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His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Christmas 2022


Most Reverend Archbishops and Metropolitans,
God-loving Bishops, Very Reverend Clergy, Venerable Monastics,
Dearly Beloved Brothers and Sisters,
in Ukraine and throughout the world

Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy
that will be for all the people (Lk 2:10)

Christ is born! Glorify Him!

Beloved in Christ!

I share a great joy with you, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:11). For us who believe in the Lord Jesus, to celebrate Christmas is to open ourselves to a joy that lasts forever. The Son of God becomes one of us—God is with us!

In life, we often experience joyful or pleasant events: the birth of a child, a wedding, some achievement, dinner with relatives and friends, etc. However, life experience tells us that such moments are very fragile: a brief moment—and what brought us joy and pleasure, irrevocably sinks into nothingness, and we are left alone with pain, sadness and disappointment. There are many reasons for such a sudden change: a second of inattention, an accident, illness, human malice, or war, as we see in the fate of our long-suffering nation.

And yet, today, we announce to each other a joy that no earthly ordeal or misfortune can deprive us of—the invincible joy of Christ’s Nativity. This is not some fleeting experience or form of distraction that allows us to escape for a while from some daily or even cruel reality. The joy of Christmas is an immersion into the reality of God himself. The Son of God enters into human life, human reality, and takes upon himself the fragility and drama of human existence in order to bring a heavenly perspective into human horizons: “And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!’” (Lk 2:13-14).


Christmas invites us to an encounter with a God who comes as the Saviour of the world—an encounter that brings heavenly joy. However, in preparing for it, we inevitably become aware of our own weakness and unworthiness, which give rise in us to fear. In itself, this fear is not a bad thing, if it arises from the humility of a creature before its Creator, a disciple before his Master, a servant before his Lord. At the Divine Liturgy, the celebrant invites the faithful to Holy Communion with the words: “Approach with the fear of God and faith.” Awareness of our sins and weaknesses should not lead to paralysis, but to repentance and action. That is why the angel says to the shepherds, frightened by the bright vision of divine glory: “Do not be afraid!” The Lord overcomes our sinfulness and weakness. And so, a person should not be afraid of heavenly joy. We are called to joy—one that is authentic, sincere, profound, eternal. It is given to us as a generous gift from God. This is the profound meaning of the incarnation of the Son of God—He becomes one of us to pave for us the way to the joy of his Father and ours.

Therefore, despite all our limitations, anxieties and fears, as human beings we are called to accept this joy, to open our hearts to it. The angel explains how to recognize it: “And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger” (Lk 2:12). The Almighty God makes himself known “not in a royal palace, but among cattle, in the desert, in a cave...,” as we sing in the carol. The Apostle of the Nations writes about this when he paints a contrast between divine and human wisdom: “For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 Cor 1:25). The divine path to true joy passes through weakness and patience, as once again notes St. Paul: “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor 12:9).

Finally, a person is called to share the joy of Christmas: “The shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’ And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them” (Lk 2:15-18). Dear brothers and sisters, no matter where we are, let us sincerely share the joy of the Birth of our Saviour, so that it truly becomes “a joy for all the people.”

Celebrating Christmas from year to year, we enter ever more profoundly into the mystery of the incarnation of the Son of God in human history, which became an integral part of the history of our people with the Baptism of Rus-Ukraine. This year, when in the Ukrainian sky the enemy is trying to cancel out the radiance of the Christmas star with its missiles and bombs, we should pay attention not to the calendar, not to astronomical phenomena, but to the fact that Christ came today to be born in the body of a tortured, crucified, and wounded Ukraine. Perhaps it sounds paradoxical, but our victory in this war will come not by the power of the mighty of this world, but by the newborn Divine Child, of whom Isaiah prophesied: “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace” (Is 9:6).

To celebrate Christmas means not to be afraid of heavenly joy while engulfed in a sea of tears and blood. Allowing the joy of Christmas to enter our hearts guarantees our perseverance and indomitability, our ability to overcome all life’s challenges, as St. Paul explains: “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (Phil 4:12-13).

Now, in this time of war, we should celebrate Christmas more than ever—solemnly and openly, carolling with joy—both at home and in parish churches, and on the streets of our towns and villages:

Blahoslovy nas, Dytyatko Bozhe (Bless us, Divine Child),
Dary nas nyni lyuboviu (Grant us love today)
Naj tsila syla pekla ne zmozhe (May all forces of hell fail)
Nas rozdilyty z Toboiu. (To separate us from You.)
Blahoslovy nas, my Tvoyi dity (Bless us, for we are Your children,)
Khrystos rodyvsia! Slavite! (Christ is born! Glorify!)
Khrystos rodyvsia! Slavite! (Christ is born! Glorify!)

Having received the power of the newborn Son of God, we are called to share it with our brothers and sisters in order to fortify their faith, confirm hope, and strengthen love. Singing carols is not some loud social gathering. To carol is to share the power and joy of Christ’s Nativity, which from the beginning already contains the Lord God’s promise of Paschal triumph. That is why many generations of ancestors drew inspiration and strength from their faith in the incarnate Christ, our crucified and risen Saviour, to fight against enslavers and invaders. Let us remind ourselves how our insurgents in hiding and the prisoners of Stalin’s concentration camps were strengthened by our ancestral carol to fight the enemy, how our underground Church carolled, despite the repressions of the communist authorities. In those dark times, the carol became a hymn of victory over the night of atheism and godlessness, a prophecy foretelling the inevitable fall of the prison of nations—the Soviet Union. Today, let the Ukrainian army sing carols at the front. Let those imprisoned, the wounded, and those brothers and sisters who are in the temporarily occupied territories carol. Let the joy of the Christmas carol in their mouths turn into a hymn of victory over the Russian invader. Let our cities and villages, our faithful families in Ukraine and abroad, our volunteers and activists sing carols. Let this carol become a space of solidarity and a sharing of our gifts—spiritual and temporal. Let our Christmas carol donations be a personal contribution—to support the Ukrainian army and provide aid to war victims.

