By Jayne L. Buryn, Communications Coordinator, Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton

2017:  150/125 years of triumphs – a time to consecrate Canada to the Theotokos

This year – 2017 – is special for Canadians of all backgrounds. It is the 150th anniversary of Canada becoming a nation. We have a lot to be thankful for in the freedom and plenty that the majority of us enjoy today in this “glorious and free” country of ours.

One hundred and twenty-five years ago, Ukrainians of all faiths began to flee the persecution and poverty they faced in their country. Many chose Canada as their new “home and native land.” It is fitting, therefore, for Ukrainian Catholics to consecrate Canada to the Theotokos, the Mother of God who has stood “on guard” for us for centuries.

Originating with a suggestion by the Roman and Ukrainians Catholic bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories, the entire Catholic Church in Canada will consecrate itself to the Mother of God on July 1, 2017.

 Bishop David Motiuk of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton, will be performing the consecration at the 2017 Mundare Vidpust on Sunday, June 25th, beginning at 10 a.m. He will welcome special guests Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak of the Archeparchy of Winnipeg, and Very Rev. Gabriel Haber, OSBM, Provincial Superior of the Basilian Fathers in Canada.

Pastors of all parishes in the Eparchy have been invited to perform a consecration within their respective parish communities on Sunday, July 2. A special prayer to be used for the consecration has been prepared, together with catechetical material on the meaning, history, and different kinds of consecration to the Mother of God:

Learn more about the annual Mundare Vidpust and its meaning and origin, by visiting http://www.eeparchy.com/blog/2016/09/17/what-is-the-mundare-vidpust-pilgrimage/, and

http://www.eeparchy.com/blog/2016/08/05/mundare-vidpust-pilgrimage-2016/ to read about last year’s event.

Four centuries of service to God and neighbour

 Four hundred years ago, the Order of St. Basil the Great of Saint Josaphat was established. The Basilian Fathers were the first to serve the Ukrainian Catholic pioneers who settled in this region. They dedicated their lives to ensuring the bond between God and His people stayed strong for generations.

Today, members of the Basilian Order serve Sts. Peter and Paul parish in Mundare, and several other parishes in the region. St. Basil’s Ukrainian Catholic in Edmonton is also served by the Basilian Fathers. In Mundare, the Basilians constructed and maintain a Museum dedicated to the Order and its works.

This year the Order is looking forward to sharing the celebration of this momentous anniversary with Alberta’s Ukrainian Catholics and extend an invitation to all parishioners in the Edmonton Ukrainian Catholic eparchy to join their provincial superior and Bishop David at the Thanksgiving Divine Liturgy beginning at 10 a.m. on June 25th.