Sunday, December 17, 2006

Christmas Matinee at Shaw Street

“Christmas Matinee”, organized by Mrs. Adriana Dolinská and Jan Vaculík on December 17th 2006 at the Greek Catholic cathedral at Shaw Street in downtown Toronto was a real success. Famous songs composed by classic and modern composers, as well as christmas carols, both English and Slovak attracted and filled the church to its capacity. Musical accompaniment was done by Marta Laurincová, Milan Brunner, Bohdan Turok and Andrej Šaradin. Christmas poems were recited by Oľga Turoková in Slovak and by Veronika Ivanová in English. Everyone, who joined the community of the Nativity of the Mother of God parish was absolutely sure, that this was surely an unique and heart - lifting event in order to prepare for the coming of the One, who descended to earth and became man so that man can ascend to heaven.

Photos by: Cornelius "Yakov" Krissilas

Saturday, November 18, 2006

First liturgy of Fr. Vavrak in Windsor

Father Martin Vavrak is a native of Kosice, Slovakia, who was ordained a priest in 2003 in the Cathedral of Kosice by His Grace, bishop Milan Sasik, CM of Mukacevo. Afterwards, he started his pastoral ministry in the eparchy of Mukacevo, mother of all our eparchies. Besides parish ministry helped also teaching at the seminary.

He was there well liked by the people, but after a three year tenure, he came to help our church in Canada.

After initial stay in Toronto, he was introduced by bishop Pazak to the parish family of Windsor, where he came together with his wife, and two sons.

Faithful together with the pastor, Fr. Igor Zdravecky welcomed our new laborer in the vineyard of Christ and wished him many happy and blessed years!

Photo credits: Fr. Igor Zdravecky.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Clergy meeting in Hamilton

Our parish in Hamiton hosted in the fall of 2006 our biannual clergy meeting. At this meeting were present bishop John Pazak, CSsR, eparchial bishop of the Eparchy of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Fr. Joseph Mucha, chancelor of the same Eparchy and hosting pastor, Fr. John Girhiny (Welland), Fr. Pavol Dolinsky (Toronto), Fr. Stephen Williams (Oshawa), Fr. Ron Comeau, Fr. Igor Zdravecky (Windsor) and newly arrived Fr. Martin Vavrak.

After the common liturgy at the altar of the magnificent church in Hamilton was more formal discussion between the bishop and his priests, and also official welcome to Fr. Vavrak, who joined the Eparchy.

Photo credits: Fr. Igor Zdravecky

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Bishop John's 60th birthday

His Excellency, Bishop John Stephen Pazak was born on August 13th 1946 in Gary, Indiana as the oldest child of late Johanna (nee Henessy) and late Stephen Pazak. He was baptized and chrismated on September 8th 1946 at St. Michael's Church in Gary, Ind.

He made his first vows as a Redemptorist on the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, September 14th 1965. He attended St. Alphonsus College in Suffield, Conn. and St. Pauls University in Ottawa, Ont.

Our beloved Bishop Michael Rusnak, CSsR ordained him a deacon on May 21st 1972. Later that year, on August 27th, he was ordained a priest by Bishop Emil Mihalik in his home parish in Gary, Ind.

His ministry included parish of Ss. Peter and Paul in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, St. Vladimir’s College in Roblin, Manitoba, parish of St. Mary’s in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania and also St. Joseph's parish in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

His episcopal motto is the quotation from Prophet Isaiah, 40:3, "Prepare the way to the Lord."We congratulate Bishop John on his jubilee and wish him many more happy and blessed years!Eis polla eti, Despota! Na mnohaja ľita Vladyko!

Photo credits: Mary Snell - Siroky.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

50th Anniversary of Priestly Ordination of Fr. Fetsco

May 13, 1956 – Mothers’ Day – was a special day for more than one reason. That’s the day that Fr. John Fetsco, C.Ss.R., was ordained to the holy priesthood. Most people stay in their job a few years, then try something else. They move from place to place wherever their career takes them. Fr. John has moved from place to place a few times but his career stayed the same: he “is a priest forever, according to the order of Melchisedek”, as we read in the Bible.

To celebrate this joyous occasion, May 10th was decided upon. In the early afternoon, guests started to congregate in the beautifully decorated Slovak Cathedral of Transfiguration. This being Fr. John’s golden jubilee, the church was full of greenery with yellow blooms. Fr. John and his sister Margie Fetsco, from Pringle, Pennsylvania, wore yellow corsages with gold ribbons.

At 3pm, fourteen priests and 2 Bishops, led by three altar servers, processed down the centre isle to the altar. Fr. John, accompanied by his long-time friend, Rt. Reverend John Tataryn, preceded the two bishops: H.E. John Pazak, C.Ss.R. and H.E. Cornelius Pasichny, O.S.B.M.

