A reflection by Fr Lawrence Farley.
Saturday morning began with a thunderbolt: a dear fellow-priest from my diocese began his phone call to me early that morning with the words, “Did you hear about Fr Alexander?” I had not heard about Fr Alexander Pihach, but soon was informed that he had died suddenly and unexpectedly earlier that day. After travelling to Toronto from Moscow where he served as priest at the Representation Parish of St Catherine’s, and arriving in Toronto very late, he had been picked up at the airport and was eating at the home of a fellow priest in Toronto when he suddenly collapsed afterward on his way to bed and died. He had been lately given a clean bill of health after his cancer treatments, and was looking forward to many more years of fruitful ministry. He was 64.
I was not the only one who felt as if he had been struck by lightning. Fr Alexander (or “Fr Dennis” as he had been known for years) had served as Chancellor in the Canadian diocese for many years, and as Rector of parishes across the country. He was well-known, and even more well-loved.
I met him when I was still an Anglican priest investigating Orthodoxy. I had travelled three hours from northern Saskatchewan to the city of Saskatoon to observe the odd phenomenon of an Orthodox Liturgy being served in English. Dennis was a deacon at the parish there. I had many questions, most of them dumb. I also asked him, “What’s the deal about this ‘jurisdictions thing’?”. He and his priest exchanged a meaningful glance, and then Dennis answered, “The only place to talk about Orthodox jurisdictions is either on your knees or in a bar.” I didn’t understand it then, and could only later appreciate the combination of wit, wisdom, pragmatism and humour that characterized Dennis Pihach. It was a combination that would later help keep many people sane when he served as Chancellor for the diocese through some interesting years to come. Read the rest of this entry »
Following our Great Lent tradition of having joint services of Montreal Orthodox parishes we invite you all to attend the first joint service – Vigil – that will be held on March 1st, Sunday of Orthodoxy at 7.00 pm at the Archangels Michael & Gabriel Romanian Orthodox Church located at 2430 Avenue Charland , Montreal H1Z 1C1 (514-814-4627 Pastor Rev. Father Constantine Ciubotariu).
For any further information please contact Fr. Elie Touma @ 514-668-2734
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
To the honorable Clergy, Venerable Monastics, and Pious Faithful of the Orthodox Church in America,
My Beloved Brethren and Blessed Children in the Lord,
I greet all of you with the joy of the most glorious Feast of the Nativity of Our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ! As Saint Leo the Great reminds us in his sermon on the Nativity, “in adoring the birth of our Savior, we find that we are celebrating the commencement of our own lives, for the birth of Christ is the source of life for the Christian people, and the birthday of the Head is the birthday of the Body.”
Indeed, we rejoice and celebrate on this great day. Yet we must never fail to recall those for whom the earthly sojourn seems to be anything but joyful—the lost and searching and seeking, the lonely and forgotten, the sick and imprisoned and persecuted, the hungry and thirsty, and those who, like the Christ Child, “have no where to lay their heads.” If the birth of Christ is the commencement and source of our lives, then it is not only our duty, but our blessed honor, to share the light of the newborn Christ with those who sit “in the valley of the shadow of death,” thereby revealing the love God so richly and unconditionally pours out on all who would accept it.
one of our oldest and dedicated parishioners Alexander Sharko is presently at the hospital. The Sharko family is precious part of our history as they remember our first church on Cartier street and helped to move to our present cathedral on Papineau. They never ceased to help, donate and contribute to the well-being of our parish, f.ex. the icon of the Saint Blessed Xenia of St. Petersburg was donated by Alexander.
Now Alexander has no family members left to see him in the hospital. He would be happy if anyone from our parish could visit him there. If you have at least half an hour a week to spare, please pass by to see him at:
With the blessing of father Anatoliy we start an online forum for our parishioners.
The main goal of this forum is to give you a way to communicate, to publish different requests of prayers, help or assistance, offers to donate to accept a donation. As members you can create new threads and topics
yourself. You can write in any languages. This forum is under moderation, the registration is obligatory. To join the forum please make yourself familiar with the rules of participation.
We hope that this initiative will help our parishioners to cooperate.
November 11, 1933 – February 19, 2014
It is with heavy heart that we announce the passing of Vera Olshefsky (born Desatnyk) on February 19 at the age of 80 years old. Left to mourn is her loving husband of 62 years Charles, son’s Bill (Joyce) and Tom (Lucie) as well as Baba to Alexandra, Andrei & Elisaveta, along with her brother Walter. Vera was a Baba to many.
Her ability to find the best in everyone was only surpassed by her natural strength as well as her candor in telling it as she saw it. BIG THANKS go out to all of the staff & volunteers at the Montreal General Palliative care facility. They all became an extended part of the family these last few weeks and will be fondly remembered. Vera was a rebel with a cause and she always ensured that her family came first. It is now time to return the favor. Vera’s final resting place will be at the Mount Royal Funeral Complex 1297 Chemin de la Foret, Outremont, Quebec. Visitation will be on Monday February 24 from 4:00 to 9:00PM. Panachida will be at 7:00PM. The service in the Mount Royal Chapel will be on Tuesday February 25 at 11:00AM. Burial & reception will follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate if donations in Vera’s name could be made to the Palliative Care Unit of the Montreal General Hospital.
In 2011 we started our fund-raising to collect funds for the repair of the Cathedral roof. The amount of $50K seemed unrealistic to achieve at that time, though the roof was already in such a critical condition that, unless urgent measures were taken, it could have caused us higher costs in the near future.
The fund-raising has been going on for a year – through our parishioners’ private donations, allocations from parish concerts and other events, as well as dinners organized by the sisterhood. We have managed to collect forty-two thousand dollars and the Church committee made up for the missing sum so the work could start as soon as possible before winter sets in. The much needed roof repair is already in progress and it can be seen from the street by anybody. Apart from this, some routine works are currently on going in the altar to have both the inside of the altar iconostasis and the altar window painted. All these renovations have been made possible by to your kind donations and responsiveness – there is a mite from each of you in the beauty and the safety of the Cathedral.
The Church rector, Father Anatoliy, and the Church committee deeply appreciate your help and thank everybody for the ongoing support!
Dear parishioners and friends of St. Peter and St. Paul Russian Orthodox Cathedral!
Rector of our church archpriest Anatoliy Melnyk and Parish Council are calling on all our parishioners to consider financial assistance with major repairs our church roof needs. The estimated cost of this work is $50,000 CAD and it is to be carried out in several stages during 2011-2012.
To make your donation you have various options available. A collection box has been installed in the church next to the central analogion. You can participate in special collections that will be organized once a month at the end of the Divine Liturgy. You can also pay by cheque made payable to SS. Peter and Paul Russian Orthodox Cathedral (please do not send cash through the mail!). Please do not forget that your donations give you the right for a tax credit.
We greatly appreciate and count on your continuous support!
“Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.” (Luca 6:38)
May the blessings of God rest upon you!
Rector and Parish Council of Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral