May 3, 2020


Father Ihor Shved, from Saint Basil the Great Parish in Winnipeg's west-end, WhatsApp-ed a link to some YouTube video - something about "Nine Ukrainian Churches....". Okay, the link was tapped and then.... the magic started....

Wow! You must take a look at the video that was sent and the many other videos of Timothy W. Petrash who has been filming Ukrainian churches in rural Manitoba with what seems to be a better-quality drone and he too has obviously become quite skilled at this unique craft - both the filming and the editing.

The views of the grand expanses of the Manitoba lands that were opened and settled by our ancestors are absolutely breath-taking in themselves. However, the crown jewel of every view is a little church built many years ago by our pioneers so that God would have a house to dwell among them and at which they could encounter the living Christ. One can only imagine how often the Divine Liturgy was celebrated in each of these churches, how many marriages were blessed and babies baptized. How many tears were shed at funerals or memorial services or just because of the hardness of life. How many smiles radiated at the parish "praznyk" or when the soul just had to shout out: Христос Воскрес! Christ is Risen! or joyfully sing Бог Предвічний!

The videos, professionally filmed with a drone, give the feeling that Angels are flying over and around and about the churches where God and His Children once gathered to share faith and hope - and still do in some cases. Perhaps one may also want to imagine the view as the souls of the pioneers that still hover for a while near those sacred places before being finally called home to the Lord's heavenly kingdom. Those places that offered them untold consolation and courage and joy as they established a life for themselves, their families and future generations in this new land of promise.

Timothy W. Petrash is on to something amazing. God bless him and those that assist him - Elizabeth Petrash and Dave Schmidt - so that this fantastic project will continue to develop and that they will receive the help and support and recognition that they clearly warrant.

Two clips are posted in this article - one that Timothy recently posted as an Easter 2020 montage and the other, an earlier montage, labelled Easter 2019. More shorter video clips can be viewed at his YouTube channel [HERE]. His choice of music may seem to be a somewhat curious match for a film on Ukrainian churches as they all consist of non-Ukrainian choral music. However, they are beautiful selections and, yes, they do add to the beauty of the audio-visual experience. There is no doubt that there will be future projects by which Timothy and his crew, will, if possible, surpass even these inspirational videos. We can only imagine the choices and creativity that will be exhibited through them.

Bravo! For a work well done!

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