Our Lady of Perpetual Help Byzantine Catholic Church

Parish LENTEN Retreat 2017:

“The Gift of the Cross – a  Martyr for our times”

(Life and Martyrdom of Blessed Vasyl Velychkovsky C.Ss.R, A Hero of Faith)

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Retreat Master: Fr. John Sianchuk, C.Ss.R.


Father John belongs to Yorkton Redemptorists that are an Eastern Church branch of the world wide Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer in Canada. He is a present director of the Bishop Velychkovsky Matyr’s Shrine, at St. Joseph’s Ukrainian Catholic Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


Father Sianchuk was born in Canada in Manitoba. In 1971 he professed his vows as a Redemptorist and in 1974 he was ordained to the priesthood. He studied philosophy and theology in Canada and Italy and graduated with a Licentiate in Eastern Theology (O.E.S.L) from Oriental Institute, Gregorian University, Rome in 1981.


His Ministry positions include teaching theology at St Vladimir's College, Roblin, Manitoba (1974-1979), being Director and Professor at Redemptorist House of Studies in Toronto (1981-87, 1990-93), serving as a Pastor in the parishes of Ukrainian Catholic Church in Toronto (1987-90), Winnipeg (1993-99) and Saskatoon (2008-11), serving as a Provincial Superior for the Ukrainian Redemptorists of Canada and US (1999-2008), as a Vocation Director for the Redemptorist (2011-15) and finally serving as a Director of the Bishop Velychkovsky Martyr's Shrine in Winnipeg (2002-2017)


Besides all of the assignments, pastor, provincial, teacher, Father John have given extensive retreats and missions throughout his life. Recently (last 25 years) his work has extended to Ukraine where he travels to almost every year.


Schedule of the Retreat:


Thursday, March 16: Introduction

6.00 pm - Lenten Paraklesis (Office of Consolation to the Most Holy Mother of God)

First Spiritual Conference


Friday, March 17: Day 1

5.30pm  - Confessions

6.00 pm - Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts followed by meatless potluck of light supper or snacks.

Second Spiritual Conference


Confession before, during or after the services


Saturday, March 18: Day 2

8.00 am - Confessions

9.00 am - All Souls Divine Liturgy/Panachida

Third Spiritual Conference



11.00 am - Healing Service anointing with Holy Oil touched to the relics of Blessed Bishop Martyr Vasyl Velychkovsky, C.Ss.R (this is not the Sacrament of the Sick, and is open to non-Catholics).


Saturday evening

5.00 pm - Great Vespers/Confession during Vespers    

6.00 pm Divine Liturgy, Vigil for Sunday

Fourth Spiritual Conference



Sunday, March 19: Day 3 (final day of the Retreat)

Veneration of the Holy and Life-giving Cross

8.30 am - Prayer of the Holy Rosary

9.00 am - Festal Matins/Veneration of the Holy Cross

9.00 am - Confessions

10.00 am - Divine Liturgy

Fifth Spiritual Conference.