Church of the Holy Apostles SS. Peter and Paul constructed 1970-1973 in Porcupine Plain; R.M. 395.
PORCUPINE PLAIN — The church of SS. Peter and Paul is the second church of the parish.
Propam’yatna Knyha 1941 lists the Porcupine Plain parish as a Mission Post: One hundred and eleven miles north-west of Arran is a beautiful little town of Porcupine Plain where many Ukrainians have resettled from the southern drought areas of the province. Rev. Peter Kryworuchka made the first pastoral visit here in 1932. From 1937 our people have been spiritually served by Rev. Gregory Teply, holy services are held either at the community school or at the home of Dmytro Sheptak. As early as 1938 money was being collected for the construction of a church as the community does not lack such good and energetic people as Theodore Shydlowsky, Marian N. Stechy-shyn, Rawlyk and others . . .
These efforts were realized in 1948 when the first wooden church measuring 40 x 24 feet was constructed in southerly Porcupine Plain. Construction was accomplished through the voluntary labour of the parishioners and was carried out under the auspices of the construction committee consisting of: Steve Michalkow, William Dudar, William Yacyshyn, Tom Bloski and Joseph Barteski. The first Divine Liturgy in the church was celebrated by Rev. John Worona. Twenty years later the parish outgrew the facilities of the church. Consequently, the church and site were sold in the fall of 1969, construction of the present church was begun in the spring of 1970 and completed in 1973. Rev Walter Kostiuk celebrated the first Divine Liturgy in this church on October 16, 1971. Bishop Andrew Roborecki visited the parish on several occasions and blessed the cornerstone of the church on August 26, 1973.
The centrally located town church site, 130 x 130 feet, was purchased by the parishioners for $ 1,200. The wood constructed rectangular church measures 72 x 36 feet and has three cupolas which originally graced the first church of the parish. Its exterior analogically complements the interior; the wood ceiling follows the exterior contours of the roof and is supported by wood beams reinforced at the walls which are gyproc finished. The main entry into the church is from the north through a vestibule. West of the vestibule stairways lead to the church basement and choir loft. A room for parents with small children is found at the east side of the vestibule; confessionals adjoining this room are built in under the choir loft and are entered from the nave.
The sanctuary with the main altar is directly opposite the main entrance; its entire area is finished with wood panelling, the wall behind the main altar contains a large oil on canvas painting of SS. Peter and Paul. This painting was done by an unknown artist and originally hung in the first church. Adjoining sacristies with exits to the church grounds are on corresponding sides of the sanctuary. Also on corresponding sides of the sanctuary but facing the nave are two glass mounted oil prints with traditional representation of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and Christ Who Loves Mankind;beneath these paintings are small votive altars. The church contains wooden pews seating approx. 220 persons, electricity, central gas heating and plumbing facilities. The church basement serves as a parish hall with kitchen facilities. Near the church stands a cross which originally stood at the first church site.
The architectural plans of this church were based on the plans of the Nipawin church. All the carpentry work for the construction was carried out by Alton, Carl and Elmer Fredsburg and Steve Michalkow. All construction details were under the auspices of the construction committee consisting of: John Moroz, Edward Tysowski, Julian Bloski, William Gulka, Alex Bloski, Joseph Serhan, Paul Bloski, William Soloway and Peter Goyak. This committee was greatly assisted by the women of the parish who were united in the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League and whose executive at that time consisted of: Nettie Tysowski, Doris Goyak, Julia Gulka, Anne Soloway, Rose Madarash, Mary Serhan, Polly Zenuk, Mary Moroz, Agnes Bloski and Anne Soloway, Sr. Construction costs totalled approx. $45,000 and were covered by the following funds: $12,675 was received from the sale of the first church and site including the rectory which was constructed in 1959 during the pastorate of Rev. Anthony Pawliuk; $10,126 was raised through a parish fund raising project;
$16,264 was donated by the U.C.W.L.; $1,000 was received from the bishop’s chancery; and $7,151 were private donations. In addition to the monetary donations, the women, men and youth contributed countless hours of voluntary work both in the church construction and site landscaping.
Ukrainian settlers arrived in Porcupine Plain about 1920 from other areas of the province. In 1961 the parish registered 160 persons, in 1975 there were 140 persons. In 1976 the parish was under the directorship of Rev. Walter Kostiuk, pastor, William Gulka, John Moroz, Julian Bloski, Michael Moroz, William Soloway, Michael Hegadus, Tom Bloski and Edward Tysowski.
The Ukrainian Catholic parish of SS. Peter and Paul at Porcupine Plain is under the pastoral charge of Hudson Bay.
2014 – Ss. Peter & Paul Ukrainian Catholic Church in Porcupine Plain was sold in 2014.