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His Beatitude Metropolitan WASYLY Falls Asleep in the Lord


Sep 28, 2003
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His Beatitude Metropolitan WASYLY Primate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada Falls Asleep in the Lord

- Office of the Consistory, UOCC

WINNIPEG, MB, JANUARY 10, 2005 -- It is with deep sorrow that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada (UOCC) announces that on Monday, January 10, 2005, His Beatitude Metropolitan Wasyly, Archbishop of Winnipeg and Metropolitan of All Canada, fell asleep in the Lord at 95 years of age. His death comes only three days after he celebrated the feast of Christ's Nativity on January 7, according to the Julian Calendar.

Metropolitan Wasyly was born in the Bukovyna region of Ukraine. In 1912, when he was three years old, his family came to Canada, settling in Sheho, Saskatchewan. After graduating from high school, he completed studies in teacher's college in Saskatoon and worked as a school teacher in rural Saskatchewan.

Wasyl Fedak was married in 1932, and in 1944, he was ordained into the diaconate and the priesthood after completing his seminary training. Fr. Wasyl spent the first seven years of his ministry serving parishes in Manitoba and southwestern Ontario. In 1951, he was assigned to St. Vladimir's Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Hamilton, Ontario. In his 29 years of pastoral service at St. Vladimir's in Hamilton, he played and instrumental role in the growth of this parish community, which would eventually be honored with the title "Sobor".

In 1978, following the death of his wife two years earlier, Archimandrite Wasyly was consecrated a bishop in the UOCC, serving first in the Church's Central Diocese (Saskatchewan and Manitoba), and then the Eastern Diocese (Ontario and Quebec). In 1985, he was elected primate of the Church, receiving the title Archbishop of Winnipeg and Metropolitan of All Canada.

Among his greatest achievements as UOCC Primate was overseeing the normalization of Eucharistic relations between the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada and the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, in 1990. This move followed a Primatial tour to the Patriarchates of Jerusalem, Antioch and Constantinople, in 1987, in preparation for the UOCC's celebration of the Millennium of the Baptism of Rus' into the Holy Orthodox Faith, in 1988. The step of formalizing canonical ties with the Ecumenical Patriarchate brought the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada onto the field of canonical world Orthodoxy, giving the Ukrainian Church an important voice in this sphere.

In 1993, His Beatitude was blessed with the opportunity to visit his beloved ancestral homeland, Ukraine, including the village in which he was born. On this trip he met informally with representatives of both Ukrainian Orthodox jurisdictions, his on-going hope and prayer being that Ukraine would one day have a unified, canonically recognized, autocephallous Orthodox Church.

In the Orthodox scene in Canada, Metropolitan Wasyly was a fervent promoter of brotherly relations between the Orthodox jurisdictions here. Many times he hosted Orthodox bishops when they visited the city of Winnipeg. Among these visits, two of the most important were Eucharistic concelebrations with his brother Canadian hierarchs during the visit of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in 1997, and the UOCC's celebration of the Second Millennium of the birth of Christ, in the summer of 2000.

In addition to receiving numerous honorary degrees and awards from Ukrainian ecclesiastical and secular institutions, for his years of dedicated service to the wider Canadian community Metropolitan Wasyly was inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada.

May the memory of His Beatitude Metropolitan Wasyly be eternal!
-Please pray for the repose of Metropolitan Wasyly


High Elder
Nov 22, 2004
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It is always sad to have one of our Holy Fathers fall asleep.

I pray for the Ukranian community at large. God bless you all.

I am blessed to have had the opportunity to visit and worship with the Ukranian community in NYC last year. I was there by invitation from a co-worker to venerate an ancient Ukranian Icon of the Holy Virgin Mary Mother of God that was traveling around the U.S. at that time. I do not remember the history of the Icon except that it was taken and destroyed some time ago then was found years later whole and in-tact miraculously reconstructed. Those who found it were blessed with variuos miracles.

I got a chance to stand in the pewless sancturary in one spot with nothing to lean on for 4 hours after working all day. It was a painful, absolutely blessed experience. I wil never forget it. Something very special and Holy still lives inside me til this day. I am certain that this feeling inside me will always be with me. It is a feeling that words cannot render.

It was a learning experience to witness the faith of the people that cold winter night. So much of what I saw was in common with the traditions we maintain in Ethiopia. This was an eye opener for me because we do not keep some of these traditions outside of Ethiopia since it is seen as too difficult. Thank you my Ukranian fathers for keeping with sound practice as a norm even in America.

I always forget to mention to people when I share this experience that during the service absolutely nothing was done in English....nothing at all. Interestingly; I never noticed. I walked away from that Ukranian service enriched and fulfilled and I cannot understand a word of Ukranian or Russian.

I know this seems to not regard His Beautitude Metropolitan Wasyly (God rest his soul) or Canada but in a special way it does. Because through this experience I have a connection with the Ukranian community and have a real, personal feeling of loss and sadness.

Peace from God through our lord and savior Jesus Christ. And may God remember him in His Holy Kingdom.