Dear brothers and sisters! I warmly greet you all with the Birth of Christ: from East to West, from North to South—in Ukraine and abroad, on all the continents of the world. In a special way, I unite myself to our soldiers at the front. I embrace you with Christmas joy and thank you for your courage and heroism. I embrace those who were forced by the war to leave their homes or even their native land. I embrace our wounded, both military and civilian. With tears, I embrace those who lost relatives and friends in the past year. I extend my words of love and support to all in captivity or in temporarily occupied territories, who endure torture and abuse by the occupier and are unable to prepare for themselves a festive dinner nor pray in their native church on Christmas Day. I sincerely greet our volunteers and those who serve and work to eliminate the consequences of war and ensure the life of our peaceful cities and villages, especially our doctors, rescuers, and energy-sector workers.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish all of you the authentic joy of the children of God, a tasty kutia, a cheerful celebration of Christ’s Nativity, and a happy, peaceful, and blessed New Year!

Christ is born! Glorify Him!


Given in Kyiv at the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ,
on the day of our father St. Nicholas, Archbishop of Myra in Lycia, Wonderworker
the 19th (6th) of December in the Year of our Lord 2022


Високопреосвященним архиєпископам і митрополитам,
боголюбивим єпископам, всечесному духовенству,
преподобному монашеству, возлюбленим братам і сестрам,
в Україні та на поселеннях у світі сущим

Не бійтесь, бо я звіщаю вам велику радість,
що буде радістю всього народу (Лк. 2, 10).

Христос народився! Славімо Його!

Дорогі в Христі!

Ділюся з вами великою радістю, бо «сьогодні народився вам у місті Давидовім Спаситель, Він же Христос Господь» (Лк. 2, 11). Для нас, що віримо в Господа Ісуса, святкувати Різдво Христове – це відкритися радості, яка триває вічно. Божий Син стає одним із нас – з нами Бог!

У житті ми не раз переживаємо радісні чи приємні події: народження дитини, весілля, особливий успіх, вечерю з близькими та друзями тощо. Проте життєвий досвід нам підказує, що такі моменти бувають дуже крихкими: мить – і те, що приносило нам радість і задоволення, безповоротно кане в небуття, а ми залишаємося сам на сам із болем, смутком і розчаруванням. Причин для такої раптової зміни є чимало: секунда неуважності, аварія, хвороба, людська злоба або ж війна, як бачимо на долі нашого многостраждального народу.

І все ж, ми сьогодні звіщаємо одне одному радість, якої нас не може позбавити жодне земне випробування і нещастя, – непереможну радість Христового Різдва. Це не миттєве переживання чогось, не розваги, які дають змогу на якийсь час втекти від буденної чи навіть жорстокої реальності. Радість Різдва Христового – це занурення в дійсність самого Бога. Син Божий входить у людське життя, людську реальність і переймає на себе крихкість і драму людського буття, аби вносити в людські горизонти небесну перспективу: «І вмить пристала до ангела велика сила небесного війська, що хвалила Бога й промовляла: “Слава на висотах Богу й на землі мир людям Його вподобання”» (Лк. 2, 13–14).

Різдво Христове запрошує нас на зустріч із Богом, який надходить як Спаситель світу, – на зустріч, що несе небесну радість. Проте, готуючись до неї, ми неминуче усвідомлюємо власну неміч і негідність, які породжують у нас страх. Сам собою цей страх не є чимось поганим, якщо випливає з покори створіння перед своїм Творцем, учня перед своїм Учителем, слуги перед своїм Господом. На Божественній Літургії служитель запрошує вірний народ до Святого Причастя словами: «Зі страхом Божим і вірою приступіть». Свідомість наших гріхів і немочей має вести не до паралічу, а до покаяння і дії. Саме тому ангел каже пастухам, переляканим світлим видінням Божої слави: «Не бійтеся!». Господь долає нашу гріховність і неміч. І тому людина не повинна боятися небесної радості. Ми покликані до радості—справжньої, щирої, глибокої, вічної. Вона дається нам як щедрий Божий дар. У цьому полягає глибоке значення воплочення Божого Сина—Він стає одним із нас, щоб прокласти нам дорогу до радості Отця свого й нашого.

Тому, попри всі свої обмеження, тривоги і страхи, людина покликана цю радість прийняти, відкрити для неї своє серце. Ангел пояснює, як її розпізнати: «І ось вам знак: Ви знайдете дитя сповите, що лежатиме в яслах» (Лк. 2, 12). Всемогутній Бог дає себе пізнати «не в царській палаті, а межи бидляти, у пустині, у яскині…», як співаємо в колядці. Про це пише Апостол народів, коли змальовує контраст між Божою і людською мудрістю: «Бо, нібито немудре Боже – мудріше від людської мудрости, і немічне Боже міцніше від людської сили» (1 Кор. 1,  25). Божа дорога до справжньої радості проходить через неміч і терпіння, як зауважує той же св. Павло: «Отож, я краще буду радо хвалитися своїми немочами, щоб у мені Христова сила перебувала» (2 Кор. 12, 9).

Відтак людина покликана різдвяною радістю ділитися: «Пастухи один до одного заговорили: “Ходім лишень до Вифлеєму та подивімся на ту подію, що Господь об’явив нам”. І пішли вони притьмом і знайшли Марію, Йосифа й дитятко, що лежало в яслах. Побачивши Його, вони розповіли, що їм було сказано про це хлоп’ятко; і всі, хто чув їх, дивувались тому, що пастухи їм оповідали» (Лк. 2, 15–18). Дорогі брати і сестри, хоч би де ми перебували, щиро ділімося радістю народження нашого Спаса, щоб вона справді стала «радістю всього народу».

