History

Ukrainian Orthodox Church of St. Michael the Archangel Parish Highlights

In the early fifties, many Ukrainian families lived in the Calder area. As there was no Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the vicinity, seven families met in the home of Hryhorij and Mary Sorochan on April 19-1959 to discuss the possibility of organizing a parish in the area. Walter Tacey, Wasyl Bereska, Harry Sorochan, Steve Chornlesky, Dmytro Mycak, William Ketskalo and Steve Sokol attended this meeting. A new parish was formed, taking the name: “St. Michael the Archangel”, after the first Priest, Very Reverend Michael Fyk. The first Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Very Rev. Michael Fyk on May 29-1959 in Calder School. That evening eleven families gathered to elect an Executive for the newly formed St. Michael the Archangel Parish. The President was Hryhorij Sorochan, Secretary was Dmytro Mycak and Treasurer was Wolodymyr Tacey. The eleven founding members at the meeting were: Wasyl and Zenovia Bereska, Stephan and Mary Chornolesky, John and Mary Guglich, Wasyl and Ann Ketskalo, Dmytro & Pauline Mycak, Stephan Sokol, Oleksander and Anna Olhousky, Peter and Mary Popowich, Victor and Mary Popowich, Hryhorij and Mary Sorochan and Wolodymyr and Stella Tacey. At an annual meeting held on Jan.15-1961 a resolution was made to purchase an old United Church. On April 15-1961, St. Michael’s purchased the United Church. The official blessing and opening of this church took place on Nov. 26-1961. John Belsek was the archetect and managed the project. Services were held in the church for six years. The new church was built and on Nov. 1967 the church was blessed by Archbishop Andrew. The Iconostas was installed in 1976. Professor Sviatoslaw(George) Hordynsky of New York completed painting the Icons for the Iconostas in March 1977 and they were blessed by Bishop Boris. In 1977 church chimes were purchased. Five chandeliers were purchased in 1984, they were imported from Athens Greece. The parish manse was sold in May 2004. In 1988, in commemoration of the Millenium of Christianity in Ukraine, artist Ivan Ostafiychuk was commissioned to paint two large icons to be mounted on either side of the iconostas. One icon depicts the celebration of the coming of Christianity to Ukraine. The other features St. Michael the Archangel surrounded by Kievan Pecherska Lavra Monastery, Pochaiv Monastery and St. Michael’s Church. Rev. Fr. Dr. Ivan Stus blessed the icons. Completion of construction of the parish hall occurred in 1991. His Eminence Archbishop John blessed the hall on Sept.28-1991. A wheel chair lift was installed to make the church wheel chair accessible. A mortgage burning was held on Oct.29-1993. In 1999 an addition was added on the west side of the hall, expanding the work area for the kitchen and creating a comfortable recreation room. The parish has a large paved parking lot on the north side of the building as well as a paved parking lot on the west side of the church. In 2003 a large outdoor message sign was purchased and parish activities are advertised on it. St. Michael’s Parish has recognized and honored three priests who received one of the highest elevations of priesthood, the Mitre. Archbishop Andrew bestowed the Mitre to Very Rev. Hryhory Wasyliw in 1985. In 1989 Very Rev. Dr. Ivan Stus was recognized for 30 years service and was awarded the Mitre. On Nov.21-2004, St. Michael’s Parish celebrated a triple celebration. With its 45th Anniversary, Archbishop John awarded the Mitre to Very Rev. Fr. Mykola Sawchenko for his service to the Orthodox Church. Also on Nov.21-2004, Deacon Mykhaylo Pozdyk was ordained into the Holy Priesthood by the hands of His Eminence John, Archbishop of Edmonton and the Western Diocese. Fr. Mykhaylo returned to Winnipeg to complete his studies and will serve in the St. Andrew’s College Chapel. He was assigned a parish Aug.01-2005. In 2005 a white metal cross was donated by St. Stephen’s Cemetery and was attached on the west outside wall of the church. In 2007 a canopy was added to the church front and a brick patio was laid at the west entrance in 2008. The parish is celebrating it’s 50th Anniversary throughout 2009. The theme is “Reconnecting with our Roots”. Commemorative Golf Shirts were designed. In commemoration of the anniversary the members donated toward the purchase of a Seven Votive Candelabra, for which donors names are engraved on a plaque. Every first Sunday of the month members were asked to wear their Ukrainian shirt or blouse or the anniversary shirt. A Spiritual Seminar was held on March 27&28-2009 with Rev. Peter Haugen as guest speaker. On June 06-2009 a Food Fair was held featuring a barbecued pig and turkey with other Ukrainian Foods and Exhibits. The Patron Saint’s Day was held on Sat. Nov.21-2009, His Eminence Metropolitan John and His Grace Bishop Ilarion attended, the day consisted of a dinner and program, which included honoring two founding members and a slide show of parish history. St. Michael’s Women’s Association of Canada: Kniahynia Olha Branch organized in Mar. 1961 with ten members, the women work to support our church: catering, fund raising and nurturing our youth, currently has 70 members. St. Michael’s CYMK was organized in Dec. 1964 with twenty two members. The branch was active until 1995. The branch participated in the Dominion Queen contest, drama contest and CYMK Choir. At the branch level they did their own fund raising; writing pysanky, making kolachi, babky, pasky and embroidery. St. Michael’s Men’s Society was organized in 1968, it’s main function was and is to raise funds to support the parish. The parish continues to hold Bazaars, Picnics, Puschenia’s, Malanka’s and Luncheon’s. Our Cultural Hall is rented out, we cater to a variety of events. With God’s blessing the parish is growing and will continue to grow. The parish recognizes all members who have reached the age of seventy five years by having their family present and sharing the birthday cake. Currently the parish has a membership of one hundred and sixty five members.