Pilgrimage 2014 — Under Your Protection

Annual Marian Pilgrimage, June 22, 2014, in Ancaster

Almost like being there...
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Consecration to the Protecion of the Mother of God

Blessing of the UCWLC Tree

This year’s Annual Marian Pilgrimage theme was “Under Your Protection”. In keeping with the appeal of our Patriarch, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, our Vidpust included a re-consecration of our Ukrainian people under the protection of the Blessed Mother of God. (Click here for bilingual text of His Beatitude’s appeal.)

Another highlight of this year’s pilgrimage was the blessing of a beech tree, planted in November of 2012, as a gesture of gratitude to the Eparchial Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League, for their constant support of the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, and specifically of Mount Mary Immaculate Academy, in its earliest years, particularly through the annual Teas they held for the Sisters, here in Ancaster, and later at the Provincial Home in Toronto. The Tea of 2012 was the 60th and last. The blessing of this tree was to have taken place at the Marian Pilgrimage of 2013, but was postponed until this year.

An early Divine Liturgy was celebrated in our school chapel by Rev. Andrii Lopatniuk, of Hamilton, for the volunteers, who could not attend the Pontifical Divine Liturgy, because of their volunteer stationings later. He also served as confessor in these earlier moments, joining Rev. Basil Cembalista, OSBM, of Weston, ON, Rev. Mario Dacechen, OSBM, of Detroit, MI, Rev. Ivan Trush, of Hamilton, and Rev. Yaroslav Pivtorak, of Montreal, our confessors in the latter morning. We are deeply grateful to them all, for filling this important pastoral role.

Before the Pontifical Divine Liturgy, and before hearing confessions, Rev. Ivan Trush blessed the Holy Water, in front of the school building. This is one of the highlights of the Annual Pilgrimage. Soon after, the procession was assembled, to lead the faithful to the Ponifical Divine Liturgy site.

Fr_Lopatniuk Confessors water_blessing BlessingPeople Procession

Rev. Andrij Lopatniuk (R) with Liturgical MC, Rev. Bohdan Winnicki

Revs. Trush and Cembalista, confessors

Water Blessing

Blessing the congregation


The Pontifical Divine Liturgy was celebrated by His Excellency Bishop Stephen Chmilar, Eparch of Toronto and Eastern Canada. Also concelebrating were Rev. Volodymyr Yanishevskyj, Chancellor, Rev. Petro Dvirnyk, Dean of the GTA North Deanery and Rev. Alex Laschuk. Rev. Bohdan Winnicki, of Sarnia, was our Liturgical MC. Having processed to the altar site, the bishop was traditionally greeted with bread and salt by children of Holy Spirit parish, in both Ukrainian and English. Thereafter, Sr. Patricia Lacey, SSMI, Provincial Superior, welcomed all to the celebration of this year’s pilgrimage. Responses were led by the krylos of Holy Spirit Parish in Hamilton, under the direction of Larysa Bajus. Members of the eparchial youth sang the propers and Epistle readings.

The Gospel reading for the Pontifical Divine Liturgy was on Jesus’ first miracle, at the wedding feast of Cana. In his homily, Bishop Chmilar focused on the role of the Blessed Mother in this event, emphasizing that, as her prompting brought blessed results from her Son, her intercession on our behalf would also result in God’ favour in our need.

Just before the dismissal, Fr. Bohdan Winnicki, Liturgical MC, introduced the Act of Re-consecration of Ukraine to the protection of the Mother of God. The Concelebrants intoned the various intentions, to which the congregation responded. At this time, too, Bishop Chmilar and his concelebrants made their way to the UCWLC tree to bless it. (See video clips above.)

Bishop_Chmilar_and_Father_Dvirnyk Bishop_with_Fathers_Laschuk_and_Yanishevsky Bread-and-salt krylos

Celebrants: Rev. Dvirnyk, Bishop Chmilar, Rev. Laschuk and Rev. Yanishevsky

Greeting with Bread and Salt

Sr. Patricia Lacey, Provincial Superior, greets the pilgrims

Krylos of Holy Spirit Parish

Eparchial Youth sing Propers and Epistles

Eparchial UCWLC with blessed commemorative tree

After the Pontifical Divine Liturgy, everyone enjoyed an outdoor lunch, as always, in the food court.

In the afternoon, people gathered in different areas for different prayer events. In the auditorium, pilgrims gathered to be personally prayed over for various intentions, and anointed. Our prayer team this year included Fr. Mario Dacechen, OSBM, of Detroit, MI, joined by Dr. Michael and Mrs. Helen Rozeluk. Dr. Rozeluk had a healing at Garabandal, and since then has been sharing in the power of Our Lady’s intercession, as pilgrims kiss a blessed medal from there. Concurrently, in the school chapel, Eucharistic adoration was held in silence before the Blessed Sacrament, with short scripture passages proclaimed periodically through the time of vigil. Throughout the day, pilgrims continue to drop in to the healing service or chapel for Eucharistic Adoration, or to pray before the icon and relics of the foundress of the Sisters Servants, Blessed Josaphata Hordashevsky, leaving written notes of intentions, for which our Sisters will pray throughout the year. For those who wish, Stations of the Cross may be privately celebrated in the extended grounds.

As last year, we offered an informal gathering of hymn singing at the Shrine to Our Lady of Love of Ancaster, in the middle of the afternoon. Sisters Janet Kozak led the singing, choosing hymns randomly from the hymnals, which they provided for the people as they slowly gathered.

Fr. Mario Dacechen and Dr. Michael and Helen Rozeluk at the Healing Service

Eucharistic Adoration

Prayer Intentions at Relics station

Relics of St. Josaphat, Bl. Josaphata, Bl. Tarsykia and St. Nicholas of Flüe before procession

Hymn-Sing before afternoon devotions

Throughout the day, pilgrims have the opportunity to light a vigil candle for private prayer intentions, or to purchase religious articles and books.

The day closed with two final events, celebrated at the little Shrine of Our Lady of Love, of Ancaster:
a newly compiled Moleben for the intention of His Beatitude Sviatoslav, and Benediction/SuplykatsiaDifferent in content from the Latin rite Benediction, the Suplykatsia is a brief devotion to the Blessed Sacrament, culminating with the blessing of the congregation with the Blessed Sacrament in a similar manner to that of the West. In pilgrimages of the Eastern Churches, this is considered the climax, of particular significance to those who have received the sacraments of reconciliation and Holy Eucharist.. Rev. Roman Galadza, of St. Elias parish, Brampton, and Michael Hayes, present with the Eparchial Youth Arise program, led the responses for both. Rev. Renaldo Kekis, of Resurrection parish, Hamilton, brought out the Blessed Sacrament from the chapel. Children from the afternoon children’s program led him in procession with vigils and rose petals. Bishop Chmilar and Fr. Dvirnyk concelebrated the services, Fr. Kekis joining them for the Suplykatsia. Finally, before departure, Bishop Chmilar blessed the religious articles purchased by the pilgrims, and blessed the pilgrims themselves.

The afternoon congregation

Fr. Galadza and Michael Hayes lead responses to the Moleben

Procession with the Blessed Sacrament

Due reverence, prayer and benediction