Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 17, 2000
Huculak leads Lenten mission in Elk Point
By SHARLENE RUTHERFORD
Special to the WCR
It might have been only the second retreat ever enjoyed by St. Michael's Parish in Elk Point, but it was a definite first for Ukrainian Catholic Bishop Lawrence Huculak, who led the three-day retreat in the small Roman Catholic parish some 250 kms north of Edmonton.
Huculak, who was to visit the Ukrainian Catholic church in this town of about 1,400, agreed to coincide his visit with a Lenten retreat for Roman Catholics.
His position as retreat master meant that both Roman and Ukrainian Catholics joined together to hear his message about "the spiritual journey we make through life."
Huculak said Christ's life was one of movement, beginning with Mary's difficult journey to Bethlehem for the census, to the Holy Family's flight into Egypt, to Christ's travels though the Holy Land and finally to the top of the cross.
"Our spiritual journey is similar in that, even though a man or woman can be born on a homestead, live out their life on that homestead and die on that homestead, that person's spirit is never in one place, because circumstances change around us.
"We are born, we grow, we marry and have children. As we grow older our children leave us, perhaps a spouse dies, maybe we move to a seniors' facility. We can geographically remain fixed, but spiritually we are on the move."
Huculak spoke of the journey of Abraham and Sarah and the journey made by the Jewish people: from the Holy Land, to Egypt; from Egypt to the desert; from the desert to the Holy Land.
He also compared the 40 years of wandering in the desert by God's people to Jesus' 40 days of solitude to prepare for his mission and our 40 days of Lent. "So often throughout the history of the Bible, people made journeys. We are also on a journey."
Currently another journey is taking place, said Huculak, as Pope John Paul travels on his pilgrimage to the place where God first called out to humanity. "It was the Holy Father's intention to retrace the steps of Jesus, as well as Abraham and Moses."
Huculak also spoke of Mary the mother of Jesus, who, by agreeing to God's request, opened the door that would truly begin humanity's journey back to God. "Mary was the greatest human pilgrim on this earth," said Huculak.