Bishop Nowakowski hopes new building will play an important role in Ukrainian Catholic life in the eparchy
By Nathan Rumohr
One of the many celebrations and services Major Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk led during his time in the city was the blessing of the newly renovated eparchial house of the Eparchy of New Westminster.
Eparch (Bishop) Ken Nowakowski of New Westminster hopes the new eparchial centre will play an important role in Ukrainian Catholic life in the eparchy.
"His Beatitude's presence with us is a tangible sign of our unity with our church in Ukraine and throughout the world," Eparch Nowakowski said after the Aug. 31 blessing.
The centre is named after Eparch Jerome Chimy, the first eparch of the eparchy. He took on that role in 1974, when Pope Paul VI established the eparchy, which includes all of B.C. and Yukon Territory, and the Northwest Territories from the 120th to the 141st meridian of longitude.
Joining the major archbishop and the eparch at the blessing were Archeparch Ihor Vozniak of Lviv; Eparch Peter Stasiuk of Australia, New Zealand, and Oceania; Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB; and Bishops Richard Gagnon of Victoria and John Corriveau, OFM Cap, of Nelson.
The centre was once the residence of Eparch Chimy, and later of his successor, Eparch Severian Yakymyshyn, OSBM. Eparch Nowakowski said Eparch Chimy was courageous in undertaking the construction of the residence and then using it as place of gathering for the Ukrainian faithful. It was blessed in 1975.
When Eparch Nowakowski arrived as eparch in 2007, he felt the building could be renovated to be more useful.
"After a few years of consultation it was decided that we would make renovations to the building, allowing it to have several functions that would indeed address our needs," he said.
Construction started in December and finished during the summer. The building houses the episcopal residence, a chancery, religious education offices, archives, and the Eparch Severian Yakymshyn, OSBM, Eparchial Library.