"Saint Cyril, St. Methodius, Christian people honor your arrival,
You have brought us life of the true faith."
Many of us certainly remember the times when at home in Slovakia the feast was celebrated.
Eh, what a glory it was. For several days before a major feast came to the village roundabouts, shooting galleries and all other attractions, which had its premiere on the Feast Sunday.
Feasts are celebrated in Slovakia today on the day of the Patron Saint of a particular church.
For patrons of the Slovak church in Montreal our ancestors chose two sympathetic Saints, Cyril and Methodius who brough the faith to Slovakia. Their day is on February 14 and on the closest Sunday we celebrate the feast, hold a traditional celebratory Mass and afterward have a joint Parish lunch and banquet.
Slovaks in Montreal kept their tradition on Sunday, February 16, except this time the Holy Mass had a much more festive character. I was celebrated by the rarest and most important guest, the highest representative of the Catholic Church in Montreal, Archbishop Christian Lepine and concelebrated by our new parish priest Rudolf Grega, Fr. Peter Sabbath, the Pastoral Administrator for St. Cyril & Methodius parish and Fr. Gabriel Juruš. Our joy was all the more important because we were honored by the diocesan archbishop. Sandra Turek and Jakub Paluš, both dressed in Slovak costumes, presented His Excellency, the Archbishop, with a bouquet of flowers. The mass was celebrated in three languages, Slovak, English and French.
After the Mass, curators prepared a very sumptuous entertainment in which participated other important, esteemed and beloved guests, including the Ambassador of the Slovak Republic in Ottawa, H. E. Milan Kollár as well as the Honorary Consul of the Slovak Republic in Montreal Mr. Dezider Michaletz. Ambassador Kollar made a special presentation of a 2-Euro coin, minted in Slovakia, commemorating our patrons Sts. Cyril and Methodius, whom Blessed Pope John Paul II also established as Patron Saints of Europe. The Archbishop was quite taken with this memento of his visit to the parish.
The celebrations of our bearers of faith was held in a very relaxed atmosphere. Archbishop was very surprised at the ample participation of parishioners and promised to visit us again. He assured us that he will continue to keep a protective hand over the Slovak church, so we can preserve for future generations Slovak. How do we Slovaks personally build on this commitment and heritage, will really depend on each one with us.
Organization and preparation of the celebrations was in the hands of the emcee, Mr. Vlado Cincík who fulfilled his role excellently. Of course, the preparation of this event was possible with very active participation of all curators, as well as Mrs. Marta Fuska, Mr. Vojto Mirga and numerous volunteers.
President of the CSL Branch 2 in Montreal, Lydia Matuský, presented the Archbishop with generous gifts from the branch as well as from La Maison Slovaque.
The text in the preamble of this article is from the introductory song of the Mass. We firmly believe that our patrons advocate "up there " also that our church will live for many years in the true faith which our Patron Saints brought to us centuries ago.
Text: Bea Janurová and Vlad Cincik, Photos: Tess Buxar