Archeparchial Refugee Relief Effort

The Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg has begun its efforts for refugees from Ukraine in collaboration with a number of partner organizations. If you would like to assist in this endeavour, please fill out this form online or download the form and send it to the Archeparchy of Winnipeg. Forms may also be picked up in the church.

Concerning the Current Political and Humanitarian Crises in Ukraine

Statement of the Ukrainian Catholic Bishops of Canada

Dear Brothers and Sisters

Christ is Among Us!

During these most difficult days when Ukraine endures the threat of Russian invasion, the clergy, religious and faithful of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada reach out to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. We want to ensure you that we are with you day and night in sincere and earnest prayer and support. For some time now, our faithful have been asked to offer prayers for peace in Ukraine both in their churches and in their homes. Know that we remain united with you even more now during these threatening times.

Although many in the world are not surprised at Russia’s conduct in the last months, others are perplexed as to why it sees a need, in this day and age, to strive toward imperialistic ambitions. For our part, we simply and sincerely ask our brothers and sisters in Russia to reconsider the motives of their leaders in re-igniting the hardship that the citizens of Ukraine have undergone in the last seven years. Surely a neighbourly solution of reconciling divergent political visions will prove more successful in building solidarity and mutual beneficial collaboration. We also appeal to our shared Christian faith which flows from the ancient baptism of St. Volodymyr in the Dniepro River in the 10th Century.

We furthermore appeal to all civil authorities that have any influence over the situation – above all, Russia – to consider peaceful solutions to the conflict. This would not necessarily mean a compromise, but would prove to be a just and fair and even magnanimous solution. History teaches us that forced compromises, unnecessary subjugation and unjust resolutions often only fester and eventually erupt in ways unforeseen which are often more devastating than an earlier bilateral resolution would have been. Furthermore, using a third country as a pawn in a game of posturing between outside powers is also not only unjust, but it dangerously threatens to ignite a long-lasting and bitter quest for justice that hampers any efforts toward a peaceful co-existence among peoples.

Finally, we also appeal to all people of goodwill to see this not merely as another distant conflict on the other side of the world that we read about in the press. This is a conflict that has already brought tragedy and hardship upon millions of individuals and families. It is a tragedy that will not go away, but rather one that threatens to spill out into a wider global conflict. We owe it to ourselves to be informed about the history and the truth of the tensions of the last decade and especially since Ukraine declared its independence in 1991. We believe that by the grace and mercy of our Lord, for which we humbly pray that the world and especially those nations directly involved in the conflict, can arrive at a peaceful and satisfactory resolution that would prove to be long-lasting.

This is not a time for audacious sable rattling nor for drawn out political diplomacy which, as we have seen in the past, is only as effective as there is honour and good will. Rather, we believe that what is especially required in times like these is earnest prayer that peace will prevail and that we all will be inspired by the Lord’s appeal to truth (John 8:32), peace and holiness (Hebrews 12:14). May the great Christian nations now at the potential epicenter of the growing conflict show themselves to be the beacons of light and hope that are so desperately needed in a world darkened by disease, intrigue and avarice. Is a non-violent solution impossible even at this late hour? Is there not a solution that can restore the hope and possibilities that were experienced by the former Soviet nations when the Soviet Union loosened its hold on peoples long pining for freedom and self-determination? We believe that which Christ affirmed to us by His eternal Word, namely, “with men it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27)

Dearly Beloved, we call upon you in these critical days to direct your efforts in the following ways:

Be informed.

Know the facts and fight falsehood in a post-truth public debate being warped by Russian disinformation. Inform others. The world cannot look away; you should not look away. Seek and share the truth, which gives authentic freedom and wisdom.

Support.

There is a huge humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. People near the frontline often lack the basics-clean water, fuel, food, clothes, medicine. Heal the wounds. Help the victims of this senseless invasion. Provide your financial support through the established agencies in your area or through the legitimate channels currently being developed.

Pray.

Pray for peace and justice in Ukraine. God is the Lord of history and the Lover of Humankind. His grace changes the most hardened hearts. Ukraine was brutally invaded, its territory annexed, the society traumatized. May God convert the promoters of violence. The Lord miraculously liberated the peoples of the Soviet Union without war. May God’s gift of human dignity be honoured and protected. May God protect Ukraine and its people from further harm.

Christ is among us! He is and will be!

+ LAWRENCE Huculak, OSBM Metropolitan Archbishop of Winnipeg
+ DAVID Motiuk, Eparchial Bishop of Edmonton, Administrator of the Eparchy of New Westminster
+ BRYAN Bayda, CSsR, Eparchial Bishop of Saskatoon, Administrator of the Eparchy of Toronto & Eastern Canada

Archeparchial Directive #15 re COVID-19 Pandemic

Re: COVID – 19 Pandemic

Directive # 15 (18 December 2021)

Prot. H/114/2021

Glory be to Jesus Christ! Слава Ісусу Христу!

