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Fr. Michael Yaremko and Fr. Edward Gibney ordained to the priesthood June 29, 2017 in the diocese of Saskatoon

PHOTOS: Archbishop Donald Bolen of Regina returned to the diocese of Saskatoon for a joyful celebration June 29, 2017: the ordination of Fr. Edward Gibney and Fr. Michael Yaremko to the priesthood. 

The Cathedral of the Holy Family was full for the celebration, which was followed by a reception and an opportunity to recieve blessings from the newly ordained priests.

Fr. Edward Gibney will begin his priestly service at St. Gabriel the Archangel Parish in Biggar and Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Landis, while Fr. Michael Yaremko will serve as associate pastor at St. Augustine Parish in Humboldt, as well as at St. Scholastica Parish, Burr; Holy Trinity Parish, Pilger; and Our Lady of Assumption Parish, Marysburg.

(Photos from the ordination by Tim and Kiply Yaworski)

 --- more info in news article, below

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Diocese of Saskatoon joyfully celebrates ordination of Fr. Edward Gibney and Fr. Michael Yaremko

Years of discernment and journeying in faith culminated for two men on the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul as the Roman Catholic Diocese of Saskatoon joyfully celebrated the priestly ordination of Rev. Michael Yaremko and Rev. Edward Gibney.


With the diocese of Saskatoon still waiting for the appointment of a bishop, Regina Archbishop Donald Bolen returned to Saskatoon for the ordination held June 29, 2017 at the Cathedral of the Holy Family.


“It has been a privilege to play a part in your respective journeys to the priesthood,” Bolen told Yaremko and Gibney, thanking Diocesan Administrator Rev. Kevin McGee for the invitation to preside at the celebration.


Archbishop Murray Chatlain of Keewatin-Le Pas, Bishop Bryan Bayda of the Ukrainian Catholic Eparchy of Saskatoon, Abbot Peter Novecosky, OSB, of St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster, and some 65 priests joined Bolen in blessing Yaremko and Gibney in the presence of family, friends, diocesan and parish representatives who filled the cathedral for the evening celebration.


Rev. Colin Roy, who serves as diocesan Vocations Director along with Rev. Daniel Yasinski, presented the candidates for priesthood, while rectors of the seminaries where each man studied provided testimony on behalf of the candidates.


Rev. Stephen Hero described how Yaremko came to St. Joseph Seminary in Edmonton with training as a teacher and some five years of formation with the Legionaries of Christ before discerning a call to serve as a diocesan priest. “His years of previous formation had certainly helped to form a missionary heart in this mature young man, and he brought gifts of discipline and joy, prayer and charity to our community,” said Hero.


“Michael completed his Master of Divinity degree this year in Edmonton, and his ministry at the seminary and at St. John the Evangelist parish in Edmonton again showed the maturity of this missionary disciple of Christ and his readiness to shepherd, teach and sanctify the people of God as a priest, after the heart of Jesus Christ.”


Canon Philip Gillespie of Pontifical Beda College in Rome sent a letter in support of Gibney, read by Rev. Colin Roy.


“As Ed comes to the end of his four years at the Beda College, we thank him most sincerely for the warm and generous way in which he has engaged with and enriched the life of the college… we believe that good foundations have been laid and he has shown ample evidence of the talents and the priestly heart necessary for ministry within the diocese,” wrote Gillespie.


“We rely on the help of the Lord God and our Saviour Jesus Christ, and we choose these men, our brothers, for priesthood in the presbyteral order,” announced Bolen, with the assembly responding “Thanks be to God,” followed by a round of applause.


In his homily, Bolen reflected on God as the potter who forms and sculpts our lives – just as he formed and sculpted the lives of St. Peter and St. Paul.


“We hear Paul tell us that we are earthen vessels, we are clay jars,” said Bolen, citing the second reading from 2 Corinthians. “As clay jars we are marked by the things of the earth, by our wounds, brokenness and decay. But by God’s grace we hold something extraordinary within us. This is who the Church is. This is who we are… we are fragile, we are scratched, we are cracked – but by God’s grace we share in a mystery, we carry a treasure. We live a mystery. It is a paschal mystery: God living and dying and rising for us; God living and dying and rising within us. This is our story.”


