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Holar - St. Demetrius

Holar church of St. Demetrius constructed 1952, 22 miles south-east of Wynyard; R.M. 277.

HOLAR — The church of St. Demetrius is the second church of the parish.

The church at Holar was constructed by the parishioners who first attended the distant church of St. Michael near Wishart. The five acre church and cemetery site was donated by Nykola (Nick) Syrota. In 1919 the parishioners prepared the site for a parish cemetery and in 1924 constructed a small rectangular wooden church with one frontal cupola. The chief constructor was K. Hoberi, a Swede, and construction costs totalled $2,000. Bishop Nicetas Budka blessed the cemetery in 1926. The church was blessed by Archbishop Basil Ladyka in 1932. In 1952 the church structure was sold to the Ukrainian community in Foam Lake and a second church was constructed on its site.

The present church was constructed for $20,000 by contractor Harry Shalley of Goodeve. The construction of both churches was accomplished through the generous donations and voluntary labour of the parishioners. Members of the construction committee, Michael Pid-peryhora, chairman, Dmytro Katuski, secretary, and Nykola Syrota, treasurer, worked with self-sacrifice and dedication. The church structure, in the form of an elongated^ cross 60 by 38 feet, has three frontal blind cupolas, a shingled gable roof and imitation brick asphalt siding. Its basement is utilized for parish activities. The church interior contains a rectangular elevated sanctuary, two sacristies, a vestibule, and a nave with wooden pews seating approx. 150 persons. The choir loft is above the vestibule and projects partly over the nave. The entire cruciform interior is dominated by a vaulted ceiling. Lighting is by electricity and central heating is by oil.

The first Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Rev. Volodymyr Korba, CSSR. Bishop Andrew Roborecki blessed the church on May 29, 1960 and celebrated Pontifical Divine Liturgy in the church in 1968.

A concrete bell tower was constructed near the church in 1935, a church cross installed in 1920, and a parish hall constructed in 1940 and named after Rev. Markian Shashkevych.

Ukrainian settlers arrived in this area in 1908 predominantly from the villages of Uvysia, Zvyniach and Khvorostkiv in the Husiatyn and Chortkiv counties. The founding members were: Rev. Joseph Ghekiere, CSSR, Nykola Syrota, Theodore Babey, Mykhaylo Pidperyhora, Pylyp Cnorney and Andriy Pasternak. This parish was blessed with three vocations to the priesthood. Rev. Joseph Denischuk, CSSR, Rev. John Syrota, CSSR, Rev. Rudolph Luzney, and one vocation to the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate, Stefanie Olynyk (Sr. David).

In 1941 the parish consisted of 45 members with 95 children (Prop. Knyha). In 1967 there were 67 individuals (Quest.) and in 1975, 24 members from a twelve mile radius. In 1976 the parish was under the directorship of:

Rev. Leonard Ratushniak, CSSR, pastor, George Olynyk Metro Bzdell, William Pidperyhora and Joseph Syrota.

The Ukrainian Catholic parish of St. Demetrius, Holar, is under the pastoral charge of Wynyard.

Update as of October 2003

The community is still celebrating Divine Liturgies twice a month.  Officiating is Father Leonid Malkov, C.Ss.R.  There are approximately 30 members involved in the parish. 

It is still evident during Christmas and Easter celebrations when the church is filled with family members who come home to celebrate these special occasions in the church they attended as children.  It is wonderful to see the ties that remain to this parish.

The choir is under the direction of Marilyn Syrota who takes great pride in her job and does it well.  The parish hall is still being used for parish dinners and a dance is held once a year as a fund raiser.  The up keep of the church and grounds are kept beautiful year round, with new siding and a lighted cross at the front of the church.  The local parishioners all take great pride when it comes to the care of the church.  The parish committee in the year 2003 is comprised of Mr. Neil Syrota, president; Mr. Emil Syrota, secretary and Mr. Edward Pidperyhora financial secretary.  St. Demetrius church is still under the pastoral charge of Wynyard.