Святкуючи Різдво Христове з року в рік, ми заглиблюємося в таїнство воплочення Сина Божого в людській історії, що з Хрещенням Русі-України стало інтегральною частиною історії нашого народу. Цього року, коли в українському небі ворог намагається приглушити сяйво різдвяної зорі своїми ракетами і бомбами, нам варто звертати увагу не на календар, не на астрономічні явища, а на те, що Христос сьогодні прийшов, щоб народитися в тілі замученої, розп’ятої і пораненої України. Можливо, це звучить парадоксально, але наша перемога в цій війні настане силою не могутніх цього світу, а новонародженого Божого Дитяти, про якого провіщав Ісая: «Бо хлоп’ятко нам народилося, сина нам дано; влада на плечах у нього; і дадуть йому ім'я: Чудесний порадник, сильний Бог, Отець довічний, Князь миру» (Іс. 9, 5).

Святкувати Різдво означає не боятися небесної радості серед моря сліз і крові. Дозволити різдвяній радості вселитися в наші серця – це запорука нашої стійкості й незламності, нашої здатності переборювати всі життєві виклики, як це пояснює св. Павло: «Умію бути в упокоренні, умію бути і в достатку: в усьому й в усіх обставинах я звик і насичуватися, і голодувати, жити в достатках і терпіти злидні. Я можу все в тому, хто укріплює мене» (Флп. 4, 12–13).

Тепер, під час війни, ми маємо святкувати Різдво більше, ніж будь-коли — урочисто і відкрито, колядуючи з радістю — як вдома і в парафіяльних храмах, так і на вулицях наших міст та сіл:

Благослови нас, Дитятко Боже,
Дари нас нині любов’ю,
Най ціла сила пекла не зможе
Нас розділити з Тобою.
Благослови нас, ми Твої діти,
Христос родився! Славіте!
Христос родився! Славіте!

Прийнявши силу народженого Божого Сина, ми покликані ділитися нею з нашими братами і сестрами для зміцнення їхньої віри, підтвердження надії і скріплення любові. Спів коляди – це не проведення гучної вечірки. Колядувати – це ділитися силою і радістю Христового Різдва, у якому Господь Бог від початку заклав обітницю пасхального тріумфу. Саме тому з віри у воплоченого Христа, нашого розп’ятого і воскреслого Спасителя, багато поколінь наших предків черпали наснагу та силу до боротьби з поневолювачами і загарбниками. Пригадаймо, як прабатьківською колядою скріплювалися для боротьби з ворогом наші повстанці в криївках та в’язні сталінських концтаборів, як колядувала наша підпільна Церква, незважаючи на репресії комуністичної влади. Коляда в ті темні часи ставала гімном перемоги над ніччю атеїзму та безбожництва, пророцтвом про неминуче падіння тюрми народів – Радянського Союзу. Сьогодні нехай колядує українське військо на фронті. Нехай колядують наші полонені, поранені й ті брати і сестри, які перебувають на тимчасово окупованих територіях. Нехай у їхніх устах радість різдвяної коляди перетвориться на гімн перемоги над російським загарбником. Нехай колядують наші міста і села, наші віруючі родини в Україні та на поселеннях, наші волонтери та активісти. Нехай ця коляда стане простором солідарності і ділення нашими дарами—духовними і дочасними. Нехай наші різдвяні дари на коляду будуть особистим внеском у підтримку українського війська та допомоги постраждалим від війни.

Дорогі брати і сестри! Із Різдвом Христовим сердечно вітаю вас усіх: від Сходу до Заходу, від Півночі до Півдня — в Україні і на поселеннях, на всіх континентах світу. В особливий спосіб єднаюся з нашими воїнами на фронті. Обіймаю вас різдвяною радістю і дякую вам за мужність і героїзм. Обіймаю тих, кого війна змусила покинути домівку чи навіть рідну землю. Обіймаю наших поранених, як військових, так і цивільних. Зі сльозами обіймаю тих, хто втратив рідних і близьких у році, що минає. Ділюся словами любові й підтримки з кожним, хто перебуває в полоні чи на тимчасово окупованих територіях, хто терпить катування і наругу окупанта й не має змоги приготувати собі різдвяної вечері чи на Різдво молитися в рідному храмі. Щиро вітаю зі святом наших волонтерів і тих, хто служить і працює для ліквідації наслідків війни та забезпечення життя наших мирних міст і сіл, зокрема лікарів, рятувальників та енергетиків.

Від щирого серця бажаю всім вам справжньої радості дітей Божих, смачної куті, веселих свят Різдва Христового та щасливого, переможного, мирного і благословенного прийдешнього року!

Христос народився! Славімо Його!


Дано в Києві, при Патріаршому соборі Воскресіння Христового,
у день Святого отця нашого Миколая, архиєпископа Мир Лікійських, чудотворця,
19 (6) грудня 2022 року Божого

Icon of the Nativity of Christ

To the Very Reverend Clergy, Monastics and Religious Sisters and Brothers, Seminarians and Laity of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada

6/19 December 2022, Feast of Saint Nicholas

Christ is Born! Let us Glorify Him!

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Legend of the Elderly Grandmother
A Ukrainian Folk Tale

As we celebrate Christmas, the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, let us revisit the legend of the Elderly Grandmother.

It was the night the dear Christ-Child came to Bethlehem. In a country far away from Him, an old, old grandmother or “baba” sat in her snug little house by her warm fire. The wind was drifting the snow outside and howling down the chimney, but it only made baba’s fire burn more brightly.

“How glad I am that I may stay indoors,” said baba, holding her hands out to the bright blaze.

But suddenly she heard a loud rap at her door. She opened it and her candle shone on three old men standing outside in the snow. Their beards were as white as the snow, and so long that they reached the ground. Their eyes shone kindly in the light of baba’s candle, and their arms were full of precious things—boxes of jewels, and sweet-smelling oils, and ointments.

“We have travelled far, Baba,” they said, “and we stop to tell you of the Baby Prince born this night in Bethlehem. He comes to rule the world and teach all men to be loving and true. We carry Him gifts. Come with us, Baba.”

But baba looked at the drifting snow, and then inside at her cozy room and the crackling fire. “It is too late for me to go with you, good sirs,” she said, “the weather is too cold.” She went inside again and shut the door, and the old men journeyed on to Bethlehem without her. But as baba sat by her fire, rocking, she began to think about the Little Christ-Child, for she loved all babies.

“Tomorrow I will go to find Him,” she said; “tomorrow, when it is light, and I will carry Him some toys.”

So when it was morning baba put on her long cloak and took her staff, and filled her basket with the pretty things a baby would like – gold balls and wooden toys – and she set out to find the Christ-Child.

But, oh, baba had forgotten to ask the three old men the road to Bethlehem, and they travelled so far through the night that she could not overtake them. Up and down the road she hurried, through woods and fields and towns, saying to whomsoever she met: “I go to find the Christ-Child. Where does He lie? I bring some pretty toys for His sake.”

But no one could tell her the way to go, and they all said: “Farther on, Baba, farther on.” So she travelled on and on and on for years and years – but she never found the little Christ-Child.

They say that old baba is travelling still, looking for Him. When it comes Christmas Eve, and the children are lying fast asleep, baba comes softly through the snowy fields and towns, wrapped in her long cloak and carrying her basket on her arm. With her staff she raps gently at the doors and goes inside and holds her candle close to the little children's faces.

“Is He here?” she asks. “Is the little Christ-Child here?” And then she turns sorrowfully away again, crying: “Farther on, farther on!” But before she leaves she takes a toy from her basket and lays it beside the pillow for a Christmas gift. “For His sake,” she says softly, and then hurries on through the years and forever in search of the little Christ-Child.

We celebrate Christmas this year in the context of the war in Ukraine and other places in the world. Jesus comes into the world as an infant, an innocent baby, in need of care and love. He chooses to be born in the simplicity of a manger, not in a palace as a king. As such, his humble beginnings declare him to be the Prince of Peace. His mission is to declare peace among all peoples.

As Jesus’ followers, we are called to be peacemakers. Let us work towards peace in our families, among our friends, and among neighbours and strangers alike by adopting a way of life that puts the needs of others first, and ours second. Let us “live simply so others may simply live,” a motto made famous by Gandhi, quoting Saint Elizabeth Seton.

To live simply so others may simply live means to put God first in our lives, to live according to God’s ways, to see brother and sister in each person, to satisfy the hunger and thirst in those in need, to value justice and freedom, to seek truth, to honour human dignity, to take care of mother earth so that our children and grandchildren may have a home to inherit, to have compassion, and above all to love God, neighbour and self as God loves us.

To live otherwise, that is, to live a life that values money, wealth, and power above all else, risks selling ourselves short, ending up unhappy and disappointed. Rather God wants us to be happy and to live with God forever in paradise, in the Garden of Eden, in heaven with God and all our loved ones.

The elderly grandmother – baba, missed her opportunity to see the Christ-child, and forever searches for him, unsatisfied, alone, and cold, growing ever older.

Yet, it is not too late for us. May the story of Christmas – of Jesus’ birth, of God’s presence among us – continue to inspire the world, transforming it through peace and love into the Kingdom of God here on earth.

As we celebrate the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, may Christ, truly bless you and your family with peace, love and joy, now and in the New Year!

Christ is Born!  Glorify Him!

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

🞤 Lawrence Huculak, OSBM, Metropolitan Archbishop of Winnipeg; Apostolic Administrator of Saskatoon

🞤 David Motiuk, Eparchial Bishop of Edmonton; Apostolic Administrator of New Westminster

🞤 Bryan Bayda, CSsR, Eparchial Bishop of Toronto

🞤 Andriy Rabiy, Auxiliary Bishop of Winnipeg

🞤 Michael Wiwchar, CSsR, Bishop Emeritus of Saskatoon

🞤 Stephen Chmilar, Bishop Emeritus of Toronto


Всечеснішим Отцям, Преподобним Сестрам та Братам Монаших Спільнот,
Семінаристам та Вірним Української Католицької Церкви в Канаді

6/19 грудня 2022, Свято Святого Муколая

Христос Рождається! Славіте Його!

Дорогі Брати і Сестри у Христі,

Казка про Бабцю

Відзначаючи Різдво, свято народження нашого Господа, давайте пригадаємо Легенду про стареньку бабцю, події якої відбулися багато років тому, тієї ночі, коли Дитятко-Ісус народився у Вифлеємі.

В одній краïні далеко від місця, де народився Ісус, старенька бабуня, яку в селі всі звали «Бабця» сиділа в своïй теплій хатинці біля вогнища. Вітер скавулів і дув снігом, але це зовсім не турбувало Бабцю; навпаки, чим більше дув вітер, тим краще грів вогонь.

«Яка я шаслива, що у мене тепла хата і не треба кудись ходити,» – думає Бабця та далі гріється перед вогнем.

Раптом, хтось сильно застукав у двері. Бабця поволеньки відкриває двері, й при світлі свічки бачить трьох стареньких дідусів, що стоять на засніженім порозі. Бороди у них білі як сніг, а такі довгі, що стеляться по землі. Очі дідусів мило віддзеркaлюють світло свічки, що тримала бабця в руці, а в ïхніх обіймах блищать дорогоцінні подарунки—коробочки наповнені коштовними каміннями, пахучими маслами й оліями.

«Пройшли ми дуже далеку дорогу, розповідають дідусі, але ми зупинилися в тебе, Бабцю, щоб розказати тобі про Князя-Дитятка, який народився цієï ночі у Вифлеємі. Він прийшов на землю, щоб царювати на землі і навчати усіх бути люблячими і вірними. Ми йдемо, щоб принести Йому дари. Ходи з нами Бабцю, щоб привітати Дитятка Ісуса!»

