Archdiocesan Council Meets in Manitoba

April 10, 2024

For the first time in eight years, the archdiocesan council met for meetings in Manitoba, at St Nicholas of Narol (20 min north of Winnipeg). Between 9 and 10 April,  the council clergy and lay representatives of the archdiocese, with his Eminence Archbishop Irénée, presented and heard various reports about the financial and pastoral and administrative life of the Church, and had discussions about further strengthening and enhancing the life of the faithful and parishes in the archdiocese.

Running concurrently to the council meetings was a diaconal workshop for newly ordained deacons and those studying for the diaconate.  Co-sponsored by the Saint Arseny Institute, and led by Father Deacon Denis Letunovsky, the eight participants worked through various elements and aspects of the Divine Liturgy, and discussed aspects about the pastoral and social presence of the deacon in the life of a parish. This diaconal workshop  was a successful first attempt at formalizing this kind of vocational/liturgical training on a local and modular scale. The hope is that going forward, a number of these workshops can be facilitated throughout the Archdiocese of Canada.

On the beginning of the second day, a Vladyka Irénée celebrated the Presanctified Liturgy and ordination of the Subdeacon Greg Rychlo (Holy Resurrection Sobor in Saskatoon, SK). Greg has been a long time fixture in the Archdiocese of Canada, sitting on council, and working for the council in various capacities for almost 10 years, and this past year, he completed the Diaconal Vocations Program.  It had been Vladyka Irénée's desire to ordain him to the diaconate, yet various scheduling issues (the result of Vladyka's obligations that take him across this country) challenged the possibility of an ordination anytime soon.  Providentially the circumstances of Greg's participation in the diaconal workshop, and Vladyka's presence for the archdiocesan council, provided an opportunity to ordianin him, rather than wait for another year.

Although his ordination should have taken place in his home parish, surrounded by his family and friends, there was nonetheless something profound and personal in this.

The voices that proclaimed "Axios" at the ordination, were not from one parish alone, but from many parishes from across the country. The priests, deacons, and lay members of the council, and the faithful of St Nicholas and Holy Trinity Sobor, who in surrounding their Archpastor and Bishop Irénée at this ordination, bore witness to the catholicity of our faith, and a manifestation of the Lord serving us, beyond the scope of our own parishes.

Truly Deacon Greg is now woven into the fabric of those who have served the Lord, and His Body the Church, throughout the ages and across this country; and this is a consolation. Regardless of whether Deacon Greg  serves at his home parish in Saskatoon, or at St Nicholas in Narol, St Maria's in Hamilton, Christ the Saviour Mission in Winkler, or St Vladimir's, Halifax (or wherever), the foundation of love of God is revealed  through the diaconate; a witness that the "Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve" (Mk. 10:45). Truly a blessing beyond understanding, full of hope for the parish of Holy Resurrection in Saskatoon, the Archdiocese of Canada, and the Church as a whole. Truly we say: Axios! Axios! Axios!