By Jayne L. Buryn, Communications Coordinator, Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, on Saturday, February 11, 2017, a romantic candlelit dinner for couples married at least seven years was hosted by Holy Eucharist Parish, 6425 – 120 Ave., Edmonton. The following day, young adults, dating or newly-married focused on their relationship with each other and God.

An initiative of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton’s Youth and Catechetical ministries, the program was launched in 2016 to provide parish couples with an opportunity to build on, and revisit the impact of faith on their relationships by spending an evening together.

Celebrating a long and happy life journey together: Ernie and Mary Ann Phillips

For one couple participating in the “Table for Two,” was a “wonderful evening to reminisce through our faith on our journey through life together as husband and wife.”

“The Table for Two evenings were both wonderful,” noted Bernadette Mandrusiak, Religious Education Director for the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton.  “We had 11 couples the first evening and nine couples the second evening. 

Several couples said that they enjoyed “thinking about their relationships and spending time together.”  The evening gave another couple the opportunity to reflect on their relationship and be grateful, “seeing how our faith has helped us through mountains and valleys.”

The evening’s mouth-watering four-course menu were whipped up by chefs Teresa Bradley and Annand Ollivierre and consisted of

  • appetizers, including crostini trio tapenade, bruschetta, whipped goat cheese with fig jam;
  • first course of fennel, blood oranges, grapes, and greens, with white balsamic dressing;
  • a main course of red wine and dark chocolate, braised beef with Asiago beet and potato mash, tomato confit and wilted greens.

The meal ended with a dessert of mascarpone, ricotta mousse with marinated berries and chocolate bark.

Darcy and Halyna Gulka with daughter: a young family celebrates its relationship

With each of the four courses, couples were invited to explore and strengthen their relationships with discussion starters. Short food-for-thought presentations were also provided by a number of couples.

On Saturday evening, Millie Schietzsch, Director of Youth Ministry and her husband, Alan, offered guests insight about the impact of the faith on their marriage.  The following evening, Eparchy Chancellor & Protosyncellus (Vicar General) Fr. Stephen and Dobrodijka Maria Wojcichowsky shared their experience. 

More than one couple could say that “(i)t was such a nice evening, just to think and spend time together. We now look forward to “Table for Two” as a date night and a way to reconnect and spend time together.”