Markham, Ontario - After being closed for more than a decade, the Cathedral of the Transfiguration north of Toronto has quietly re-opened its doors.

The cathedral has welcomed parishioners of nearby Jesus the King Melkite Catholic Church to use its yet unfinished space for Sunday services. The Melkite Catholics had been homeless after their Thornhill, Ont., church was engulfed in flames last October.

They were allowed into the cathedral after Helen Roman-Barber, who sits on the board of the Slovak Greek Catholic Church Foundation, which owns the cathedral, received a temporary occupancy permit from the City of Markham to accommodate the Melkite Catholics.

Despite scaffolding and ongoing construction in the cathedral’s interior, the Melkite Catholic parishioners were grateful for the space. But although once again a place of worship for Eastern Catholics, the cathedral’s original vision will never be fully realized.

It was originally conceived by Stephen B. Roman, a mining magnate and father of Helen Roman-Barber, as “a beacon for his fellow Slavs in central and eastern Europe.” Now it seems destined to become a home of ecumenical worship for all Catholic rites, said Roman-Barber.

When Pope John Paul II established the first Slovak Byzantine Catholic Eparchy in North America in October 1980, he marked Toronto as a place of preservation for the spiritual heritage of the Slovak Byzantine Catholic Church. During his 1984 Canadian visit, Pope John Paul II blessed the cornerstone and the altar stone of the cathedral, making it the first church in North America consecrated by a pope.

Continue reading at The Catholic Register.

Teachings of Christ

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44 ESV)

Lenten Prayer of St. Ephrem

O Lord and Master of my life, drive away from me the spirit of despondency, carelessness, love of power, and idle chatter. (Prostration)

Rather grant to me, Your servant, the spirit of wholeness of being, humility, patience, and love. (Prostration)

Yes, O Lord and King, grant that I may see my own faults and not condemn my brother; for You are blessed to the ages of ages. Amen. (Prostration)


Today is the fountainhead of our salvation, * and the revelation of an eternal mystery: * The Son of God becomes the Son of a Virgin, * and Gabriel announces the good news of grace. * Therefore, let us also cry with him to the Mother of God: * "Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you!” (Troparion, Tone 4)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

To you, O Mother of God, our leader and defender, * we, your servants, delivered from calamity, offer hymns of victory and thanksgiving. * So you, who have invincible might, * set us free from every peril * that we may cry to you: * "Rejoice, O unwedded Bride!" (Kontakion, Tone 8)

Random Proverb

"My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you." (Proverbs 3:1,2 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

In two things then was Abraham victorious: that he killed his son although he did not kill him and that he believed that after Isaac died he would be raised up again and would go back down with him. For Abraham was firmly convinced that He Who said to him, 'through Isaac shall your descendants be named,' was not lying.

St. Ephrem the Syrian, Commentary on Genesis