Dear Visitors,

Welcome to the blog of Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral in New Westminster, BC.

Ukrainian Catholic Church was established in Canada more than 100 years ago, in response to the needs of Ukrainian immigrants. Nowadays this Church is open to every person who is interested in experiencing and learning more about Eastern Christian (Byzantine) tradition and way of worshiping.

Шановні Відвідувачі,

Щиро вітаємо вас на сторінці Кафедрального Собору Пресвятої Євхаристії Української Католицької Церкви в Нью Вестмінстері.

Кафедральний собор Пресвятої Євхаристій є відкритим для всіх людей доброї волі, котрі зацікавлені в ознайомленні та досвідченні східної традиції та візантійського обряду (способу молитви і богопочитання).

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ukrainian Catholic Church definition - who we are?

The Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church (further The UGCC) is the largest Eastern Catholic Church of its own law (Ecclesia sui juris).

The UGCC belongs to the group of Churches of the Byzantine rite which are in complete mutual communion with the Roman Hierarch and acknowledge his spiritual and jurisdictional authority. In this context “rite” means the liturgical, theological, spiritual and legal inheritance.

Names which are used to define the UGCC:

Union Church;

Ukrainian Catholic Church;

Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Byzantine rite;

Kyivan Catholic Church;

The name Greek-Catholic Church was introduced by Empress Maria Theresa in 1774 in order to distinguish it from the Roman Catholic and Armenian Catholic Churches.

In official Church documents the term Ecclesia Ruthena unita was used to designate the UGCC. From 1960 in official documents the name Ukrainian Catholic Church appears in relation to the Ukrainian Catholics of the diaspora and the Church in Soviet Ukraine, underground at that time. In the pontifical statistical annual Annuario Pontificio the name Ukrainian Catholic Church of the Byzantine rite is used. At the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC (in September 1999) it was suggested to use the name Kyivan Catholic Church, which would underline the identity of this Church.
Source: http://ugcc.org.ua

Follow this link if you would like to learn more about our history: http://ugcc.org.ua/31.0.html?&L=2

Українська Греко-Католицька Церква (УГКЦ), - одна з чотирьох традиційних українських Церков – спадкоємиць Володимирового хрещення, що налічує біля шести мільйонів вірних в усіх регіонах України та на шести континентах світу; є найбільшою Східною Католицькою самоуправною Церквою (Ecclesia sui juris); зберігає візантійсько-український обряд, тобто - літургічне, богословське, духовне та правове насліддя; перебуває у повному сопричасті зі Вселенським Архиєреєм – Папою Римським і визнає його духовну та юрисдикційну владу; прагне до відновлення первісної єдності Київської Церкви; твердо й послідовно відстоює право українського народу на свою незалежну соборну державу та становлення в ній зрілого громадянського суспільства; реалізує велику кількість благодійних та громадських проектів в Україні та поза її межами.

Унійна Церква;
Українська Католицька Церква;
Українська Католицька Церква візантійського обряду;
Київська Католицька Церква.

Назву Греко-Католицька Церква запровадила імператриця Марія-Тереза у 1774 році для того, щоб відрізнити її від Римо-Католицької та Вірменської Католицької Церков.

В офіційних церковних документах для окреслення УГКЦ вживали термін Ecclesia Ruthena unita. Із 1960 року в офіційних документах фігурує назва Українська Католицька Церква стосовно українських католиків діаспори та підпільної на той час Церкви у радянській Україні. У папському статистичному річнику Annuario Pontificio використовують назву Українська Католицька Церква візантійського обряду. На Синоді Єпископів УГКЦ (вересень 1999 р.) було запропоновано вживати назву Київська Католицька Церква, яка підкреслювала б ідентичність цієї Церкви.

Holy Eucharist Icon description

This is an action type icon that depicts Christ as ‘the High Priest’, celebrating the Divine Liturgy with his Apostles, and in this moment preparing to distribute the Consecrated Bread and Consecrated Wine to them. As High Priest he is vested as a Bishop, with the Pallium (Bishop’s Stole) and the Sakkos (Episcopal Dalmatic with the cross pattern on it). He stands at the centre of the icon and action, as this is His Body and His Blood which He is about to share. The Dome represents the Church/Temple and the Altar, the Altar of Sacrifice, which is called the Throne in Eastern theology, as in the Throne or Mercy Seat on the Ark of the Covenant. The Consecrated Elements are on top of the Antimension, which itself is upon the Altar along with the open Service Book. The cross on the Altar frontal, further confirms that this is the High and Holy Table.

