“It was good to pray and laugh with our church family in the bosom of nature,” say parishioners

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

It is that time of year again. Summer vacations are but a memory now. Students, from grade school to University level, have returned to their desks. Although the sun has been very warm this September, the breeze has definitely puffed out an autumnal whisper.

On September 10th, it was time for Edmonton’s St. Nicholas Ukrainian Catholic parish to hold its Welcome Back! Divine Liturgy and barbeque at Oselia Children’s Camp.  

A bus transported more than 20 parishioners who preferred to chat, sing or meditate without the need to drive themselves to the camp. “It was nice to sit back and enjoy the ride to Wabumun Lake,” said one passenger.  “I enjoyed being able to ride and just look out the window.”

Others chose to drive the 80 kilometers in their own vehicles. It was an ideal day for a Sunday drive. Although windy, the location of the lodge and “mess hall” buildings amongst the many deciduous and evergreen trees ensured shelter from the wind and warm sunshine to enjoy on the deck.

About 75 parishioners started the day with a Divine Liturgy celebrated by parish pastor, Fr. Julian Bilyj, in Oselia’s lodge.

A barbequed meal of hamburgers, hot dogs, beans, buns, fruit, ice cream and trimmings was then served by eight parish volunteers from Team 4 led by Donna Danilak.  

Parishioners Rena and Yaroslav summed it all up with: “[We] immensely enjoyed [the day]. It was good to pray and laugh – not to mention hoof it to the lake – with our church family, our brothers and sisters in Christ.  We seemed to have had a great number of people coming to worship in the bosom of nature which made it even more meaningful!”

“How can you not enjoy this barbeque?” another parishioner concluded.

Indeed.