Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/12/2009 (2793 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Bethlehem Peace Light has come to Winnipeg.
The flickering flame, fetched every year by a child from the grotto where Christ is said to have been born, travelled through Europe and the U.S. before entering Canada, local organizer Oksana Shulakewyck said.
"The light signifies hope, peace, warmth, tranquillity and love for all the people in the world," she said, noting that the flame has been burning since November.
The light, and the message behind it, will be shared Jan. 3 at 9:30 a.m. at a service at the Saints Volodymyr and Olga Ukrainian Catholic Cathedral, at McGregor Street and Flora Avenue.
"Anybody from any church and denomination is welcome to come and share the flame," Shulakewyck said. Candles will be provided for people wishing to take the flame home.
In its 24-year history, the Peace Light has been passed on to the likes of Pope John Paul II, Mikhail Gorbachev, former King Hussein of Jordan and UN troops in Kosovo. It has also offered light at the Ground Zero site in New York.
The light was originally part of a charitable relief mission for children in need in Austria and abroad. It came to Winnipeg with help from the Winnipeg chapter of Ukrainian Scouts.
"It arrived at JKF airport in New York on Dec. 4," she said. "They brought it with the pilots in the cockpit, in containers with sand and cement."
Shulakewyck said the flame went through Wisconsin and Minneapolis before reaching the Canadian border. The Winnipeg church was the first in Canada to receive the flame.
Shulakewyck is glad the flame arrived just in time for Ukrainian Christmas on Jan. 7. It will be kept burning bright until Epiphany -- 10 days after Ukrainian Christmas.
People can come to the Ukrainian Catholic cathedral, light a candle from the flame, take it home and keep it during Christmas.