His Beatitude Cardinal Husar Visits IHMS
By: Natalka Galarnyk

 

On Monday, February 9, 2003, His Beatitude Major Archbishop Luboymyr Husar, the spiritual head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, visited our school. He had originally been scheduled to arrive the previous Friday, but was delayed because of snowstorms in Germany. His plan to visit I.H.M.S that Friday was therefore postponed to Monday afternoon. Those extra few days were definitely worth the wait!

The staff and students of I.H.M.S. were very honoured to have such an important religious figure visit our school. Everyone was nervous and excited on that Monday afternoon as we assembled in the gym to await His Beatitude's arrival. Then, just before 1:30, a big black limousine pulled up on Flora Avenue, and the Cardinal entered the school with his entourage. His entourage included His Grace Metropolitan Michael Bzdel CSsR from the Ukrainian Catholic Archeparchy of Winnipeg; Bishop Michael Wiwchar CSsR from the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon; Bishop Severian Yakymyshyn OSBM from the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of New Westminster; Very Rev. Father Ken Nowakowski from the Holy Spirit Ukrainian Catholic Seminary in Ottawa; Very Rev. Michael Winn; and Father Athanasius McVay, our school chaplain. 

 

 

Sister Anne Pidskalny SSMI, our school's director and kindergarten teacher, welcomed His Beatitude to our school and asked Our Lord to bless him with the graces necessary to head our church and people just as Christ Himself would lead them.

The entire student body sang several songs, after which two of our students, Ariadna Dlugosh (grade 8, our school president), and Stefan Tkaczyk (grade 6), spoke about how the visit is such a historic event in our school's history. Ariadna presented him with a bouquet of red roses, and Stefan presented him with the traditional Ukrainian welcoming gift of a kolach and salt.

Then, Mr. Picklyk presented His Beatitude with our school yearbook for 2002, as well as a sweater with the IHMS logo embroidered on it, which the Cardinal graciously accepted.

His Beatitude gave us his blessing, and spoke about situations that we could apply to our life. He told us two stories, one long and the other short, where we learned to help and love others in need. He then graciously posed with the entire school population for a group photograph. In this way, we will always be able to remember his visit to our school in 2003.

Throughout the year, we've prayed and continue to pray many times for his Beatitude's health, happiness, and peace. We pray for him during our morning exercises, monthly Divine Liturgies, and special services. We greatly appreciate the time he took out of his busy schedule to visit our school. We will always remember how one of the most important figures in the Ukrainian Catholic Church gave us a spiritual lift by visiting our school.