Бабця глянула на завірюху, що віяла за плечами дідусів а тоді дивиться в свою теплу кімнату, де потріскувало вогнище. «Здається, що уже дуже пізно мені кудись виходити, та й ще до того, мороз тріщить цієï ночі,» – відповідає старенька. Бабця закрила двері та повернулася в кімнату. Дідусі продовжили без бабуні. Бабця гойдається перед вогнем та й думає про Немовлятка Ісуса. Вона любила усіх маленьких дітей.

«Завтра, піду і пошукаю Дитятка Ісуса,’ – вирішила бабця, – «Завтра, коли сонце світить; подарую Йому гарні забавки».

Наступного ранку, Бабця вдягнула довгий, теплий плащ, взяла паличку в руки, наповнила кошик цікавими подарунками: золотими кульками і дерев’яними іграшками, та пішла в дорогу шукати Дитятка Ісуса.

Але, Бабця забула одну річ – вона забула запитати трьох старців дорогу до Вифлеєма. А старці зайшли так далеко, що бабця не могла ïх наздогнати. Шукала бабця дорогу. Блукала по лісах, полях і містах, питала усіх подорожуючих: «Я шукаю Дитятка Ісуса. Чи знаєте місце де він знаходиться? Я несу Йому гарні забавки».

Ніхто Бабці не зміг допомогти; усі ïй однаково відповідали: «Продовжуйте йти, бабцю, вони пішли далі». Бабця човгала дальше, повільно ішла вона зі своєю паличкою, далі й далі. Крок за кроком, рік за роком, шукала бабця ясла, де лежить Дитятко Ісус. На жаль, бабця не могла відшукати дорогу до місця, де знаходиться маленький Ісус.

Говорять, що бабця надалі шукає дорогу до Ісуса. Розповідають, що кожного року вночі перед Різдвом Христовим, коли діточки у своïх ліжечках сплять солодким сном, Бабця, одягнена в своєму довгому, теплому плащі та з кошиком у руці тихенко стукає паличкою в двері, входить у кімнати де сплять дітоньки і прихиляється до кожного личка та питає,

«Чи Ісус тут знаходиться? Чи то тут спить Дитятко Ісус?» І сумно бабця відвертається з наповненими сльозами очима та шамотить собі, «дальше, ще трішки дальше». Перед тим як бабця виходить із спальні, вона вибирає з кошика і залишає забавку на подушці кожноï дитини. «Це ради Нього,» шепоче Бабця, та продовжує рік за роком на віки вічні шукати Дитятка Ісуса.

Цьогоріч ми святкуємо Різдво в контексті війни в Україні та інших країнах світу. Христос приходить до цього світу, як немовля, як невинна дитинка, яка потребує опіки і любові. Він вибирає бути народженим у простоті ясел, а не у царському палаці. Тому вже через цей смиренний початок життя Ісус проявляє себе як Цар миру. Його місія - проголошення миру між усіма людьми.

Як Христові послідовники, ми покликані бути миротворцями. Тож давайте разом працювати над миром у наших сім’ях, серед друзів, сусідів як і серед чужинців через переміну у нашому ставленні до потреб ближніх, які мають бути на першому місці, у той час як нашим потребам належить лише друге місце. Давайте згідно і життєвим кредом Махатми Ганді, яке він запозичив від святої Єлизавети Сетон: »жити в простоті, щоб інші могли попросту жити.»

Жити просто, щоб інші могли попросту жити - означає поставити Бога на першому місці у нашому житті, ходити Божими стежками, бачити брата чи сестру у кожній особі, нагодувати і напоїти потребуючих, цінувати справедливість і свободу, шукати істину, шанувати людську гідність, піклуватися матінкою-землею, щоб наші діти і внуки могли успадкувати від нас свою домівку, мати співчуття, і понад усе - любити Бога, ближнього і себе так як Господь любить нас.

Жити по-іншому означає жити життям, яке цінує лише гроші, багатство і владу над іншими і призводить до марної розтрати життєвих вартостей, розчарувань і відсутності щастя. Натомість, Господь хоче, щоб ми були щасливими і жили у раю, у Едемському саді, на небесах разом з Ним і тими, кого ми любимо.

Старенька бабуся, Бабця, втратила можливість побачити Дитятка Ісуса і тому - вічно шукає Його, будучи не задоволеною життям, самотньою, замерзлою і постійно старіючою.

Але ми ще не втратили свого шансу. Тож нехай історія Різдва, Ісусового народження, Божої присутності серед нас продовжує надихати світ, перетворюючи його через мир і любов на Царство Небесне, яке присутнє вже тут на землі.

Святкуючи Празник Господнього Рождества, нехай Христос благословить Вас і Вашу сім’ю миром, любов’ю і радістю, зараз і в новому році!

Христос Рождається! Славіте Його!

Ваші у Христі,

🞤 Лаврентій Гуцуляк, ЧСВВ, Митрополит-Архиєпископ Вінніпезький; Апостольський Адміністратор Саскатунський

🞤 Давид Мотюк, Єпарх Едмонтонський; Апостольський Адміністратор Нью-Вестмінстерсьої Єпархії

🞤 Браєн Байда, ЧНІ, Єпарх Саскатунський

🞤 Андрій Рабій, Помічник Вінніпезький

🞤 Михаїл Вівчар, ЧНІ, Єпископ-емерит Саскатунський

🞤 Стефан Хміляр, Єпископ-емерит Торонтонський


11–12 March 2022

Father Yuriy Sakvuk in liturgical robes

We are pleased to announce that Father Yuriy Sakvuk, a priest from Ukraine, will be providing our Lenten retreat this year. Father Sakvuk will pray the Stations of the Cross with us and give an address at 5:30PM Friday, and give the homily at Divine Liturgy at 11:00AM Saturday. He will be available to hear confessions on both days.

Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

From Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker parish, Victoria BC.
6PM, 31 March 2021.

Divine Liturgy with Sorokousty

From Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker parish, Victoria.
9AM, Saturday 27 March.

Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

From Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker parish, Victoria BC.
6PM, 26 March 2021.

Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

From Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker parish, Victoria BC.
6PM, 24 March 2021.

Divine Liturgy with Sorokousty

From Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker parish, Victoria.
9AM, Saturday 6 March.

Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

From Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker parish, Victoria BC.
6PM, 5 March 2021.

Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

From Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker parish, Victoria BC.
6PM, 3 March 2021.


Sunday, Feb 28 at 11:30 AM

Make your Lenten journey with seasoned liturgists who will guide you through the liturgical services of Lent, encourage you to delve into the depths of Lenten mystagogy, and clarify the meaning of some ancient texts and traditions.

Deacon Daniel Galadza, S.E.O.D. in Byzantine liturgy, a research fellow at the Centre of Advanced Studies of the University of Regensburg, Germany.
Very Rev Mark Morozowich, S.E.O.D. Dean of The School of Theology and Religious Studies at Catholic University of America and Associate Professor of Liturgical Studies/ Sacramental Theology.
Most Rev Bohdan Danylo, STL. Ukrainian Catholic Bishop of Saint Josaphat in Parma

Most Rev Hlib Lonchyna, S.E.O.D.

Departure. A roadmap of Lenten services with Deacon Daniel
Along the way. The Presanctified Liturgy explained by Father Mark
Destination. Liturgies of Great and Holy Week services with Bishop Bohdan

To join
The event will be held in English via Zoom video conferencing.
Please register to get the link to participate..

Divine Liturgy with Sorokousty

From Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker parish, Victoria.
9AM, Saturday 27 February.

Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

From Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker parish, Victoria BC.
6PM, 26 February 2021.

Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts

From Saint Nicholas the Wonderworker parish, Victoria BC.
6PM, 24 February 2021.

Saint Ephrem the Syrian, from a 16th Century Russian manuscript

Our Lenten mission will take place online this year, and will focus on the penitential prayer of Saint Ephrem the Syrian.

Each of the two sessions will be introduced by Bishop David, who will lead the opening prayers, and will be conducted by eparchial clergy.

Part 1  Friday 26 February, 7:30PM
Reverend Mykhailo Ozorovych
Reverend Andriy Malysh

Part 2  Friday 5 March, 7:30PM
Reverend Yuriy Vyshnevskyy

(Event registration now closed.)

Icon of the Suffering Lord

While public gatherings remain suspended in British Columbia, Father Yuriy will livestream video of Sunday Divine Liturgy and other Lenten services from Saint Nicholas parish in Victoria. These videos will be available here or via the Saint Nicholas site. In the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Lent begins this year on Monday 15 February. The schedule of services for each week of Lent will be posted on our services times page.


In addition to livestream video of services from Victoria, we will have communal celebration of Vespers on Saturday evening at 7PM, via video conferencing. If you would like to participate in this and are not already receiving details from Father Yuriy, please contact him.

Icon of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

If you are devout and love God, enjoy this beautiful and radiant festival.
If you are a grateful servant, enter, rejoicing, into the joy of your Lord.
If you followed the fast, receive your payment now.

If you worked from the first hour, receive today your just reward.
If you came after the third hour, you are welcomed to celebrate.
If you arrived after the sixth hour, have no doubt; for you suffer no loss.
If you delayed until the ninth hour, come near with no cause to hesitate.
If you arrived even at the eleventh hour, do not be fearful of the lateness;
for the Lord is generous and accepts the last as He does the first.

He gives rest to him of the eleventh hour, as to him who worked from the first hour.
He shows mercy to the last and attends to the first.
To the one is given and to the other is granted.
He accepts the works and welcomes the volition.
He honours the act and praises the intention.

All of you, therefore, enter into the joy of our Lord; both first and last, receive your reward.

You rich and poor, with one another dance.
You who are abstinent and you who are indolent, honour this day.
You who have fasted and you who have not fasted, be glad today.
The table is richly laden; all of you, feast sumptuously.
The calf is plentiful; let no one depart hungry.
All of you partake of the banquet of faith.
All of you enjoy the wealth of goodness.

Let no one deplore his poverty, for the Universal Kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one lament for transgressions, because forgiveness has dawned from the Tomb.
Let no one fear death, for the death of the Saviour has set us free.

He subdued death when it took hold of Him.
He despoiled Hades when He descended into Hades.
He embittered it as it tasted of His flesh, anticipating which, Isaiah cried out:
‘Hades was embittered when it encountered You below.’

It was embittered, for it was abolished.
It was embittered, for it was mocked. It was embittered, for it was mortified.
It was embittered, for it was dethroned.
It was embittered, for it was enchained.

It received a body and came upon God.
It received earth and met up with heaven.
It received what it saw and stumbled upon what it did not see.
Death, where is your sting?
Hades, where is your victory?

Christ is risen, and you are overthrown.
Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen.
Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice.
Christ is risen, and life rules.
Christ is risen, and not one is to be found dead in the tomb.

For Christ rising from the dead has become the first to awaken among those who are asleep. To Him be the glory and the power to the ages of ages. Amen.

The crest of the Eparchy of New Westminster

Chancery Office, Eparchy of New Westminster
1 April 2020

My Dear Parishioners,

I pray that you and your families are safe and healthy. As we endure the COVID-19 Pandemic, we are evermore united as one global family—God’s family—in our efforts to battle this disease, protecting in particular our seniors and those with medical conditions. In Christ, all things are possible. We will overcome.

Over these past several weeks, I have been moved by the love and pastoral care expressed towards you by our clergy. To them, I express my heartfelt gratitude. They are praying for you daily, celebrating the Lenten liturgical services and the Divine Liturgy for your intentions, visiting the sick and dying, celebrating funerals, hearing confessions upon request, phoning and keeping in touch with you - in particular, the elderly and shut-ins - providing counselling, and so on. They have also been sending you their weekly bulletins and homily reflections, with the Sunday epistle and gospel, and changeable parts, so that you pray and reflect upon the word of God at home, alone or with your family. Although our buildings are closed, the Church continues to be open—because we are the Church!

