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St Mary the Protectress Parish Executive 2023 Christmas Message

Український Православний Собор Св. Покрови St. Mary the Protectress Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral

Dear Sobor Parishioners and Supporters

Христос рождається! Славім Його!

As we greet the year 2023, we can all heave a collective sigh of relief that Covid has peaked and will hopefully soon be eradicated; but on the other hand our hearts are wretchedly pained by the assault of war on Ukraine. The only positive outcome of this horrendous situation is the presence of our faithful at Sunday liturgies who have also become actively engaged in our parochial activities. We welcome them with open arms.

We are all aware that Covid restrictions may have been lifted, but knowing the impact the virus has had on our society, we must continue to be vigilant and take safeguards to ensure our personal health and safety as well as that of our fellow man. But it cannot be stressed enough that the effect of Covid went well beyond our physical well-being; its negative effect on the health of our church life reverberates even today. One negative aspect of Covid is the fact that our debt has increased and our financial resources have decreased. We are not the only church being challenged with these obstacles but we are attempting to address the shortfall with debt-reduction planning and are always willing to hear your suggestions.

Another negative aspect is reflected in the fact that parishioners have not flocked back to church as was anticipated. Live streaming and possibly apathy are becoming forces that are influencing our parishioners to remain at home and not take the initiative to attend Sunday liturgy. Attending a Ukrainian Orthodox Liturgy becomes a truly spiritual journey as you participate in the liturgical rituals and become enraptured by the beautiful sound of our choir singing sacred euphonious music, under the direction of Olena Kharchenko, our choir director.

So we appeal to you to consider your spiritual needs, that may not be as tangible as your physical needs, but nonetheless, should be nurtured.

We also appeal to you to ensure that your annual membership fees are paid. Currently fees are $150 per individual and $300 per family; please note that these fees are compulsory and are forwarded directly to the UOCC Consistory; St. Mary the Protectress does not begin to receive any financial benefit from your contribution until after the initial $150/$300 has been donated. Please note, there are various means available to parishioners to make donations: e-transfers, cheques, pre-authorized debit, and credit card using the ‘on-line’ option found on our website.

Parishioners, who require spiritual assistance or the services of a Priest, are encouraged to contact our Pastor, Father Alexander Harkavyi @ 204-582-3412 (res.) 204-227-0833 (mobile) or by email at

We would love to see you at our annual Christmas dinner on the eve of the Feast of Jordan with the Blessing of Breads and Holy Water, Wednesday, January 18, 2023 @ 4:00 pm with dinner immediately following at 6:30 pm.

May God’s Blessings be upon you and your family!

St. Mary the Protectress Parish Executive

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