Weekly Blog

The Martyr’s Witness 080614

St. Ivan’s E-bulletin 080614



PARISHEVENTS / ПОДІЇ у ПАРАФІЇ:  See attached Bulletin for information


            Parish feastday:This year we will be celebrating our feastday on June 15, 2014.  We will have an All Night Vigil and Blessing of Water on Saturday Evening.  We will have our service on Sunday Morning, followed by the blessing of the church.  There will be a parish dinner afterwards.  We will wrap up our Church School year with a honoring our students.  As an added highlight, we will be videotaping our service and creating a DVD for the Parish.  We encourage all our faithful to attend and be part of this day.

            Membership Donations:Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ.  As we have just concluded our Annual General Meeting, we now are in a position to accept memberships for the new year.  The recommended membership donation is $100, as per last year.  Please make your donations to Genevieve Armstrong.  If you are a new member, then please see Fr. Gene about an application form.  Please remember that we need your continued donations over and above your membership to help meet the needs of the parish.

            CAMP VESELKA: It’s almost time for Camp Veselka! All children ages 7-14 are welcome at camp July 6-19, 2014 and the deadline for camper registration is May 31.  Please see attached poster and registration form and check out our Camp Veselka video at


And, everyone is welcome to join us for Camp Veselka clean-up day on Saturday, June 21 starting at 11 am. Come enjoy some fresh air, help us get Veselka ready for the campers and we’ll end the day with a BBQ for everyone. Contact Patricia Maruschak at trishfrompeg@yahoo.com with any questions. Оселя Веселка: 7-19 липня.  Вік: від 7-14 літ.  Контакт: о. Євгена

            Peroghy Project: Next WEEK- June 12 and 13.  If you can come out, any help would be appreciated.

            Pennies from Heaven: To date we have collected $347.72 for orphans in Ukraine.

            Недільний благовіснику прикріпленні. Прошу Вас пильно прочитатиOur Sunday bulletin is attached. Please read it carefully.

            WEEKEND SERVICES: Vespers: 5:30pm; Divine Liturgy: 10:00am

            WINNIPEG HARVEST:There is a bin at the back of the CHURCH for non-perishable food items for WINNIPEG HARVEST.  Please bring an item or two when you come to church.  Thiswillbeanongoingproject. To date we have donated 139 lbs of food.Thankyou.     

            2nd edition of the ‘Dobry pastyr’ is now available at the back of the Church.  They are $40/book.

            Bishop’s Wall:  We have embraced a project to honour our Ruling Hierarchs over the years in portraits.  A professional photographer has been engaged to help us.  Currently we are seeking a donor or donors to help fund this project.  Donors will be acknowledged.  Please see Fr. Gene for details.

            PARISH MEETING:

            CLOTHES DONATIONS: We are continuing our ‘Clean out your closets for Christ’ collection project to culminate on Father’s Day.  We will be partnering with Union Gospel Mission to collect clothes for the homeless.  If you have anything in your closets that you are not using anymore, please consider donating them to this cause.  You may drop off your items at the Church on Sundays and we will make the presentation on Father’s Day.  Thank you for your support. 

            o. kOSHETZ cHOIR: SHEVCHENKO 200 RECITAL-THURSDAY JUNE 19, 2014, 7:30PM AT sTS. VLADIMIR AND OLGA CATHEDRAL ON 115 McGregor street.  $25/person.

            PROVODY SERVICES FOR 2014:  

                        pRIVATE ARRANGEMENTS CAN BE MADE WITH FR. GENE: 204-336-0996

            UKRAINIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OF CANADA All Canada Pilgrimage to the Historical St. Michael’s Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Gardenton, MB:  Saturday, July 26, 2014

  1. Dontforget:




SUNDAY, JUNE 1 – DIVINE LITURGY– 10:00AM / Неділя, 1 червняБожественнаЛітургія-10: 00 ран.

THURSDAY, JUNE 5 – OBIDNYTSYA at Holy Family Personal Care Home – 10:00 ам

SATURDAY, JUNE 7 – VESPERS – 5:30PM / Вечірня – 5:30 веч.

