I. Eligibility

  • Practising Catholic
  • High School Graduate
  • A Completed Application Form
  • Required References
  • Personal Interview

II. Calendar

The year begins in late August with an orientation period of approximately seven days that ends with a Rite of Initiation and Commitment. During orientation new members are introduced to community life and ministry. A “regular” schedule is set up and commences immediately after orientation.

There are two breaks in the Welcome Home year. The first is Christmas break which is approximately 15 days long. The second break is the week of Easter (Bright Week).

The Welcome Home year officially ends July 31, but regular activity ceases usually by mid-July. During the last month, time is allotted for evaluation and closure.

III. Community Philosophy

Simplicity

The lifestyle of this community is intended to be simple. The community strives to challenge itself to trust in Divine Providence and to identify with those who have little choice but to live with limited resources. It is an attempt to emulate Christ’s own solidarity with the poor in our context. Feeling some of the “pinch and the pain” of the poor is always a valuable reality check.

Community Building

When a group of people gathers together to share their lives with each other for a period of time, there is a need to work on building relationships with each other. Daily life at The Welcome Home is based on developing community with those living in the home, with those living in the neighbourhood and with the volunteers who share both our spirit and our work.

IV. Community Life

Prayer Life

Prayer is the building block of community life at The Welcome Home. Growing in one’s personal relationship with Christ is an essential part of one’s spiritual journey. Since The Welcome Home is a Ukrainian Catholic Redemptorist community, the Liturgical life is according to the Byzantine Rite. A Redemptorist spirit also adds a particular dimension to the prayer life of the community. There are normally two periods of prayer each day that members attend. These usually consist of a Divine Liturgy, and a Vespers celebration. As well, the opportunity to attend retreats on an individual or communal basis is available during the year.

Practical

Community life has many practical sides to it. Some of these are household cleaning, cooking, shopping and home repairs. These are shared and/or divided up as each community sees fit and according to the gifts and abilities of the individual members of the community.

Community Meetings

Once a week there is a community meeting. Members gather to pray, discern and share what God is doing in their personal lives and in the life of the community. New business arising for the upcoming week and month is discussed, the needs of the ministry are examined, as well as scheduling, household needs, etc.

Meals

The community members determine the menu plan for the week . The responsibility for the preparation of meals is shared, often on a rotation, among all the members of the community. Depending on the schedule, at least one meal is shared in common each day.

Recreation

Common recreation is an important aspect that balances community life at The Welcome Home. It depends upon weekly scheduling and obligations.

“One-on-One”

About once a month the director will get together one-on-one with each member to “check in”. These meetings focus on honest and open dialogue and sharing mutual concerns regarding the personal experience of each member.

Formation and Education

Some educational opportunities are made possible throughout the year to help members grow in their Christian life, and in their skills for ministry. This can happen at local conferences or workshops as well as in the house

V. Ministry

The central focus of The Welcome Home is the ministry. The apostolic dimension of the community is designed to challenge each member to serve, calling forth their gifts and identifying and using new gifts.

Neighbourhood Ministry

The Welcome Home is a “spiritual home” for people of all ages. Many in the neighbourhood refer to it as their “church.” We are family centered and endeavour to build community with those who may not feel they belong anywhere else. We also do religious education and prepare people to celebrate the Sacraments. Families, and of course, children are a large part of life at The Welcome Home. The weekly activity includes after school “drop-in” time for the children and a “Family Night” where all are invited to pray and celebrate together.

Ministry work in the immediate neighbourhood calls each community member to a ministry of presence. For the adults and teens, this means “being there,” whether a person needs to talk, wants to play a card game, or just have a cup of coffee. For the children, it may mean playing games, doing crafts, or reading stories. The purpose is to make everyone feel welcome and know that he or she belongs. It is our humble attempt to create an atmosphere in which people can experience the great hospitality of God.

Apostolates

In as much as time permits, all members seek to volunteer outside the home in local inner-city agencies, community centers or schools. This valuable experience allows each community member to get to know not only his or her neighbours, but opens up connections with others serving in the area as well.

Missions

During the second half of the year, the community will prepare and conduct retreats and missions when possible.

Our Volunteers

Outreach to the Ukrainian Catholic laity is also an important aspect of what we do. People are invited to participate on a variety of levels. There are opportunities to include people as a “hands on” volunteer who helps with the ministry or as someone who helps behind the scenes in a supportive role.

VI. Finances

Basic needs of community members are met through the house fund. However, maintaining the monthly budget is the responsibility of the entire community. Each member receives a monthly living allowance.

If you are interested in coming for a visit, or would like to request an application, please contact:

Fr. Michael Smolinski C.Ss.R.

188 Euclid Avenue
Winnipeg, MB R2W 2X4
204-946-5352