December 9, 2017

Winnipeg bids farewell to a long-serving Deacon and Ukrainian community enthusiast

Deacon Myroslaw Tracz died unexpectedly on December 5, 2017 at Health Sciences Centre. He was surrounded by family and friends. Father Taras Kowch, Hospital Chaplain and Father Edward Kwiatkowski, from Holy Eucharist Parish with which Deacon Myroslaw was associated, were able to bless Deacon Tracz with the Holy Mysteries of the Church before his passing.

The funeral Parastas was prayed at Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Parish church in Winnipeg's East Kildonan. Metropolitan Lawrence Huculak was the main celebrant, although a number of other clergy were also in attendance. The lead Cantor was Walter Dudych. Deacon Myroslaw's family and many parishioners and others from the Winnipeg's Ukrainian community were in attendance.

Korban Funeral Chapel handled all the funeral arrangements with Deacon's family.

This is the obituary from the Korban Chapel website….

Deacon Myroslaw Tracz was born in Rybnecke, Ukraine, in 1942. His family fled the advancing Soviet Red Army in 1944 to a displaced persons' camp in Regensburg, Germany, and then to New York City in 1950, living near St. George's Ukrainian Catholic Church in the Lower East Side. Pursuing his spiritual vocation, Myroslaw entered St. Basil's College Seminary, training for the priesthood.

While on the bus to his summer job as head bartender at Soyuzivka, a Ukrainian resort in the Catskills, he met a young lady named Orysia Paszczak, who had just finished her sophomore year at George Washington University. They started talking, and really never stopped. As the story goes, Orysia never visited the bar prior to his arrival at Soyuzivka - however, she did once he was there, and as they say, the rest is history. After soul searching as a VISTA volunteer in Cannonball, North Dakota, Myroslaw decided to leave the seminary. Orysia and Myroslaw wed in 1967 at Soyuzivka - married by future patriarch Father Lubomyr Husar. They returned to the Dakotas together.

In 1968, Myroslaw and Orysia moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba, eager to join its active Ukrainian cultural community. After establishing their family home in the North End on Machray Avenue, they welcomed their three sons, Boyan, Dobryan and Ruslan. As a family, they actively participated in and contributed to their community. Myroslaw was ordained a deacon, the first married deacon in the Archeparchy.

After a brief stint in the art world, Myroslaw was active in political life throughout the 80s and 90s, running campaigns and participating both provincially and federally. Continuing with his interests, from the 90s and well into the 2000s, Myroslaw had the opportunity to observe elections throughout the world, making many friends and sharing his knowledge and experience. His observation missions took him to a number of conflict and former conflict zones, such as the Balkans, the Caucusus, Central Asia, Cambodia, Zimbabwe, and many others.

A private man, he maintained a strong connection to his faith throughout his life and contemplated additional religious studies later in life. Those that encountered him felt his spiritual, peaceful, and philosophical nature along with his unique sense of humour, his humbleness, and unfailing sense of honour. His devotion to his faith and family was his driving force.

Myroslaw passed away suddenly and peacefully on December 5, 2017, at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg.

He joins his Orysia, who passed in 2016, in spiritual peace. He also follows his mother Anastasia (nee Jaszczyszyn), father Ivan (John), and brother Mykhailo into eternal memory. Boyan (Heather), Dobryan (Khrystia), and Ruslan (Olesia) would like to thank the Winnipeg Fire and Paramedic Services, the staff at St. Mary the Protectress Villa, the incredible nurses, doctors, and staff at the HSC, and Father Taras Kowch and Father Edward Kwiatkowski for administering last rites.

A memorial service will be held at Holy Eucharist Parish, 505 Watt Street, Winnipeg, on Saturday, December 9, 2017, at 3:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Oseredok: Ukrainian Cultural and Education Centre, 184 Alexander Ave., Winnipeg MB, R3B 0L6.

"I tried to go through this life and not hurt anyone and see if I could do some good. This was not always possible due to my own human weakness and oversights. To these that I may have hurt overtly or through not seeing - please forgive me. To others please remember me with a good and quiet word." MT




Deacon Myroslaw and Orysia Tracz were very active in parish life at Holy Eucharist Parish. Aside from attending Sunday and Feast-day Liturgies, they participated in most parish events. They both offered tours of the Church for a few years with the City of Winnipeg's annual Doors Open event (for which the parish won prizes two years in a row!). Deacon always gladly assisted with the Sunday services for which the clergy and all the parishioners were very grateful. He will be missed in many circles around the city, but certainly the Holy Eucharist Ukrainian Catholic Parish already feels their loss of this colourful, happy and dedicated man.

The Winnipeg Free Press Obituary Column

View More News