To the Reverend Clergy and all the Faithful of the Archeparchy of Winnipeg:

This ‘Directive’ will take the form more of a brief memo as several of our clergy have requested a quick response as they want to inform their parishioners as soon as possible as to what to expect this Christmas season.

At 4:00 PM on Friday 17 December 2021, the Government of Manitoba issued a new Public Health Order (PHO) by which it calls for a number of restrictions, some of which will affect the pastoral and liturgical life of our parishes across the Archeparchy. You will find a copy of the “backgrounder” outline of the PHO attached to this Directive. The principal changes that it will affect in our parishes are the following:

  1. The fundamental practices introduced in the earliest days of the coronavirus crisis – wearing of masks, the sanitizing/washing of hands and facilities, social distancing, recording contact information and avoiding in-person attendance if one is feeling ill, etc. – must be maintained at all times.
  2. As stated previously, our Liturgies are open to all regardless of vaccination status, and therefore the number of faithful attending regular parish liturgical services will be limited to 25 persons (or 25% capacity of the facility, “whichever is smaller”). This number does not include the “essential staff” as explained in previous directives.
  3. If the parish has an adjacent or connected parish centre, auditorium or a similar space to which the same liturgy could be broadcast via live-stream, for example, then an additional “cohort” (or cohorts) could be accommodated in such additional facilities provided that the cohorts do not interact with each other. This would mean, among other things, entering and exiting by separate accesses or outlets.
  4. Although the parishes of the Archeparchy have consistently maintained high standards with regard to providing a safe environment for worship and pastoral activity, and will continue to do so, those members of the faithful that are truly concerned or are fearful for their wellbeing may excuse themselves from in-person participation. They may presume a temporary dispensation from the typical obligation of every member of the Church to personally attend liturgies on every Sunday and major feast day. However, for their spiritual wellbeing and growth – and that of their community – such persons are encouraged to remain full and active members of their parish as best they can. This would mean regular online participation in Liturgies and other meetings or activities. This would mean making their spiritual needs known to their pastor. Also, by supporting their parish financially and in other ways when they are unable to participate personally and directly in the life of their parish community.
  5. As mentioned in the previous Directives, if a family or organization asks that a family religious occasion (e.g., baptism, wedding or funeral) or some other event be allowed to exceed the regular participation limitations mentioned in article 2 above, this may be arranged, but with the understanding that the parish pastoral leadership must first be consulted as to the practicability and exigency since the attendance would also be restricted only to those “fully vaccinated”. Furthermore, as it wouldn’t be a regular parish event as mentioned in point 2 above, it would be the responsibility of the family or organizers of the event to manage the implementation of the most recent PHO stipulations regarding inoculation verification (“proof of vaccination”) at the entrance to the event.
  6. With regard to singing, we would also limit the leaders to two cantors or possibly individuals from he same household.

Conclusion

As a faith community, we are called to witness above all to our faith and to ever grow in that faith. We are called to reflect the Gospel message of Christ to overcome fear and to reach out in love and charity to all those around us and to see the world and life as the Author of Creation does see them Himself. We will continue to monitor both the needs of our parishes and the movement of the pandemic and associated restrictions. We will remain open to the proposals and queries of our clergy and faithful.

Regardless of our presumed social status out in the world, and regardless of our political and informational differences let us make every effort to gather together as the Lord would have us do. As we contemplate the Nativity of the Christ, we see the lowly shepherds and the majestic wisemen making their way together to the stable out back. We see a poor, but innocent and humble woman Mary with her somewhat bewildered, but loyal spouse Joseph – who is also humbly and totally obedient to God. All these individuals are called by God and are drawn to a new-born child Who will change the world forever. He will and does take away our fears and frustrations and calms our anger. He grants us grace and boldness together with a pure and holy love and mercy for all our brothers and sisters in Faith. This Christmas, let us not make it about anything else, but the coming of Christ into the world and into the lives and hearts and souls of each and every one of us…. never to abandon us ever.

I extend my prayers and blessing to each and every member of the Archeparchy this Christmas. I ask you to read carefully the Christmas messages of the Father and Head of our Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav as well as the message issued by myself and my fellow Ukrainian Catholic Bishops in Canada. Please also contemplate the seasonal messages of our Holy Father Pope Francis and of our Queen Elizabeth and others that you may come across this Christmas season. They will surely inspire your soul and raise your thoughts to heights beyond this pandemic that for too long has exhausted us not only physically, but especially emotionally and morally. We now have the occasion and a whole season to allow the Lord to lead us to new heights as we celebrate His Nativity, the Theophany and eventually the Encounter. By then, may it please God, our world will be a different place.

Sincerely in Christ,

+Most Rev. Lawrence Huculak OSBM

Metropolitan