Walt is pleased to note that "Rebuilding Saint Elias - UPDATE", posted nearly six weeks ago, is getting steady readership. The post consistently ranks in our top 5. Even better, it appears that some of you are being motivated to donate through CanadaHelps.org.
The St. Elias website reports that approximately $75,000 has been received from outside the parish for the rebuilding of this lovely Ukrainian Catholic church, which was completely destroyed by fire just before Easter. Father Roman Galadza, the pastor, writes: "This outpouring of support is most humbling – and it continues.... God bless our friends!"
The latest news is that the stone footings and foundations of the church building have been compromised to the extent that they will all have to be removed. Clearing of the site will take place shortly. This week, Ilya Galadza and a team of helpers will sift through the remains. Those salvaged items no longer able to be used for worship will be set aside and placed in a mohyla-mound on the property. Date and time of the burial service will be announced.
Concerts and other forms of fund-raisers are being planned. Details will be posted on the church website. If you're in the Greater Toronto Area and can attend any of these events, you'll receive a warm welcome. And remember, even if you can do nothing else, you should pray for the parish -- its pastor, its members and its church building -- and for peace, freedom and justice in Ukraine. The prayers of the faithful (at about 38:00) should be listened to carefully.
Today Walt has for you an excellent video of the visit to the church, earlier this month, of Patriarch Sviatoslav. It begins with aerial shots of the church property, the ruins of the building and the marquee in which services are now being held. Total running time is 54 minutes. If you have never heard the beauty of Ukrainian Easter music (much of it sung in English), you'll want to watch all of it! And there's a great aerial shot of the church ruins at the end.