Holy Week and Easter Services
As we prepare to mark Holy Week, Our Lord’s passion, crucifixion, death upon the cross, and then Easter and his glorious third-day Resurrection, our celebrations will be very different this year owing to the coronavirus. We simply continue doing what we’re already doing, that is, stay home to prevent the spread of the virus, and to follow the Holy Week and Easter services from home through livestream.

[Live-streaming of Father Yuriy’s Easter Sunday liturgy will begin at 8AM on Sunday 12 April, and will be available via this Journal web page.]

When following the livestream liturgical services, it is important to stay prayerful and focused, avoiding all distractions. Set up a prayer corner in your ‘domestic church.’ Place yourself in front of an icon. Light a candle. On the appropriate day, download a copy an icon of the Holy (Last) Supper, the Holy Shroud of Our Lord (plaschanytsia), and the Resurrection of Our Lord. Meditate upon them.

Be assured that all our pastors will celebrate the Holy Week and Easter services for your intention, either in church by themselves or with the assistance of a cantor, or privately in their home.

Palm Sunday and Pussy willows
Blessed pussy willows will not be distributed on Flowery (Palm) Sunday. Some parishes who have already pre-ordered pussy willows, may bless and distribute them once the pandemic has passed.

Easter Basket-blessings
Easter baskets will be blessed via livestream, following the celebration of Resurrection Matins and Divine Liturgy. Alternatively, in these extraordinary circumstances, the faithful may recite the prayers of Easter-basket blessing yourself, sprinkling them with Holy Water, where available.

Easter Confessions and Spiritual Communion
As it is not possible to celebrate our ‘Easter’ confession at this time, nor receive the Divine Eucharist on the Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord, pray by yourself or as a family the ‘Prayer of Spiritual Communion’:

My Jesus, I believe that You are present in these Holy Gifts!
I love You above all things and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot receive You now,
I place before You my whole life and hope, O loving Master;
and I ask, pray, and entreat You: Make me worthy to partake in a mystical way
and with a pure conscience of Your awesome and heavenly Mysteries:
for forgiveness of sins, for the pardon of offences, for communion of the Holy Spirit,
for the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, for confidence before You,

and not for judgment or condemnation.
I embrace You as You enter and abide in me, and I unite myself completely to You.

Permeate my soul and body, and never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.

Financial Support
At this critical time, your financial support is greatly appreciated. Our eparchy and parishes continue to incur expenses as we strive to fulfil the mission which God has entrusted to the Church. Please contact your local parish as to how you can make a donation.

Continued Prayer for you and your family
Please know that your bishop and your clergy are praying for you, for family and friends; for the shut-ins and elderly; for the sick and the dying; for government leaders and officials; and for the doctors, nurses, researchers, for all care givers, and for all who provide essential services.

As we celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord, I pray that God’s grace and love fills your heart, and that of your family and friends, and brings joy and peace to all people.

Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!

Sincerely in Christ,

Bishop David Motiuk
Eparchial Bishop, Eparchy of Edmonton
Apostolic Administrator, Eparchy of New Westminster

Icon of the Raising of Lazarus
Holy Week begins with one resurrection...

Saturday 4 April 2020
Lazarus Saturday
The Great Fast (40 days) ends on Friday, 3 April. Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday form a short and joyous prelude to the days of grief which will follow. Bethany is the place where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead and reveals Himself to be ‘the Resurrection and the Life.’ ‘Those who believe in Me, even though they die, will live’ (John 11:25). Bethany is also the point of departure for Jesus’s entry into Jerusalem. On this Saturday, we go to Bethany, to Lazarus’ tomb. We want to meet Jesus at Bethany and to start Holy Week with Him, close to Him. Jesus invites us to be there, and He waits for us.

Sunday 5 April 2020
Palm Sunday
The public ministry of Jesus ends with two great events: the raising of Lazarus from the dead, and the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. These two events, witnessed by many people, give testimony to the fact that Jesus is not only the promised Messiah, but He is also the Lord, the Son of the living God. Just as the people greeted Christ with branches from the trees, so Christians also greet Christ with ‘palms of virtue’ as He enters upon His voluntary passion.

Monday 6 April 2020
Holy Monday
In the morning, Jesus returns to the city of Jerusalem. On the way, He finds a fig tree with no fruit. He curses it and immediately it withers away. After three years of teaching and healing, the leaders and the people of Israel have not accepted His message. Like the fig tree, they have remained barren, without fruit. With this prophetic and symbolic act, Jesus warns those in every generation of what will befall anyone who fails to listen to His message. Arriving in Jerusalem, Jesus enters the temple, where the chief priests and elders question His authority.

Tuesday 7 April 2020
Holy Tuesday
As the chosen Lamb of God, Jesus is without blemish. He is tested and questioned by the Pharisees and the Sadducees, who hope to trap Him in some way, but they cannot find any fault in Him. Jesus’ answers are astonishing. In the end, Jesus pronounces judgment upon the scribes, the Pharisees and leaders of Israel, who had the God-given authority to teach God’s Law, but were personally ungodly and cold of heart.

Wednesday 8 April 2020
Holy Wednesday
In the morning at Matins, during the reading of the Gospel, Jesus announces: ‘The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.... For this purpose, I came to this hour. Father: glorify Your name’ (John 12:23-28). As Jesus says this, the voice of the Father from heaven is heard, saying: ‘I have both glorified it and will glorify it again’ (John 12:28). Judgement is upon the world, and Satan’s dominion over the world is about to be conquered. When Jesus is lifted up (His Crucifixion, Resurrection, Ascension), ‘He will draw all peoples to Himself’ (John 12:31). In the evening, the Gospel reading at the Presanctified Liturgy presents to us the contrast of two figures, two states of the soul. We remember the action of the woman, who at Bethany came to pour a jar of precious ointment on Jesus’ head; and the action of the disciple, Judas, who betrayed his Master. It was Judas who protested in response to the woman's action. Jesus approved of the woman's action, because it was an act of genuine love and worship, expressed in anticipation of His death and burial. The Sacrament of Holy Anointing is administered to all who desire to receive spiritual and physical relief.

