Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of February 20, 2006
50 years of Ukrainian metropolia
Bishops call for renewed evangelization in pastoral letter
Canada's Ukrainian Catholic bishops have issued a pastoral letter to mark the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Ukrainian Catholic Metropolia of Canada.
Reverend Clergy, Monastic Brothers and Sisters, and Dearly Beloved in Christ
"Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations: baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And know that I am with you, even to the end of time" (Matthew 28:19-20).
With gratitude to Almighty God and his divine providence we greet all of you on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of our Ukrainian Catholic Metropolia of Canada.
We are especially grateful to God for the abundant blessings that our Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada has received from the Lord. Nov. 3, 2006 marks the 50th anniversary of the establishment of our metropolia. In 1956, the servant of God, Pope Pius XII, united our Church into a single metropolitan see, demonstrating to the entire world his special fatherly love for our Church.
Our ancestors immigrated to this new and unknown land in order to seek a better future for themselves and for their children. As a people of deep faith, they rejoiced in the arrival of dedicated clergy and religious brothers and sisters. Numerous vocations were fostered by their Christian example and prayer.
When we recall their enormous efforts, we bow our heads in reverence before the hundreds of men and women who gave their life in service to God, preserving their ancestral faith and prudently guiding the flock, teaching their children and us to love and to treasure all that the Lord has commanded.
Eventually, bishops were appointed in Winnipeg, Edmonton, Toronto, and Saskatoon, and later in New Westminster, B.C. By 1956, our Church had matured and was ready for the establishment of its own metropolia. This was an event of historical significance because it was the first metropolia established outside Ukraine.
Over the years, our metropolia has served the needs of the Church around the world, in providing missionaries, religious, pastors and bishops for the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
We continue to take an active part in the life of the Church worldwide especially through the work of the Synod of Bishops of the Ukrainian Catholic Church.
Let us make every effort to renew ourselves in Christ, to enrich ourselves with the wisdom of the Gospel, and to evangelize the world, for the Lord says: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit; and teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And know that I am with you, even to the end of time" (Matthew 28:19-20).
We must always search out new ways to realize our pastoral mission of evangelization, deepening our faith through the celebration of the liturgy, spirituality and traditions of our Church.
On this golden jubilee of our metropolia our chief desire is to beseech Almighty God to guide us in finding and strengthening our spiritual values, and to overcome our weaknesses and faults.
With this pastoral letter, we encourage each of our eparchies and parishes to plan to celebrate the 50th anniversary of our metropolia in a meaningful way.
In celebrating this great jubilee of our metropolia, let us renew ourselves spiritually and let us inspire future generations to love our Church for the greater glory of God!
Yours in Christ the Lord,
+ Michael Bzdel, Metropolitan of Winnipeg and All Canada
+ Michael Wiwchar, Eparch of Saskatoon
+ Severian Yakymyshyn, Eparch of New Westminster
+ Lawrence Huculak, Eparch of Edmonton
+ Stephen Chmilar, Eparch of Toronto
+ David Motiuk, Auxiliary Eparch of Winnipeg
+ Basil Filevich, Eparch emeritus of Saskatoon
+ Cornelius Pasichny, Eparch emeritus of Toronto
Given at Winnipeg, Jan. 30, 2006
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