Edmonton Eparchy UCBC hold Bi-annual Convention

Participants of the UCBC Convention with their certificates Photo: Ray Locousta

NP-UN Western Bureau.

The Edmonton Eparchy Council of the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada elected a new executive at its 39th biannual Convention, held at the Chateau Louis Conference Centre in Edmonton, October 18-20.

It consists of Stepan Balukh, President; Darell Holowaychuk, Vice-President; Mirek Lewita, Treasurer; Marco Levytsky, Secretary; and Orest Boychuk, past President.

The convention was held concurrently with that of the Edmonton Eparchy Council of the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada.

Both organizations were treated to an informative presentation on the convention theme: “The Vibrant Parish: Next Steps, My Response” by Bishop Ken Nowakowski, Eparch of New Westminster, during the joint luncheon.

Bishop Ken stressed that we are all responsible for maintaining vibrant parishes.

“You are that vibrant parish,” he noted, adding that a parish begins at home.

Bishop Ken identified six elements of a vibrant parish. They are:

  1. Teaching the word of God;
  2. Participation in Liturgy and prayer;
  3. Servicing one’s neighbours by reaching out to those who need a helping hand;
  4. Providing leadership and stewardship;
  5. Maintaining communion of unity without which we are dividing the body of Christ; and
  6. Maintaining the missionary spirit by spreading the greatest news that Jesus Christ is our Saviour and loves us.

During its own session, the Brotherhood focussed on its programs and project reviews. Among them:

Affiliated Clubs & Organizations Support & Service Program

In the Edmonton Eparchy and nationally in Canada there are many organizations that work for the betterment of life for all Ukrainians in Canada as well as in Ukraine. The brotherhood is committed to supporting these programs as well as participating in projects that they may establish from time to time.

Churches & Parish Support Program

This is an Edmonton Eparchial program where the Brotherhood provides financial assistance to parishes as required from parishes that ask for assistance. Regretfully, many parishes are not aware of these programs.

Community & Charitable Program

In this program financial support is provided to support the communities that we live in. The Brotherhood also does charitable work such as helping in seniors’ homes, feeding the hungry and the homeless.

Evangelization Program

This program is established to develop and carry out projects to further promote the Ukrainian Catholic faith. One project that is quite well received in all parishes is the support for the proclaimed of celebration by the Synod of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic and Catholic Bishops.

Ethno-cultural Support & Service Program

In this program the Brotherhood supports the many cultural events, organizations that are involved in preserving our Ukrainian Culture, traditions, language and songs.

Finance & Fundraising Programs

These are programs where UCBC engages in raising funds to support the activities of the Brotherhood and the many programs that it supports.

Morality and Right to Life Program

In this program the Brotherhood endeavours to support and get involved in the right to life in such areas as abortion, euthanasia and assisted death.

Clergy and Religious Orders Support Program

This program is geared towards supporting the many clergy, sisters, and students in vocations. Most of this support is in terms of financial support, but the Brotherhood can also assist them with projects such as yard cleaning, construction projects, etc.

Social Development, Canadian Citizenship and Civil Liberties Program

In this area the Brotherhood develops programs to support these causes and contribute financially to support their programs.

Youth Development, Families & Seniors Service Program

Most of these programs involve financial support for these organizations such as: The Eparchial Summer Children & Youth Camps (Camp Oselia); the Basilian Fathers Summer Youth Camp (Camp St. Basil); the Edmonton Eparchial Acolyte Camp; the Ukrainian/English Schools and Parent Advisory Societies; and St. Michaels Health Group (Extended Health Care Facility).

Membership & Member Support Program

These programs involve the recruitment of new members, organizing new branches, and financial assistance to members and family members in need.

A guest presentation on Mundare and area churches was made by Tony Ruptash.

During the session, medals for long-term service were presented to a number of members.

A special Certificate of Honour for Community Service was presented to former Ukrainian News Editor and current Western Bureau Chief for New Pathway – Ukrainian News, Marco Levytsky “in recognition of your faithful and outstanding commitment to the Ukrainian News media and the global Ukrainian community and support of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, and the Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada at the Branch, Eparchial and National levels”.