Sacred Space

Presentation on the 100th Anniversary of Blessed Virgin Mary Ukrainian Catholic Church, Rossdale, Manitoba (2014) When we stand in our church building, we are in a sacred space. But what does that mean? All of God’s creation is supposed to be in some sense sacred, so what makes this place different? Isn’t God everywhere, you […]

The Family Altar: Establishing a Place of Prayer

As a young junior high school student, I wasn’t fast enough to run most track and field events. But one event I could participate in was the relay race.

A large part of our training was concerned with handing off the baton. The idea was to sprint as fast as you could to the next runner on your team. His job was to meet you about fifteen yards before the hand-off and run with you, being careful to match your pace exactly. In this way, you didn’t have to stop to hand him the baton; you could continue the race without losing momentum. If everything went smoothly, the baton was passed from one hand to the next and the race progressed.

The hand-off was the single most important part of the race. Not that it was that difficult, mind you; it just led to the worst of consequences if it wasn’t managed properly. The running part was easy. You simply did your best and that was that. But the hand-off had to be conducted with care lest – horror of horrors – you dropped the baton and thereby cost your team precious time and probably the race as well.

The Iconostasis and the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada

For over one hundred years Ukrainian Catholics in Canada have been coming to their churches to pray before God, to listen to his Word, and to receive the Lord Jesus through the gifts of the Holy Eucharist. With the human eye we see only bread and wine. But with the eyes of faith we see the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. The icons, especially on the iconostasis, focus our attention on the sanctuary—the place where God resides—and help us see and understand more readily this great mystery of God’s love for us.


St Gregory of Nazlanzus sums up the Eastern Christian view of Christmas in his famous statement that the Nativity of Christ “is not a festival of creation but a festival of recreation.” The birth of Christ, although a historical event, is not an end but a means to the renewal, sanctification, and recreation of the […]