Category: Andrew’s Thoughts for Thursday


This is a special thoughts for Thursday coming to you from our nation’s capital (Ottawa). Jay and I are in Ottawa attending the Canadian Catholic Youth Ministry Network conference this weekend.

I will try to do some updates during the weekend as much as possible. I was going to do a longer post tonight, but I’m pretty tired after spending 6 hours in travel.

Anyways, we’re having fun here, looking forward to meeting other Ukrainian (and Roman) Catholics, who we will share the message of Unity with and as always we’ll try to stay out of trouble.

 

Andrew

 

Andrew’s Thoughts for Thursday

(an opinion piece put out on Thursdays, time permitting)

July 28 – Acronym of UNITY

August 4 – Bridging the Gap

August 11 – Choices

August 17 – Towards the Tangible

August 25 – “The Spirit of ’96”

September 1 – Welcoming Back the WYD Pilgrims

September 8 – Coming to you from the Twin Cities

November 3 – I’m Back!

January 5th – Looking Ahead/Registering

March 1st – A Challenge to You

Andrew’s On the Road(show)

(Recaps and thoughts after parish tours)

Introduction – Tuesday July 26, 2011: UNITY!?!?

 

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So I wasn’t originally going to write a TfT this week but I got a really interesting idea after a conversation I had with Jay, of our UNITY 2012 team, today.

I want you to tell someone, RIGHT NOW, about UNITY 2012. Pick up the phone, send an email, text, facebook message, tweet, or in person of course and tell someone you know about UNITY and encourage them to go.

THEN, leave a comment on this page with the first initial of the person you just told about UNITY. For example, if you told me you would just write “A.”

So do this as soon as you see it, and meet my challenge and flood our inbox with comments and we’ll be able to see the message of UNITY getting out right before our eyes.

 

God Bless,

 

Andrew

 

Andrew’s Thoughts for Thursday

(an opinion piece put out on Thursdays, time permitting)

July 28 – Acronym of UNITY

August 4 – Bridging the Gap

August 11 – Choices

August 17 – Towards the Tangible

August 25 – “The Spirit of ’96”

September 1 – Welcoming Back the WYD Pilgrims

September 8 – Coming to you from the Twin Cities

November 3 – I’m Back!

January 5th – Looking Ahead/Registering

Andrew’s On the Road(show)

(Recaps and thoughts after parish tours)

Introduction – Tuesday July 26, 2011: UNITY!?!?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

To understand where we are headed with UNITY 2012, I would suggest it be useful to look back at some of the work we have done in the past year in planning UNITY 2012.

In many ways, the planning of this UNITY can be broken down into 3 parts: Year 1 (2010): Visioning, Year 2 (2011): Promoting, and Year 3 (2012): Executing. This is not to say that there is no overlap between years, but looking back at how the planning has gone thus far we spent most of 2010 figuring out what we wanted UNITY 2012 to be, most of 2011 telling other people what UNITY 2012 is and we will spend the next seven months tying it all together for the actual event.

To use a football analogy, we’re at the beginning of the fourth quarter and have played well throughout the game; all there is left to do is have a strong finish which will result in success.

We are now finished our parish tours and will be beginning a big push for registrations (which can be found here). We will most likely be visiting some parishes again, ideally in the context of youth groups or parish councils directly, as opposed to our first set of tours that were aimed at parish-wide awareness.

All of the other eparchies have begun their plans to attend UNITY 2012 as well so if you are outside of Manitoba, please get in contact with them, or get in contact with us so we can put you in contact with them. This is important because visiting eparchies have traditionally made travel plans as a group, and they will need to know who intends to be coming to make these arrangements.

While this post may seem very information oriented, it is important that plans get rolling now in terms of registration, and the beginning of a new year is a great time to begin registering and making arrangements to attend the event. Additionally, I don’t feel as if I have any urgent insight to share, but maybe next week 🙂 But, since I usually give some sort of opinion in these posts I will offer one: register sooner rather than later. Why, you might ask? Why not, I will answer.

Andrew

Andrew’s Thoughts for Thursday

(an opinion piece put out on Thursdays, time permitting)

July 28 – Acronym of UNITY

August 4 – Bridging the Gap

August 11 – Choices

August 17 – Towards the Tangible

August 25 – “The Spirit of ’96”

September 1 – Welcoming Back the WYD Pilgrims

September 8 – Coming to you from the Twin Cities

November 3 – I’m Back!

