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Walking through 113 years of local history

Remembering the long-term impacts of the pioneer families at the Mamornytsya (Mamornitz) annual feast day celebration.

CANORA - On Aug. 27, 2023, worshippers, who gathered at the Mamornytsya (Mamornitz) annual feast day celebration of their patron saint, the Dormition of the Holy Mother of God, walked through 113 years of history on the cemetery, reading the weather beaten inscriptions and remembering. The annual Khram celebration brings to life the stories of many Bukovynian pioneer families buried in this cemetery, whose lives impacted the community and the world around them. The cemetery is a sacred place, where grief turns into positive memories.

Many Bukovynian families from the first wave of immigration to Canada in 1897 are buried here: Baduiks, Bilans, Chobotars, Dutchaks, Dwernychuks, Gulutzans, Kitzans, Kushneriuks, Moodreys, Olynyks, Unicks, Zbitnews and 80 other families, whose names are all listed alphabetically in my 100th anniversary book. Among them were the contributions of the founders, builders, church fathers, land-donors (Forstey and Drozdiuk), presidents, trustees, treasurers, palamars, cantors (founder Ilash Franko), school teachers (Hupka), military (Gulutzan), dentist (Olinyk), musicians, young victims of the 1921-23 flu epidemic and many children. All are remembered on this special day. As of recently, two cremated remains from Vancouver, descendants of pioneers, were interred in this pioneer cemetery. Anyone who comes to Mamornytsya can find a special connection to themselves.

This year's Khram was celebrated by Rev. Taras Udod of Winnipeg, son of the late Rev. Hryhoryi Udod, who served this parish in 1992. The liturgical singing was conducted by Zenoviya Dukh and the tradition of bell ringing was undertaken by a young students.

Three Dutchak girls – Danielle, Madison and Hannah – rang the bells. Graves are blessed. Water is blessed outside. Then the congregation follows the priest and the cross bearer

The service culminated with a lavish banquet dinner and a program in the school-church hall.

This is what makes Mamornytsya special and worth celebrating. It's a place of community and connection; a place we can all be proud of.

One of the visitors at the ceremony commented, “We were blessed to be part of this celebration and to experience how committed and faithful members are as shown by the meticulous care in which the church and grounds are maintained.”

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