2013 PASTORAL LETTER OF THE UKRAINIAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS OF CANADA

ON THE OCCASION OF THE FEAST OF THE RESURRECTION OF OUR LORD

 

To the Very Reverend Clergy, Monastics and Religious Sisters and Brothers, Seminarians and Laity of the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada:

 

Christ is Risen!                         Indeed He is Risen!

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Though You went down to the grave, immortal Lord, You destroyed the power of Hades and rose victorious, Christ our God. You who said “Rejoice” to the myrrh-bearing women; give peace to Your apostles and offer resurrection to the fallen.   (Easter Sunday Kondak)

Every human person longs for eternal life. Everything about how we live our daily lives points to how each of us was created for so much more than what we might encounter in our routine, and at times not-so routine, lives. After receiving so much, we still have an infinite desire for our infinite God. My soul is consumed with longing for your ordinances at all times. (Ps. 119:20)  When we pause to reflect on this yearning in our hearts, we find this common, natural mystery uniting all of humanity. Indeed, salvation is both personal and communal – for each of us and for all of us.

Thus, having experienced Gods’ personal gifts to us during our Lenten journey, let us keep in mind that the salvation each of us rejoices in today is important for the rest of the world. We are called to evangelize those in our parish communities. We make up the Vibrant Parishes where all can encounter Christ. May we transform our local, national and international communities by the manner in which we celebrate the Resurrection of Our Lord. We celebrate the Resurrection in the context of that profound event 1025 years ago, the Baptism of Kyivan Rus’ marking our acceptance of Christianity as a people in 988. We celebrate the Resurrection today in a world that needs healing. During this Year of Faith, declared by His Holiness, Benedict XVI Pope Emeritus, we are reminded that “While these problems cannot be solved simply by religious fervour, neither can they be solved without the inner purification of hearts that issues from the power of faith, from the encounter with Jesus Christ”. (Pope Benedict XVI, Vatican, December 21, 2012) The inner purification of your heart, therefore, is an important element in the New Evangelization.

May all of us cherish the spiritual progress that has been made during the Great Fast. May all of us show mercy to others since we have experienced God’s abundant mercy, rising to new life. May our personal encounters with Christ become the gifts we share with others, witnessing to the faith like Blessed Bishop and Martyr Nykyta Budka.

“Christ is risen from the dead, trampling death by death, and to those in the tombs giving life!” May Christ who dwells in our hearts, our families and in our vibrant parishes, give life to all. On this Feast of the Resurrection of Our Lord, we pray that God’s love fills your heart and, through you, the hearts of all.

Christ is Risen!                         Indeed He is Risen!

 

Sincerely Yours in Christ,

 

+ Lawrence Huculak, OSBM, Metropolitan Archbishop of Winnipeg

+ Michael Wiwchar, CSsR, Bishop Emeritus of Saskatoon

+ Severian Yakymyshyn OSBM, Bishop Emeritus of New Westminster

+ Cornelius Pasichny, OSBM, Bishop Emeritus of Toronto

+ David Motiuk, Eparchial Bishop of Edmonton

+ Stephen Chmilar, Eparchial Bishop of Toronto

+ Ken Nowakowski, Eparchial Bishop of New Westminster

+ Bryan Bayda, CSsR, Eparchial Bishop of Saskatoon