National Week for Life and the Family

National Week for Life and the Family

This excellent initiative of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops gives local churches the opportunity to organize a special week of events that both informs about pertinent “life issues” and also celebrates the gift of life and the energy of family. The three major Catholic jurisdictions in Southern Manitoba – the Archeparchy of Winnipeg, the Archdiocese of Saint-Boniface and the Archdiocese of Winnipeg have been collaborating for several years now to produce excellent opportunities and quality events for all citizens of good will to learn about the issues from the faith perspective of truth and hope… and to celebrate in a positive way: life and marriage and children and family and aging and understanding illness and the many ‘passages’ that are part of human existence – including death.


May 9-16 2021



The 2020 National Week for Life and the Family will be held in Winnipeg primarily from May 10 – 17. The working theme this year is: “Children: The crowning Glory of Marriage“.



Holy Eucharist Parish hosted a Neighbourhood Barbeque as one of Winnipeg’s events for the 2014 National Week for Life and Family. The Barbeque was planned to be held outside next to the church building. However, cold windy weather forced the event inside.


The evening began with a ‘social hour’ where the many guests – mainly parishioners and neighbours from the area around the church could meet and socialize. A number of ladies under the direction of former parish council chairperson Shirley Skochylas prepared a mouth-watering summer meal of hotdogs, kovbasa, potato salad, baked beans, chips, cookies, etc. [A special thank you goes out to Linda Kadeshchuk, Bernice Hrehirchuk, Donna Korban, Carlene Deptuch, Betty Soloway, Peter & Sonya Prociuk, Luke Deptuch and Tony Skochylas]


After everyone had eaten well and had settled down with some sweets and cup of coffee, invited guest speaker, Claudia Kudryk-Serray, shared some insights from her expertise and experience with palliative care. Many of the people present could relate to the stories that Kudryk-Serray used to demonstrate the needs of both the dying and of their family and friends. A question period followed. Parishioner Dr. Sam Hrushovetz shared a moving personal story of his experience when his mother passed from this life.


A “Moleben’” (a prayer service) was the concluding part of the evening. Everyone moved up into the church and spent a moment in meditation in the midst of the breath-taking Byzantine interior. Parish Priest Fr. Michael, who led the service of prayer to the Mother of God, arranged that the Scripture readings were those used for the Sacramental Anointing of the sick. A number of petitions germane to the theme of the week were also added. [Special thanks to Anthony Hendricks, Elaine Bowman, Anthony Maksymetz and David Hrehirchuk]


This year’s March for Life was as beautiful an event as ever – with two significant aspects: the sunny weather and the overwhelming amount of young people in the march and on the podium. It was an experience of great hope. Young people – especially university students from Winnipeg and Brandon amazed the crowd with their accomplishments, their erudition and their dedication to overcoming the St. John Paul called the “culture of death” in Canada.

The crowd gathered in front of the Manitoba Legislative Building in Winnipeg on Saturday, May 10, 2014. The march moved out by 9:30 am down Memorial Boulevard toward Portage Avenue. After continuing East on Portage the long line of praying, singing and chatting people made its way back to Broadway and back to the steps of the Legislative building. There the marchers heard well-prepared talks, testimonies of those that experienced the tragedy of abortion, as well as encouraging reports of the extraordinary successes of the pro-life effort in Canada.

All three of Winnipeg’s Catholic Archbishops were there and took full part. Our Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak was joined by two Roman Catholic Archbishops: M. Rev. Richard Gagnon of Winnipeg and M. Rev. Albert LeGatt of St. Boniface. These three hierarchs were joined by a number of clergy, women religious, seminarians and a large crowd of laity. Other Christian denominations were represented as well as other religious groups.

One of the heroes of the day was V. Rev. Eugene Rudachek, a now retired Ukrainian Catholic priest who still came out to this year’s March even though he participated in a wheelchair. Fr. Eugene is often known as “the father of the pro-life movement in Western Manitoba”, as he was one of the first activists at the front of the movement in the 1970s while he served as parish priest of Brandon, Souris and Rivers.

MFL 2014 2[Fr. Eugene Rudachek with those that helped him participate in the 2014 March for Life]

Many of the speakers were presidents or representatives from university-based pro-life groups. They really encouraged the crowd by their enthusiasm and conviction that the tragedy of abortion would come to an end in their day!

