At Unity 2014 we bring you some of the most educated and best speakers on the Ukrainian Catholic faith from across Canada.
Facilitator: Fr. Slavko Dumec. Born and raised in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Finished Minor and Major Seminary in Rome. Came to Canada in 1996 and married the love and friend of his childhood. Ordained as Ukrainian Catholic Priest in 2000 and served Lakeland District, Camrose District and currently serves Redwater District. Fr. Slavko has three children and loves his family and parishes.
Keynote: Fr. Stephen Wojcichowsky. Father Stephen was born and raised in Montreal. He was educated at the following post-secondary institutions: Loyola of Montreal (B.A. in Political Science; post-B.A. diploma in Theology); University of St. Michael’s College, Toronto (M.A. in Theology); University of Toronto Faculty of Education (Bachelor of Education); John XXIII Institute of Eastern Christian Studies; Maryknoll Seminary, Fordham, N.Y. (M.A. in Eastern Christian Theology); Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario (Certificate in Teacher Librarianship); and Saint Paul University, Ottawa (Licentiate in Sacred Theology, Eastern Christian Studies)
Since 1975, Father Stephen has been a teacher, principal and consultant in the Catholic school systems of Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta. He was the Director of Religious Education Services for the Edmonton Catholic School District from 1999 to 2007. Most recently he completed two three-year terms as the Director of the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies at Saint Paul University in Ottawa.
Over this same period, he has been active in parish ministry as a Ukrainian Catholic deacon, assistant priest and pastor in the eparchies of Toronto, New Westminster and Edmonton. Since September 2013, he has been serving the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Edmonton as Chancellor and Vicar General.
Father Stephen has led retreats, given talks and served on local and national committees in the areas of Catholic Education, Eastern Christian spirituality, ecumenism, the role of the laity, and youth ministry. He has been a lecturer at Concordia College, Edmonton, in the field of Religious Education. He has also lectured at Newman Theological College, Edmonton, in the areas of Religious Education and Eastern Christianity. Most recently he taught several courses at the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute
Father Stephen is married to Maria (née Jakimowicz). Together they have three children and six grandchildren.
Carol and Eric Batty. Eric immigrated to Canada at the age of 19. He spent time in several cities either being educated or working. Fate (or actually a wedding) introduced him to his future wife Carol, a practicing Ukrainian Catholic. Would love be enough for a non-believer and a faith-filled individu-al? We welcome you to follow a story of strength, un-derstanding, three children, and a lot of fun along the way.
Bishop Bryan Bayda. Born on his mother’s birthday August 21, 1961 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Bryan became the third of six children that God entrusted to his parents Joseph and Florence Bayda. He attended Bishop Murray Elementary School in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan and high school at St. Vladimir’s College Minor Seminary in Roblin, Manitoba. The minor seminary, served by the Ukrainian Catholic Redemptorists, played an important role in nurturing his prayer life, Eastern spirituality and love for the performing arts of his Ukrainian heritage.
His post secondary education includes a 1982 BA from U of Toronto; 1987 M.Div. from U of Toronto St. Michael’s College; 1990 B.Ed. from U of Manitoba; and 1997 Eastern Theology Diploma from Metropolitan Andrew Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies. He professed perpetual vows as a Redemptorist in 1986, was ordained a priest May 30, 1987 and served in parishes, taught high school, did pastoral ministry, played an active role in various church youth activities including retreats, eparchial summer camps, five World Youth Day Pilgrimages and Youth For Christ Rallies.
On May 2, 2008 Pope Benedict XIV appointed him as Bishop of the Eparchy of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan for Ukrainian Catholics and he was ordained bishop on June 27, 2008. He currently serves on the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishop’s Doctrine Commission and Bishop Bryan still enjoys activities such as scuba diving, playing guitar and card games, and the occasional round of golf.
Sr. Zoe Bernatsky. Sr. Zoe Bernatsky, SSMI holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the University of Saskatchewan, a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from the University of Toronto, a Master’s in Theological Studies, and a Licentiate and Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, CA. She is presently a professor of Pastoral Theology at Newman College in Edmonton, AB.
Kim Bombak. Kim hates writing bios. She asked her husband, soon-to-be-deacon, Mike, to write this for her and he refused or forgot. Either way she is now pondering her existence while watching her three children play jedi knight/princess unicorn/baby ladybug and jumping of the back of the couch.
Kim grew up in an agnostic, Scottish home in northern British Columbia. She once told her high school friend that she was crazy for praying to a block of wood with a picture on it. How ironic that Kim has now gone on to write 13 icons and assist with dozens more under the instruction of Masters Iconographers.
Kim currently resides between Edmonton and Ottawa, where her husband and family receive formation from Holy Spirit Seminary in the hopes that Mike will one day be a priest. She is most often found homeschooling her children and chasing her friends and family around with essential oils…but when she has time she dreams of writing icons.
