The recent feast of The Mother of God of Perpetual Help presented the perfect opportunity to unofficially kick off the 2016 Year of Jubilee celebration. Our own Br. Dan Korn crossed the border into Canada to conduct an Icon Mission Pilgrimage for the Ukrainian Redemptorists in the Yorkton Province.
“Our common heritage in The Mother of God of Perpetual Help unites the entire Redemptorist world,” Br. Dan said. “The Icon Mission Pilgrimage was an opportunity to foster collaboration between the Denver and Yorkton provinces, as well as between us in the Roman Rite and our brothers in the Byzantine Rite.”
Fr. Dmytro Dnistrain, C.Ss.R., pastor of Saints Peter & Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Saskatoon, and Fr. Peter Pidskalny, C.Ss.R., pastor of St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Yorkton, initially suggested that the Yorkton Province invite Br. Dan to share his knowledge of the Icon. Br. Dan preached on praying and experiencing the spirituality contained in the iconography of the Icon in three parishes in three different cities. His mission ended on June 27, the Feast of The Mother of God of Perpetual Help. The Ukrainians celebrate the Divine Liturgy in a very reverent and beautiful Byzantine tradition,” he said. “References to the Mother of God are common throughout the celebration, which is marked by the liberal use of incense and an abundance of chanting and singing.”
The Icon Mission Pilgrimage began at Saints Peter & Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Saskatoon. Br. Dan gave the sermon at the weekend liturgies and was invited to preach three sermons on the Icon during the “Acafist Hymn to The Mother of God of Perpetual Help” in preparation for her feast day. He also gave talks on reading and praying the Icon to the Confraternity of The Mother of God of Perpetual Help in Saskatoon.
Br. Dan joined the annual “Vidpust” pilgrimage – four days of special prayers and liturgies – on the theme of “The Mother of God of Perpetual Help” at St. Mary’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Yorkton, SK. He gave the sermon during the “Moleben Prayer to the Mother of God” one evening and the “Moleben Prayer to Our Lord” the second evening, as well as preached during the Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning and during the weekend liturgies. Br. Dan’s pilgrimage culminated on June 27 at St. Joseph Ukrainian Church & Blessed Velychkovsky Martyr’s Shrine in Winnipeg. He gave sermons during the morning and evening liturgies, as well as the “Moleben of Blessed Vasyl” and the “Acafist Hymn in honor of Blessed Vasyl” prayers.
“It was an honor to celebrate such an important feast day in the rich Byzantine tradition,” Br. Dan said. “I encourage everyone to start incorporating celebrations to The Mother of God of Perpetual Help in their ministries now, in preparation for the 2016 Year of Jubilee.”
Photography by Ivan Dzhur