Bishop Brian (Baida): "The Church has become the mother of many of our faithful who have left their homes in search of their daily bread ..."

Friday, 29 November 2013, 15:34
Not long ago Bishop Saskatunskyy Brayen (Bayda) from Canada was on a working visit to Madrid. Actually, the presence of the high priest a very interesting fact was noted: Bishop Brian was the first hierarchy of the UGCC, which was awarded the high honor to worship in Spanish arhykatedri and even concelebrate with Archbishop of Madrid, Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouko Vareloyu .

Just after this memorable event I was able to talk with one of our younger hierarch. Although the conversation was brief  because of the very tight schedule of the archbishop,it was surprisingly interesting and informative . Finally, see for yourself . But first ...

Brief Biography

Bishop Brian was born August 21, 1961 in Saskatoon (Saskatchewan , Canada) in a family of immigrants from Ukraine .

July 31, 1983 he took the first monastic vows in the monastery of the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer , and on 13 September 1986 - perpetual vows. In 1983-1987 he studied at St. Michael collegium and got a Master of Theology. May 30, 1987 took Holy Orders .

In 1987-1990 he was the confessor of St. Vladimir in Roblin and simultaneously attended courses in pedagogy at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, where in 1991 he received a bachelor degree . His education continued at the Institute of Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytskiy in Ottawa and became a bachelor of Eastern Studies . In 1990  he was appointed as a professor at St. Vladimir collegium , and then he was a director of it. 1994-1997 - rector and director of the House of the Saviour in Toronto, where he was preparing candidates for the monastic life.

1997-1999 years - the vicar of the parish of Saints Peter and Paul in Saskatoon. In 1999 he was the rector of the house for the poor and abandoned people. In 2000-2002 - the prior of the parish of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Yorkton .He was also a hegumen and pastor at the same place in 2002

He is said to be a zealous and faithful pastor , a good preacher , easy to communicate both with the young people and the old , with the rich and the poor .

May 2, 2008 in the Vatican he was informed to be appointed as  eparch of Saskatunskym . Episcopal consecration ( ordination ) was held June 27, 2008 at Cathedral of St. George Saskatoon .

Honestly, archbishop, when I first saw your strong physique and heard the name and resonant voice , I immediately recalled the organizer of the Ukrainian Cossacks , known as the hetman and who is said to found the Zaporizhzhya Sich , Prince Dmytro Baida -Vyshnevets'kyy . It's he who is sung about in a famous Duma , where the following words are written : "In Tzarhrad in the market , Bayda drinks honey-vodka ..." And though his figure is wrapped in a shroud of mystery, and our nation remembers him.

On this occasion the first question. What does your name originates from? What good wind brings your ancestors to Canada?

What do I know ? It was formerly the county of Gorodenko in Stanislav region , now Ivano -Frankivsk region . But I do not know if the county was changed . But there is a little town called Zhabokruky , with emphasis on "bo"-syllable. This town is close to Obertyna . I visited it for the first time in 1990. We found the monuments in the cemetery, which were destroyed in time. Half a year later we put a monument three meters in height in honor to all members of the genus Bayda who died and were buried both in Ukraine and in Canada.

Since that time I know that the first brother came to Canada in 1899 and then the other came one after another in a four year interval. By the way we recently had our family congress, which was attended by 280 people . The congress took place in Saskatchewan , close to Saskatoon . The feast was organized, people were talking and so on. It was very nice there.

While being in  Spanish capital , you stayed in the Ukrainian Greek Catholic parish of the Annunciation, which celebrated the tenth anniversary of its official founding. On this occasion you took part in the Divine Liturgy , led by Archbishop of Madrid , Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouko Varela . What impressed you?

It was nice to be in this parish and concelebrate with one of the Spanish bishops of the Spanish Church on the day when it was celebrated John Chrysostom Day in the Latin rite. I was extremely happy to observe our numerious Ukrainian parishioners, who gathered here in spite of a weekday and rather late time. They are mostly middle-aged and young people, which is especially gratifying. This confirms the idea that the Church is the mother of many, many of our faithful who left their homes in search of bread . But they did not forget about the spiritual bread .

It's nice that I even managed to have dinner with the Cardinal . Yesterday and he invited me to cathedral of Blessed Virgin Almudena to serve  the Divine Liturgy , which was served on the occasion of the beginning of the church year .But now I offer to stop talking about Spain. You are a bishop in Canada. You see and know about people who arrived there before and are coming now. It is said that there are problems between the old and the new emigration. What are your thoughts on this?

You know : every wave of immigration is different. There are also various reasons why this happened : the economic and political or some other . Therefore it is not very easy to get a specific answer. Maybe later will become clearer.

I’ve read in your biography that in 1999  you were the  prior of the house for the poor and abandoned people.

This house is located in the centre of the town and is for the poorest people I cared . We tried to preach the gospel to those poor people. God must want us to be among them not just to visit at least once a week , but to live there , being with people . We tried to help them. And they may help us by means of Jesus Christ.

Are there representatives of the new wave among those people? Do you know those who drink alcohol or are homeless? For here , in Spain you may meet such people  . They do not go to church , drunk, use drugs. Do you meet such people among those who arrived in the country of maple leaf recently?

It is hard to say. Apparently, there are some, but I have not seen them. Various  people came in all the waves of emigration. So this should definitely be considered over. It is maybe easy to find information about these people not to let them out of sight and try to help.

Archbishop Brian , Ukrainian, who came to Spain and Canada, made a positive impression. It does not change even after the arrival of our  fellow countrymen today. I think that is not a good life that made our countrymen leave their native lands. Is there any hope that once this process will even get slower?

We should always have hope . Always have hope that God is with us. We are very religious people. I ask the Almighty to help us. This is our hope.


Lubomir Kalynets


Concluding remarks

Of course, we are happy to welcome one of our bishops. And enjoy Your Eminence  staying in the main temple of the Spanish Church. However, I perhaps express hope all of our faithful in Madrid and its surroundings , as well as , of the whole Spain , for the arrival of His Beatitude Sviatoslav .

We have not forgotten his previous visit in April 2000, then as vice -rector of the Lviv Theological Seminary of the Holy Spirit. That time His Beatitude carried out the order of  Bishop Lubomyr ( Husar)to get acquainted with the Ukrainian community . Many of us remember both the divine service in the metropolitan church of Our Lady of Good News and confession held by vice- rector of the seminary.

In fact, after this visit , when the father Svyatoslav personally assessed the situation , he submitted a proposal for arriving of a Ukrainian priest to provide a local constant pastoral care for faithful . Soon his advice was followed.


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