Andrew’s On the Road(show)

(Recaps and thoughts after parish tours)

Introduction – Tuesday July 26, 2011: UNITY!?!?

Under no circumstances should you ever try an iced black cherry latte with skim milk. I made that mistake today and I fully regret it.

So why did I order it? I ordered it because it had two things I enjoy very much independently: black cherry and iced latte. I figured putting them together couldn’t be that bad. I was wrong.

Now you may be wondering where I am going with this and the truth is I am not really going anywhere with this, I just figured I would put a semi-comically story at the front end of the post to grab your interest. And if you’re still reading then I have succeeded.

I will assure you that UNITY 2012 will not be an iced black cherry latte. I know there are some young adults out there who are hedging about coming to UNITY 2012, fearing that the intriguing possibility (i.e. black cherry and latte together) carries with it too much risk for letdown, much like my latte did.

Well, to be quite frank, it’s just not possible for UNITY 2012 be a letdown. That’s because we’re not mixing good things together and trying it for the first time; this will be the 5th UNITY and tradition of success has been created and is being built upon.

Additionally, getting together as a group to examine, practice, develop and live out our faith is hardly a new idea – our religious forefathers have been gathering as faith communities for centuries. The community that gathers may be different, ours being thinly spread across a vast nation, but the core principles and ideals remain the same.

So come to UNITY 2012. Register now. No black cherry lattes. I promise.

Please comment, I’d love to hear your thoughts as UNITY 2012 comes closer.

 

Andrew

 

 

Andrew’s Thoughts for Thursday

(an opinion piece put out on Thursdays, time permitting)

July 28 – Acronym of UNITY

August 4 – Bridging the Gap

August 11 – Choices

August 17 – Towards the Tangible

August 25 – “The Spirit of ’96”

September 1 – Welcoming Back the WYD Pilgrims

 

September 8 – Coming to you from the Twin Cities

Andrew’s On the Road(show)

(Recaps and thoughts after parish tours)

Introduction – Tuesday July 26, 2011: UNITY!?!?

in front of St. Constantine

As you can see, I am posed in front of a church, but maybe one that you may not recognize. The church in question is St. Constantine’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Minneapolis, which I was able to swing through on the tail end of this summer’s family vacation.

Service was similar to that of any Ukrainian Catholic Church, obviously with its own local flavour though – the biggest of which was getting used to a more southern sounding Amen (with a stress on the A). The people were very friendly and by there demeanor it seems that travelling visitors are not a rare occurence. The church is also very beautiful inside, and an attached museum has a variety of photos representing different styles of Ukrainian Catholic Church architecture, even including many churches from Winnipeg.

After service I dropped off a little information package with the priest about UNITY 2012, just so that he can get the word out to any young adults who might be interested. Keep in mind that Minneapolis is just as close to Winnipeg as Saskatoon, so the possibility of a few of our brothers and sisters to the south coming for UNITY is not as remote as it might seem.

Other than that, we obviously have a big day coming up on the calendar on Saturday so a lot of our energies have been devoted to that, but there should be plenty of new web material following the fundraiser, and we will be getting back into the swing of touring parishes as well.

God Bless,

Andrew

My Blog History

Andrew’s Thoughts for Thursday

(an opinion piece put out every Thursday, time permitting)

July 28 – Acronym of UNITY

August 4 – Bridging the Gap

August 11 – Choices

August 17 – Towards the Tangible

August 25 – “The Spirit of ’96”

September 1 – Welcoming Back the WYD Pilgrims

Andrew’s On the Road(show)

(Recaps and thoughts after every parish tour)

Introduction – Tuesday July 26, 2011: UNITY!?!?

So I have been out of the UNITY loop for a while (6 days), and was pleasantly surprised when I saw all the new videos that were put up today. I have spent some of the last few days thinking about UNITY, but not much.  I have not had any moments of brilliance, and really only two events, one past and one upcoming, are sticking out in my mind.

The event past is the arrival back home of the World Youth Day pilgrims at the airport.  It was wonderful to see all of them returning home, exhausted in body, but very clearly renewed in spirit. It  was also an added bonus to see them so excited about UNITY, and telling us how all of those we went on the CUCP w2ere hoping to re-congregate in Winnipeg for UNITY in August. An added bonus as that half of our planning team has returned and seems ready and excited to face the long road ahead.

