“Mnohaya Lita, Vladyko!”:
Bishop Commemorates Tenth Anniversary with Eparchial Family and Community
by Kyla B. Predy | Photo credit: Linden S. Predy
On the evening of Saturday, June 23, 2018, members our Eparchy, family and friends, gathered together to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Episcopal Ordination of Most Rev. Bishop Bryan Bayda, CSsR. The evening began with an Episcopal Divine Liturgy at the Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of St. George, followed by a reception and banquet in the cathedral auditorium
Prior to the Episcopal Divine Liturgy, Bishop Bryan was greeted by the children and youth on the front steps of the Cathedral with the traditional Ukrainian offering of bread and salt. The giving of bread shows hospitality, while the salt expresses friendship. Salt also reminds us of Christ’s words in the Gospel according to St. Matthew, “You are the salt of the earth.” After this traditional greeting, the deacons, priests, Bishop Bawai Soro, of the Chaldean Eparchy of Canada, and Bishop Bryan Bayda processed into the church, accompanied by an Honour Guard from the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus, Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada and Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada.
At the reception banquet, Master of Ceremonies, Bohdan Popowych, President of the Eparchial Pastoral Council, welcomed everyone, including those from the Chaldean community who had joined us in celebrating Bishop Bryan’s ten-year milestone. Mr. Popowych remarked on how our Bishop was special not only to us, but also to the Chaldean Catholics in Saskatoon. Members from the Chaldean community, eager to share some of their culture and hospitality, in thanksgiving brought Dolma (stuffed grape leaves) and a dessert, which were shared at the banquet.
I had an opportunity to talk with Bishop Bawai Soro during the meal. He related to me, and then later to the rest of the community, how he had come to meet Bishop Bryan. Although his first meeting with Bishop Bryan was at his own Episcopal Ordination in Toronto, before he had an opportunity to even know him well, he had already heard about Saskatoon’s Ukrainian Catholic Bishop from the people of the Chaldean Catholic Church. He was told that he needed to get to know Bishop Bryan by name; when he asked “why”, his people told him that Bishop Bryan was as important to know as Cardinal Collins! “And now I know why.” Bishop Soro smiled before he continued. “He [Bishop Bryan] is such a giving person, … loves people, loves service, … I began to see him through the eyes of the people, my people. He is a real Bishop. A real servant of Christ.”
Bishop Bawai also spoke during the evening program. He shared how Bishop Bryan has come to be so respected by the Chaldean community. When Saskatoon’s Chaldean community was short a priest, Bishop Bryan took the time to learn their liturgy so that he could serve at their church. At the end of Bishop Soro’s speech, he turned towards Bishop Bryan and said, “You allow God to use you. There is nothing bigger in God’s eyes than that.”
During the evening program, many members of the community came forward to express their gratitude towards Bishop Bryan. Father Deacon Vasyl Tymishak, who was about to be ordained on July 12th as the newest priest to our Eparchy, said: “I wanted to share my gift of music and singing by acting as a cantor for the Episcopal Liturgy. I also wanted to honour the Bishop by sharing my talents at tonight’s banquet through several musical performances. I wish his Excellency, many long and blessed years to come!” Curtis Hiebert, one of the faithful from Saskatoon, and father of three teenaged daughters, recalled when he had first met Bishop Bryan. The Bishop had come out to skate with the students from Bishop Filevich Ukrainian Bilingual School at their rink. Bishop Bryan “broke the ice” with Hiebert through cracking jokes and making pleasant conversation. Hiebert appreciated Bishop Bryan’s sense of humour and modesty, and how comfortable the Bishop was interacting with everyone in the informal setting.
Representing the Eparchial Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada and the Eparchial Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada were Bernie and Marlene Bodnar. They presented Bishop Bryan with an interactive anniversary card, using chocolate bars to illustrate their humorous anniversary message. Eparchial Youth Ministry Director, Viktoriia Marko, presented a video of children and youth speaking about Bishop Bryan and his influence, as well as the student body from Bishop Filevich School singing “Mnohaya lita” for the occasion. The most popular comment from the Eparchy’s youth was about Bishop Bryan’s laugh. One person even commented that she was once on an airplane flight, unaware that Bishop Bryan was also on the same flight, until she heard his laugh.
Representing the Knights of Columbus, of which Bishop Bryan is State Chaplain, was State Deputy Brian Schatz. Speaking warmly of Bishop Bryan, he said: “his laughter, his presence… he fills a room when he comes in.” Donna Sapieha, Bishop Bryan’s sister, led everyone through a timeline of Bishop Bryan’s life. She presented a slideshow, showing pictures from the Bishop’s youthful days, and then throughout his priestly ministry, including his Episcopal Ordination and his ten years as Bishop.
Very Rev. Janko Kolosnjaji, Deacon Vasyl and Alla Tymishak and Mykola and Andrea Karnaukh, with their quartet “Oremus”, added to the evening celebration by singing a number of musical selections.
