ClergyWives Annual Retreat
CLERGY WIVES RETREAT HELD FOR OVER 30 YEARS
Brampton, Ontario: November 2, 2013, with the blessing of Bishop Stephen Chmiliar, 24 wives of Ukrainian Catholic priests, deacons, sub-deacons, and seminarians gathered for the annual Toronto Eparchy Clergy Wives' Retreat. Under the direction of Fr. Michael Winn, Rector of Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Ottawa, Ontario, the women prayed, shared, laughed, cried, and reflected on their role in spreading the gospel and supporting their husbands' ministries. The topic of the retreat was modelling a woman's ministry on that of the Mother of God. As most faithful know, clergy wives are often the unseen presence behind the scenes: lending a compassionate ear, acting as intermediaries, bearing Christian witness, and organizing or assisting in parish events. The retreat's discussion also delved into creating concrete plans for a spiritual formation program for clergy wives.
This annual retreat was begun over 30 years ago by Dobrodijky Anna Iskat and Iryna Galadza. This year, Dobr. Iryna hosted the group once more in the dynamic St. Elias Ukrainian Catholic Parish Centre in Brampton, Ontario. (See: www.saintelias.com for a description, and links to Eastern Christian spirituality.)
The day began with a Moleben to the Holy Spirit, and ended with traditional Saturday evening Vespers in the candle-lit setting of the wooden St. Elias Church. Next year's retreat will be hosted by Dobrodijka Oksana Loza at the newly-built, spacious St. Joseph's Ukrainian Catholic Parish Centre in Oakville, Ontario, outside of Toronto.
-- Olenka Hanushevska Galadza