The annual Pilgrimage to the grotto shrine at Cooks Creek

August 20, 2013

The 2013 Dormition Pilgrimage to Cooks Creek was as inspirational as ever for those who attended.

The Friday evening program included a procession to the Grotto led by the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada under the direction of the Archeparchial President Pat Sirski and her executive. Many Branches from across Manitoba were represented. The bells rang out across the land as they walked to the shrine grotto bearing the UCWL banners of each of their branches. At the great grotto, built by the late servant of God Fr. Philip Ruh, OMI, the UCWL led a Rosary – praying the Luminous Mysteries in English and Ukrainian. This was followed by a Divine Liturgy celebrated by the Shrine Rector, Fr. Taras Kowch and other clergy. Hospital chaplain and parish priest - Fr. Ivan Mostivskyj preached the Homily. Other priests, heard confessions during this time. The evening concluded with a candlelight Akafist in honour of the Mother of God. Among the singers, leading the Liturgy and Akafist were Lubov Foundation director Lesia Sianchuk and Walter Dudych.

The Saturday program was very similar, but beginning with a Way of the Cross at 4:00 PM.

Sunday was a beautiful day as the pilgrimage concluded. Okay, it poured rain for some of the morning as lightning flashed and thunder roared overhead, but it totally cleared up during the major Divine Liturgy. The service had to be held indoors at the “Prairie Cathedral” next to the grotto and the lunch was held downstairs rather than out on the lawn (although some did go out). t Monsignor Michael Buyachok, rector of Winnipeg’s Cathedral was the main celebrant. He also preached the homily. Other clergy attended as concelebrants or confessors. The Ukrainian Catholic Brotherhood of Canada and the Knights of Columbus formed honour guards for the occasion. The choir sang beautifully. It was a day of grace for the entire Archeparchy – especially for those who made the pilgrimage in body or spirit, and especially for those who took advantage of the pilgrimage to begin a new life with the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist.

Fr. Michael Kwiatkowski

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