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>>>>Glory to Jesus Christ!

Bishop Michael (Rusnak) passed away in the Lord tonite (in Toronto).
Please remember him in your prayers. Eternal rest, grant unto your Servant,
O Lord! Vicnaja jemu pamjat! Glory Forever!<<<<

The above message was received courtesy of Fr. John Fetsco, of the Slovak Byzantine Catholic Eparchy in Canada.

It is expected that the Parastas will take place next Friday with the funeral Divine Liturgy taking place Saturday morning.

This delay is probably because most of the Byzantine Bishops are in Presov, Slovakia this weekend for the installation of the new Byzantine Catholic Bishop for the Presov Eparchy.

Eternal Rest Grant Your Servant Bishop Michael,
Eternal Memory.

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May the Lord God grant to his newly departed, and high priestly servant +Michael, blessed repose, where there is no pain sorrow or mourning, but only light and life everlasting. May his memory be eternal!

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Funeral services
Bishop-Emeritus,
Michael Rusnak, C.Ss.R.,

Thursday, January 23, 2003
3:00 pm Parastas:
Visitation until 9 pm
Nativity of the Mother of God Church
257 Shaw St.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Friday, January 24, 2003
2:00 pm to 7:30 pm
Visitation
7:30 pm Parastas
Slovak Cathedral of Transfiguration
10350 Woodbine Ave.
Markham, Ontario

Saturday, January 25, 2003
9 am to 11 am
Visitation
11:00 am
Funeral Divine Liturgy
Slovak Cathedral of Transfiguration
10350 Woodbine Ave.
Markham, Ontario

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Bishop-Emeritus Michael Rusnak, C.Ss.R., DD

First Eparch of the Slovak Byzantine Catholic Eparchy of SS. Cyril and
Methodius,Most Reverend Michael Rusnak, C.Ss.R., was called to the Lord on January 16, 2003, after a long illness.
Bishop Michael was born on August 21, 1921 in Beaverdale, Pennsylvania,
to Slovak immigrants, Andrej and Maria (nee Sotak). During the 1920�s
economic depression in the US, his family returned to Slovakia. After
attending high school, Michael Rusnak was accepted into the Redemptorist
novitiate and made his religious profession as a Redemptorist in August
of 1942. He pursued his philosophical and theological studies at the
Theological Faculty of SS. Cyril & Methodius at the Slovak University of
Bratislava and in Oboriste, Bohemia. On July 4, 1949, Michael Rusnak was
ordained a Redemptorist priest in Presov, by the recently beatified
Blessed Paul Gojdic, OSBM.
Soon after his ordination, Fr. Rusnak, C.Ss.R., was arrested and put
into a concentration camp along with other Slovak Byzantine and Latin
Rite Catholic priests who refused to collaborate with the Communist
regime in Czechoslovakia. 14 months later, he was able to escape. Being
an American citizen by birth, he obtained a passport from the US Embassy
in Prague, and fled his homeland. After a short time recuperating in the
US, he arrived in Canada in 1951. Fr. Michael Rusnak, C.Ss.R., was one
of the first priests who left Slovakia due to religious persecution by
Communists, and laid a new foundation for the Slovak Byzantine Catholic
Church in Canada.
Together with Fr. Ludovit Minya, C.Ss.R., he established parishes in
Toronto, Hamilton, Oshawa and Welland. In 1953, Fr. Rusnak, C.Ss.R.,
founded the Canadian Slovak Byzantine Catholic publication, �Maria�. He
also published a collection of religious songs, �Chvalite Hospoda� �
�Praise the Lord�.
In 1957, Fr. Rusnak, C.Ss.R., was named Dean of Slovak parishes of the
Byzantine Rite in the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Toronto. On October
7, 1964, Pope Paul VI appointed Fr. Michael Rusnak, C.Ss.R., Titular
Bishop of the ancient Diocese of Cernik, Auxiliary Bishop to the
Ukrainian Eparch of Toronto, and Apostolic Visitator for the Slovaks of
the Byzantine Rite in Canada. Fr. Rusnak, C.Ss.R., was ordained Bishop
on January 2, 1965, in St. Michael�s Cathedral, Toronto.
With the establishment of the first Slovak Byzantine Catholic Eparchy in
North America by Pope John Paul II, - Eparchy of SS. Cyril and Methodius
- Bishop Michael Rusnak, C.Ss.R., was enthroned as the First Eparch
(Bishop) on February 28, 1981.
During Pope John Paul II�s visit to Canada, Bishop Michael was
privileged to have the Holy Father visit the Slovak Cathedral of the
Transfiguration in Markham and bless its cornerstone and plaques.
As member of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Bishop Rusnak,
C.Ss.R., served on the CCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Inter-ritual Discipline
from 1968 until 1970 and was a member of CCCB Episcopal Commission for
Christian Education from 1973 until 1983. At the Vatican, he was a
member of the Congregation for Oriental Churches from 1968 until 1975
and a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Reform of the Oriental
Code of Canon Law from 1973 until 1978.
Bishop Rusnak, C.Ss.R., kept close ties with his people. He served as a
spiritual leader and advisor to various congregations and groups. Giving
religious instructions to children, youth and adults, he always stressed
the importance of understanding the meaning of Christ�s Church and one�s
relationship with God, encouraging the fullness of Eastern Catholic
spirituality.
Throughout his life, Bishop Rusnak, C.Ss.R., did not forget the church
in Slovakia. In 1990, he was able to return to Slovakia for the first
time in forty years. On February 17, 1990, he acted as a co-consecrator
of the new Bishop of Presov, Jan Hirka. In 1992, he was present at the
Episcopal ordination of Milan Chautur, C.Ss.R., as auxiliary Bishop of
Presov.
Bishop Michael is survived by his sister Mary Katchmar and her family in
Whiting, INDIANA, brother Nick and El Nora and their family in San
Diego, CALIFORNIA, and numerous nieces and nephews in the United States.
VE�N; MU PAMIATKA - VI�NAJA PAMJAT - ETERNAL MEMORY

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ZO SVATIMI U POKOJ!