Deborah Larmour. Deborah Larmour is the Director of the Family and Life Office for the Eparchy of Saskatchewan. She is married to Don and they have six children (ages 26-15). Deborah has a degree in Law from the University of Saskatchewan and practiced law for about 10 years between staying home to raise her children. She has a passion for St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body and that passion has prompted her to complete her Honours degree in Philosophy in order to understand JPII’s philosophy and for the past 5 years she has been a Certification Student with the Theology of the Body Institute in Philadelphia. She is also a student of the Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies. Besides being a perpetual student and advocate for family and life, Deborah really enjoys spending time with her husband and kids watching movies so she is really excited to explore how we can get closer to God and the meaning of life at the movies.
Jess Lastiwka. Jessalyn Lastiwka is a cradle Ukr Cath born and raised in Sherwood Park. She has a love of learning and thus has been going to school, as a teacher or student, for 29 years. She first obtained a degree in Environmental and Conservational Science and immediately after that lived for one year at “ Welcome Home”, a mission of the Ukr. Catholic Redemptorists in Winnepeg. Jessalyn met her future husband Father Bohdan Nahachewsky at various youth events during this time. Something had begun between the two of them and she followed him to Ottawa where they both studied Theology. They were quickly convinced of God’s plan for them and were married the next summer. God blessed them with 3 children- Theo, Joseph, and Seraphine. In between being a mom and a seminarian /Deacon/priest’s wife Jess was able to complete a Bachelor of Theology degree in Eastern Christian Studies.
The family was stationed in Lloydminster for the past 10 years. There Jessalyn taught music lessons to young children and subsequently decided to pursue teaching. She completed a Bachelor of Education degree in 2011 and has been teaching elementary school ever since. They moved to Calgary this past summer and are now serving at St Stephen’s Parish.
Bishop David Motiuk. Bishop David was born in Vegreville, Alberta. In the 1980s, he specialized in computer science and business applications at the University of Alberta. In 1984, he began his seminary studies at Holy Spirit Seminary in Ottawa, graduating from Saint Paul University with a Bachelor Degree in Theology and a Masters and Licentiate in Canon Law. In 1996, he received a doctorate in Canon Law at the Pontifical Institute of Eastern Studies in Rome. He was in charge of the formation of future priests for the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada at Holy Spirit Seminary in Ottawa from 1996-2001. At the same time, he taught at the Faculties of Theology and Canon Law at Saint Paul University and the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute. Following his episcopal ordination in June 2002, he served as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archeparchy of Winnipeg. In January 2007, he was appointed Bishop of the Eparchy of Edmonton.
Fr. Mihajlo Planchak. Father Mihaljo Planchak completed theology studies in Zagreb Croatia from 1973 to 1979. In 1979 he married Helena Rajc and on July 22nd 1979 he was ordained to priesthood. For ten years he served as a pastor in Devetina, Bosnia. In 1989 with Helena and four children Alexander, Roman, Irene, and Olya moved to the Edmonton Eparchy. He served the Carvel district and Camrose district. In 1999 he was appointed to rector at St. Josephat Cathedral were he served for ten years. From 2009 he served for three years at St. Vladimir Parish and now is serving Holy Eucharist And Protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary. His Son Alexander died 1990. Roman is married and has three children, and on May 1st 2010 was ordained to priest hood by Bishop David. Irene got married July 26th 2014 and Olya got married on June 21st 2008 and has one child.
Sr. Emily Schietzsch, SSMI. I was born and raised in Edmonton, AB. I joined the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate in September of 2010 and currently reside in the Provincial House in Toronto. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Theology. I enjoy alpine skiing, walking and serving the disabled, the need and the frail.
Tobias Underwood: Born and raised in Calgary, Tobias is the youngest of three children with two older sisters. He is a proud Canadian and Albertan. One of Tobias’ greatest accomplishment is having walked 775 kilometres on the Way of St. James in Spain in the spring of this year. Tobias has also hung out with the monks on Mount Athos and walked and prayed in monasteries from the fifth century. He is excited as he continues his discernment of God’s call for him. He is currently working for the Eparchy of Edmonton. Tobias has recently completed the academic portion of his seminary training. He has a BA in Philosophy and History from Concordia University College (Edmonton), and a Bachelor of Theology in Eastern Christian Studies (St. Paul University and Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky Institute of Eastern Christian Studies). He has a passion for history (and her’s).
Fr. Daniel Wach, OSBM. Fr. Daniel Wach, OSBM was born and raised in Winnipeg. He received bachelor degrees in: agriculture (Manitoba), philosophy (Rome) and Theology (Rome). He has been a member of the order of St. Basil the Great for 37 years and has served as a priest for 30 years in Western Canada. He has a great love for study-ing and teaching the sacred scriptures and spending a day in a “poustenia” (hermitage) in the woods of the Mundare farm. Currently he is the director of the Basili-an Fathers House of Studies in Edmonton and the pastor of the Ukrainian Catholic Parishes in the Lamont district.