The Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate

His Beatitude Returns to Visit our Provincial Home

Patriarchal Visitation of the Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada

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His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk made a patriarchal visitation to the Ukrainian Greco-Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada from May 1-12, 2014. The Provincial Home of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate was honoured to be on his itinerary, hosting him and Fr. Roman Lobay, his host throughout the visitation, for a brunch on Sunday, May 4, before he was to celebrate Divine Liturgy at one of the parishes.

Sr. Christina Syrotynsky, Vice-Provincial, gave greetings on behalf of the Sisters of the Provincial Home and of Ancaster, as Sr. Patricia Lacey, Provincial Superior, presented him with the traditional bread and salt.1 In response, His Beatitude presented the Sisters with an antimension a cloth imprinted with the icon of Christ’s burial, in which is sewn a relic of a martyr. It must be consecrated and signed by a bishop, and is used to celebrate the Divine Liturgy, taking the place of a relic-embedded altar. (Click text for more information.) , consecrated and signed by himself, and in which a relic of Blessed Bishop-Martyr Mykola Charnetskyj, CSsR, was sewn.2 Following this, Sr. Doloretta Shalagan, local superior of the Provincial home, presented his Beatitude with a bouquet of roses.3

His Beatitude and the Sisters gathered in chapel for a brief moment of prayer4 to ask God to bless our fellowship, to thank Him for his Beatitude’s safe arrival and to ask the Blessed Mother to intercede for our Ukrainian homeland, with the singing of “Ангел звістив” (“The Angel greeted the One Full of Grace”).

At the table, His Beatitude blessed the food,5 and brunch was served.6 At the end of the meal, a birthday cake was brought out, to celebrate His Beatitude’s birthday, which was the following day.7,8

In honour of his visitation, the Sisters gifted him with two hand crafted gifts, with both of which he was particularly moved. Sr. Anne Marie Kozakewich, head of the Sisters’s vestry department, presented him with an episcopal mantle.9,10. Sr. Monica Papiz, iconographer, presented him with an icon of Christ Seated on the Cherubim,11 an ancient prototypical representation of Christ the King, the namesake of our Canadian Province. Receiving it with evident reverence,12 His Beatitude explained to us the imagery, referring to Isaiah 6 and Revelations 4.13,14