A Message of Thanks From the Ordination of John Lukey
I have so much and so many people to thank and be thankful for. But first and foremost I thank our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ for providing me with health, perseverance and surrounding me with people that eventually led me to be able to complete the requirements to be ordained a Deacon so that I can be of service not only to the church community but to the community at large. I am also thankful for the bumps that I encountered along the way and view them as Blessings.
My journey started many years ago. As a young boy growing up on a farm starting at the age of 6 or 7 years of age, a couple of priests were very instrumental in my journey. One of them Fr John Worona who looked after the Norquay farm church. Then Fr Casimir Kucharek. He was ordained in the Latin rite but later became an Eastern Rite priest. He hailed from the state of Michigan USA and came to the Eparchy of Saskatoon, spent a few months there and was assigned as Parish priest to the Norquay district. In one of his many books that he authored, he tells how he was given $50.00 by the Bishop and drove to Norquay knowing no one and the experiences he encountered working amongst the Ukrainian people and learning the language.
One summer day he took my parents and myself in his vehicle and drove to St. Vladimirs College a minor seminary in Roblin, Manitoba that was run by the Redemptorist Fathers. There I was, introduced to the staff and so on, made application to attend, was accepted and then spent the next 4 years living at the college and completing high school. It was here where I learned to read and write in Ukrainian. Attended daily Divine Liturgy, choral singing, cantoring, church music and how to live with one another – Teamwork. Our choir director was Dr. Paul Macenko who lived at the college with his wife. He was a student of Alexander Koshetz who was a choral conductor, arranger and composer who introduced the song “Shchedryk”, by Mykola Leontovych at a concert in Kyiv which later became a Christmas Classic, translated into many languages as “Carol of the Bells”.
But life has its twist and turns and when I met my beautiful wife Debbie, as the saying in Ukrainian, “Zapalela Dushu Zhenetisia Mushu” Or translation in English would be like the Jonny Cash song – “Got married in a fever , hotter than a pepper sprout.”
Then along came the family and we were blessed with 3 children, Jennifer who passed away a year ago last September, Stephen from Drumheller and Dorothy from Borden, Ont. Also, we are blessed with one granddaughter Keira.
Nevertheless, through out all this time, I have always had an interest in attending and participating in church services, parish council , organizations, choir, cantoring and then became an ordained lector. The Blessed Virgin Mary has and is an important part of my life. My devotion towards her and asking her to intercede on my behalf daily, when I ask and petition the Lord for various needs and intentions and THAT I attribute to the upbringing that I received from my Mother and Father. To them I am thankful that they instilled in me the Two greatest commandments or Loves and that is Love of God and Love of each other. Easy to say but sometimes hard or difficult to do.
I am very grateful and thankful to Bishop David and the Eparchial staff along with Sister Zoe for implementing a Diaconal Formation Program through Newman College and thank Bishop David for accepting me into the program and ordaining me to the Diaconate – Thank You.
I thank my family, my son Stephen, daughter Dorothy, granddaughter Keira, my sister Bernadette and especially my wife Debbie for their support during my time of study and for putting up with me on both good and bad days. I thank Fr Don Bodnar that when he was pastor at Holy Cross, he encouraged me to start taking theology courses at Newman College.
During my internship Fr Janko and Fr Bo were my Bosses and Edd Horyn was my supervisor. I thank you for your perseverance.
To the seminarians I thank you for your presence for your singing the Divine Liturgy and performing a couple of Christmas Carols.
To the organizing committee for this event headed by Darrell Uchach and Mark Helmak and Heather Gauthier – Thank You for all your hard work. I also want to thank the families that donated the 3 complete sets of vestments.
Thanks to all the Clergy and clergy wives that were present today – I thank and appreciate your participation.
I also want to thank Parish Council, Ladies Club, Men’s Club and the Knights of Columbus for their support and participation today.
Thanks to Judy Mydan and the kitchen staff for preparing and serving the meal – Thank You.
Thanks to all of you from near and afar for being present here today in celebrating and praising the Lord and in sharing a meal – Thank You much appreciated.
In conclusion I would like to share a quote from St. John Henry Newman :
God has created me to do Him some definite service.
He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission.
I may never know what it is in this life, but I shall be told in the next.
I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.
He has not created me for nothing.
I shall do good work.
I shall do His work.
St. John Henry Newman
Thank You all very much for being here today.
Christ Is Born