Pastor's Annual Message 2003
"You make spirits your messengers and flaming fires
Our parish family gives thanks to the Lord for the gift of the year 2003.
Since April 2002, our parish painstakingly planned the celebration of the the centenary of the arrival of the Basilians at St. Nicholas. The Basilian Order has served this parish with dedication since November 1903. As a gift of thanksgiving, we marked this anniversary with a seven-day mission, from December 1-7, 2003. It was wonderful to share the gifts of prayer and fellowship with ten missionaries, Basilian bishops, priests and a Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate. The spiritual impact of our centennial mission will remain with us always.
We remember some significant parish events in 2003. In February we elected a new Council Chairperson, Ken Zulyniak; we held two fundraising-social events, the Zavaba and the Fun Day-Raffle. In August, we welcomed a new assistant pastor, Father Teofilo Mechalichen, from Brazil. We participated at the beginning of a new Basilian's service, at the Solemn Profession and Priestly Ordination of Father Zachary Shwaluk. In December, we bid our earthly farewell to Father Patrick Paschak, native of our parish.
We continue to work towards the completion of our centennial history book "Together for Tomorrow", initially to have been published in November. When the book is completed, the Elevator Fundraising Committee can begin its work. The Provincial Council of the Basilian Order in Canada blessed the elevator project, upon the recommendation of the Parish Annual Meeting, in 2002.
Basilian Fathers continue their ministries in and outside the parish, as
chaplains, missionaries and members of various archeparchial committees and
projects. This year, St. Paul's College (University of Manitoba) asked us
to celebrate several Divine Liturgies.
A century ago, Basilian pioneer missionaries left their homes and traveled across Canada to help our ancestors maintain their faith. Since then, seventeen parish priests and fifty assistants have contributed their their various gifts and insights to St. Nicholas Church. Please God, may we continue to grow in our relationship with Him and with one another, as befits a parish spiritual family.
It has indeed been a pleasure to serve You all.
Father Athanasius McVay, OSBM
St. Nicholas Monastery, February 22, 2004