly Kingdom!
This year, I have the great honour and pleasure to bring you these greetings and blessings from the spiritual heart of the Orthodox Church – the Phanar – the headquarters of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Not far from me stands the magnificent Cathedral of Holy Wisdom, the Hagia Sophia. Here, in the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Great Martyr George, rest the holy relics of our Great Ecumenical Teachers and Hierarchs: Saints Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian, and John Chrysostom. It is a great blessing to stand here in their midst and convey to you our sincerest prayers for a safe and successful academic year!
Through the prayers of our Fathers among the Saints, the Holy Hierarchs Basil the Great, Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom, may the blessings of our Lord be upon you all!
Ilarion, Bishop of Edmonton & the Western Eparchy Locum Tenens of the Metropolitan Cathedral