Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada, December 16, 2019
With the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl, the abbot of the Kiev Caves Lavra, the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos opened in Richmond Hills in Ontario, under the spiritual direction of the Kiev Caves Lavra, reports the monastery website.
The parish community is headed by Archpriest Artemy Litvinov.
As of 2016, there were roughly 1.4 million people of full or partial Ukrainian origin living in Canada, giving it the third largest Ukrainian population in the world, after Ukraine and Russia. 65,000 were living in Toronto, and 122,510 in the larger metropolitan region. There were 336,000 in all of Ontario.
“In Canada, the question of canonical affiliation is very acute,” during this time of the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, the Lavra’s report reads, “since the so-called ‘Ukrainian Orthodox Church’ of the Patriarchate of Constantinople operates there.”
There are many who do not support the actions of Patriarch Bartholomew and the Local Churches that support him, and thus the Church of the Nativity of the Theotokos was opened for such people to have a church home.
The church building is currently undergoing repairs and regular services are scheduled to begin next month.
“The opening of this parish will help our compatriots, who for various reasons find themselves beyond the borders of their historical homeland, to remain in the bosom of the canonical Church, to remain faithful to Church Tradition and the structure of the Church. May the Lord help Fr. Artemy in his difficult labors, and confirm all parishioners in the true faith and help all of us to stay in this saving ship of the Church and become heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven!” Met. Pavel said.
In late 2017, the Ukrainian Church opened two parishes in Portugal in the span of two months.