Glory be to Jesus Christ!
My name is Sarah Buchko and I would like to say Hi to you all! I am your fearless new Youth and Young Adult Minister for the Eparchy of Saskatoon.
At the moment I am taking over the Eparchial Youth Ministry blog and will begin to post weekly updates on upcoming events in the province, Canada and the world for Ukrainian Catholic Youth and Young Adults.
I apologize for not starting sooner. Technically I accepted the position in January so I should have started blogging then. However, I also accepted a position teaching Kindergarten at one of the Catholic Elementary Schools in Saskatoon. This lasted for 3 1/2 months and came to an end in April.
What has been happening in Youth and Young adult ministry in 2015 you may ask? Well I could tell you or I could show you.
January I spent a lot of time settling in and meeting with people. It was the time where I realized there are so many amazing Ukrainian Catholics that want to support and me in my Youth and Young Adult ministry endeavours.
In February we had our traditional Winter retreat in Prince Albert titled “UCYC Melt My Heart retreat” with Deborah Larmour as speaker on Theology of the Body and Fr.Ivan Nahachewsky as the host.
We enjoyed many fun activities including a candy heart competition, sledding and snowboarding at Little Red River and playing cards to escape from the cold. My favourite part was building relationships with the Young Adults who attended the retreat.
In March I took part in part two of SOBOR which was title The Vibrant Parish: SOBOR in Action. Many clergy, parishioners and religious life attended the SOBOR at BJM High school where Deborah Larmour and I were able to speak on our ministries. Deborah, from the Family and Life Office.
In March we also had a retreat to St.Peter’s Abbey in Meunster. I drove with Fr.Taras and Ivan Simko to have a tour with Fr.Demetrius. Lisa also joined us for the tour which ended with feeding the chickadees. This retreat was very peaceful and I felt close to nature. It reminded me of the prayer from St.Francis and the part that says:
“For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”
In April we started a WYD committee for the Eparchy of Saskatoon. This includes Daniel McCoshen-Webmaster, Erika Rybinski-Secretary, Alix Zello-Vice President, and Sarah Buchko-President. In June Matthew Lashyn accepted the role of treasurer for our committee.
There have also been many Skype meetings between the Youth Ministers in each respective province including Millie Schietzsch (AB), Tamara Belsham Lisowski (MB), Mykhailo Ozorovych (BC) and recently Larissa Samborsky (ON). There has been a lot of planning and conversation regarding World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland for 2016. We plan on flying into Lviv, Ukraine prior to World Youth Day on July 12-14th. We will drive to Zarvanytsia on July 15-17th where we will be greeted by at least one hundred thousand Ukrainian Catholic Youth and Young Adults! On July 18th we plan on travelling for the Days of the Eparchy (July 18-23rd) and then proceed to the World Youth Day in Krakow (July 24-31st). There are a few sights we’d like to see in Poland including the Salt Mines in Wieliczka and the concentration camp in Auschwitz. If you are ages 18-35 as of July 12th 2016 and are interested in traveling to WYD then please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
In May we had a Young Adults spring retreat in Regina called “Spring Forth into Christ” at St.Basil’s Ukrainian Catholic Church. It was a small retreat with 4 that attended, but we had amazing group discussions and bonded well as a group. I was pleased to have Lesia Lazurko and her family help host the retreat at the Rectory. Lesia presented on “What is holding you back?” I found out our society there are many things that hold us back from our faith with Jesus Christ. I really enjoyed Braden Kutz, the Youth Minister from the Roman Catholic Church in Regina, who spoke from his own experience in what is holding him back. This involves listening to the voice of God leading us out of danger. We replicated this message by doing a blindfold activity where we had to listen to the other people in order to avoid the bursting water balloons!
Bishop Bryan was able to come to the retreat as he was attending his annual visit to the parishes in Regina. We were also able to meet with Fr.Basil, his wife Angela and Stephanie Royal as well. I will be returning to Regina on Sept.13th at St.Athanasius to speak after the Divine Liturgy about my role as Youth Minister in the Eparchy. If you are around I hope to see you there!
P.S. I’m the one in the yellow.
In May I also attended Jay and Sophia’s wedding in Winnipeg. It was good to see my friends from SERVE 2011 including James Hoffman. It was such a wonderful tradition Ukrainian Wedding! I absolutely loved the wine bottles that say “This used to be water” in reference to the Wedding of Cana. I also was able to meet with Tamara Belsham Lisowski and discuss more on WYD matters. We also had some fun taking pictures at the photo booth. Luckily Tamara still has the photo so it cannot be posted.
