Nipawin Church of All Saints constructed 1968-1969; R.M. 487.
NIPAWIN — The church of All Saints is the second church of the parish.
The first church, purchased from the Church of God community in 1956, was placed on a two and one-half acre site in Nipawin and altered to the requirements of the Ukrainian Rite. Ten years later it was sold. Between 1968-1969 the present church was constructed. Bishop Andrew Roborecki blessed the cornerstone on August 10, 1969. Rev. J. Kobelak, MSF, pastor of the parish, celebrated Divine Liturgy on December 1, 1968, in the basement of the uncompleted structure and on March 2, 1969, in the completed church. The first Holy Mission of the parish, August 2nd to 10th, 1969, was directed by Rev. Maxime Markiw, OSBM.
The rectangular structure, 84 x 40 feet, is constructed of wood, stands on a high basement, and has an asphalt shingled gable roof apexed at the front by an elongated one-armed cross. The exterior finish is with wood and imitation brick siding. The large rectangular windows are designed with blue, gold and opaque glass;
the window above the main door follows the silhouette of the church.
In the interior, the semicircular sanctuary is finished in wood panelling which not only enhances the ornamentation of the church but also aids in the acoustics. The sacristy surrounding the entire sanctuary can be reached from the nave and both sides of the sanctuary. Stairways from the sacristy also lead to the basement and the church grounds.
The nave contains two side altars dedicated to the Holy Mother of God with the Christ Child and Christ Who Loves Mankind. The icons, painted on canvas in the oil technique with a gold leaf background, are the work of artist Theodore Baran.
A large choir loft extends above the vestibule at the west end of the church. Stairways at the south wall of the vestibule lead to the choir loft and church basement.
At the north wall of the vestibule is a small room with a large window facing the main altar. This serves as an office and is utilized by mothers with small children during services. The nave contains wooden pews which seat approx. 200 persons. Its ceiling is reinforced by massive wooden beams which continue along the walls of the nave and follow the exterior contour of the gable roof; the wooden floor is carpeted. The basement serves as a parish hall and contains all the necessary kitchen facilities. The entire structure has electricity, central gaS heating and plumbing.
The large property surrounding the church contains both lawn, concrete and asphalt areas, the latter being used for parking and easier entry into the church. Construction of this church was realized through the generous donations and voluntary labour of the parishioners assisted by Little Doug Contracting firm from Tisdale. Construction costs, including all installations, totalled over $100,000.
In the 1930’s Ukrainian settlers from Sheho, Ituna, Cudworth and other areas of Canada arrived in Nipawin in search of more fertile land. Several years elapsed before a parish was established. In 1955 an executive responsible for organizing the town parish was formed by the following: Victor Swystun, Peter Yur-kowski. Nick Gulka, Sam Dubyk and Sam Arabski. These and the succeeding executive, chosen one year later with Mike Rawlyk, Peter Yurkowski, Sam Dubyk, Fred Woloshyn and Nick Gulka, purchased a small church through the generous donations of the parishioners and altered it accordingly for holy services. The parish expanded and consequently a larger church structure was required (see Nipawin farms). In 1968 a succeeding parish executive and construction committee was selected with, respectively: Bill Pihowich, Tony Baraniesky, Steve Derkach, Adam Pushkarenko, and Mike Nicholat, Victor Swystun, Tony Baraniesky, Adam Pushkarenko, Daniel Verklan, Steve Derkach and Sam Spilchak.
In 1961 the parish had 40 souls (Directory), and in 1975, 66 families were registered. In 1976 the parish was under the directorship of: Rev. John Kobelak, MSF, pastor, Roman Zadorozny, Myron Pihowich, Harry Gulka, Adam Pushkarenko, Ernie Rawlyk, Mike Nicholat and John Elash.
In 1986, the exterior of the church was finished more closely to the appearance of an eastern rite Ukrainian Catholic church. The corner pillars were extended on the roof and open metal-framed domes were installed on each side on the roof. The elongated one-armed metal cross was replaced with a smaller one-armed cross featuring a more ornate style. The original cross was relocated to the farm parish of The Ascension where it was mounted on a concrete base and serves as the feature cross, standing on the south side of the church.
During the winter of 1999-2000, an iconostasis was installed in the church. The Iconostasis is constructed from oak wood. In addition to the icons of Christ and the Mother of God, the icon to the right of the right deacon’s door features St. Anne, the mother of Mary, the Mother of God, while the icon to the left of the left deacon’s door features St. John Chrysostom. The right deacon’s door features the icon of St. Michael the Archangel while the left deacon’s door features St. Stephen, Archdeacon and first Christian martyr. Msgr. Rudolph Luzney, Eparchial Administrator, blessed the iconostasis in June of 2000 on the Feast of All Saints, the parish praznyk.
The nave originally contained two side altars dedicated to the Holy Mother of God with Christ Child on the left, and Christ Who Loves Mankind on the right. The icons, painted on canvas in the oil technique with a gold leaf background, are the work of the late iconographer Theodore Baran of Saskatoon. When the iconostasis was installed and blessed, these large icons were relocated to the side walls of the front of the church.
In the year 2003, there are approximately 45 souls registered in the parish. The parish is under the directorship of Rev. Fr. Jeffrey Stephaniuk, pastor, Roman Zadarozny, Paulette Sklar, Sam Sklar, Helen Tkachuk, Joanne Puszkarenko and Helen Gingara.
In 2004, All Saints Ukrainian Catholic parish will observe and celebrate the 50th anniversary of its initial organization.
The Ukrainian Catholic parish of All Saints at Nipawin continues under the pastoral charge of Melfort.
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