November 25, 2018


This year, the world remembers of the Holodomor on the 85th anniversary of its occurrence. The ruthless genocide perpetrated by the Communist Soviet regime against the Ukrainian population was carried out mainly from 1932-1933. An estimated 7-10 million people were forced to die by starvation in their homes and in the streets and along the roadsides as they went searching for someone who might help them by giving them food for their families. They lost everything, paying extortionate amounts of money and family heirlooms - and then anything they had including their human dignity - for food that was stolen from them by the government. But that was even denied them and they were told to just die, because they were Ukrainian and they didn't fit with the communist ideal of politically correct people that denied their identity, their faith and just did whatever their masters told them to. The sad reality is that their neighbours could do and did little to help due to fear of experiencing the same fate or summary execution for contravening the directive from Moscow.

Throughout the month of November the Ukrainian community in Winnipeg organized a number of events, including book presentations, lectures and exhibits. Two of the events that maintained a predominantly prayerful tone were the annual Panakhyda at the Holodomor monument at Winnipeg City Hall and a special evening prayer event at Holy Eucharist Church in East Kildonan.

Ukrainian Catholic Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak, of the Archeparchy of Winnipeg, accompanied by a number of clergy and faithful, joined Metropolitan Yurij Kalistchuk of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada, also with clergy and faithful, for a panakhyda in the cold outside Winnipeg's city hall. The master of ceremonies for the brief program outside and the extended program inside the city hall building was Peter Monastyrsky.

The evening ceremony took place at Holy Eucharist parish Church in Winnipeg. Following an additional joyful ceremony of the ordination of Walter Dudych, the evening became more solemn as Metroplitan Lawrence led a number of clergy and a large gathering of faithful in a Panakhyda service for the millions that died in the Holodomor. This was followed by a brief program of greetings and presentations. The President of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) Manitoba Council, Joanne Lewandosky gave an excellent explanation of the Holodomor and how the UCC is promoting awareness about the tragedy. Orysya Petryshyn and Luba Fedorkiw presented the "Candle of Promise"* project that they initiated. Finally, parish priest Fr. Michael Kwiatkowski, spoke on the Holodomor, inviting those present to see it not merely as a politico-historical commemoration, but as a challenge to us to have a change of heart and attitude. He asked if we could not allow our memory of the Holodomor to be a continuous reminder to be kinder in our own hearts toward all those around us and to be more awake and bold in confronting any form of inhumanity toward others - be it very subtle or outright.

The children of Rev. Fr. Yaroslav and Ol'ha Buduykevych later distributed candles and the above-mentioned prayer card to everyone present. All were invited to place their candle on one of the window ledges around the church that were all designated with the names of each of oblasts (provinces) in Ukraine where the Holodomor was carried out. The Macenko Memorial Male Choir under the direction of Walter Zulak sang the Panakhyda and, later, a very sombre "Sviatyj Bozhe" as the candles were being placed in the church windows as requested by the Holodomor committee.

Among those present were Metropolitan-emeritus Archbishop Stefan Soroka, the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate, the Missionary Sisters of Charity and a large number of faithful from various parishes.

Afterward, the residents of the Kildonan Horizons Residence across the street, graciously offered their gathering space for a reception. Everyone was invited and the evening ended with some fellowship and continued discussion.


* The "Candle of Promise" pledge....

Свічка Обіцянки

Голодомор 1932-33

Шанувати пам'ять невинних жертв Голодомору. Визнавати правду скоєного геноциду. Передавати знання нащадкам Діаспори. Запалити свічку в наших серцях. Вічна Їм Пам'ять ©

Candle of Promise

Holodomor 1932-33

Remember and honour the innocent souls of Holodomor. Acknowledge the truth of this deliberate genocide. Educate future generations in Diaspora. Burn the flame eternal in our hearts... Vichna Yim Pamyat' ©

View More News

Unite Interactive