SUNDAY, JUNE 8 – PENTECOST: DIVINE LITURGY – 10:00AM / Неділя, 8 червняПятидесятницюБожественнa літургія – 10:00 ран.

MONDAY, JUNE 9 – SPIRIT DAY: DIVINE LITURGY – 9:30AM / Понеділок, 9 червняДеньсв. Духа: БожественнаЛітургія – 9:30 ран.

SATURDAY, JUNE 14 – All Night Vigil -Blessing of Water – 5:30PM / Субота, 14 червняВсенічна -освяченняводи – 5:30 веч.

SUNDAY, JUNE 15 – ST. JOHN THE NEW OF SUCHAVA, DIVINE LITURGY-XRAM (and Procession)– 10:00AM / Неділя, 15 червнясв. ІоаннаНовогоСучавського,БожественнаЛітургія-XRAM (іходи) – 10:00 ран.




SATURDAY, JUNE 21 – VESPERS – 5:30PM / Субота, 21 червняВечірня – 5:30 веч.          

SUNDAY, JUNE 22 – DIVINE LITURGY-10:00AM / Неділя, 22 червняБожественнаЛітургія-10:00 ран.

TUESDAY, JUNE 24 – OBIDNYTSYA at Maples Personal Care Home – 10:00am

FRIDAY, JUNE 27/ Пятниця, 27 червняМолебеньабоАкафист- 5:30pm/веч.

SATURDAY, JUNE 28 – VESPERS – 5:30PM / Субота, 28 червняВечірня – 5:30 веч.

SUNDAY, JUNE 29 – DIVINE LITURGY-10:00AM / Неділя, 29 червняБожественнаЛітургія-10: 00 ран.



3. Fr. GenesWeeklyReflection:  

Priests, you don’t have to like your parish either

By Fr. Anthony Perkins


A reader recommended Brother Patrick Mary Briscoe’s article “You Don’t have to Like Your priest” (published on March 7, 2014 at Dominicana)   It is an excellent article and I recommend it, too.  Imitation is the highest form of flattery.  The following is patterned on Brother Patrick’s essay.  Why do I like it?  I know that my parishioners struggle with this; not only have they benefitted from the service of saintly priests, their own priest is often hard to love.  While I try to be a bit more likable, I will never please or satisfy everyone.  Surely part of the solution has to involve more realistic expectations and a greater appreciation for the priesthood, the fallibility of the men who serve as priests, and the love these men have (and sacrifices they make) for the people they serve.  – Fr. Anthony




There are many reasons for you not to like your priest. It may be because his homilies are too dry, lack patristic moorings, or stray too far from the Biblical text. His answers to your deepest theological, spiritual, and personal challenges may leave you cold and unsatisfied. He may be a poor confessor, offering only absolution and standard responses about “prayer rules”, “forgiveness” and “humility”. He may not offer the kind of charismatic and visionary leadership that would inspire your parish to grow. He may chant out of tune, his accent may be too strong, or he might try to sing all his liturgical parts fortissimo – espansimo. He may be too ignorant, over-educated, emotional, impersonal, shy, gregarious, fundamentalist, liberal, political, or dull. Whatever his human failings, there is sure to be plenty about him you do not like. And that’s okay: you don’t have to like your priest.


Orthodox Christians often feel guilty or dissatisfied if they are unable to feel good about their priest. They have memories of priests who were great liturgists, pastors, leaders, confessors, teachers, and managers. The Orthodox are reared on stories of startsi (great elders) and sainted priests that, along with the hagiographic memories of former priests, set the bar of competency impossibly high. And yet, there is something within the heart of the Orthodox Christian that still wants to be close to his parish priest – despite all his very real shortcomings. This desire for a meaningful connection shows that there is more to the relationship between priest and parishioner than meets the eye.


