May 7, 2019


The clergy from around Manitoba gathered at Blessed Virgin Mary Protectress Ukrainian Catholic Church for their first post-Easter conference. It has been the custom that parishes - especially in the Winnipeg area - host the conferences by providing facilities as well as lunch and refreshments throughout the day. BVM Parish, where Fr. Volodymyr Bashutskyy is Pastor, graciously offered their parish facilities and truly welcomed the clergy warmly. The Chair of their Parish Pastoral Council, Mr. Glen Henkewich expressed a warm welcome and invited the clergy to make themselves at home. The ladies of the Parish offered an excellent brunch in the morning and then a hot lunch and extraordinary desserts.

The Archbishop of Winnipeg, Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak, opened the conference with a prayer - the Easter antiphon. After a few announcements, the Chancellor, Fr. Michael Kwiatkowski introduced the guest presenter, the Director of Human Resources at the Archdiocese of Winnipeg, Laura Cumming. She spoke to the theme of "harassment and bullying" in the parish setting and in the context of pastoral ministry. Her engaging presentation had everyone asking many questions and sharing insights. Laura spoke about the moral and social complexities in dealing with the problem and also spoke about the civil legislation now on the books in Manitoba. The Archeparchy has a bullying and harassment policy in place for the Archeparchy and the parishes. However, it was decided to update it and ensure that it is posted at all Archeparchial facilities as is often seen in hospitals and government buildings. Following Laura's talk, Archbishop Stefan Soroka also shared his insights from years of pastoral ministry as a pastor and bishop - and spoke of the changing social climate with regard to things like disrespect and inappropriate interpersonal communication in the Church environment. Both presenters inspired a lot of very open discussion which highlighted how important of an issue this is in our parishes from all angles....

As is the custom, the clergy also pray together a Moleben' - this time celebrated by local pastor, Fr. Bashutskyy and the singing was led by the Archeparchy's premier specialist on liturgical singing - Redemptorist Fr. John Sianchuk. Before the clergy broke for prayer and lunch, all clergy that wanted, made announcements about upcoming parish and Archeparchial events and clergy anniversaries, etc. Metropolitan then distributed the Chrism oil that he consecrated on Holy Thursday and which the priests use for the Mystery of Chrismation (Confirmation). A small vial was given to each active parish priest and those involved with pastoral ministry that may include the administering of the Sacrament of Chrismation.

The Ladies of BVM Parish then served an amazing hot meal that had the Fathers going back for seconds before the lunch break was over.

In the afternoon session, a representative of CapriCMW, Scott Dedels, GBA, spoke to the clergy about their pension planning. Considerable discussion also took place as many present wanted to understand how best to benefit from the Archeparchial plan if and when retirement comes about.

Metropolitan Lawrence led a closing prayer, "Христос Воскрес!". Some of the clergy stayed behind as they also had personal appointments with the financial advisor.

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