So many young families with children! Many teens! They made everyone feel young and confident!

 MFL 2014 3

The Knights of Columbus were out in force with many councils represented. The chief organizer and coordinator for the day was former Manitoba State Deputy, Brother Merlyn Onyschuk. Members of the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League were there along with their Archeparchial President, Mrs. Pat Sirski. Many other organizations were present and visible with banners and placards. A good number of Ukrainian Catholics were visible in the crowd! Holy Eucharist Parish? Yes, we were there with our parish priest Fr. Michael Kwiatkowski. God bless everyone who came out to support this all-important cause!

MFL 2014 1[Archbishop Lawrence Huculak surrounded by some of the laity and clergy that  attended the March]


On Sunday, May 4, Holy Eucharist Parish celebrated a very important occasion in the life of the Parish and in the lives of some of our youngest parishioners.

1st Communion 1

Children who had prepared for a whole year of Level 2 Catechism under the direction of Mrs. Joan Buchel, received Holy Communion with their family and friends and all parishioners at the Divine Liturgy which included many special moments, prayers and symbols designed for the day.

On Saturday afternoon, the children helped Mrs. Margaret Chemerika prepare the ‘Prosphora’ communion bread. They each prepared a loaf that would be used for them and their families the following day at the Eucharistic Liturgy. After preparing the Prosphora, they made their way up into the church where they were met by Parish Priest, Fr. Michael. He asked them questions about the great mysteries (Sacraments) in which they were about to participate – Confession (Holy ‘Penance’ or ‘Reconciliation’) and Holy Communion (the ‘Holy Eucharist’). They answered boldly and brilliantly! They had learned their Catechism well. Then they concentrated on the Sacrament of Confession after which they each approached the Lord (through His priestly minister) and made their first Confession.

These children were beginning a new life of personal commitment to the Lord by which they were taking upon themselves the responsibility of receiving the Sacrament of Penance according to their conscience in the months and years ahead. They were also accepting the responsibility to prepare themselves well – through prayer and Confession when necessary – to worthily receive our Lord in Holy Communion. 

The next day, Sunday morning, the children processed into the church – each accompanied by his/her family. They each brought forward a different gift and a flower to place in a vase prepared for this purpose. Then each read a quote about the mystery of Holy Eucharist. Profound statements! in which they will grow in understanding throughout their lives – as we all do.

Fr. Michael preached the homily at this special Liturgy at which Fr. Edward and Deacon Myroslaw also concelebrated. During the homily, the children and their families and the whole parish were asked to understand that this was a marvelous new beginning in the life of each child and if everyone supported them and encouraged them – then their potential as followers of Christ was limitless.

The ladies of the parish under the direction of the President of the parish branch of the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League, Mrs. Joan Lewandosky, prepared a special reception for the children, their families and guests and all the parishioners in the auditorium. Parish organizations presented each child with gifts and mementos of the occasion. Cathy Evanyshyn, Chair of Parish Council, representing the parish… Mr. Ron Aftanas, President of the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood, Bro. Ed Swiecicki, Representing the Knights of Columbus and Mrs. Joan Lewandosky, President of the UCWLC.

1st Communion 2

God bless and watch over these wonderful children who have given themselves to You.


Holy Eucharist Parish’s

Pysanka Studio 2014

Pysanky 2014 1

On Lazarus Saturday morning a group of parishioners, together with their families and friends, gathered in the church auditorium for an amazing Ukrainian Pysanka (Easter Egg) workshop.

There were instructors, instruments, manuals, books of designs that covered all the regions of Ukraine as well as all the traditional symbolism. Colours? There were so many dyes that seemed go beyond the visible spectrum.

Everyone had the chance to design and colour the eggs in the traditional manner of writing the design on the egg and then trapping each colour in the wax as the egg was “soaked” in the dyes. When the wax was removed (by a process of passing the eggs through a hot liquid) what was left was wonderful, colourful art – ready for the Easter Baskets that will be brought for blessing on Holy Saturday afternoon (2, 3 and 4 pm btw).

More details about this workshop – held at the parish annually – will follow…

Pysanky 2014 2