BANKEND — The church of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the first church of the parish.
The parish was established in 1942 by ten families who prior to this date attended holy services and were spiritually served at the neighbouring parishes of the Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Model Farm and St. Michael at Wishart.
The first step in the establishment of this parish was the purchase of a one acre site in Bankend for $50. In 1947 an additional half acre cemetery site one-half mile from the church was purchased for $30. Construction of the church began in 1946 and was completed in 1953. June 14, 1959 was the joyous day of the blessing and consecration of the church by Bishop Andrew Roborecki.
The cruciform church, 60 x 36 feet, is constructed of wood, has an architecturally complementing shingled gable roof and two frontal towers apexed by small cupolas on corresponding sides of the main entrance. The walls of the structure contain rectangular stained glass windows with arched summits. The church interior contains a sanctuary with the main altar, a nave, and a vestibule. A choir loft extends directly above the vestibule. The ceiling is vaulted and converges into a slightly elevated area resembling a dome at the central axis of the intersecting arms. Wooden pews provide seating for approx. 110 persons. The church has electricity and central oil heating. Between 1952 and 1953 the church was artistically decorated by the artist Paul Zabolotny. Construction of the church, total costs $9,000, was accomplished through the generous donations and voluntary labour of the parishioners under the foremanship of Vasyi’ Gulayevych and Theodore Buchko.
Near the church stands a cross commemorating the Holy Mission of 1961. The wooden belfry, also nearby, was constructed in 1951; its bell was purchased in 1957.
The first Ukrainian settlers arrived in this area in 1903 from the Jaroslaw, Peremyshi, Borshchiv, Husia-tyn and Rava Rus’ka counties. Their settlement in Bankend began in 1932. The first Divine Liturgy in this parish was celebrated by Rev. Gregory Shawel, CSSR, on August 23, 1942 at the community school. During construction of the church the membership increased to 15 families. In 1961 the parish consisted of 150 souls (Directory), in 1967 there were 93 persons (questionnaire) and in 1975 there were 13 families and 2 single members. In 1976 the parish was under the directorship of: Rev. Roman Chomiak, CSSR, and other Redemp-torist Fathers, pastor, Andrew Bzdel, Andrew Kara-kochuk, Mike Selski, Eugene Bzdel and Walter Ben.
The Ukrainian Catholic parish of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ at Bankend is under the pastoral charge of Yorkton.