St. George’s church in westerly Prince Albert constructed 1957-1960.
PRINCE ALBERT — The church of St. George is the second church of the parish.
The parishioners constructed the first church in 1920 on a three lot site in westerly Prince Albert. This church served the parish for thirty-five years. It was sold to the Roman Catholic Diocese in 1956 while the present church was constructed between 1957 and 1960. On August 23, 1959, Bishop Andrew Roborecki blessed the six decorative metal crosses, which were later installed above the domes and frontal roof summit, and on June 11, 1961, he bestowed additional blessings on the cornerstone and the church.
During the early settlement period, the faithful of Prince Albert had the fortune of hosting the Servant of God Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky. The Servant of God Andrey arrived in 1910 accompanied by Rev. Athanasius Fylypiw, OSBM, and celebrated Divine Liturgy in the French Cathedral with impressive participation of the faithful from Prince Albert and district.
The church is a steel, concrete and brick solidly constructed five domed cruciform structure measuring 80 x 50 feet. Its walls contain arched windows grouped in series of two and three; the latter series has a taller central window. The gable roof is covered with shingles, the domes have copper sheeting. Orientation of the church is north-south.
Due to the position of the church in relation to the church grounds, there are two almost identical main entrances from the south and west sides of the church reached by high concrete steps with wrought iron railings. The south main entrance has a vestibule, and above the vestibule, a choir loft. The north wing of the church contains the sanctuary with the main altar and east and west sacristies which exit to the church grounds. The central area of the church, the axis of the intersecting wings, is dominated by a high well-illuminated dome supported by four arcades and pillars with decorative capitals. The four wings of the church have vaulted ceilings.
The church interior is richly decorated with appropriate murals, icons, numerous angels and symbols. Also included in the decoration is a variety of ornamentation adapted to the paintings it frames and the architectural form and area of the walls (see color photographs). This artistic decoration was done in 1964 by Theodore Baran.
The church has electrical lighting, central natural gas heating, plumbing facilities, wooden pews which seat approx. 250 persons and a wooden floor; carpeting extends along the central aisle and partly in the lateral nave as well as at the sanctuary. The church basement is finished and contains facilities for the various parish organizations and Ukrainian language classes.
The architectural plan was designed by Volodymyr Sichensky who gave the Saskatchewan Eparchy a valuable sample of Ukrainian church architecture. The weekly “Progress” (September 1970) describes this church as “the pride of Saskatchewan”; a second such church by the architect V. Sichensky is found in Canora. Contractor for the construction was Michael Yanchynsky of Cooks Creek, Manitoba. In addition to the parishioners countless hours of voluntary labour, construction costs totalled over $70,000. This total was met through private donations and proceeds from various fund raising projects organized and conducted by the parish branches of the Ukrainian Catholic Women’s League of Canada and the Ukrainian Catholic Youth of Canada. All construction details were under the auspices of the church executive which acted under the guidance of Rev. Onufrey Pasichniak and consisted of: Wolodymyr Winnicky, Gregory (Harry) Wizinsky, Paul Chura, Stephan Kinach, Max Smisko, Elias Evasiuk and Daniel Shumay.
Near the church stands the Ukrainian Catholic parish hall constructed in 1951 during the pastorate of Rev. Wolodymyr Iwaszko. Across the road from the church is the pastor’s residence constructed during the pastorage of Rev. 0. Pasichniak; the parish donated the first rectory dating to 1945, which is located a short distance from the church, to the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate (refer to chapel section).
Ukrainian settlement in this area began in 1903 -1904 from the various counties of Ukraine but predominantly from Husiatyn, Zhovkva and Sokal. Their settlement in Prince Albert began approx. 1908. The first pastor to visit this settlement was Rev. Joseph Fylyma. Towards the end of January 1920, Rev. J. Fylyma celebrated a holy service in the basement of the French Roman Catholic church. Following this service, the faithful assembled at the home of Teodor Hadada where they held a conference and selected the first parish executive consisting of Teodor Hadada, Myk-haylo Kupetsky and Antin Katamay. Those present also donated $25 each to initiate the construction of the first parish church. In addition to the executive, the first founders of the parish were: Maksymets, Iliya Ivaniw, T. Malovsky, Pushka, Pylyp Gola and Lysak. Later, others joined the ranks of the founding members and gave their financial contributions. Through these collected funds, the parishioners purchased a three lot site and constructed the first parish church. Rev. J. Fylyma celebrated the first Divine Liturgy in this church in the fall of 1920. The first cantor of the parish was Kindrat Salyga. From 1928, devoted service as cantor of Prince Albert and district was given by Hryhoriy Switenky, Nykola Kaminsky and, as cantor and choir director of the parish choir, Stephan Kinach and Peter Tycholiz.
