The Archdiocese of Vancouver appointed Rev. Ján Kuneš as priest in the Slovak parish of St. Cyril and Methodius in New Westminster, British Columbia. This parish is on the outskirts of the metropolis of Vancouver and serves Slovaks throughout southwestern British Columbia.
Rev. Kuneš was appointed Administrator of this parish already in February 2021, but due to the pandemic, the public could not attend masses, other ceremonies, or social events. As soon as external gatherings were allowed, he immediately began to serve Mass in the presence of parishioners outside, under tents on the church grounds. It was the first parish in the entire Archdiocese of Vancouver to allow parishioners to attend services live, which was also noted and appreciated by television in British Columbia.
Father Ján Kuneš was born in Bojnice on November 20, 1974. He studied theology in Banská Bystrica - Badín. He was ordained on June 19, 1999 in the Church of the Virgin Mary of the Seven Sorrows in Martin, at the age of 24. He worked as a chaplain in Banská Bystrica and Martin and as a pastor in Donovaly and in Žiar nad Hronom in the Parish of the Virgin Mary of the Seven Sorrows. He completed his postgraduate studies in Rome and lectured at the Faculty of Theology of Comenius University in the Priests seminaries in Badín and Nitra.
Although he came from a large and lively parish in Žiar nad Hronom (originally the Holy Cross above Hron) to a small community of Slovaks in Vancouver, he is very pleased that the parishioners in the church of St. Cyril and Methodius are active, kind and very helpful.
His personal goal is to be as helpful as possible to the people and to make every effort to fully restore the parish, because so shortly after the end of the restrictions during the pandemic, some still prefer to attend worship services over the Internet. He wants as many Slovaks as possible to gather in the parish and especially that all the newcombers who start going to the church of St. Cyril and Methodius in New Westminster would feel at home.
Father Ján Kuneš, we welcome you to Canada and we hope that you will be able to visit Canadian Slovaks in other cities as well, and we also wish that you feel at home among Slovaks in Canada.
The website of the Slovak parish in Vancouver is www.cyrilmetod.ca where there is also a line to watch all Masses in HD quality. Slovak Masses in this picturesque Slovak church are on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and on Sunday at 11.00. Masses in English are on Tuesday and Thursday at 7 pm, on Wednesday and Friday at 8 a.m. and on Saturday and Sunday at 9 a.m..
Text and photos: Palo Čarnogurský