On Setpember 23, 2012, the Eparchial Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada (UCWLC), of Toronto and Eastern Canada, hosted the 60th and final Tea at the Provincial Home of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, Christ the King Province.
In her opening address, Sister Patricia Lacey, Provincial Superior, recalled the beginnings of this annual event:
“From our records, 60 years ago, on Novemer 1, 1952, the first gathering of women from all parishes took place in this home for the purpose of raising money for the newly built Mount Mary Academy in Ancaster. It was called a “Linen Shower”.
By 1955, it had developed into a Silver Tea, in aid of Mount Mary. The invitation from a few of the early years reads: ‘Ліґа Українських католицьких жінок і молоді українськкі подруги’ [‘The Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League and young Ukrainian couples’] Very interesting, how things have evolved over the decades and years. ... These annual teas have been a wonderful time for the people of our Ukrainian community in Toronto to come to our home and to meet the Sisters. Lasting friendships have been formed. But, like everything else in life, there is a time to let go. And for us, this time has come.”
She continued with words of gratitude:
“To the UCWLC: President Marion Barszczyk and Eparchial members: thank you for your fidelity and friendship in organizing this event.Words alone cannont express the gratitude we have in our hearts today as we think of all the women who have generously given of their time and energy to help us make each tea every year the success it has been. So we want to show our appreciation in a more tangible way.
“On behalf of the Sisters Servants of Christ the King Province, I would like to present a gift of a tree to you, as a token of our gratitude for all your work for the past 60 years. Since the first teas were held to help Mount Mary Academy, this tree will be planted on the grounds of Mount Mary Retreat Centre in Ancaster, in the area around the Vidpust altar. There will be a plaque placed at the bottom of the tree in gratitude for your years of service to our Community. We will have it blessed at the 2013 Vidpust in Ancaster.”
Later in the fall, on November 9, 2012, a beech tree was planted at Mount Mary; it awaits its formal dedication and blessing at the Marian Pilgrimage on June 23, 2013. Click on the clip to view the planting.
Sr. Patricia further thanked our Bishops over the years, for their support: the late Bishop Isidore Borecky, [now also late] Bishop Roman Danylak, Bishop Cornelius Pasichny and Bishop Stephen Chmilar, and Bishop John Pazak, Eparch of Byzantine Slovaks in Canada, also a faithful supporter, with all priests, deacons, clergy wives, family, friends, associates and benefactors. Indeed this day was a celebration of the support yet again shown by all those present, one last warm reunion. Sr. Patricia urged all our guests to find a new annual reunion, gathering for prayer on the annual Feast Day of our Foundress, Blessed Josaphata Hordashevska, November 20 of each year.
Eparchial UCWLC President, Marion Barszczyk, closed the Tea with a poem in recognition of the 120th anniversary of Ukrainian settlement in Canada.
“How can we, Canada,“Як же нам, Канадо,Not love You?Тебе не любити?You have allowed UkrainiansТи нам, українцям,To live in you.В себе дала жити.We worked hard, night and day -Працювали тяжко ночами і днями -And covered Canada with cities and farms.Канаду покрили містами - фармами.We have shown ourselves worthy and honest.Ми гідно і чесно себе показали.We have left, in our wake, glory in Canada.Ми славу в Канаді по собі лишали.And now, as we look at what we have achieved,І нині як глянем, що ми досягнули,We raised high the flag of Canada.Ми прапор Канади високо підняли.Further we rejoice, salute,Дальше радіймо, вітаймоAnd glorify Ukraine and Canada forever.”Україну і Канаду на вік прославляймо.”(by Mykola Horishnyj)
(цитат — Микола Горішний)
“А дорогим членкиням ЛУКЖК Торонтонської Єпархії сердечно дякуєм. Низький уклін Вам усім і шану Вам складаємо, на чайочку цім, в честь Сестер Служебниць, за 60 ліття служіння в Торонті.
[“And dear members of the Eparchial UCWLC of Toronto, we sincerely thank you. We bow deeply to you all, and honour you, at this Tea in honour of the Sisters Servants, for 60 years of service in Toronto.”]