This past week Archbishop Irénée made an Archpastoral visit to the parish of St Mark’s in Yorkton Saskatchewan for the feast of the Ascension. Vespers and Liturgy were served with the Archpriest Rodion Luciuk (Rector of St Mark’s), Igumen Vladimir, Deacon Denis and Archpriest Gregory Scratch (Dean of Manitoba and Saskatchewan).
Later that day, Vladyka Irénée, Fr Rodion, Fr Gregory and Dn Denis visited the Mission of St Andrew the First Called/Saints Peter and Paul in Canora (about a 20 min drive north of Yorkton). This community is unique in that this church was built by Romanian settlers in 1903 and consecrated by Archbishop Polycarp (Moruşca), yet shares the building with the mission of St Andrew the First Called (since 2004). A moleben of thanksgiving was served, and their new iconostas and icons were blessed by His Eminence Archbishop Nathaniel of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of America, with the Archpriest Andrew Piasta. Following the service a Trisagion for the departed founders was served and their graves were blessed. His Grace Bishop Andrei of Cleveland led the singing for this service.
The following day all three hierarchs and clergy made a trip to the historic parish of St Elias Romanian Orthodox Church in Leonard, MB to serve Liturgy to commemorate their 120th anniversary. It is truly wonderful that some 120 years after these Orthodox pioneers established this community, their work was honoured by three bishops. Truly a witness to the Lord’s abiding presence, manifested even in these new lands. Following the Liturgy, a Trisagion was served for the founders of the community, and the many graves (and original church) were blessed with the proclamation of Christ is Risen! Hristos a înviat! Христос воскрес!
The visit by Vladyka Irénée to Saskatchewan, and the opportunity to serve with Archbishop Nathaniel, and Bishop Andrei, and their faithful, is truly a blessed sign that our church has lost very little throughout the past two difficult years; and has picked up where it left off, proclaiming the unity of our faith, and the saving love of the Lord for His people. Glory to God!
More photos from these services can be found on the Archdiocese of Canada Website.