Our Lady of Hungary Parish in Montreal held its annual patronal festival on October 3rd, 2010. The city’s Hungarian parish opened its doors to all Central European communities in Montreal, with priests from the Ukrainian, German and Slovene churches participating during mass and a range of other communities setting up tables with traditional food and crafts from their home cultures. Fr. Thomas Androvich, Our Lady of Hungary’s parish priest, celebrated Sunday mass and also gave the homily. In his reflection, Fr. Tamás observed that Central European communities and nations that had sometimes shared a troubled history were able to come together in peace, cooperation and celebration. Fr. Tamás added that just as the Virgin Mary said ‘yes’ to God and chose life, we too as Catholic and Christian communities must choose to follow Christ.
More than four hundred people participated in the Sunday morning mass, after which the parish held a reception for dignitaries and church leaders. Kathleen Weil, Quebec’s Minister of Immigration and Cultural Communities, was present and also spoke about the importance of diversity and the contributions of others cultures to the province. The borough Mayor of Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc Extension, Anie Samson, addressed parishoners and members of other communities at the festival, beginning her speech with a few words in Hungarian. In addition to civil servants of the Quebec government, the Hungarian Embassy in Ottawa was represented by diplomats Tamás Király and Imre Helyes.
The festival included a wide range of meals from Central Europe, an array of live music from all genres–including traditional folk, as well as Hungarian evergreen and pop–and colourful games for children and the young at heart. Participants crossed cultural and culinary boundaries by mixing Borscht and pierogies, with Hungarian goulash, Debreczeni and crepes. By attracting well over 400 participants, the Hungarian scouts, the Hungarian Saturday school, the community’s folk dance groups, the youth band and all church committees helped make the festival a success, demonstrating that Our Lady of Hungary Parish remains a vibrant church in the Archdiocese of Montreal.
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