The second event I am thinking of is the upcoming fundraiser, basically a week and a day away.  I am excited and I hope you are coming. This is the kickoff to a year of UNITY. Because UNITY is not just one weekend. We are going to carry this mindset from September 10th, 2011 to August 16th, 2012 to July 2013 at WYD in Brazil and beyond. I hope this fundraiser is the start of something big and I just want to put in one last plug for you to buy tickets and come out in support of UNITY 2012.

Thank you for reading and here’s to everyone having a happy and blessed Labour Day weekend.

 

Andrew

 

Andrew’s Thoughts for Thursday

(an opinion piece put out every Thursday, time permitting)

July 28 – Acronym of UNITY

August 4 – Bridging the Gap

August 11 – Choices

August 17 – Towards the Tangible

August 25 – “The Spirit of ’96”

Andrew’s On the Road(show)

(Recaps and thoughts after every parish tour)

Introduction – Tuesday July 26, 2011: UNITY!?!?

 

The inner historian inside of me has sparked my next round of thoughts on UNITY. Spending the last little while thinking about the year 1996, specifically that period between April and May when so much happened here in our archeparchy: UNITY 1996, of course, sandwiched in with the deaths of both Fr. Yarapolk Radkevych and Archbishop Maxime Hermaniuk, I realized that it was 15 years ago that all took place.

I was certainly not aware of UNITY 1996; I still had my childhood notions of becoming pope, and I have begun to think that we have truly entered the second wave of young adults to be touched by UNITY.

I have realized this in talking with some of the veterans of UNITY 1996: Tamara, our director, all of the priests: Fr. Soo, Fr. Darren, Fr. Mark, Fr. Mike (I’m not even sure if they were all priests then). And what I have gotten in talking to these people is that there was a spirit (the Holy Spirit of course) that rolled with UNITY 1996, if they call it the “Spirit of ‘76” for the American Revolution, I think it is more than apt that we call it the “Spirit of ‘96” for UNITY. I also believe that if UNITY 2012 is going to be successful we are going to need to catch some of that “Spirit of ‘96”.

Because UNITY 1996 was truly an “into the wild” experience; there was no precedent, there were no expectations to live up to, it was the first of its kind. I am going to come back to the American Revolution again, because the parallels are remarkable. The veterans of UNITY 1996 are much like the founding fathers of theUnited States of America, they set the table for great things to come. But I will note that there was an interluding period of close to 15 years (funny how that came up again) before the U.S.A. had the structures in place to head on its path to what it is today; in a sense, they were trying to find there way in the wilderness.

So I see us today at that point of being ready to take off, having spent a decade and a half growing, transforming and refining what UNITY is. The upcoming generation of youth, like myself, scarcely remember 1996, nevermind UNITY 1996. There is even a good chance they would not have heard about UNITY 2004, 2006 or 2009 (I personally found out about UNITY in 2007), so I do not think it is a stretch to say that people do not really know what we are about. But, much like the Founding Fathers, we know what we are about.

Every generation must pass the torch to the next, always hoping to have the flame going a little brighter when it is passed. So let us infuse some of that “Spirit of ‘96” into UNITY 2012 and send forth the next generation; my generation, your generation, OUR generation: “into the wild.”

 

AK

 

Andrew’s Thoughts for Thursday

(an opinion piece put out every Thursday, time permitting)

July 28 – Acronym of UNITY

August 4 – Bridging the Gap

August 11 – Choices

 

August 17 – Towards the Tangible

Andrew’s On the Road(show)

(Recaps and thoughts after every parish tour)

Introduction – Tuesday July 26, 2011: UNITY!?!?

I think UNITY is pretty attractive idea. That has been made clear this week. First, the views on our webpage have gone through the roof. Secondly, someone new has decided to join Travis, Tamara, David and I at our lengthy video making sprees: Raisa.

So UNITY is growing in popularity, that’s evident; people at the Kiev Pavilion mentioned all week that they were going to be watching our videos at the first opportunity.

However, the next step, is turning page views into people; turning hype into a healthy church; turning followers on Twitter to followers of Christ. So we need to move forward – we need to take the next step to form that “critical mass” that Fr. Soo mentions – and take UNITY beyond evening entertainment, to take it to the tangible.

That’s the new mission; we have effectively gotten the word out to more and more people already, now we just need them to take that active step, a step that takes more than just a click. So take that next step, Raisa did tonight. And you can to.

So get involved, we would be more than happy to have you.

 

I kept it short tonight so you wouldn’t get too bored. And please, join us at Cook’s Creek this weekend for pilgrimage.

