Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of April 8, 2002
Sherwood Park Ukrainians get a parish
By RAMON GONZALEZ
"For me this is a sign of new faith, a new springtime within the church."
- Fr. David Motiuk
It also showed that while most attend services at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Sherwood Park, the area's only Roman Catholic Parish, others attend Ukrainian Catholic parishes in Edmonton.
"And so we did come up with a minimum of fifty families," Osinchuk boasted, noting Huculak gave the okay for the organizing of the parish in early January. The group is currently looking at land in Sherwood Park to build a Church, although that phase is still at least a couple of years away. A pastoral council for the still nameless parish will be established in the fall.
"We are all very excited about it," said Osinchuk, a mother of four who attends services at St. Basil Parish in Edmonton. "This is a blessing. This is an event that doesn't happen in one's life very often."
Everett Gauthier, another member of the parish organizing committee, said at this point there is enough interest in the venture, but it is uncertain how much commitment there is. "I think it will take some time to gauge what interest and commitment we really have over a long period."
However, the appointment of a "dynamic priest" like Motiuk is a clear sign the Eparchy is committed to the project and that things are moving in the right direction, Gauthier said. "We are very much excited and proud of that commitment from Bishop Lawrence. I think we are starting on the right foot."
Gauthier and his family live 5 kms east of Sherwood Park but attend services at Holy Cross Ukrainian Parish in north Edmonton.
In preparation for his new role, Motiuk, the newly appointed pastor, has been working close to Msgr. Jack Hamilton, the pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. He was expected to assist Hamilton in at least four Sunday liturgies prior to the opening of his own parish.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity to work with the faithful in the establishment of a new Ukrainian Catholic parish for Sherwood Park and the surrounding areas," the priest said March 28. "For me this is a sign of new faith, a new springtime within the Church. It reminds me of the early pioneers who began from nothing to build community, to strengthen their faith, to make a presence and to be faithful to their commitment to the Church."
Motiuk will continue serving as canonical advisor to Huculak while serving the faithful of Sherwood Park and area. "For the time being I'll remain in Edmonton, but I am rather anxious to see that the pastor resides in Sherwood Park itself," he said.
"I think establishing a parish here in Sherwood Park is a wonderful idea," said Emil Ryski who, along with his wife Ellen, continue to attend weekend services at St. Vladimir Parish in Edmonton's Calder area eight years after they moved to Sherwood Park. "I'm very excited."
Julian Nahnybida and family also attend St. Vladimir, despite the fact they have lived in Sherwood Park for the past 11 years. "We are very excited," the retired separate school teacher and principal said. "We are going to go and see how things go. It's easier to get involved when you have something in your own community. It's more practical."
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.