Church of St. Josaphat the Martyr constructed 1947 in central Kamsack; R.M. 271.
KAMSACK — The church of St. Josaphat is the second church of the parish.
The parishioners constructed the first parish church in 1941. This was a cruciform structure which measured 52 x 28 feet and had three small domes. The church was demolished by a tornado in 1944 and consequently in 1947 the parishioners constructed the second church on the same site. Bishop Andrew Roborecki honoured the parish with several visitations, celebrated Pontifical Divine Liturgy in the church and blessed the parish’s church bell on September 22, 1957. The Bishop Confessor Wasyi Welychkowskyj celebrated Divine Liturgy in this church on September 10, 1972.
The church was constructed in central Kamsack on a site measuring 150 x 150 feet. Its architectural plan is that of an extended cross, 47 x 36 feet, with a blind dome at the axis of the intersecting arms and two smaller domes which apex the open arcades above the front towers. The roof is shingled, the domes are covered with white sheet metal, the walls have narrow wood siding and contain rectangular windows with semicircular summits. Constructed on a low concrete basement, the church is east-west oriented and has a west main entrance with a small roof shelter.
In the interior the church has donnacona and plywood finished walls and contains an elevated sanctuary and main altar, the nave, and a choir loft which extends above the vestibule and part of the nave; the east sacristy can be entered from the sanctuary or the church grounds. The large church patron icon, done in the oil on canvas technique on a gilded background, is the art work of Theodore Baran. All other holy images are glass mounted oil prints. Lighting is by electricity, central heating is with natural gas. The seating capacity of the church is for approx. 120 persons. The parishioners constructed the church through their financial donations and generous voluntary labour under the foremanship of Wasyi Huziak. Part of the construction costs were covered by insurance funds received for the first parish church.
The church site also contains a metal post bell tower installed in 1958, a mission cross dating to 1948, a parish hall constructed in 1955, and the pastor’s residence constructed in 1964. The parish utilizes the community cemetery north of Kamsack.
Ukrainian settlers arrived in Kamsack in 1928 from neighbouring parishes. Prior to the construction of the church, holy services were held in private homes or in the local Roman Catholic church. The first parish executive was selected in 1938 during the pastorate of Rev. John Holowka and consisted of the following: D. Ratushny, M. Farion, Wiwchar, Berezowski and others. In 1941, during the pastorate of Rev. Peter Pasichnyk, a women’s society was formed consisting of 16 members who raised a considerable sum of money for the construction of the first parish church.
In 1941 the parish consisted of approx. 20 members (Prop. Knyha), in 1961 there were 320 souls (Directory). and in 1975, 135 families were accounted for. In 1976 the parish was under directorship of: Rev. Walter Wasilishen, pastor, John Tysowski, Larry Koturbash, Nick Swerhun, Nick Malayney, John Kindiak, Emil Sakal, Larry Sakundiak, Mike Toporowski and Eugene Kiwaluk.
The Ukrainian Catholic parish of St. Josaphat at Kamsack is the seat of the Kamsack pastoral district with satellite parishes at St. Philips and Verigin although the churches of these parishes are now closed; also included in this pastoral district was the parish at Runnymede which has been liquidated.
Kamsack St. Josaphat Church
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