Thursday 9 April 2020
Holy Thursday
Holy Thursday takes us into the Mystery of the Passover. It commemorates and makes present to us the first part of this mystery, the part that takes place in the Upper Room. The Lord Jesus, really present both as He who distributes and as He who is distributed, gives Himself to us in the Eucharist. All faithful Catholic and Orthodox Christians believe that in Holy Communion, they receive the most holy and precious Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, their Lord and Saviour. On Holy Thursday, after the Mystical Supper in the Upper Room, we follow Jesus to the Garden of Olives: his priestly prayer, arrest, and passion.

Friday 10 April 10 2020
Holy Friday
On Holy Friday, we remain with Jesus in the moments of His passion, His trial before Pilate, His scourging, His sentencing, the carrying of the cross, His crucifixion, death, and burial. During the Vespers Service, we join Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, to take down Jesus’ body from cross, to bind it in linen cloths with spices, to carry it in procession, and place it reverently in a new tomb, in a garden nearby. On this day, we observe a strict fast, with abstinence from all meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Saturday 11 April 2020
Holy Saturday
On Holy Saturday, the Church directs our attention to the tomb. Even in death, the Lord observes the Sabbath. While His incorruptible Divine Body rests peacefully in the tomb, His Divine Soul rests in Hades, dispelling its darkness with the Divine Light of His Presence, awaiting the moment of Resurrection.

Sunday 12 April 2020
Holy Pascha
(Easter Sunday)
The Sunday of the Resurrection is called the ’solemnity of solemnities’. It is at the heart of the Christian year. However, it is inseparable from the Mystical Supper (Thursday), and the crucifixion and burial (Friday). The word ’Pascha’ (from the Hebrew פֶּסַח, Pesach) means ‘to pass by, to pass through’. The Pascha of Jesus Christ is His ‘passing through’ suffering and death to His glorification in the Resurrection and Ascension. In the deepest sense, Christ Himself is the Pascha (Passover), for the passage through death to life takes place in Him.

Icon of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
...and ends with another, greater resurrection.

During the remaining Thursdays in Lent, the Eparchy of Edmonton will be livestreaming a series of reflections on the theme of Christ in the Old Testament. These will be broadcast on the Eparchy's YouTube channel at 6PM Pacific time and 7PM Mountain time on Thursday evenings:

At this difficult time, when our communal observation of Lent and the approach to Easter has been disrupted by suspension of public celebrations of Divine Liturgy, this video series provides an opportunity to reflect, with the whole Church, on the promises of salvation made in the Old Testament, and how these are fulfilled in Christ.

Please note that in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Father Nakonechny's retreat on 20 –21 March has been cancelled.

Our new Apostolic Administrator, Bishop David Motiuk of Edmonton, has recorded a Lenten message on the theme of God's love for us: ‘While we don't have to do anything to earn God's love, God's love requires a response.’

Please note that in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Father Nakonechny's retreat on 20 –21 March has been cancelled.

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Father Jim has prepared a short series of reflections on the theme Becoming a Healing Presence that we will publish on Fridays in the weeks leading up to the retreat. This is the third.

Becoming a Healing Presence. To become a healing presence to everyone around us we must prepare to live a life of SURRENDER. The word surrender is often interpreted in the world as weakness, giving up or losing, but the spiritual meaning is actually quite opposite. To surrender in the Christian sense is actually a sign of strength and victory. How can that be? Well, consider this: ‘If I put all things in God's hands, I will see God's hands in all things.’ It takes a great deal of spiritual maturity to able to let go and let God. We are comfortable when we are in control, when we know what is going to happen. The Gospel tells us: ‘For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it.’ How many of us are actually willing to live this message fully? It is a tough one, but little by little we must trust in the Lord as the Master of our lives. He created us. He loves us and He wants us to be in love with Him. When we begin to surrender everything to God on a daily basis He will not abandon us, but will continually guide us, but we everything in His hands. May our Lord give us the grace to surrender so that we see Him more and more in our daily lives.

Please note that in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Father Nakonechny's retreat on 20 –21 March has been cancelled.

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Father Jim has prepared a short series of reflections on the theme Becoming a Healing Presence that we will publish on Fridays in the weeks leading up to the retreat. This is the second.

‘The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field’ (Matthew 13:44).

Have you ever thought of your daily life as a treasure hunt? Have you ever wondered why everyone else seems to have all the good fortune or luck and it just never seems to come your way? It happens to all of us from time to time, but do not worry or despair, since I want to share a secret with you: Life is a treasure hunt. Yes, really it is, but we have to be spiritually aware of the world around us and actively looking for the treasures that God places out for us on daily basis. I like to refer to these treasures as ‘golden nuggets’ which God places for us to recognise Him throughout the day. Just like the man in St. Matthew‘s gospel who found a treasure and was filled with joy, we too must actively look for treasures during the day and perceive them as gifts from God, lovingly given to us. Treasures come in all shapes and sizes, it may be a phone call from someone we were just thinking about, it may be some help that came just at the right time or maybe it was a clean bill of health: these are all ‘golden nuggets’, treasures given to us from God.

Your task for this week is to go on a personal treasure hunt ... sounds like fun? Yes, it is. Begin to look at your daily routine and look for the treasures that our loving Lord weaves into your day. Notice the little things and especially when they bring you joy and then smile knowing that God placed it there just for you. Take a few moments at the end of the day to reflect on those ‘golden nuggets’ you found and thank God for them. When we are aware of God's grace and active participation in our lives we will begin to collect an abundance of spiritual treasures.

Happy hunting!