This relationship is different from all the other ones we know. The priest is not the commanding officer of a military unit or the manager of a parish franchise or even the professor of a class everyone has to pass in order to receive their reward. He isn’t a lawyer trying to get people in good with the judge so he will excuse them of their crimes. He isn’t an entertainer the parish has hired to make everyone feel better every Sunday morning or a museum curator responsible for preserving ancestral stories, cultures, and languages. He is not a psychiatrist or family counselor that can solve everyone’s personal problems. Nor has he been assigned to the parish to be anyone’s friend. He may or may not exhibit bits of each of these, but they do not capture who he is or how his parishioners should relate to him.


So how should the Orthodox Christian relate to his priest?



Chapter Seven of Fr. David’s book (from Ancient Faith Publishing) uses the models of Lawyer, Doctor, Teacher, Artist, and Manager to help parishioners understand their relationship with their priest.


The priest is a shepherd. Some lead their sheep with gentle and melodious coaxing, others drag them through the brambles by the scruff of the neck. Some take on the wolves with the ferocity of a warrior, others focus on keeping the sheep in a guarded pasture and cower at every hint of a howl. No matter how he tends them, one thing is constant: the shepherd loves his sheep. He doesn’t judge them or mistreat them; he cares for them. Some parishioners may be offended at the idea of being “sheep” or “sheeople”, and admittedly the analogy is not perfect. But it is still powerful; after all, it is the one Christ Himself used (St. John 10). And this analogy says as much if not more about the qualities of the shepherd as it does those of the sheep. Being a shepherd means putting the well-being of the sheep first, even to the point of laying down his life for them (St. John 10:15). Being a priest rarely involves actual crucifixion, but the priesthood does bring the modern spiritual and physical equivalents of the kind of nomadic life that is easy to romanticize but difficult to live. Trusting the priest as the sheep do their shepherd may go against deeply-seated American values like egalitarianism and democracy, but it really is part of our relationship with Christ and His Church. This is a dangerous world; everyone needs to be under the protection of a good shepherd.


The priest is a physician. The Church is a hospital that Christ created for those who are sick, and the priest administers the strongest medicine of healing and salvation. The good doctor does not judge his patients; does not treat them like employees or marks; nor is he inconvenienced by their complaints or offended by their diseases. The good doctor does not care for people to receive a paycheck or good benefits, but because he genuinely desires that they be well. The good doctor treats the whole person, helping them make better life-style choices and prescribing medicines and disciplines that will allow them to live life in abundance. A good patient takes his health seriously and works openly, honestly, and earnestly with his physician. He takes his prescriptions seriously and communicates his improvements and setbacks so that his treatment will be effective. This world is full of disease, everyone needs to be under the care of a good physician.


Finally, priests are fathers. This one used to be obvious and easy for people to accept. That is no longer true. Most people have been affected, either directly or indirectly, by divorce, dead-beat dads, and abusive and unreliable male “role-models”. We should not be surprised that many people bring the damage such a history has wrought in their lives with them as they encounter priests, Christ, and the Church. It is rare to meet a person who has a completely healthy intuition about what it means to be a father to a child or child to a father. This makes it very difficult for them to have a healthy relationship with their priest. For some, this is compounded by the modern idea that the male priesthood offends the dignity of women. These two lenses distort the image of priest as the father of the parish. In order to heal this, the priest must be reliable and loving; and the parishioner must re-learn what a father is. The father helps give life, then he nurtures, guides, and protects it. This is the fundamental role of the priest; not chores or discipline (although these may come into play), but to enliven and strengthen. Our Lord loves us too much to leave us as orphans; everyone needs a father.


In the end, we don’t have to like our priest much at all; our relationship with him is not about our emotions or satisfying our preferences. Our connection with him is different from the one you share with anyone else. Even if you find your priest a bore or a jerk, he is your shepherd, your physician, and your father who has, in imitation of Christ, offered His life so that you might be saved. When you are feeling disappointed or unfulfilled because of your priest’s unaffability, it may help to remember the difficulty of his calling and that he is as human as anyone else.