VICANJA JEMU PAMJAT!!

mark


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MEMORY ETERNAL!!!!!!!

His Grace's brother, Nick was and is a member of my old Byzantine parish in San Diego and his sister-in-law, El Nora is cantor. So many good memories of that family!!!!

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Vichnaja pamjat, Vladyko.

Kyr Michael was a servant of God who showed that Greek Catholics can work together for the good of the Church, and that being within and part of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic hierarchy did not mean the loss of ecclesial or ethnic identity for the Rusyns.

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Diak, are you trying to be ironic?

Bishop Isidore Borecky steadfastly opposed the formation of a Rusyn jurisdiction in Canada. (The above-mentioned Fr. Leonty Minya, himself a Rusyn, tried to help organize such a jurisdiction.) Didn't Bishop Isidore also oppose the Slovak jurisdiction's formation until Stephen Roman's money spoke louder than a Successor of the Apostles?

So today Canada boasts probably the smallest Catholic diocese/eparchy in the world, with six parishes.

In Bishop Michael's (+V.P.!) jurisdiction, there were officially no such people as Rusyns. I'd be curious to find any document of the UGCC, too, that would acknowledge such a people, except as an ecclesial body known in the USA as the Byzantine Catholic Church.

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Dear Lemko,

I know Kyr Isidore personally and have spoken with him on this matter many a time.

The information you relate is simply not correct.

Stephen Roman was always a great supporter of his Slovak Greek Catholic Church and it is thanks to him and BIshop Rusnak, memory eternal, that the Slovak Eparchy was formed.

If the Slovaks wished to call themselves "Rusyny," they have every opportunity to do so, even now.

Perhaps they need some "national consciousness -raising" or something.

Relations with Bishop Rusnak and the Slovak Greek Catholics, Hungarian Greek Catholics, Roumanian Greek Catholics, Byelorussian Greek Catholics, and some others, a number of whom still prefer to be in the Ukrainian CAtholic Eparchy of Eastern Canada, have always been excellent.

I myself attended a priestly synod with Bishop Isidore presiding at St Nicholas Ukr. Cath. Church on Bellwoods and Queen Streets where Bishop Rusnak spoke and thanked Bishop Isidore for his previous and ongoing support.

He spoke in the Carpatho-Rusyn language which was perfectly understandable to me as it was to everyone else there, and we all gave him a standing ovation at the end.

Not all Ukrainians are out to get you.

Some perhaps, but not all.

Vichnaya Pamiat!

Alex

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I'm not even going to say anything on top of that excellent response, Alex, more than correct as usual.

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DIAK-uyu! smile

Alex

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Pictures from Bishop Michael Rusnak's funeral Divine Liturgy service are available for viewing. Several dozen photos have been posted at Fr. Igor Zdravecky's web page. Fr. Zdravecky was one of the concelebrants and a coordinator for the service. Here is the link.

http://home.cogeco.ca/~slovo/index/index.html

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Dear George,

Thank you for sharing this!

Bishop Michael was a great Eastern Catholic Hierarch who delivered wonderful sermons in a most beautiful, sonorous voice.

We are all much indebted to him.

Eternal Memory in Christ!

Alex

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Quote
Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
The information you relate is simply not correct.

Stephen Roman was always a great supporter of his Slovak Greek Catholic Church and it is thanks to him and BIshop Rusnak, memory eternal, that the Slovak Eparchy was formed.

If the Slovaks wished to call themselves "Rusyny," they have every opportunity to do so, even now.

Perhaps they need some "national consciousness -raising" or something.
Bishop Michael Rusnak on the Rusyn "question":

Quote
Since the majority of the faithful of our eparchy are first or subsequent generation Slovaks and also from the diocese of Presov, they brought with them many customs as well as memories of difficult experiences. Among these, for example, was the question of national origin and the composition of the faithful of Byzantine Rite. Under the influence of a good portion of the clergy, both in Slovakia and in the U.S.A., there subsisted in an artificial way alongside church matters, the Rusyn nationality. During the last few decades the present-day communist regime forced upon the Rusyns the Ukrainian nationality. Many refused and continue to refuse to consider the actual state of the matter: the Rusyns made up but 0.3% of the population of Czecho-Slovakia and 0.7% of the population of Slovakia proper. The absolute majority of Byzantine Catholics in Slovakia are of Slovak nationality.
(emphasis mine)

source: Rusnak, Bishop Michael, CSsR, D.D., "Who Are the Slovak Greek Catholics?" in Imrich Kruzliak ed., SS. Cyril and Methodius Among the Slovaks (Middletown, PA: Slovak Catholic Federation, 1985), 144-159.

Would you gentlemen care to produce any evidence that the Eparchy of Sts. Cyril and Methodius has provided any recognition to a Rusyn nationality under the rule of a churchman who would write such a thing? That the Rusyn nationality is artificial?

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Bp. Rusnak may have been an Eastern Catholic hierarch who paid too much attention to nationalistic separatism instead of unifying the "Subcarpathian" Greek Catholics of Canada. From what I have read, the Eparchy was created because of the financial backing of the Canadian businessman, Stephen Roman, and Rome couldn't say no. Unlike the Bps. Gojdich and Hopko, who kept the faithful of the Prjashev Eparchy united during the Communist seige, Bp. Rusnak chose to divide the Greek Catholics of Canada.

Ung-Certez frown

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