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Dnipro -Transfiguration of Our Lord

Church of the Transfiguration constructed 1931, 9 miles north of Rhcin. R.M. 273.

DNIPRO "Dnieper" — The church of the Trans­figuration of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the second church of the parish.

The Ukrainian pioneer settlers in this area con­structed the first church, a log structure, in 1904. Up to 1918 the Seraphim, a religious sect in the vicinity, held their services in this church. The first holy service for the Catholic community was served on August 20, 1918 by Rev. Henry Boels, CSSR. On November 1, 1930, this church was destroyed by fire. Consequently the founding members of the parish constructed the second church in 1931 two miles east and two miles south of the original church site. The present church was visited two times by Bishop Nicetas Budka and Archbishop Basil Ladyka who blessed the church June 13, 1938. Bishop Andrew Roborecki honoured the parish with several visitations and last celebrated Divine Liturgy in the church May 10, 1970.

The five acre prairie church site is nine miles north of Rhein and eleven miles south-east of Donwell. The church is a wood constructed cruciform structure, 56 x 36 feet. with a central dome. Its exterior walls, including the drum supporting the dome, are finished in painted narrow wood siding and contain rectangular windows with semicircular summits. The roof is shingled while the dome is covered with white sheet metal.

Orientation of the church is east-west with the main entrance from the west through a vestibule; stairs at the south wall of the vestibule lead to the choir loft. The sanctuary with the main altar is located in the eastern wing of the cruciform structure. A vaulted ceiling extends above the intersecting wings while the large well illuminated dome, which is supported by arcades and four pilasters, dominates the central area of the church. An adjoining porch on the north side of the church houses the sacristy while an additional north adjoining structure accommodates the oil heating unit. The church has a wooden floor, wooden pews seating approx. 100 persons, and electrical lighting.

In 1935-1936 the church was artistically decorated by Paul Zabolotny; the icons were done in the oil on canvas technique and mounted onto the v-joint finished walls; several smaller murals and the four Evangelists, found on the triangular formations beneath the drum of the dome, were painted directly on the walls. In 1960 the church was renovated. The walls were refinished with donnacona and thus covered the original ornamentation of the church with the exception of those paintings which were left exposed with only the framing repainted.

Construction costs of the church totalled $5,000. These were covered by the private donations of the parishioners who also worked voluntarily in the church construction and site landscaping. Foreman of the parish volunteers was Mykhaylo (Michael) Tycholiz. The five acre church and cemetery site was donated by Dmytro Kyba.

The church site contains a wooden belfry, which was constructed adjacent to the first church then moved to the present site in 1931, a wooden cross dating to 1950 and a mission cross dating to 1953; the earlier com­memorative wooden cross was placed following a Holy Mission and stands in tribute to the founding members of the parish. The parish hall, which is named after Rev. Markian Shashkevych and which is found a short distance from the church, was constructed in 1937 and enlarged in 1946. Also found on the site is the parish cemetery.

Ukrainian settlement in this area began in 1897 with settlers from the Borshchiv and Horodenka coun­ties. The founding members of the parish were: P. Kyba, Dm. Kyba, Iv. Kyba, Hav. Yurkiw, Dm. Makowsky, Dm. Schur, Yu. Andrusiak, Iv. Tymbryk (Tymrick), N. Tymrick, An. Cerkowniak, Pant. Korney, Semen Kush-nir, Tom. Yasinko, Dm. Dereniwsky(i), Hr. Yaholnitsky and M. Dereniwsky. The first pastor to visit the settlers was Rev. Achille Delaere, CSSR; he came, accompan­ied by Rev. Wasyi Zholdak, in 1901 and served holy services at the home of C. Hryb. Origination from the founding members of this parish is Sr. Antonia Yurkiw of the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate.

In 1941, 75 member families with 140 children were registered to the parish (Prop. Knyha). In 1961 there were 80 individual members (questionnaire), and in 1975, 17 families were accounted for. In 2003 the pastor of the parish is Rev. Ivan Derkach.  Services are now held only once a year

The Ukrainian Catholic parish of the Transfigura­tion of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Dnieper, is under the pastoral charge of  Kamsack. "Dnieper", name of Ukrainian origin refers to Dnipro, the largest river in Ukraine. This settlement is also referred to as "Na" Donwell (at Donwell) or Rhein in reference to the community settlements nearby.