As Brother Patrick Mary Briscoe put it;


Priests aren’t ordained because they are perfectly qualified or worthy or, in any simply natural way, deserving of the privilege of ministry; they are ordained because God has chosen to care for His people by means of frail human beings. And whether we like them or not, their frailty is a welcome reminder that God’s ways are not our ways, nor are His thoughts our thoughts (Isa 55:8). The One who redeemed the world by the foolishness of the cross continues to draw a people to himself through faulty instruments – instruments like you and me.


Amen, Brother!



4. Saints and Feasts:  

Feast of Holy Pentecost



The Feast of Holy Pentecost is celebrated each year on the fiftieth day after the Great and Holy Feast of Pascha (Easter) and ten days after the Feast of the Ascension of Christ. The Feast is always celebrated on a Sunday.

The Feast commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles on the day of Pentecost, a feast of the Jewish tradition. It also celebrates the establishment of the Church through the preaching of the Apostles and the baptism of the thousands who on that day believed in the Gospel message of salvation through Jesus Christ. The Feast is also seen as the culmination of the revelation of the Holy Trinity.

Biblical Story

The story of Pentecost is found in the book of The Acts of the Apostles. In Chapter two we are told that the Apostles of our Lord were gathered together in one place. Suddenly, a sound came from heaven like a rushing wind, filling the entire house where they were sitting. Then, tongues of fire appeared, and one sat upon each one of Apostles. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages as directed by the Spirit (Acts 2:1-4).

This miraculous event occurred on the Jewish Feast of Pentecost, celebrated by the Jews on the fiftieth day after the Passover as the culmination of the Feast of Weeks (Exodus 34:22; Deuteronomy 16:10). The Feast of Weeks began on the third day after the Passover with the presentation of the first harvest sheaves to God, and it concluded on Pentecost with the offering of two loaves of unleavened bread, representing the first products of the harvest (Leviticus 23:17-20; Deuteronomy 16:9-10).

Since the Jewish Feast of Pentecost was a great pilgrimage feast, many people from throughout the Roman Empire were gathered in Jerusalem on this day. When the people in Jerusalem heard the sound, they came together and heard their own languages being spoken by the Apostles (Acts 2:5-6). The people were amazed, knowing that some of those speaking were Galileans, and not men who would normally speak many different languages. They wondered what this meant, and some even thought the Apostles were drunk (Acts 2:7-13).

Peter, hearing these remarks, stood up and addressed the crowd. He preached to the people regarding the Old Testament prophecies about the coming of the Holy Spirit. He spoke about Jesus Christ and His death and glorious Resurrection. Great conviction fell upon the people, and they asked the Apostles, “What shall we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38-39).

The Bible records that on that day about three thousand were baptized. Following, the book of Acts states that the newly baptized continued daily to hear the teaching of the Apostles, as the early Christians met together for fellowship, the breaking of bread, and for prayer. Many wonderful signs and miracles were done through the Apostles, and the Lord added to the Church daily those who were being saved (Acts 2:42-47).

Icon of the Feast

The icon of the Feast of Pentecost is known as “The Descent of the Holy Spirit”. It is an icon of bold colors of red and gold signifying that this is a great event. The movement of the icon is from the top to the bottom. At the top of the icon is a semicircle with rays coming from it (1). The rays are pointing toward the Apostles, and the tongues of fire are seen descending upon each one of them signifying the descent of the Holy Spirit (2).

1. Semicircle of rays pointing to each of the Apostles (detail). 2. A tongue of fire rests above the head of Saint Peter (detail).

The building in the background of the icon represents the upper room where the Disciples of Christ gathered after the Ascension. The Apostles are shown seated in a semicircle which shows the unity of the Church (3). Included in the group of the Apostles is Saint Paul (4), who, though not present with the others on the day of Pentecost, became an Apostle of the Church and the greatest missionary. Also included are the four Evangelists—Matthew, Mark (5), Luke (6), and John—holding books of the Gospel, while the other Apostles are holding scrolls that represent the teaching authority given to them by Christ.

