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St. Mary’s Parish in Yorkton held its annual Vidpust from June 21-24th.
This years Missionary was Bishop Emeritus Michael Wiwchar, CSsR who spoke
on the life of our Ukrainian Redemptorist founder, Father Delaere.
After the Sunday 10:00 Liturgy, a brunch was held at St. Mary’s Cultural Centre
celebrating the 30th anniversary of Priesthood of Father Raymond Lukie CSsR.


Fr. Raymond Lukie’s 30th Anniversary


Fr. Raymond with his parents Ed & Emily Lukie

St. Mary's Church held their Easter Blessings of food on Saturday March 31, 2018 at St. Mary's Cultural Centre.
There were two Blessings of the Easter baskets  that afternoon.  



St. Mary's Vidpust 2017

Father Andre Lalach of the Dormition Church in Saskatoon held the mission from Thursday June 22 to Saturday morning of June 24.

Saturday afternoon Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Fr. Demetrius Wasylyniuk OSB (bottom centre), and to his left Fr. Kushko , Fr. Leonid Malkov, Fr. Peter Pidskalny, Fr. Larry Kondro, Fr. Leonard Ratushniak and Fr. Bohdon Lukie. Father Demetrius delivered the sermon.

Father Demetrius Wasylyniuk OSB had the Saturday afternoon sermon at St Mary's Vidpust.

Wine and cheese reception for the afternoon mass at St. Mary's Cultural Centre in honour of Fr. Len and Fr. Bohdan's 50th anniversary of Priesthood.

Vidpust concluded Sunday with Fr. Ray Lukie, Fr. Bohdan Lukie and Fr. Larry Kondra as celebrants. Followed by a brunch at St. Mary's Cultural Centre.

On Sunday April 23, fourteen children received their First Solemn Holy Communion at Saint Mary's Church in Yorkton.
Thank you to parish Catechists Rhonda Falconer and Diane Stadnyk, Deana Pellat coordinator of Religious Education and grade two teachers.

St. Mary's Parish of Yorkton Delighted by Deborah Larmour Presentation

On February 5th, 2017, Deborah Larmour provided a presentation entitled My Family Home: A Place to Encounter the Living Christ, at the St. Mary's Cultural Centre following a Knights of Columbus Brunch. The focus of her presentation addressed the concerns parents with adult children face, whose kids or grandkids have little or no interest in church. Some practical insights, ideas and tools for family faith growth were shared.

An interesting statistic conducted in 2007 by GENERATION reported the numbers attending church:
Builders (65+) (now 75+) – 45%; Boomers (47=64) – 20%; Gen X (26-46) – 13%; Millennials (-26) – 10%

One of her key points concerned the assumption that Catholics baptized in the Ukrainian Catholic faith would remain active practicing Catholics, but this theory, referred to as Cultural Catholicism is 'dead' as a retention strategy.Larmour stressed that "intentional" Catholicism is required. "We can't rely solely on the Fathers of our parishes; rather we (fathers/mothers/brothers/sisters), need to move toward becoming the Evangelists". The best way, states Larmour, is to live out a joyful faith. Our Divine Liturgy contains the words, "Let us commend ourselves, one another, and our whole life to Christ our God". Lamour brought attention to the words in this passage that refer to "our whole life, when she referred to this as meaning, "our relationships; everything at the core of our being".

Lamour was very passionate about prayer as a means of hope for family members to feel that they may embrace their faith more fully and neve r give up hope in their loved ones to once again reclaim their faith. Lamour shared a personal family difficulty which brought a family member closer to God; and how that sometimes, when things are tough, or when we finally see a glimmer of hope, that we may begin to seek God's mercy, and as individuals, begin to respond to God, who is always there for us. While listening to Lamour I could see, she was describing a slow and gradual 'rebirth' or beginning, as one begins to become transformed to love God more deeply, if we invest in others. Our passion to love, know and serve God, transcend into our lives. With this special discernment in behavior, we gain a new type of wisdom to choose excellence, because God is providing the power for us to be the best we can be. It is in projecting a Gospel ethos, that we believe; live safely and orderly; and feel empowered that God begins to work through us for others to witness. This was Larmour's message, that we become witnesses to Christ to help build the Church community.

Deborah Larmour Speaks to Yorkton St. Mary's Parish:
Volunteers and Clergy Gain Insight About Covenant of Care

On February 5th, 2017, Deborah Larmour, presented the background regarding the need for Covenant of Care initiative for parish communities. These notes were prepared to help clarify the necessity for creating safe environments:

The outlined protocol recognizes the need for child protection as well as protecting the adults that come in direct contact with children. There are instances where children can be quite suave and manipulative about making false allegations.  Covenant of care minimizes the risk of both this and alternate scenarios.  

With the Covenant of Care a protocol exists, which is 'the promise to abide by' (like a contract), but also it is more about principles and promise to live by Christ. St. Mary's Parish has selected Geraldine Koban as our Parish Coordinator of Care. Geraldine will be St. Mary's Parishs' 'go to person', and she will also work directly with Deborah Larmour who is the Eparchial Coordinator of Care.  Cases of a civil matter, counselling and mediation may be provided. The goal is to elevate the conversation about helping others, rather than for finding fault in individuals. Some instances that may require attention are cases where for example, an individual is spending unusually large amounts of time with children, or if suspicions arise. It provides an avenue whereby a committee may be providing direction for forwarding concerns. Also, further concern may also be warranted if a child seems uneasy.