God has been intimately at work shaping Yaremko and Gibney, Bolen added, using imagery that particularly resonated with Gibney’s background as an artist and sculptor. “This is your story too – God the potter, God the sculptor, doing the work that only God can do,” the archbishop said.


Bolen described how when he arrived as bishop of Saskatoon in 2010, Gibney was the State Deputy for the Knights of Columbus. When Gibney mentioned in passing that he might consider the seminary after his term was finished, Bolen “remembered that word” and reminded Gibney of it later. In a similar way, Ed Gibney’s uncle, Fr. Charles Gibney, had been a mentor to Bolen years ago, “speaking a word” that opened the door to the priesthood for him.


Originally from Yorkton, Yaremko came to the diocese after years of discernment and faith formation, with “gifts that had been growing, that had been tested,” noted Bolen. “When you got in touch with me, your message had been preceded by a couple of others…saying ‘there is a fellow who is going to be coming to you about coming to the diocese of Saskatoon: this is good news’,” Bolen recalled.


Bolen urged Yaremko and Gibney to trust that God will be there to support them, just as God was there for St. Peter and for St. Paul. “Trust God with your own brokenness, your own woundedness. Trust God with your poverty. Let Jesus minister to you there, as he ministered to Paul and to Peter there, and let that be a source of compassion as you respond to others in their woundedness,” said the archbishop.


“Peter and Paul both learned in adverse circumstances that God was with them, that God would never let them go. Jesus will teach you the same. Trust always in the struggles ­ when you encounter your own limitations and your stubborn failings ­ trust that Jesus is transforming you as he gives you a sacred role of transforming others and the world.”


He added: “As priests you will always live with the tension of who you are – an earthen vessel, a clay pot – and the sublime work that you are called to do, share intimately in the mission of Christ. Hold fast to that tension. God’s mercy dwells there. Know the clay pot that you are, and love it for the image and likeness of God that dwells within…. Know that the Lord holds you fast, and will not let you go. And knowing that, prepare yourself for a great adventure.”


The rite of ordination continued with Gibney and Yaremko declaring their intention to care for the Lord’s flock, promising to celebrate the mysteries of Christ faithfully, to preach the gospel, and, uniting themselves to Christ, to consecrate their lives to God for the salvation of the people. Both men then pledged obedience to the local “ordinary” or bishop.


As a sign of surrender to God, Gibney and Yaremko lay prostrate upon the floor in front of the altar while the assembly prayed for the intercession of the saints and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.


The archbishop then conferred ordination by laying his hands upon the head of each man – a gesture repeated by the many priests present at the celebration, as a sign of unity and shared spirit.

After a prayer of consecration by the archbishop, the newly-ordained were vested with the stole (a sign of the priestly office) and the chasuble (the Eucharistic vestment) with Rev. Christopher Dubois assisting Gibney, and Rev. Andrew Paulowicz and Rev. Stephen Hero assisting Yaremko.


Each newly-ordained priest then knelt before the archbishop, who anointed their hands with the oil of Sacred Chrism, blessed at the diocesan Chrism Mass in Holy Week.


A chalice and paten were presented to each new priest, with the words: “Know what you are doing and imitate the mystery you celebrate: model your life on the mystery of the Lord’s cross.” Yaremko and Gibney then joined the bishops and priests at the altar to celebrate Eucharist.


The celebration was followed by a reception, with long lines of those wishing to congratulate the new priests and receive their blessings.


The son of Terry and Pamela Yaremko, Rev. Michael Yaremko celebrated his first Sunday Eucharist with St. Gerard parish in Yorkton, SK. on July 2. As of Aug. 1 Yaremko will serve as associate pastor at St. Augustine parish in Humboldt, SK; St. Scholastica parish in Burr, SK; Holy Trinity parish in Pilger, SK; and Assumption of Our Lady parish in Marysburg, SK.


Born in Canora, SK., Rev. Ed Gibney is the son of the late Hubert and Adeline Gibney. He moved to Saskatoon as a youth, attending Holy Cross High School and studying art, before working for many years as a sculpture in the community. He celebrated his first Sunday Eucharist July 2 at St. Philip Neri parish in Saskatoon. As of Aug. 1, Gibney will serve as pastor of St. Gabriel the Archangel parish in Biggar, SK and Our Lady of Fatima parish in Landis, SK.



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