July 1, 2017
Reverend Fathers and
Beloved Faithful of our Episcopate in Canada,
On the occasion of Canada's National Day and the celebration of 150 years since the proclamation of the Canadian Confederation, we join all those who celebrate this anniversary today with gratitude and thanksgiving to the Lord for the abundance He has provided to this nation and its inhabitants.
Canada has always shown its open arms to immigrants, being an attraction for many Romanian brothers and sisters since the late 19th century. For many of them, Canada was the country of freedom and opportunity for a better life, giving them a decent living where they could raise their families and make a better future for their children.
The Romanian Orthodox community was and is an integral part of the Canadian cultural and historical mosaic. The first Romanians to come to Canada were from Transylvania and Bucovina, arriving in 1885 at Yorkton, Saskatchewan, to work for the Canadian Pacific railways and as farmers in the provinces of central and western Canada. In 1902, the first Romanian Orthodox parish was founded in Regina. St Nicholas parish is still an active community celebrating this year its 115th anniversary. Soon followed other communities that settled westward in the south of Saskatchewan at Wood Mountain, Flintoft, Dysart, and others in Manitoba, Alberta and even in Quebec, in the Montreal area; and then much later, the newer communities in Western Canada, in British Columbia and more recently in Eastern Canada, in Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime provinces.
It is truly a joyous moment in the history of Canada! Let us be thankful! The joy of this moment is an opportunity to show the brotherhood and witness of our Orthodox presence in Canada, and to carry forward the spirit of our ancestral faith with peace and love for future generations in Canada.
We wish you health, joy and all good things!
Happy 150th Anniversary, Canada!
With paternal blessings,