Moncton’s Ukrainian community preparing for Orthodox Easter
Moncton’s Ukrainian community invited the Greater Moncton community to help them prepare for a special Easter celebration on Sunday.
Though Orthodox Easter is still two weeks away, a large crowd gathered at the Riverview Lion’s Club to decorate traditional Ukrainian Easter eggs and sample seasonal treats like Paska bread and Kolach, a traditional braided bread.
Event organizer Oksana Seniv was pleased with the strong turnout. She said there were mixed feelings going into the upcoming holiday.
“Back home, it’s not a normal celebration anymore. People will probably go to church where possible, but they probably will avoid travelling and avoid meeting their families…Even though we’re staying safe here, it’s not a celebration anymore under the circumstances.” she said in an interview on Sunday.
She said the Ukrainian community would be gathering together to mark the occasion, along with a Ukrainian Orthodox priest who will be coming in from Sydney, N.S. to deliver an Easter blessing.
“He’s never had all these people together for that blessing. That will be another great support I guess because sometimes we need those talks with priests and we need that blessing for us and for our families.” she said.
Laurissa MacDonald was selling the traditional braided bread she learned how to make from her Ukrainian grandparents. She has started a business selling the bread out of her home in order to raise funds for the Ukrainian Club.
“It’s really tearjerking to watch the news. I know my mom and my uncles, they can’t even turn on the news anymore because it’s very devastating…It’s been very hard, especially being so far away. You can only do so much from a distance.” she said on Sunday.
“For me, this is what I’m doing, it’s my contribution. It doesn’t seem like much to most but for me it’s a big deal to do this,” she said, adding that despite the heartbreaking circumstances, she is finding comfort in connecting with Moncton’s Ukrainian community and sharing her heritage with her daughter.
Seniv and the other volunteers at Moncton’s Ukrainian Club have been working tirelessly, planning the back to back fundraisers to acquire medical supplies to ship to Ukraine and financially support Ukrainian refugees on their way to Moncton.
“We are getting a list of people who are coming, they fill in a form online. We are trying to match them with the people who are trying to help with temporary shelter, food, transportation or just giving information.”
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