Smuts -St. John the Baptist
SMUTS — The church of St. John the Baptist is the second church of the parish.
The first church was constructed in 1905 on a fifteen acre site one and one-half miles west and one mile south of Smuts. It was destroyed by fire in 1925; in 1926 the second church was constructed on the same site which was reduced to ten acres as five acres were released by the parishioners for the construction of a Ukrainian Greek Orthodox church. In 1954, for practical reasons, the church was relocated on a half acre site in westerly Smuts. Archbishop Basil Ladyka blessed the church and altar in 1932; Bishop Andrew Roborecki visited the parish in 1954 and 1962.
The church is a wood constructed cruciform structure, 67 x 39 feet, with an open central dome and smaller cupolas above the front towers. Both the interior and exterior walls have narrow wood siding, the roof is shingled while the domes have white sheet metal covering.
The interior is dominated by a large well-illuminated octagonal central dome and contains a sanctuary, sacristies, the nave and a choir loft. An adjoining separately roofed porch serves as a vestibule. The main altar in the sanctuary and two small side altars in the nave, which are dedicated to the Mother of God and Christ the Redeemer, were hand carved by a technique known as “rizba” by Stepan Meush; the church patron oil on canvas painting behind the main altar is also the work of this artist. The church contains wooden pews seating approx. 170 persons, has electricity and central oil heating. Construction was accomplished at a total cost of $11,000 and through the generous voluntary labour of the parishioners. Chief foreman of construction was E. Slonetsky.
In 1926 the parishioners constructed a single bell belfry near the church and, also nearby, installed a cross commemorating the Holy Mission of the parish. The parish hall, Prosvita Home of Andrey Sheptytsky, served as a rectory on the original site; in 1934, during the pastorate of Rev. Stephen Semczuk, it was reconstructed into a parish hall and was later relocated together with the church to the site in Smuts. The parish cemetery is on the original site. The combined fifteen acre church and cemetery site was donated to the parish by Ivan Pryma, thus the adopted name of the parish became “na Pryymovim”.
Ukrainian settlement in the Smuts district began in 1900 with settlers predominantly from the Borshchiv and Horodenka counties. The formation of the parish occurred during the construction of the first and second churches and through the assistance of the first pastors of this parish: Rev. Tymofey Wasylewich, and Rev. Roman Cherepaniak. In 1926 the parish executive included: P. Rypchynski, V. Shawaga, D. Turchyniak and I. Dziadyk. In 1941 the parish registered 45 members with 120 children (Prop. Knyha), in 1961, 125 souls (Directory), in 1967, 138 persons (questionnaire) and in 1975, 10 families were accounted for. In 2003 the parish was under the directorship of: Rev. Deacon Ray Lalach.
The Ukrainian Catholic parish of St. John the Baptist at Smuts is part of Vonda mission district.
Smuts (Prymove) St. John the Baptist Church
Smuts (Prymove) St. John the Baptist UC/UO Cemetery
Bulletins for Saskatoon District Parishes
Saskatoon Dormition and District Parishes Information
Ukrainian Catholic Parish of the
Dormition of the Blessed Mother of God
Sacred Heart – Hawruliuke
Sacred Heart – Vonda
St. John the Baptist – Smuts
St. John the Evangelist – Prud’homme
Ss. Peter & Paul – Bodnari
Ss. Peter & Paul – Borshchiw
St. Volodymyr – Laniwci
Saskatoon Protopresbyterate (Deanery)
120-105th Street West, Saskatoon, SK S7N 1N2 306-652-4837 (Church); 306-477-1704 (Res)
Prud'homme, St. John the Evangelist
Prymove/Smuts, St. John the Baptist