Monthly Archives: December 2017

A child in Cochabamba, Bolivia is delighted by her new gift. Photo by Janelle  Witzaney

Gifts of Love and Thanks

Advent is an exciting time at Chalice because we see an outpouring of love in many different forms. This deluge of the heart is no accident, it is prompted by the anticipation of the Lord’s arrival. It is from our natural inclination of wanting to be close to Christ that we desire to share the gift of love with others. The beauty of expressing love is in our creation. The Lord has made each and every one of us an individual who shows our love in very different ways.

In his book Life is Worth Living, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen says, “Nothing ever happens in this world that does not happen first inside human hearts.”  Naturally we look to prayer when we want to make something happen inside the human heart. Through prayer we are making a connection with the Lord which, in turn, connects us to all of His children. Prayers open hearts and can create tangible expressions of love.

When Chalice supporter’s hearts are moved to give, our hearts are also stirred. Deacon Danny MacDonald, our School and Parish Administrator says even a task as simple as opening the mail during Advent is deeply inspiring because we see the generosity of people.  Deacon Danny also said the love and generosity does not stop at our individual supporters. One parish wanted to encourage others to give donations for mosquito netting from our Chalice Gift Catalogue. In order to show their solidarity with our work, the parish covered their nativity scene in mosquito netting!

When the Three Wise Men visited Jesus after his birth, they brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. There is a major significance attached to these gifts because the Wise Men were not only acknowledging the importance of the birth of Jesus, but they were also giving gifts of love and thanks for the Son of God’s arrival. Living in Canada has afforded us the opportunity to be able to give gifts that express our gratitude for all of God’s blessings. When we share our blessings with others, we give gifts from the heart, letting the recipient know they are one of God’s children and they are loved. Chances are the recipient of that gift will experience a movement inside their heart that will allow them to pass the love on in a meaningful way.

The month of December, admittedly, is a very busy time of year, but it is also a time where our hearts are open and we are ready to celebrate Christmas. So go fourth and spread your gifts from the heart with others. Whether in the form of a kind greeting, lending an ear to listen or buying a gift – spread joy this Christmas and create tangible expressions of love.

By Heidi Hlubina – Parish Coordinator

Cover photo by Janelle Witzaney – Solidarity Tour Volunteer

Ukrainian Christmas Kutia

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Kutia at our Pochaiv Sponsor Site

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Children making Christmas Kutia – a traditional Christmas Recipe

Kutia is the main dish on Ukrainians’ Christmas table. It has a special significance and Holy Dinner begins with it. Kutia is also called God’s dish. It is cooked of decorticated wheat grains, poppy seeds, honey, walnuts and raisins. This dish is a symbol of unity of generations: past ones and coming ones. Also, it is a symbol of life victory over death. Wheat grains are life which comes to the end and revives. Poppy seeds are souls of deceased ancestors. Honey is an ancient symbol of Christianity and it becomes a symbol of the Good News that Jesus, World Savior, is Born. Therefore, kutia is a very ancient a symbolic dish on the festive table. The tastier kutia is the higher prosperity will be at your home. A soup plate with kutia is to be placed in the middle of a table. Entire family should taste kutia from one plate as this is a symbol of a family unity. A separate small plate with kutia is to be placed on a window sill for deceased ancestors whose souls come for Holy Dinner this night.

Ingredients

1½ cups decorticated wheat (wheat berries)

1 cup poppy seeds

4 tablespoons honey

½ cup raisins

½ cup decorticated walnuts

½ cup boiled water

4 tablespoons sugar

Salt

  • Soak wheat berries for few hours in cold water. After that, pour the water out. For 1 part of wheat we take 2 parts of water (1:2 proportion). Put wheat into boiling water, add ½ teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons sugar. Do not mix wheat while boiling. Simmer wheat under lid.
  • After water boils way, put wheat into hot oven for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse poppy seeds and steam it with boiling-hot water for few hours. Push the poppy seeds through a food grinder. Add sugar and honey.
  • Grind walnuts, steam raisins and strain off.
  • Add some boiled water into cool wheat, add poppy seeds, raisins and walnuts. Mix everything and put into clay bowl.

Recipe from our Pochaiv Site Director, Halyna Mykytiuk 

Christmas treats for our children in our Pochaiv, Ukraine site

Christmas treats for our children in our Pochaiv, Ukraine site

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Children at our site praying for their sponsor