The two angels are holding Rapidion (fans) which denote the presence of the Holy or Sacred. These were often covered with images of seraphim and cherubim and as such surround the throne of God as depicted in the Book of Revelation. There are two angels because according to Jewish Law, two witnesses are always needed to confirm a statement as true. (Two angels appear at the Ascension Icon, or sometimes to the spice Bearing Women at the Empty Tomb, for example, for this same reason). The Apostles on Christ’s right are about to receive the Holy Bread and so their hands are held upright with bear palm open. Just as when the Bishop gives his Deacons and Priests the Eucharist during a Pontifical Divine Liturgy, traditionally he places it in their hand. The Apostle’s on Christ’s left are about to receive the Holy Wine and so their hands are covered with their cloaks so that they may pick up the chalice in this more respectful way. Traditionally, cloth is often used as a sign of respect and protection when handling a sacred object. Even in the West this custom continues as in the Humeral Veil used when picking up a Monstrance during Benediction.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The History of Holy Eucharist Cathedral Parish

New Westminster is located on the north bank of the Fraser River, twenty kilometers east of Vancouver. It was founded in 1859 and established by Governor James Douglas as the capital city of the Crown colony of British Columbia. Queen Victoria named the settlement after Westminster in England and, for that reason it has been called the Royal City. It remained the capital of the province until 1866 when Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia were united. In 1868, the capital was moved to Victoria and New Westminster’s brief moment of glory was over.

New Westminster started to grow and prosper after it was linked to the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1887. It was linked to the United States by the Great Northern Railway in 1891 and to Eastern Canada with its connection to the Canadian National Railway in 1915.

On 10 September 1898, the heart of the city was almost completely destroyed by a disastrous fire. The city was rebuilt in 1902.

In the past, the main sector of New Westminster’s economy was the forest industry which employed over forty percent of the manufacturing force in local mills. Later, with the decline of industrial plants, New Westminster has become more of a residential centre. It boasted a population of 44,443 in 1991. (See Canadian Encyclopedia….)

A small number of Ukrainians settled in the New Westminster area during the early 1900s. Some of these early settlers included Yurko Syrotiuk who settled in Port Haney, and Myroslav Stechyshyn, a well-known journalist and socialist activist. More Ukrainians began arriving, first from the Prairie Provinces after the Great Depression and later from the Prairie Provinces and Europe after World War II.

Led by the late John Piskorik, the first local Ukrainians to petition for the celebration of liturgical services according to the Ukrainian (Greek) Catholic rite were the Transcarpathians (former citizens of Czechoslovakia). They built the Church of the Holy Spirit in the Queensborough area in 1943. It was blessed by Vancouver’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Duke. Father Christopher Kondratiuk, OSBM, celebrated the first Ukrainian rite Divine Liturgy there in June 1944 and continued to serve the parish, travelling from Vancouver every Sunday during the following year. The church was later taken over by Roman Catholics because the title to the land was registered in 1943 to the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Vancouver by Father Edward Malayter, OMI.

The first Ukrainian parishioners of this mission in New Westminster were Jack and Pauline Makara and family. The pioneers of mission included J. Piskorik, J. Makara, Charles Gerak, Nick Shewchuk, Ignat Roman, Anna Hlagi, John Lunter, Andrew Hresko, John Calko, George, Matt, Mike and Andrew Skurla, Andrew Safranko, Martin Myckatyn, John Petrunia, William Shewchuk, Stephen Lobay and Joseph Hnatiw.

After Father Kondratiuk’s departure for the United States, Father George Zydan, OSBM, served the parish between 1945-51, commuting from Vernon and Vancouver. As well, Father Nicholas Silady visited the parish from Victoria several times during 1949. Father Basil Martynyk, the pastor in Richmond, began serving the Church of the Holy Spirit in 1952. Father Markian Bilyk arrived to assume his post as the first resident pastor in the middle of 1953.

The parish began to organize along more formal lines. A full Parish Committee was formed in 1952 with Charles Gerak as its first chairperson. He was assisted by Jack Makara who, together with his wife, worked to organize various functions to raise money for the building fund. Makara was, in turn, replaced by William Young, another enterprising member of the parish.

Also in 1952, the women organized into a Sisterhood which, thanks to the initiative of Father Bilyk, became the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League in 1954. Their first chairperson was Anna Hlagi who was assisted by Pauline Makara. Nicholas Bilchak formed and conducted a mixed choir during this same period. Between 1953-54 an altar boys’ group, a Ridna Shkola (Ukrainian language school) and catechism classes were organized by Father Bilyk and Natalia Danyliw. Due to a lack of space, the children were taught in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Myckatyn.

Father Bilyk visited his parishioners in Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Surrey and in the area along both banks of the Fraser River from Vancouver to Hope. He compiled lists of Ukrainian Catholics and Greek Catholic Slovaks and encouraged them to attend the liturgical services.

Construction of a church in New Westminster finally began on 1 October 1956 at the corner of 4th Avenue and Louellen Street. Plans were drawn up by the architect, Nicholas Flak of Edmonton. Mr. L. Kowalchuk supervised the building of the basement but construction was soon stopped because of financial difficulties. Despite the difficulties, efforts were made to finish the basement during 1960-61. The dept of $10,000 incurred with the purchase of the land and construction was eventually paid off, in part by Bishop Neil Savaryn, Eparch of Edmonton, and in part by the parish.

(to be continued...)

40th Anniversary of Holy Eucharist Cathedral

40th Anniversary of our Cathedral was celebrated on June 7th. People who witnessed long process of construction and faced all kinds of difficulties, had shared their experience with everybody.