Automaidan Toronto visits St. Elias Church Grounds
By Myroslava Stadnyk
On Kvitna Nedilia, Toronto’s Automaidan organizers took the initiative of visiting St. Elias the Prophet Ukrainian Catholic Church in Brampton – which was destroyed by fire earlier this month.
“We are very saddened. It is a big loss for our community. This beautiful church was not only considered a place of distinct art – but also a place of connection, where everybody gathered as a big family for Christmas and Easter,” said one of the Automaidan organizers, Taras Kinash. “Toronto Automaidan members from all over the GTA gathered to pray for St. Elias Church – so that one day it may rise out of the ashes as an even more beautiful structure.”
Over 80 cars, decorated with the Ukrainian flags, drove from a starting point in Etobicoke to Brampton. Participants of this week’s Automaidan ranged from young to old.
Automaidan organizers also expressed the importance of collecting donations to help rebuild a place of worship.
Following the car rally, St. Elias’ pastor, Father Roman Galadza, led a prayer service by the ruins where only parts of the facade are still standing. Father Galadza believes that restoration of this beautiful church is certain with God’s help. Likewise, Galadza holds faith that Ukraine’s future is bright.
“Today, we unite in prayer, asking God to hear our voices and to help us rebuild the walls of St. Elias’ Church. We put our hearts to God through our prayers, so that you God also protects our native land from enemies and rebuilds Ukraine! So that God gives our Christian, God-loving nation, peace and unity.”
The ceremony ended with a willow branches blessing, marking this Sunday as one week before Easter.