LETTER
to the Most Rev. Stephen Chmilar, D.D.
Bishop of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto and Eastern Canada

April 18, 2007

Christ is Risen!

Dear Bishop Stephen,

We turn to you once again with regards to the Mother of God Monastery in Orangeville. This most holy Marian Shrine continues to function with God's help, gathering a growing number of faithful every Sunday and on Feast Days, despite the longstanding efforts of the Eparchy to sell it.

Based on our collective spiritual experience during the last year, we are firmly convinced that the time has come to abandon the sale option, and to embark on a renewed common effort to safeguard and preserve the monastery in the bosom of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church .

We certainly appreciate that the mortgage payments to the Cistercians present an unbearable financial burden for the Eparchy at the present time, which evokes the possible danger of loosing the monastery.

We, therefore, would like to submit the following plan of action to be implemented immediately to safeguard the monastery:

  1. The formation of a charitable corporation on the basis of the extended lay community and clergy of the monastery, to be known as "The Mother of God Apostolic Community".
  2. The transfer by the Eparchy of the legal ownership of the monastery property to the newly formed corporation.
  3. The corporation assumes full financial responsibility for the monastery, including the mortgage payments and operational/maintenance costs.
  4. As a spiritual sanctuary, the monastery remains a permanent part of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church .
  5. "The Mother of God Apostolic Community" works actively with the Eparchy, especially in the establishment of monastic life in Canada , based at the Mother of God Monastery.

On our part, we have already undertaken the following steps to realize this proposed plan:

  1. We have reformulated and approved the projected Constitution of "The Mother of God Apostolic Community". A copy of the Constitution is enclosed herein for your examination.
  2. We have established a viable monetary fund for the financing of the monastery. It is solidly endorsed by a number of patrons and benefactors, who support this plan.
  3. We have successfully maintained the substantial operational costs of the monastery for almost five years, and are working on long-term plans for its financial stability.

We humbly request that Your Grace grant us a meeting, in order to further discuss all the details of the above proposal. Please rest fully assured that our proposal has but one goal to safeguard the Shrine of the Mother of God as a supernatural spring of God's graces for the edification of our Church and our Ukrainian Community. We remain truly sincere, and transparent in our intentions before Our Lord God, and before yourself.

We prayerfully await your response, and ask you, Bishop Stephen, for your Apostolic Blessing!

With faith, hope and love,
The faithful and benefactors of the Mother of God Monastery ,
Representatives: Vasyl Shafransky, Roman Zubrytsky, Andrei Jmourko

cc:

Abbot Dom Yvon-Joseph Moreau, Cistercian Monastery in Oka, Quebec.


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