COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN
Congregation members at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church sit during a special service on Sunday. Bishops from the Ukrainian Catholic church are travelling across Manitoba to mark the 100th anniversary of the first arrival of the church’s first bishop in Canada.
More than 35 Ukrainian-Catholic bishops from across the world have gathered in Manitoba to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the church’s first bishop in Canada, Bishop Nykyta Budka.
Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Ken Nowakowski of Canada (back, left) and Bishop Josef Milyan of Ukraine (back, right) conduct a service at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church with Father Michael Tkachuk on Sunday. Bishops from the church are visiting Manitoba to mark the 100th anniversary of the first arrival of the church’s first bishop in Canada.
(COLIN CORNEAU/BRANDON SUN)
"This is a momentous day for the Ukrainian Catholic Church throughout Canada," said Ken Nowakowski, Bishop of British Columbia and the Yukon.
Nowakowski, along with Auxillary Bishop of Kiev, Ukraine, were in Brandon on Sunday to attend the service at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church.
"Rather than all of us going to the cathedral in Winnipeg it was decided that the bishops would be sent out to churches across Manitoba," Nowakowski said.
Having the synod in Canada is a first of its kind.
"To have so many of our bishops here from around the world is definitely special," Nowakowski said. "One of the important signs of us meeting is to express our unity with Ukrainian Catholics throughout the world."
It also represents the 22nd anniversary of independence for Ukraine from the Soviet Union, Nowakowski said.
"It’s meant that Ukrainians from Ukraine and Canada have been able to freely communicate and visit with each other and that’s an incredible thing. To think that 23 years ago no one would have said that there will be Ukrainian Catholic Bishops coming to Manitoba to celebrate and meet in synod when our Church was as recently as 1990 was a clandestine church — an underground church. In fact, the largest illegal body in the Soviet Union."
Many ideas, past and present, have come from the synod and one area Nowakowski would like to see the church to continue to focus on is the youth of the world.
"Tradition is a wonderful thing, but we also are constantly renewing ourselves and our commitment to God in the service of the people," Nowakowski said. "We understand that our parishes and that organized Christianity sometimes has it’s challenges in a society where things sometimes come to easy and we forget that God is in charge."
"The silver domes sparkling are signs of helping people find their way," he added.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition September 17, 2012