 

Andrew

 

Andrew’s Thoughts for Thursday

(an opinion piece put out every Thursday, time permitting)

July 28 – Acronym of UNITY

August 4 – Bridging the Gap

 

August 11 – Choices

Andrew’s On the Road(show)

(Recaps and thoughts after every parish tour)

Introduction – Tuesday July 26, 2011: UNITY!?!?

 

So I have been thinking a lot about two things this week: the Kiev Pavilion and all of our Canadian Ukrainian Catholic pilgrims who are in Spain for World Youth Day. I thought about the many Manitoban pilgrims who had the “one or the other” choice (really it isn’t a choice, WYD all the way!), and all of those back at the pavilion who always say, “I wonder how _____ is doing, they’re away on that trip aren’t they?”

This is just a reminder, a wake-up call of sorts, of what events like WYD, UNITY and Congress are; they are elements of choice. While UNITY 2012 will not conflict with events such as the Kiev Pavilion or the Cook’s Creek Pilgrimage, there is always going to be something else: a wedding, funeral, party, relative coming in, all of these things that force us to make that difficult decision. I am not trying to say that people should drop everything for UNITY, that would be ridiculous; I am saying that the journey, the choices, the decisions, the sacrifices, that each participant will have to make will not be easy.

This is what makes UNITY so difficult to explain, it physically only spans four days, but it encompasses much more, a 3 act continuum: the journey, the event, and the “aftershock”. In those three parts, only one thing is set in linear time: the event, the journey and the “aftershock” are much more incongruous, with no definite time of beginning and end.

Each person’s continuum will look different, brought together in unity, by only one thing: those four days.

To take our theme of going “into the wild”, imagine it as a group of people all taking different paths through the wilderness then coming to a campfire, only staying for a bit, and then continuing on their journey, but never forgetting that one campfire.

Since it’s the 21st century, I’ll give you the SparkNotes on my thought’s for tonight: your attendance at UNITY 2012 is purely your choice, and I think it is a choice that will be extremely fulfilling for you.

Night all and God bless.

Andrew’s Blog History (clink post title for link)

Andrew’s Thoughts for Thursday

(an opinion piece put out every Thursday, time permitting)

July 28 – Acronym of UNITY

August 4 – Bridging the Gap

Andrew’s On the Road(show)

(Recaps and thoughts after every parish tour)

Introduction – Tuesday July 26, 2011: UNITY!?!?

I know, I know, it isn’t actually Thursday anymore, I am late by a few minutes. Part of the problem has been thinking up something to say: talk about the upcoming tours? No, I’ll cover them after. Do a 5 part more in-depth look at the acronym? No, pretty boring and redundant. Talk about how great UNITY will be? Well that’s a given.

But then, just minutes ago as I was looking about my room I saw a stack of books: one about ESPN, a Fitzgerald and a Hemingway plus an assorted collection of magazines, and I thought to myself, what do these have to do with UNITY?

Then it come to me like a flash of light (Paul on the road to Damascus style): UNITY is what bridges the gap between our everyday lives (in this case, my stack of books) and our spiritual lives, which often seem to be a remote wilderness that is only traversed on Sundays.

***I find it fitting that there is actually a foot bridge not too far from the retreat center in Pinawa; symbolism is everywhere!

But, to keep this brief (relatively), I really want to reinforce what we often stress on the tour and in our videos: UNITY is a eye-opening experience to realize that being a Ukrainian Catholic young adult is not something you need to hide away and be ashamed of; the feeling of being small and remote, isolated and ‘uncool’. UNITY is that experience to realize that we are vast and well integrated, connected and ‘hip’. That is what we are, that is what we can be, that is what we SHOULD be.

Yes, it is depressing to go to a church service and realize there is less than a handful of young people there. Yes, it is hard to feel a sense of belonging, a sense of connection, when you are in this situation. But you do belong, this isn’t just your baba’s church; it’s your church. To be able to realize that, to be able to recognize that being Ukrainian Catholic is just as much a part of your everyday life as your job, studies, friends, or family are, that is a moment of blissful self-actualization. But that bridge is not an easy one to cross.

UNITY is the chance to take the first step.

 

 

Andrew’s Blog History (clink post title for link)

Andrew’s Thoughts for Thursday

(an opinion piece put out every Thursday, time permitting)

July 28 – Acronym of UNITY

Andrew’s On the Road(show)

(Recaps and thoughts after every parish tour)

Introduction – Tuesday July 26, 2011: UNITY!?!?