Annual Message 2002
Jesus Christ is the focus and goal of every aspect of our parish. In the words of St. Paul, Christ is "the same yesterday, today for forever" (Heb. 13:8) Thus, as we conclude the Year of the Lord 2002 and begin 2003, we do well to focus on our past, our present and our future.
The year 2002 marked the centenary of the arrival in Canada of the first Basilians and Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate. In October, Saint Nicholas Parish was proud to celebrate the centennial Divine Liturgy of the Sisters Servants, together with the faithful from the Archeparchy of Winnipeg. In a special way, we honoured the Sisters' service among us by installing an icon of their co-foundress, Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska in church.
Throughout the year, we have continued to work diligently towards the publication of our centennial history book "Together for Tomorrow". In addition, our Centennial Committee began preparations for the centenary of the Basilians in Winnipeg. This important event will be commemorated with a special week-long mission, from December 1 to 7, 2003.
A century ago, the Basilians came to Canada, not merely to build a structure of wood and stone, but to build-up the Body of Christ. "From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work". (Eph 4:16) We continue to fulfill our mission to this parish through consecrated community life and the sacramental priesthood. Since September, a young priest from Ukraine, Father Francis Shydeko, has joined us in that mission. In addition to the habitual religious services, we continue to serve as chaplains to Immaculate Heart of Mary School, to the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate. Basilian Fathers have also preached missions locally. We also serve the greater community through our participation in organizations promoting Catholic educational and cultural values.
Some significant parish events, in the past year, have been: beginning an elevator fundraising project; participating in the Archeparchial Sobor; assisting local and visiting youth in their pilgrimage to World Youth Day; praying the rosary the third Sunday of each month, to celebrate the Papal Year of the Rosary; solemnly welcoming our new auxiliary bishop, Kyr David Motiuk. Despite the lack of volunteers, the Parent's Committee very successfully planned and hosted new social events; in September, the parish launched its own website. From our successes and shortcomings, we must learn to work together as a family, united with the Lord and each other in one Body. May the peace of Christ," which the world cannot give", be with us all.
Father Athanasius McVay, OSBM
St. Nicholas Monastery, February 23, 2003