July 31, 2016

As part of a series of at least eight new monuments being placed around the city of Dauphin, the “Dauphin Bronze Project” unveiled its latest work on Sunday 31 July 2016. The day began with the Sunday morning Divine Liturgy concelebrated by the Dean of Dauphin, Fr. Oleg Bodnarski together with Fr. John Sianchuk, CSsR, Fr. Michael Kwiatkowski and Fr. Mykhaylo Khomitskyy. Following the liturgy, a procession was formed from the church to the monument site on Jackson Street in front the of main entrance to St. Paul’s Personal Care Home that, until recently, was operated by the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate.  

The excellent artwork depicts two Sisters moving forward in earnestness toward some pastoral mission. The plaque affixed to the base and entitled “Compassion” explains the underlying significance of the new monument.

Together with the logos and mottos of St. Paul’s Home, “Let all that you do be done in love” and the SSMI, “Glory to God, honour to Mary, peace to us”, the panel reads…. “COMPASSION – Faith, Hope, Love” and continues…

“This monument symbolizes the COMPASSION that the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate embodied as they were missioned to Canada in 1902 and to Dauphin in 1928. Their Foundress, Sister Josaphata Michaeline Hordoshewsky, wanted her Sisters “to be a living compassionate light” to the poor people of Ukraine (from where they originated) and to the people of the various continents where they would be sent. The Sisters were the first Eastern Catholic congregation missioned to serve in Canada. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and their Patroness, Mary Immaculate, the Sisters encountered each challenge with deep faith, prayer, courage and dedication, while living their life in accordance with the three vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience and serving where the need was greatest. While fulfilling their two mandates – teaching and nursing – no one was turned away, from the youngest to the most senior. The Sisters understood the psalmist, “unless the Lord builds the house, in vain do its builders labour”. Divine Providence achieved great miracles for the Sisters wherever they were sent despite their constant lack of appropriate resources. St. Paul’s Home attests to that. This statue was sculptured and cast by Shirley and Don Beggs, Studio West, Cochrane, Alberta, and erected by the Sisters, Citizens and Council of Dauphin in commemoration of the contributions Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate made to Dauphin and the surrounding municipalities. Dedicated this 31 day of July 2016. Dauphin, Manitoba: A community shaped by its history and guided by its principles.”

The actual unveiling was done by Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival 2016 ‘Hospodar and Hospodynya’ (hosts) Al and Sandra Dowhan. This was followed by a blessing performed by Fathers O. Bodnarski, J. Sianchuk and Fr. M. Kwiatkowski. Leading the singing were cantors Marvin Procyshyn, Ernie Sirski, Alvin Pentlechuk, Jason Gulenchin, Sister Darlene Pelechaty and the Choir. Music was also provided by Marvin &  Mary Procyshyn and Manuel Nakonechny.

Greetings and acknowledgments were delivered by His Worship, Mayor Eric Irwin on behalf of the City of Dauphin; Sr. Janice Soluk on behalf of the Provincial Sr. Patricia Lacey; Federal Member of Parliament Robert Sopuck; Rural Municipal Reeve Denis Forbes; Holy Resurrection Ukrainian Catholic Parish Council Chair - Ernie Sirski and the new President of Canada’s National Ukrainian Festival - Kayla Gillis. The Children of Mary also were invited to brings greetings as they are credited with actually spearheading the monument fundraising event on the parish level. Also present was Sr. Nestor Kyba who was recognized as the first Sister to administrate the nursing home back in  

Concluding remarks and an acknowledgement was spoken by the last direct of St. Paul’s Home and the last Sister Servant to be stationed in Dauphin - Sr. jean Zemliak, SSMI.

The ceremony concluded with a singing of “God Save the Queen” and, finally, the Sisters Servants hymn.

Also present was Sr. Nestor Kyba, SSMI who was the first administrator of St. Paul’s Home. When the Sisters first came to Dauphin in 1928, they immediately start work with the poor and elderly. After using a classroom as a makeshift personal care home, they manage to purchase an old barracks building of the Royal Canadian Air Force for a whopping $2,500 and had them moved property that they had and transformed them into a more adequate St. Paul’s Home and officially opened it on 11 September 1949. In time a new facility was built and occupied by April of 1969. The newer St. Paul’s Home opened on 25  October 1970.

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