The Covenant of Care avenue of discernment helps to protect the vulnerable such as the elderly, or people with mental illness; since there has been a rise in reports of mental health issues; including anxiety, depression, and self-medicating situations.

The goal is to be prudent, in other words, as the bible says, "I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves." It was suggested that brochures be made available, that contain contact information including names and phone numbers, for cases that need referral. Also, such full transparently helps to build in awareness for parish members. In most cases the diocese has been dealing with low level harassment cases.

Disbursement the Covenant of Care mandate may occur during gatherings, when for example, parents for communion classes, may receive information that address the protocol. Also, presently volunteer screening mechanisms are in place that require references, especially from individuals of different backgrounds. Also, everyone, that is working for the church as a volunteer or paid position, needs to provide a criminal record check which includes a $10 processing fee paid to the Yorkton City/Rural RCMP Detachment for volunteer positions. 

Forms are located on-line: http://www.skeparchy.org/wordpress/about-us/policies-and-procedures/ 

As a guide, all reports of youth cases include children up to the age of 18. These must be reported even if it's even there's the smallest suspicion of sexual misconduct.  Cases of abuse to a degree (or cases where reports are unfounded), or an instance where there is a minor complaint issue can be screened before proceeding to an investigation.

In some situations, there may be a necessity for non-violent, peace making, cultural sensitivity training. Persons need to be sensitized to community building skills and to love and respect one another. Building respect is important for relationship building. All stakeholders understand that frivolous issues, need to be settled between people through prevention, mediation, or if compliance refusal is an issue. Lamour mentioned that some parishes have requested a clearer definition which may be established if parish community learned from case studies. This would include instances of:

  • Elder abuse
  • Clergy abuse-where an individual has been moved to another diocese to avoid charges and allegations.
  • Understanding present and future changes to Canon Law which is proposing changes for serious matters.
  • Eucharistic ministers at higher risk when alone with alter boys, or otherwise not be concerned.
  • Format for Police involvement
  • Balancing Privacy
  • School-confessions done with an adult present to protect the priest; as well as being aware of school protocol, which prohibits touching or hugging students. Such guidelines are important awareness issues.
  • The preventative aspect is necessary because of the present day reality; rather than being perceived as a plot; the church community needs to be held in highly accountable as it has suffered damage by negative cases.
  • Builds an awareness to act responsibility and with care.
  • Liability Insurance necessitates a criminal record check.
  • Need to be transparent.
  • Authenticity is currently important, as society views transparency in high regard. Also, in some cases it may require solicitors or mediators be provided especially when claims or allegations arise, to avoid instances being one on one.



Last fall and spring, St. Mary’s Parish of Yorkton hosted an excellent DVD program Catholicism conducted by Janet Lawrence, Pat Thompson and Valerie Thiessen every second Sunday at 10:00-11:00 am in the Golden Agers' Room.
About 20-25 parishioners took advantage of this lively and colourful presentation of our
Catholic faith by Father Robert Barron.

Beginning October 16th& 23rd St. Mary’s Parish re-commenced a 6 session challenging follow-up on, which ended on December 18th, 2016.

This following photo was taken on a morning when temperatures dipped below -40 Celsius, so not all participates are present in the photo. (Session Leaders are pictured in the back row on the far left (Pat Thompson) and second from the left (Janet Lawrence) .

Catechism Classes for Children

St. Mary’s provides a great catechism program in our parish. Classes are for preparation to make First Confession and receiving the Holy Communion.
We welcome all to our classes which presently have 15 children enrolled.

(Pictured here is Fr. Bohdan is conducting a session in preparation of parents of the communicants.)

On November 14th, we began our “Pylypivka” or Advent, the customary

preparation for the Feast of the Nativity of the Birth of Our Lord

and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Ukrainian Catholics refer to the pre-Christmas fast period as Pylypivka or St. Philip's Fast, as it always begins on the day after the feast of St. Philip the Apostle, November 14. 
It ends on December 24th.
Let us approach this time of preparation in the hope that is time allows us to experience a new awareness of His presence. 
We should strive to rid ourselves of the thoughts and passions that distract us as our hearts, minds, and voices sing “God is with us”.

Pope Francis reminds us that
“every human being is the object of God’s infinite tendernesss, and He himself is present in their lives. Every person is immensely holy and deserves our love”.

The first time that Ukrainian Canadian (Plast) Scouts received the Bethlehem Flame of Peace was in 2008. The Austrian Scouts brought an oil lamp with this flame

to the JFK airport in New York where they handed it to the American Scouts who brought it by car from Minneapolis. The Flame then spread throughout the United States,

Canada and Mexico. In 2009 the Bethlehem Flame of Peace finally found its way to Winnipeg and I was most pleased to give it a home at St. Joseph's for my 7 years as

Pastor. It stayed lit in our church until the Feast of Jordan. Now the Bethlehem Flame is being transported here to St. Mary's in Yorkton and we encourage you to obtain a candle, light it from the Bethlehem candle

on the little altar and then have it peacefully burn in your home during your Christmas celebrations!

May this flame from the fire of Peace indeed be the symbol of peace, warmth, harmony, tranquility and love toward all people of the world.

Fr. Bohdon

St. Mary’s Parish

First Solemn Holy Communion Class



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