What a beautiful sight: at the altar, Fr. John was the main celebrant at the beginning, then H.E. Bishop Pazak took over as the main celebrant and had Fr. John on his right and H.E. Bishop Pasichny on his left. All around the altar, was a sea of white, gold, and light blue vestments. On the left side, there were Rt. Rev. John Tataryn, Fr. John Girhiny, Fr. Yaroslaw Dybka, Fr. Peter Pidskalny, Fr. Ron Comeau, Fr. Leslie Tamas, and Fr. Stephen Williams concelebrating. On the right side there were: Fr. Pavol Dolinsky, Fr. Stanislav Takac, Fr. Miroslav Vercimak, Fr. Jozef Mucha, Fr. Andrew Kormanik, Fr. Mark Zazula and the rector of the cathedral, Fr. Miroslav Cajka.

Following the liturgy, the bishops and most of the clergy, along with several guests, proceeded to the other half of the celebration. It was held at the Premiere Ballroom and Convention Centre in Richmond Hill. The guests arrived to a beautifully decorated hall with blue napkins (Fr. John’s favourite colour!) and tying in with the decorations at the cathedral, the centrepieces were yellow tulips in vases tied with gold ribbon. As the guests started arriving, they were all treated to hors d’heurves and punch and they had a chance to socialize, congratulate Fr. John and just enjoy each others’ company. Among those who attended, we had Fr. John’s sister Margie and Fr. John’s Redemptorist confreres from Winnipeg and Saskatchewan. We also had the pleasure of having with us Fr. Stanislav Takac, from the Archdiocese of Kosice in Slovakia, who is visiting his cousin. Mr. Jozef Breda, from Michalovce, Slovakia, who is here visiting his sister, was also one of the guests.

Following a short welcome, blessing and a toast to Fr. John by H.E. Bishop Pazak, and a tasty meal, the head table guests were introduced, as well as other distinguished guests sitting at individual tables. We were all reminded of Fr. John’s life and his achievements. As a wonderful tribute to him, there were many greetings. The most cherished greeting came in a form of an Apostolic Blessing from Pope Benedict XVI – a gift from the Cathedral Ladies’ Guild. Then there was a greeting from H.G. Luigi Ventura, Apostolic Nuncio in Canada. Greetings from the Redemptorist Provincial of Yorkton Province, Fr. John Sianchuk, C.Ss.R., were read by Fr. Peter Pidskalny, C.Ss.R.. Fr. John is a member of that Province. The MC read the rest of the greetings from Bishop Hrynchyshyn in France, Msgr. Sinal in Montreal, Bishop Kuchmiak, C.Ss.R., in Newark, NJ (he was ordained together with Fr. John and the late Fr. Perejda, C.Ss.R.), Fr. Sandor, H.G. Archbishop Schott, OFM and H.E. Bishop Chmilar. Greetings from Vladyka Jan Babjak, SJ and Vladyka Jan Hirka from Slovakia, arrived the next day.

Fr. John then thanked all those who came to celebrate with him, and all those who organized the celebration and worked hard to make it a special day. H.E. Bishop Cornelius concluded the celebration by having all guests join him in reading the “Thou art a priest forever” prayer on the back of the programs. Fr. John cut his special anniversary cake and distributed it to everyone. The guests were then free to sign the guest book, congratulate Fr. John and have pictures taken with him.

Thank you to Bishop Pazak for his direction, to the concelebrating priests for taking time to be here, to all those volunteers who cleaned the church, decorated it and helped out wherever necessary. And thank you to all those who showed respect and support for Fr. John and his 50 years (most of them spent here among us in Canada) by being part of the liturgy in the afternoon and the banquet in the evening. You are the reason that although he was very tired, there was a constant smile on Fr. John’s face all day long!

May God keep you among us in good health for “many, blessed years!” Mnohaja lit, Fr. John! A job well done!

By Mary Siroky-Snell

Photo credits: Mary Siroky - Snell.

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Sunday, January 15, 2006

New priest ordained for the Eparchy

Magnificent shrine of the Mother of God of Klokocov in Hamilton, ON was the site of the first presbyteral ordination performed by bishop John S. Pazak, CSsR, when he ordained deacon Stephen Williams into presbyterate. Pilgrims, as well as clergy and religious from all around the Eparchy, as well as from United States gathered and prayed during the hierarchical liturgy, where after the Great Entrance, was then deacon Stephen presented to bishop John by Fr. Joseph Mucha, hosting pastor. Fr. Stephen did part of his studies at the Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh, PA and the seminary was at his ordination represented by Fr. Jack Custer, academic dean. Fr. Stephen received minor orders on June 24, 2005 at the cathedral church in Markham, and was ordained a deacon June 29, 2005 in the Nativity of the Mother of God Church on Shaw Street.
Photos by: Ivetka Vasil, with permission from Fr. S. Williams.