Report from His Eminence's weekend visit to Manitoba

June 3, 2017 to June 4, 2017

This past weekend the Archdiocesan parishes of Winnipeg were blessed to be visited by Archbishop Irénée and Father Deacon Nicolas Svetlovsky, for the Altar feast of Holy Trinity Sobor and the 50th wedding anniversary of the Archpriest Robert Stephen and Matushka Dianne Kennaugh. It also marked his first official visit to the Christ the Saviour Mission Station in Winkler, Manitoba (1 1/2 hour drive south of Winnipeg).

On Saturday June 3rd Vladika served a Moliben of Thanksgiving with Fr. Deacon Stephen Sharman (St. Nicholas Narol) for the 50th anniversary of Fr. Bob and Matushka Dianne Kennaugh at the Riverview health center in Winnipeg. Fr. Bob served as the long time rector of St. Nicholas Narol and Dean of Manitoba and Saskatchewan before retiring in 2015, and in the past few years has suffered from dementia necessitating his placement at Riverview. Desipite this he has been very conscious about the importance of this anniversary, and was thankful that Vladika could preside over the service of thanksgiving, for both him and Matushka Dianne. Surrounded by their children and grandchildren, family, parishioners and friends, Matuskha Dianne thanked God for His loving care and blessings over the past 50 years.

Later on that day Vladika (along with Fr. Matthew Beynon, Holy Trinity Sobor, and Fr. Dn. Nicolas Svetlovsky) made his way to Winkler to attend Vespers at the Mission Station of Christ the Saviour. The community in Winkler is a mission of St. Nicholas Narol, and has been growing steadly since it was blessed to hold monthly services. Serving in a small chapel adorned for the feast of Pentecost, the Priest Gregory Scratch (Rector of St. Nicholas Narol) served Great Vespers. Vladika noted in his sermon that it was only by the work of the Holy Spirit that a community like this, could be established, and for it to further grow it needed the work of its members, making real the gifts of Holy Spirit throughout their whole lives. After the service, a traditional Mennonite feast was prepared for Vladika, where he talked about life in the Archdicoese, and the many mission communites that have started in the last few years.

For the Feast of Pentecost Vladika and Fr. Nicholas served the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy and Vespers of Pentecost at the Sobor, Winnipeg's first Orthodox Church, concercrated by St. Tikhon in 1904.

This past winter, the parishes of Holy Trinity and the Mission of the Life Giving Springs of the Theotokos started the process of amalgamating, retaining two separate liturgical traditions (English and Slavonic), while at the same time existing as one parish (Holy Trinity). This process has manifested the vision of St. Tikhon who saw Orthodoxy as not some vestige of the old world, or some ancient rite strangely placed in a new world, but rather the "faith once delivered to the saints" (Jude 3), and has provided the stability for the English community, as well as greater pastoral presence for the Slavonic community. Vladika's presence for this the first feast of this new community was a witness of the unity of our faith, as given at that first Pentecost. A witness that was not lost on many of those present. Durring the Liturgy, the Priest Roman Pavlov (Rector of Holy Trinity) was presented the Gold Cross for his time serving the Archdicoese, and his efforts in facilitating this blessed amalgamation. Axios!