3. The Apostles in the upper room being filled with the Holy Spirit.
4. Saint Paul, who was not present on the day of Pentecost, is included amongst the twelve (detail). 5. Saint Mark the Evangelist, who was not present with the twelve Disciples on this day, is included (detail).
6. Saint Luke the Evangelist, who also was not present on this day, is included (detail).

In the center of the icon below the Apostles, a royal figure is seen against a dark background. This is a symbolic figure, Cosmos, representing the people of the world living in darkness and sin, and involved in pagan worship (7). However, the figure carries in his hands a cloth containing scrolls which represent the teaching of the Apostles (8). The tradition of the Church holds that the Apostles carried the message of the Gospel to all parts of the world.

7. The Cosmos, appearing in the center of the icon, representing the people of the world (detail). 8. The scrolls that are carried by the Cosmos are representing the teachings of the Apostles (detail).

In the icon of Pentecost we see the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit, sent down upon the Apostles who will teach the nations and baptize them in the name of the Holy Trinity. Here we see that the Church is brought together and sustained in unity through the presence and work of the Holy Spirit, that the Spirit guides the Church in the missionary endeavor throughout the world, and that the Spirit nurtures the Body of Christ, the Church, in truth and love.

Orthodox Christian Celebration of the Feast of Pentecost

This great Feast of the Church is celebrated with the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom on the Sunday that is the fiftieth day after the celebration of Pascha. The Liturgy is conducted on the day of the Feast, and is preceded the evening before by a Great Vespers service and on the morning of the Feast by the Matins service. On the day of the Feast a Vespers service is conducted that includes the kneeling prayers. These prayers mark the beginning of the practice of kneeling during the Liturgy at the time when the holy gifts of bread and wine are consecrated as the body and blood of Christ. The practice of kneeling has been suspended during the Paschal season. On the Monday following the Feast, the Divine Liturgy is conducted in commemoration of the All-holy and Life-creating and All-powerful Spirit, Who is God, and One of the Trinity, and of one honor and one essence and one glory with the Father and the Son (From the Synaxarion of the Feast).

Scripture readings for the Feast are the following: At the Saturday Vespers: Numbers 11:16-17, 24-29; Joel 2:23-32; Ezekiel 36:24-28. At the Orthros (Matins): John 20:19-23. At the Pentecost Sunday Divine Liturgy: Acts 2:1-11; John 7:37-52, 8:12. At the Divine Liturgy on the Monday of the Holy Spirit: Ephesians 5:8-19; Matthew 18:10-20.

Prayer of the Holy Spirit

Heavenly King, Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, everywhere present and filling all things, Treasury of blessings and Giver of life: come and abide in us, cleanse us from every impurity and save our souls, O Good One.



Carpus was one of the Seventy Apostles. He was a follower and companion of the Apostle Paul by whom he was appointed as bishop of Varna in Thrace. He also preached the Gospel on Crete where he received St. Dionysius the Areopagite in his home. St. Dionysius testifies that Carpus was a man with an exceptionally pure mind, meekness and innocence and that the Lord Jesus, with His angels, appeared to him in a vision and that he never began the Divine Liturgy that he did not have a heavenly vision beforehand. Enduring many assaults for the Name of Christ, he finally suffered at the hands of the unbelieving Jews and was killed and, with his soul, took up habitation in the kingdom of God to delight eternally gazing upon the Lord in glory.


Alphaeus was the father of two apostles from among the Twelve: James, the son of Alphaeus and Matthew, the Evangelist. He ended his earthly life peacefully.


This week’s Scripture question: (answer next week)

What three disciples of Jesus witnessed his transfiguration?


This week’s Scripture fact:

The word ‘Bible’ is the equivalent of the Greek word ‘biblia’ which means books.


Last week’s answer:  What came down from heaven when Solomon finished praying at the dedication of the Temple?  Fire.



See you in Church!

Спаси Вас Господи!                                   May the Lord Save You!

о. Євген                                                                             Fr. Gene