Church of the Holy Eucharist constructed 1917 in easterly Hafford; R.M. 435.
HAFFORD — The church of the Holy Eucharist is the second church of the parish.
The first chapel church was constructed by the founding members m 1911 on the homestead of Mykhaylo Trefiak located one and a half miles southeast of the present church site. This original church site, now enclosed by a fence, preserves the grave sites of the first members of the parish. The parishioners decided to construct the second church in Hafford, which was a small settlement but already in the process of evolving into a town, although most of the parishioners lived on farm settlements surrounding Hafford. The church was constructed in 1917 during the pastorate of Rev. Andrew Sarmatiuk; it was blessed by Bishop Nicetas Budka in 1918 and visited by Archbishop Basil Ladyka in 1933 and 1936. Bishop Andrew Roborecki visited the parish on several occasions and last joined with the parishioners in the solemn celebration of the Jordan Water Blessing on January 19, 1973. The Hafford parish belongs to the few in the Eparchy which had the fortune of hosting the Confessor of Faith, His Beatitude Cardinal Patriarch Yosyf Slipyj, in the Eparchy’s Jubilee year. The Cardinal Patriarch celebrated a Pontifical Moleben in the church on November 8, 1976 and following this, blessed and officially opened the newly constructed parish hall.
The church is a wood constructed structure in the form of an elongated cross measuring 84 x 40 feet. Originally the main entrance into the church was through a small adjoining porch-vestibule; in 1954, this porch was removed and the church extended, also the original wood-siding on the walls and the drums of the domes was replaced with stucco finishing. The church has a shingled gable roof and a large octagonal dome apexed by a cupola and cross at the axis of the intersecting arms; two additional small blind cupolas apex the frontal towers.
The church is east-west oriented with a west main entrance and vestibule reached by a series of steps; the north side of the vestibule contains a stairway leading to the choir loft; the south side of the vestibule beneath the choir loft has built-in confessionals which are entered from the nave. The elevated sanctuary with the main altar is found in the east wing of the church; it has north and south adjoining sacristies with exits to the church grounds. The central area of the church is dominated by the large central dome well illuminated with eight large windows, while the intersecting arms have vaulted ceilings. The interior walls are finished with narrow wood siding (v-joint).
Between 1923 and 1925, during the pastorate of Rev. Ksenophont Rozdolski, the church and the approx. 30 paintings in the church were painted by Lypynsky; the paintings were done on canvas and mounted onto the walls while the stylized ornamentation was done directly on the walls. In 1976 the church interior was renovated, wall areas free of the decorative ornamentation were painted, while ornamentation was carried through to the newer addition. This work was done by Nick Leskowski. Also in 1976, the somewhat worn wooden floor was carpeted throughout the church including the sanctuary area. The church has electrical lighting and gas heating. Wooden pews in the nave provide seating for approx. 100 persons.
The parishioners constructed the church through their private donations and voluntary labour under the foremanship of Joseph Janishewski. The two acre church site and the two acre cemetery site, which is one-half mile east of the church, were purchased with collective funds.
Near the church stands a cross which was installed at the time the church was renovated; this cross replaced the damaged cross dating to 1938 which was placed in commemoration of: the first Holy Mission of 1918 under the direction of Rev. Francis Van den Bosch, CSSR; subsequent Holy Missions directed by Rev. Andrew Truch, OSBM, Rev. Gregory Shyshkowych and Rev. Volodymyr Krayewskyj, CSSR; and the 950th anniversary of Christianity in Ukraine. Adjacent to this cross stands a wooden belfry constructed in 1976; this is the third belfry and it contains the bell donated in 1920 by Anna Grodzinsky. The parish rectory, constructed in 1951 during the pastorate of Rev. Myron Pylypchuk, and the parish hall, constructed in 1976 during the pastorate of Rev. Roman Homenko, are found a short distance from the church site; these, the rectory and the parish hall, are already the second such structures in the parish and were funded by the private donations of the parishioners as was the two and one-half acre summer resort at Redberry Lake, seven miles east of Hafford.
Ukrainian settlement in this area began in 1905 from the Sokal and Horodenka counties. The founding members of the parish were: Pavlo Palahicky, Teodor Zypchyn, Ivan Pobran, Hryhoriy Zarubiak, Ivan Palahicky, Ivan Bahniuk, Hnat Bartko, Danylo Boyko, Volodymyr Hrywnak, Petro Zarubiak and Ivan Yaroshko. The first pastors to visit the settlers were Rev. Emilian Andruchowicz, Rev. Tymofey Wasylewich and Rev. Nawkraty N. Kryzanowski, OSBM; holy services were served by them in the private homes of the settlers; from 1911 they were held in the first chapel church of the parish (datum — Ivan (John) Palahicky, the only surviving founding member of this parish). The parish archives preserve for posterity the names of the long time cantors and the choir director of the parish Petro Vesniy, Yosyf Stadnyk and Nykola Shurgot. This parish was blessed with one vocation to the priesthood. Rev. Adam Pidwerbesky.
In 1941 the parish registered 46 members with almost 100 children (Prop. Knyha), in 1961 there were 440 souls (Directory) and in 1975, 142 member families, a total of 450 individual members, were accounted for. In 1976 the parish was under the directorship of: Rev. Roman Homenko, pastor, Fred Harach, Walter Rebey-ka, John Yaremchuk, John Palahicky, Paul Harach and John Herman.
The Ukrainian Catholic parish of the Holy Eucharist at Hafford is the seat of the Hafford pastoral district with satellite parishes at Alticane, Albertown, Welechko and Speers. Pastor for the district is Rev. Roman Homenko.
Hafford Holy Eucharist Church
Hafford Holy Eucharist Cemetery
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