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 😀

Speaker Spotlight: Bishop Bryan Bayda

Who’s the man of the hour? Why, it’s Bishop Bryan Bayda, of course!

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We have the pleasure of hosting Saskatchewan’s Bishop Bryan Bayda, who will be participating in the Bishop’s Panel alongside Bishop David Motiuk, as well as leading his session on World Religions. Entitled “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” Bishop Bryan will speak on the sometimes baffling subject of how we as Ukrainian Catholic young adults can interact and learn from our neighbours with different faiths while still keeping and growing in our own faith. As Bishop Bryan puts it, “What is UNITY after all?”

As for the man under the mitre, Bishop Bryan describes himself thus:

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.

A pretty cool guy, if I do say so myself. I mean, just check out his shades from the last Unity in Pinawa:


God bless!

Joyanne 😀

P.s. 15 days!!! It’s not too late to register, so don’t delay!

Unity 2014 Song (AKA It’s FINALLY Finished!)

Most of you won’t know this, but quite a few months ago, I (Joyanne) was sitting alone on a Friday night, just relaxing after a regular week of work. Disney’s Frozen was all anyone talked about at this point, and I found myself humming the iconic Idina Menzel song, “Let It Go.” What surprised me, however, is that new lyrics were popping into my head, so I quickly jumped up and grabbed my notebook and a pen. The following is the result.


Joyanne 😀

Core Team/Speaker Spotlight

A member of the Core Team and a speaker?! Meet our very own, Tobias Underwood.


In his own words, Tobias says the following about himself:

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 accomplishments 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).

To get some more info on our good friend, I was able to catch up with Tobias earlier this week:

So, Tobias, you are both on the Core Team for Unity 2014 and a speaker. You must certainly be keeping busy! What is your role on the Core Team and what will you be speaking about at Unity?
I am a wise observer on the core team. I’ve been away for quite a bit of the planning. But I’ve worked on the videos. My workshop at Unity will be on the topic of women deacons.

Women Deacons, eh? That seems like a really interesting and controversial topic. What interests you about women deacons and what can participants expect from your session?
The question of women’s role in the Church is pretty big today. How come it seems like all positions of leadership and authority in the Church belong exclusively to men? Was this always the way it was in the Church? Is there any real possibility of this changing in the future? We will explore these questions through the lense of women deacons, what they did, and could do.

That sounds great! As a woman myself, I certainly struggle with my role in the Ukrainian Catholic Church, so it’s great that we have a session that explores this important issue. That’s why I love events like Unity; the participants really have a chance to explore ideas and really think outside the box. Speaking of which, what are you looking forward to most at Unity 2014?
Praying with all of you and question period with the bishops.

Awesome! The Bishops’ Panel always seems to leave everyone with a very positive impression. Are there any memories from past Unitys that particularly make you smile?
When people thought Millie was my mother, and praying vespers in the field with wonderful people.

Last question, I promise: how would you convince others to attend Unity 2014?
It is a wonderful way to meet and hang out with other young people who love Jesus and the Church, and/or are trying to grow in their faith.

There you have it, folks, from the mouth of a previous seminarian. Doesn’t this make you want to get those registrations in???!!!

God bless!


Ahoy! Schedule Ho!

Very simple: our schedule is up and ready to be viewed. The times are subject to change, but this should at least give you an idea of what you can expect at Unity 2014. I’m pretty excited myself, I must say.

We’ve also updated our poster, as well as the “Theme and Logo” section. Read the story of how they came together and how we hope they will inspire the weekend. You can find it in the “About” section under “About Unity 2014.”

That’s all folks! Stay classy.

God bless,

Joyanne, Unity 2014 Website Facilitator


Unity is 10 months away. 10 months!

It’s coming! It’s really coming and we’re less than a year away from this amazing event! I know our core team has been working hard planning a wonderful retreat for you all and I will hopefully have an account of their progress within the next week. For now, check out the new Promo Material page for posters and the like which will continue getting updated as more information comes streaming in. Also, if you haven’t done so already, mark your calendars! And if you happen to get lost, check back to view the Countdown on the right hand sidebar to keep yourself posted.

That’s about it for now! I leave you with these pictures from our Unity Visioning Retreat way back in November 2012!

Take care and God Bless!

Joyanne, Unity 2014 Website Facilitator

Posing with decorum

Posing with decorum

It's only been a weekend and already we want to kill each other... I mean... Can't you feel the love?

Ready for anything!

And so it begins…


Welcome to our new Unity 2014 website and blog! We are so excited to begin the journey of preparing for one of our favourite national young adult events and we hope you’re just as excited to attend as we are to host. Since our team is just in the beginning stages of planning, we unfortunately won’t have much information up here to start with, but check back often for updates.

In the meantime, if you want a peak at what Unity 2012 looked like in Pinawa, MB, check out the past Unity link at the top of the home page. You’ll also find a link to the Unity 2012 website and blog on the past Unity page.

Happy surfing, and in case nothing new pops up, have a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s!

Christ is (almost) Born!