Major Archbishop Shevchuk says new liturgical year is special and full of Godly coincidences
By Nathan Rumohr
Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk celebrated a moleben (prayer service) Aug. 31 at Holy Eucharist Cathedral in New Westminster.
The head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church gathered with a number of bishops from other parts of the world, which signified the global unity of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. He told the faithful in attendance not to be afraid because the Church is with them.
"Tomorrow starts a new liturgical year," Archeparch Shevchuk said, noting the new year is historical for the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada.
Among those historical events are the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the Ukrainian Church in Canada by its first eparch, Blessed Nykyta Budka, and the 60th anniversary of Holy Eucharist Parish.
These events "are not mere coincidences, because our God is trying to say something and send His message to us," Archeparch Shevchuk said.
He added the new liturgical year was an opportunity for the Ukrainian Church to start a new page.
Archeparch Shevchuk arrived at the moleben to be greeted by Holy Eucharist parishioners who presented him with bread and salt (a Ukrainian tradition that signifies the arrival of an important guest).
Eparch Ken Nowakowski of New Westminster assisted Archeparch Shevchuk in leading the moleben. Archeparch and Ukraine Metropolitan Ihor Vozniak, CSsR, of Lviv; Eparch Peter Stasiuk, CSsR, of Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania; and Eparch Daniel Kozlinsky, Apostolic Administrator of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy in Argentina, attended. The eparchs all travelled to Winnipeg for the Ukrainian eparchs' synod Sept. 9 to 16.
After the moleben a reception was held in the major archeparch's honour. Students from the Ukrainian heritage program that incorporates catechism, singing, Ukrainian history, and the Ukrainian language welcomed Archeparch Shevchuk.
Students Julian and Christina Loutsik presented Archeparch Shevchuk with two gifts; maple syrup to represent Canada, and a Vancouver Canucks jersey to represent the city.
The jersey had the number "70" and the name "Shevchuk" stitched onto the back and a "C" stitched onto the front. The number represented the year of Archeparch Shevchuk's birth. The letter "C" was stitched to the front "because you are our captain," Julian said.