Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
March 26, 2001
Local Ukrainians want to see pope in Ukraine
WESTERN CATHOLIC REPORTER
EDMONTON — Some Ukrainian Catholics from Edmonton, including their bishop, will be in the crowd when Pope John Paul visits Ukraine June 23-27.
The visit has created great expectation among local Ukrainian Catholics, many of whom are considering going back to their homeland for the visit.
The pope is expected to visit Kiev, the capital, and Lviv, the principal city of Western Ukraine, where the country's Catholic population is concentrated.
In anticipation of the visit, at least one local travel agency is organizing a tour that will not only take the faithful right where the pope will be but to the rest of the country as well.
Meest Travel, a Ukrainian-oriented travel agency with branches throughout Canada and the United States, is selling a 16-day tour package for $3,399 that includes hotel, meals as well as visits to museums and other tourist areas throughout Ukraine.
The fully-guided tour begins in Kiev and concludes in Lviv, where tourists will participate in the festivities surrounding the papal visit.
Luba Kowalchyk, manager of Meest Travel in Edmonton, said she has already booked 50 hotel rooms in downtown Lviv in anticipation of the papal visit.
"People are responding very, very positively to the visit of the Holy Father," she said. "We are looking forward to being there and greeting the Holy Father in Ukraine. It's an historic opportunity for us here and in Ukraine."
Father Michael Kowalchyk, chancellor of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy, said there is great local interest in the papal visit but could not say how many Catholics are planning to travel to Ukraine other than Bishop Lawrence Huculak.
The eparchy has not yet organized an official pilgrimage.
"It's a unique event," Kowalchyk said. "It would not be good not to go. It's the first time the pope is going to visit his faithful in Ukraine, who were persecuted (for their faith) for so many years."
Kowalchyk would like to organize a pilgrimage to Ukraine and said those interested can call him at 478-7683 in the evenings.
Copyright © 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 -- Western Catholic Reporter
Our mission: To serve our readers by bringing the Gospel to bear on current issues in the Church and in secular culture through accurate news coverage and reflective commentary.