I also can’t forget Paintballing towards the end of May! I had a great time with an athletic group of Young Adults. Unfortunately my team didn’t win but we put in our best effort! I was happy to simply survive without too many paintball welts on my arms. I especially enjoyed lunch at Montana’s after and Matthew Lashyn’s brother telling the waitress it was his birthday.
June was full of different Youth and Young Adult events. It started off with the Layformation graduation in Saskatoon. I’m was proud some Ukrianian Catholic Young Adults graduate including Tyler Woloshyn, Mitchell Smith, Kalyn Smith, David Rybinski, Amy Rybinski and Lubomyra Zorniak graduate this year from the program. It was a month full of graduations! I would like to congratulate all of those who graduated this year whether it be from Grade 8, Grade 12 or post secondary program. It was only one year ago that I graduated from Education so I know the excitement and hope that comes from completing a task!
I also was able to celebrate with a courageous young girl who raised 1100 dollars for Cancer at the Relay for Life and shaved her head! Go Page! True beauty shines from within.
Two other events in June included a fundraiser breakfast for the World Youth Day pilgrims and a Movie night at the Chancery. I enjoyed selling french toast, sausage, fruit, coffee, tea and juice. Fundraising is a major way to offset the cost for those pilgrims travelling to World Youth Day. As a university student it was always hard to come up with funds to go on trips. The fundraiser was an overall success and we made a good profit. This is the first but not the last fundraiser!
Erika certainly puts the crack in Krakow as she helps crack eggs for the french toast!
The Movie night at the chancery was also a great success. Many Junior Youth came out to the event. We had popcorn and treats while we watched “The Giver.” I realized it was hard for Junior Youth and their parents to come to Saskatoon so I have sent a package some of the Deaneries including Prince Albert and Regina so that you may also have your own Movie night. This package includes discussion questions as well as Catechesis for Junior Youth regarding Theology of the Body. It also deals with issues such as Euthanasia and Abortion. This movie asks us to look beyond what we see and to see the World as Christ has modelled for us.
In July I had the amazing opportunity to receive training in Youth Ministry. I attended a seminar at St.Thomas Moore in Saskatoon with WCACYM which stands for Western Canadian Association of Catholic Youth Ministers. Millie, Tamara and David were able to join for the banquet on Saturday evening and witness an wonderful talent show. I was able to show my gift of playing the French Horn in the chapel at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit. It wasn’t until right before I played “Ave Maria” that I would be playing in front of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It was a truly special moment for me and for others who were able to witness to the gift of the Holy Spirit. I also was able to make many new Youth Ministers who became friends and collaborators.
July I was also in Prince Albert not once but twice! I was able to have supper with some Youth and Young Adults and share in some delicious chocolaty goodness with Stephaan Salahub and his brother Jeremy as well as Kailey Pochipinski. The second time I went on a Road trip with Nina Nahachewsky to see a work party with our friend Kailey. One thing I love about road trips is the scenery. Saskatchewan has such beautiful lakes and ever changing sky. That is probably why we are called Land of the Living Skies! It was a great bonding experience with Kailey and Nina as I was able to get to know them better and share an experience with them.
We’ve made it to August! This month has been a little slower for Youth Ministry events as many Young Adults are working and getting ready for school. One event that is coming up on August 22nd is Ukrainian Day in the Park. We have our very own Eparchial booth where we will be selling delicious treats. I hope you will come by tomorrow rain or shine between 11am-7pm! There will also be hot chocolate if you need to warm up at our booth.
Volunteers are most welcome. The proceeds from our booth go towards our World Youth Day pilgrims and Cana Family retreat. Teresa, Madi, Page, Sydney and I have been working diligently to prepare for this event. This week we made 516 candy skewers! I enjoyed spending time with the girls and making these sweet treats. TokenPost
Looking ahead….Saskatchewan is hosting Unity 2017!
Therefore, we will be having a Visioning Retreat this September 4-6th at Queen’s House to plan the next Unity. Please save this date in your calendars. All Young Adults, clergy, spiritual orders and parishioners are welcome! You can be as Young as 16 for this Visioning retreat as Unity will be two years from now. The age for Young Adults is 18-35. I am hoping you will all attend. SavetheDateSarah Vis.Ret.Itinerary2015
That is all for now!