The evening concluded with Bishop Bryan’s closing remarks, thanking everyone for participating in the evening’s celebration, especially those who helped prepare the evening’s festivities. Bishop Bryan explained that the evening reminded him of how life is a hall of mirrors. “What you see in someone else is what’s in you; what you say about someone else is the way you are thinking about them.” Bishop Bryan recognized how everyone’s speeches about his ministry also reflected God’s presence in their own lives.
This theme was carried throughout Bishop’s message: “If you don’t recognize Christ in someone else, you are missing Christ in yourself.” It is Bishop Bryan’s desire that each one of us become attuned to hearing and responding to God’s call in our own lives, encouraging us to continue to build our relationships, especially with fellow members of the Eparchy.
“Practice the presence of Christ: in the Eparchy, in your parish, in your home, in your family, in your own life – in your marriage, in your relationship with your kids, in relationship with your parents, with your aunt, your uncle, your extended family. Practice the presence of Christ. See Christ in yourself, called forth when you have to be really, really merciful or forgiving.”
This anniversary celebration honoured our Bishop and our whole community. Growing closer to Christ, our Eparchy looks forward to a bright future through the efforts of our Vibrant Parishes and Eparchial Ministries. Many Long and Happy Years to Bishop Bryan and to our Eparchy!
This sold out banquet was organized by the Eparchial Pastoral Council (EPC) and was made possible through the work of many volunteers.
A livestream of the Episcopal Divine Liturgy is available to watch on the Eparchy’s Facebook page. You can find it here.
Thank you to All
from Bishop Bryan Bayda, CSsR
for 10th Anniversary Celebration of Episcopal Ordination
THANK YOU ALL!
I would like to thank the Eparchial Pastoral Council, the faithful and all the parishioners at St. George’s Cathedral for the wonderful gathering that was held in my honour in June to mark my 10th anniversary of ordination as a bishop. Their hard work and gifts of time and talent as well as treasure is a testament to their love for the church and for God. Likewise, the other communities and parishes that held a lunch or small gathering, brief mention or event of any nature to mark the same was greatly appreciated.
I pray that your prayers for me during the Divine Liturgy and at other times will give me the humility and strength to trust in God, to hear the promptings of the Holy Spirit and courage to be a faithful shepherd for the Eparchy over the next twenty years.
Slideshow from Episcopal Divine Liturgy – June 23, 2018
Photo credit: Linden S. Predy
Slideshow from Banquet Reception – June 23, 2018
Photo credit: Linden S. Predy
Encountering the Living Presence of Jesus:
Bishop Bryan sees 10th Anniversary
as a Journey of Missionary Discipleship
Kyla B. Predy ‖ Photo Credit: Linden S. Predy
Saskatoon, SK — On Saturday, June 23, 2018, our Eparchy will be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Episcopal Ordination of His Excellency Bishop Bryan Bayda, CSsR. The evening will include an Episcopal Divine Liturgy at 5:00 (Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral of St. George, Saskatoon), cocktails at 6:30 and a Banquet at 7:00 (St. George’s Cathedral church auditorium). Information on where to get your tickets will be included at the bottom of this article.
In honour of this occasion, I was granted the opportunity to interview His Excellency about his time in office. We had a rich conversation. While Bishop Bryan spoke about his experience in the office, he emphasised the importance of encountering the living Jesus to his ministry. Particularly, it is through encountering the presence of God that his vocation of Bishop and missionary discipleship can be lived out.
We began the interview by discussing when he had first heard that he would be made a Bishop. The seat of the Bishop was something Bishop Bryan never expected to be a part of his vocation story. When he discovered the news, he felt “some disbelief, panic… spiritual soberness, and then resign.” His episcopal ordination took place on the 27th of June 2008, in Saskatoon, at theUkrainian Catholic Cathedral of St. George.
Bishop Bryan shared what he has found most difficult since his episcopal ordination. “I thought there would be a… a routine throughout the year of busy moments and slower, and less stressful times, but to my surprise there has been steady pressure. The image I have is of a water dam that may through different seasons be full or partially empty, yet the water that streams from the dam is constant. The pressure is constant.”
Even through this pressure, Bishop Bryan expressed gratitude for his time in the Eparchial office. During the last ten years “many in the Eparchy have come to be moved by the Holy Spirit: to have an Eparchial Appeal, a forum on Stewardship, to re-evaluate the decisions we have to make as an Eparchy for the next ten to fifteen years,” Bishop Bryan explained. “I think the Holy Spirit has been preparing the people for change, for which I just happen to be in the office at the time of.”
Much has changed for Bishop Bryan. He spoke of the “awesome responsibility of, you know, shepherding spiritually.” Since becoming the Bishop he has had to alter his approach to answering questions asked of him, whether they were spiritual, catechetical, or pastoral. As priest, he would answer from where his head and heart were. Now Bishop Bryan reminds himself that people may and will perceive his answers as a “well thought-out, deliberate saying, teaching pronouncement [or even as an] expression of faith.” In both the need to speak mindfully of his role, and with constant fidelity to the Church, Bishop Bryan appreciates the importance of prayer to speaking with spiritual disposition.