September 9, 2020


Although it is the second of three steps toward his ordination to the Priesthood in a relatively short while, the Diaconal ordination of Rev. Walter Dudych was an occasion of great joy to all who participated in person and online. On Tuesday, 8 September 2020, on the Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, Deacon Walter was ordained to the diaconate by Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak at St. Joseph parish church in Winnipeg.

The 20 members of the clergy that attended included - Archbishop Stefan Soroka, Monsignor Michael Buyachok and the Pastor of St. Joseph's, Fr. Dmytro Dnistrian, CSsR. Fr. John Sianchuk, CSsR and Lesia Sianchuk led the singing. Military Chaplain Subdeacon Chaplain Anton Sloboda assisted and Rev. Michael Kwiatkowski served as the Archdeacon for the ordination rite. Rev. Walter's family and other guests filled out the number of participants permitted by coronavirus restrictions.

The reception was held across the river in East Kildonan at the parish centre of Holy Eucharist Parish. Metropolitan Lawrence opened the reception with a prayer and the guests enjoyed an excellent cordon bleu buffet served by Budget Catering with excellent covid-care, yet amazingly expeditiously. The master of ceremonies, Deacon Walter's brother Joe Dudych, after expressing a few sentiments on his own behalf, introduced the first speaker, Fr. Larry Kondra, CSsR of Winnipeg's Welcome Home. Fr Larry knew Deacon Walter during the latter's first phase of discernment when they both resided at the Ukrainian Redemptorist Fathers' residence for studies and formation in Toronto "Redeemer House". Then Fr. Andrew Wach, a former Rector of Holy Spirit Seminary in Ottawa, spoke about his time with Deacon Walter during his next step of vocation discernment and preparation at... St. Josaphat Pontifical College in Rome. They both resided and studied there. Fr. Andrew expressed his high hopes for Rev. Walter's future ministry as he saw him as an honest, loyal and hardworking man who would do great things for the Lord and His people who he too loves very much. Finally, Lieutenant-Colonel Chaplain Fr. Terry Cherwick, who knew Deacon Walter when they both studied at Holy Spirit Seminary in Ottawa, spoke heartfelt words and even credited Deacon Walter for his own priestly vocation. Messages that were send in by those who could not attend were read by the MC, including one from the postulator for St. Mother Theresa's canonization and personal friend of Deacon Walter - Fr. Brian Kolodiejchuk, MC. Deacon Walter then thanked everyone that was in attendance as well as mentioning several other people that had encouraged him along his journey to this day. He spoke of his experience as corrections officer at Manitoba jails. He even served as the director of a major prison northeast of Winnipeg.

One thing that became clear as the day began and progressed through the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at which Deacon Walter was ordained and through the many formal and informal speeches and acknowledgments - is that Rev. Walter is a much respected and admired man and, above all, a man of God. Walter's father, John, passed away some time back, but his Mother Emily was able to be present as well as his siblings Joe, Nestor, Theresa, Veronica and Christine - the latter two are religious Sisters with the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate and the Madonna House Apostolate in Combermere, On. They were joined by many relatives and friends.

Please keep Deacon Walter in your prayer. May he soon be ordained to the Holy Priesthood according to the Will of God and may the Lord bless him with many joy-filled and happy years of successful ministry. Многая Літа!

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