Blog Archives

Speaker Spotlight: Carol and Eric Batty & Fr. Daniel Wach, OSBM

Last one, everyone! We are only 3 days away from Unity 2014 and all of here at the Unity 2014 Core Team are super stoked for this fabulous long weekend of events we’ve got planned. Another great reason to register if you haven’t yet (yes, we are still taking registrations): Carol and Eric Batty & Fr. Daniel Wach!

10564886_10204155736154731_1220220021_nWe are very excited to have Carol and Eric with us to give a session on making a marriage work when there is a cultural divide, not only for their personal experience with the Ukrainian Catholic faith, but also because two of their children (Margaret and Catherine) are working on Unity as well. Here’s what they have to say about their session:

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 individual? We welcome you to follow a story of strength, understanding, three children, and a lot of fun along the way.

Sounds like quite the thriller, if you ask me! Speaking of thrillers, I would consider The Bible to be of the same quality, you know, with all the blood and guts and misbehaving going on in it (in the Old Testament anyway). I will admit, however, that’s it’s been tricky for me to really get into the Bible. so it’s a good thing we have Fr. Daniel Wach, OSBM, to give Unity participants some tips on how it was put together and how we can relate to something written thousands of years ago.


As for the man himself, Fr. Daniel writes:

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.
A very learned man, indeed, so no doubt he can shed some light on our most foundational document.
Seriously, folks, we are now counting down with more vigour and anticipation, and I hope you all feel the same.
T-2 days, 21 hours. Eek!
Joyanne 😀

Core Team Spotlight: Robyn Watt

Time for another spotlight on one of our Core Team members. This week? The ever-present Robyn Watt!


Robyn, you show up rain or shine for every core team meeting, so you must have a great deal of love for the work you’re putting into Unity 2014. What is it that make you excited for Unity this August?
I’m excited for a change of pace from everyday work life – a break from my routine to spend several days focusing on faith.

That’s a really great point; I bet a lot of people would love to get away from the real world for a bit to focus on something different. It’s great that you want to use this time developing your faith. Is there anything specifically that you’re looking forward to during this most epic of weekends?
I’m most looking forward to hopefully seeing some familiar faces from Holy Eucharist Church in Toronto at Unity this summer! And hearing Bishop David speak about Pope Francis! And the picnic after Liturgy on Sunday!

Wow, that’s a lot of things to look forward to! Hopefully our team lives up to your expectations. Speaking of the core team, what is your job in planning Unity 2014?
Compiling and editing the Unity program book.

Nice! That’s a really big job but I know you’ll do a wonderful job with the book. Hey, maybe you can sneak your name in there somewhere so that everyone knows that the book was all yours, eh? I’m just kidding. Anyway, do you have any final wisdom for those who are on the fence about attending Unity 2014?
If you’re on the fence about attending, I’d try to convince you to come by telling you that Camrose is a really pretty town (they have a lake with swans!). And that Unity is a great chance to be part of the larger Ukrainian Catholic community in Canada.

Well, there you have it, folks, the lovely Robyn Watt! Stay tuned for our next Core Team Spotlight and Speaker Spotlight, coming soon to a computer near you (well, in front of you would be preferable).

Peace and God Bless,


Speaker Spotlight: Sr. Zoe Bernatsky, SSMI

As I was saying, we have some fabulous speakers lined up for our long weekend during Unity 2014. First up in the Speaker Spotlight: Sr. Zoe Bernatsky, SSMI.


Sr. Zoe will be doing a talk on ethical issues related to reproductive technology. In her own words she says:

The musical “Mamma Mia” presents some modern challenges of mothers, fathers, and daughters!  Sophie hopes to successfully identify her father so that he can walk her down the aisle on her wedding day.  The theology of marriage as presented in the Vatican II document Gaudium et spes embraces the essence of marriage as the mutual love and communion of the spouses.  While this ideal guides our exploration of the ethical issues related to human reproduction, the Catholic tradition also reinforces the importance of a well-informed conscience as a guide for action when we find ourselves in ethically challenging situations. 

Turns out Sr. Zoe is no stranger when it comes to things medical or theological. Check out her credentials!

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.  

Now that’s what I call a strong woman of faith!

God bless,

Joyanne, Unity 2014 Website Facilitator

Tagging Along on the Pilgrimage

For those of you who may not know, one of our Unity 2014 Planning Team members is currently on a self-imposed pilgrimage within Europe. Follow Tobias on his blog,

Along a similar note, I’d like to invite you to keep Ukraine in your prayers as the crisis continues to sizzle and escalade. Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ continue to live there, striving and hoping for a better future. Let us pray for peace, freedom, and forgiveness, and for the repose of the souls who were killed in the clashes last week.

A solemn Lenten season to you all!

Joyanne, Unity 2014 Website Facilitator