In 1920 there were 9 original founding members of the parish, in 1941 the parish numbered 40 members (Prop. Knyha). In 1961 there were 500 souls (Directory);
in 1975 the parish united 160 member families. The 1976 parish was under the directorship of: Rev. John Worona, pastor, John Swystun Sr., Alex Basaraba, Peter Abrametz, John Ewanchyna, Andrew Gayowsky, Peter Pidskalny, Marian Blocha, Steve Rohachuk, Sylvester Baranitsky and John Prytula.
The Ukrainian Catholic parish of St. George in Prince Albert is the seat of the Prince Albert pastoral district with satellite parishes at Meath Park, Mac-dowall, Samburg, Shipman and, during its tenure, Cecil. Pastor for the district is Rev. John Worona.
Update September, 2003
1975 – 1984 – parish was under the spiritual leadership the late Rev. John Worona
1979 – The official opening of the Senior’s Citizens Center
1981-1999 – Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate served the community through the faithful service of Sister Porphyria and Sister Theresa
1984 – St. George’s Knight of Columbus council #8655 was formed.
1984 – 1999 – parish was under the spiritual leadership of Rev. Walter Wasilishen
1999-2002 – parish was under the spiritual leadership of the late Rev. John Kratko
2001 – Paving of the parking lot.
2002 – Rev. Ivan Nahachewsky was appointed pastor.
2003 – Renovations of the kitchen in the parish hall. Installation of new carpet throughout the entire church.
2003 – The community currently is made up of 166 families.
St. George’s is the seat of a pastoral district which includes the following churches: The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Janow Corners, St. John the Baptist at Samburg, Ss. Peter and Paul at Shipman and the cemetery of The Descent of the Holy Spirit at Macdowall.
On December 29, 2002 St. George’s welcomed Fr. Ivan Nahachewsky, his wife Debbie and beautiful family of Roman(15), Sophia(13), Andrij(11) and Nina(7) to Prince Albert. Fr. Ivan is a young, vibrant, enthusiastic and highly motivated parish priest.
Fr. Ivan has a great love for the outdoors. This is evidenced in his canoe trips. In the summer of 2003 he swan Madge Lake as a fund raiser for cancer research. As well, he dedicates many hours of volunteer work at St. Michael’s camp at Madge Lake. It’s not uncommon to see Fr. Ivan excavating trees in his yard, replacing windows in the church basement, remodeling and painting projects in the rectory. Fr. Ivan is very youth orientated and has a special love for the needy, elderly and shut-ins of the Parish.
We are truly blessed and thankful for the spiritual lessons of forgiveness, healing, prayers and love which contribute to the community’s growth, development and sense of parish family. Fr. Ivan’s warm smile, excellent sense of humor, untiring determination and dynamic commitment to faith, family and community are blessings which enrich St. George’s Parish in a very positive and unifying way.
St. George’s parish runs numerous programs and is associated with a number of community events:
· Sunday School
· Sadochok (Ukrainian preschool)
· First Communion preparation
· Altar servers
· Grades 7,8,9 – Action Pack – social justice service, sports and community beautification projects. Catechism orientation, spiritual and faith building. Leadership training – providing service to the parish.
· Grades 10, 11, 12- as well as Post secondary Pizza with morality stuffed crust. Discuss, analyze and criticize issues of morality
· Barveenok Dancers – promotes culture, heritage and beauty of Ukrainian traditions through dance.
· Veselka Choir – Both Ukrainian Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic adults combine to enjoy traditional song and music.
· 18-39 year olds and young at heart – “Theology with a Bite” discuss church issues and provide a place for young adults to socialize.
· St. George’s Knights of Columbus
· Active Parish Choir
· Ukrainian catholic Women’s League of Canada Branch
· Parish Council
· Ladies Bible Study
· Christmas Caroling
· Shoe Box project for orphans and under privileged children in Ukraine
· Social Committee
· St. Michael’s camp at Madge Lake
We are also involved in numerous fundraisers such as fall supper’s and Bingo’s.
St. George’s has established goals and objectives for the future:
· Get more Prince Albert youth involved in Eparchial events. We are encouraged that the Eparchy has hired a full time youth coordinator/Campus Minister so that youth programming on a local level can continue. The long range benefit is that the youth of our parish will have a strong identity as Ukrainian Catholics.
· To strengthen our sense of community, to get to know each other so that we might be a helping community of love and follow the teachings of Christ. In addition to promoting our strengths and talents, we also learn to understand and accept each others faults and weaknesses.
Prince Albert St. George Ukrainian Catholic Church
751 – 14 St W, Prince Albert, SK S6V 3L9, Canada
Prince Albert District Parishes - Bulletins
Prince Albert Protopresbyterate (Deanery)
Saskatoon, Eparchial Substitute Priest - Military Chaplain - Administrator-Humboldt, All Saints
132 Montreal Ave. South, Saskatoon, SK S7M 3K8
Cell: (306) 961-1390
(Rectory) 306-763-3645; Fax: 306-763-5516
Gronlid, St. Michael
Telephone: 306-978-2230: Cell: 306-270-8628
North Battleford, SK S7W 0B9
Res: 306-937-3767; Cell: 306-317-8138