Ukrainian shepherd to visit Eparchy of New Westminster
By Nathan Rumohr
The B.C. Catholic
The Eparchy (diocese) of New Westminster is only a couple weeks away from welcoming Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, for a historic pastoral visit.
Major Archbishop Shevchuk will begin his visit to New Westminster Aug. 31 by leading a Moleben (prayer service) at 6:30 p.m. at Holy Eucharist Cathedral. He will celebrate Divine Liturgy (Mass) Sept. 1 at Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary (St. Mary's Ukrainian) Church in Vancouver.
His visit to B.C. will end in Kelowna after he celebrates Divine Liturgy at Holy Dormition of the Mother of God Church. Each Divine Liturgy will be followed by a banquet.
The tour is part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the appointment of Blessed Nykyta Budka as the first eparch of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada. He arrived in Winnipeg in 1912 to establish the Ukrainian Catholic Church here. He retired to Ukraine in 1928 and died a martyr in a Soviet concentration camp in 1949.
Major Archbishop Shevchuk will attend the synod of Ukrainian Catholic bishops in Winnipeg Sept. 9-16. Winnipeg was chosen in honour of Blessed Nykyta, and Ukrainian eparchs from around the world will attend the synod.
While the major archbishop hasn't spent much time in North America, his trip to B.C. won't be the first time he's visited this province.
"He has been to Vancouver before as a student priest," said Ken Nowakowski, Eparch (Bishop) of New Westminster and friend of Major Archbishop Shevchuk. "He came to have a little holiday in Victoria and Vancouver."
The Divine Liturgies are open to the public, but tickets are required for the banquets.
More information on the major archbishop's visit and on banquet tickets is available at www.nweparchy.ca. The B.C. Catholic will have full coverage of the historic visit.