June 27, 2023


The Catholic Church in Western Manitoba has a unique practice of collaboration among the parishes and the pastors. They meet at least annually on the level of deaneries to reaffirm their bond as ministers of God's People that are living their faith in a common corner of the world.

To make administration more practical and manageable, the Church, as we know, is divided into smaller parts. First, there is the Church of Christ as a whole with the Bishop of Rome i.e. the Pope - as the visible head. But the Church is also divided into "Churches" sui iuris with a head of their own - usually a "patriarch" or an "Archbishop" or some primary hierarch. The Latin or Roman Catholic Church is one such church, as is the Ukrainian Catholic Church or, say, the Syro-Malabar Church from India. These Churches are further divided into "portions" of the People God that we call eparchies,[1] dioceses[2] or exarchates and ordinariates. They usually have a bishop to oversee the pastoral efforts and administration. In southern Manitoba, for example, we have three such jurisdictions in the Archeparchy of Winnipeg, the Archdiocese de Saint-Boniface and the Archdiocese of Winnipeg. These eparchies or dioceses are further divided into many parishes.

The Church has also added another supportive layer of administration to help oversee the best practices among the parishes of a certain area of the eparchy/diocese. It is called a "Deanery" or "Protopresbyterate" and is headed by, well, a Dean or Protopresbyter[3]. The Dean answers to the Bishop, but he assists the pastors of the local group of parishes to help facilitate the most effective pastoral care and to help best implement the directives of the Bishop.

Well, in western Manitoba there are actually three deaneries - two of the Roman Catholic Church and one of the Ukrainian Catholic Church. What the members of these deaneries decided to do a number of years ago, is meet together on a regular basis for the sake of fellowship and to see how they may collaborate since they are all serving the mission of the universal Church of Christ in a similar cultural and social milieu. Here is a report on the latest such joint meeting of deaneries in Western Manitoba...


On Wednesday June 7th, Fr. Oleg Bodnarski, Dean of Dauphin Deanery, hosted clergy from three Deaneries of the area: Westman (Roman Catholic) Deanery, Parkland (Roman Catholic) Deanery and the Dauphin (Ukrainian Catholic) Deanery.

Divine Liturgy was celebrated at 11:00 am with all the clergy, along with the faithful, where they prayed for the vocations to the priestly and religious life and for people in Ukraine and the end of the war. This was followed by delicious lunch, fellowship and a meeting.

It is a custom for the clergy of the three Deaneries to get together and have a prayerful celebration, fellowship, camaraderie and discussions. We do this in rotation and next time it will be hosted by a Roman Catholic Deanery next Year.

Very Rev. Oleg Bodnarski

Pastor & Dean of Dauphin Deanery

[1] CCEO, cc. 177-179.

[2] CIC, cc. 369-373.

[3] Both Churches have different canonical titles for this. The Roman Church would call them "Vicars Forane" while in the Ukrainian Church they are officially known as "Protopresbyters". However, the popular term is simply "Dean" or, even in Ukraine, "Декан" (Dekan) from the Greek word for 'ten'. A dean would, on average, be given oversight of about 10 parishes. CIC, cc. 553-555; CCEO, cc. 276-278.

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