Weekes – St. Nicholas (closed)
Church of St. Nicholas constructed 1946, 2 miles west and 2 miles south of Weekes; R.M. 395.
WEEKES — The church of St. Nicholas is the first -church of the parish.
The church, constructed in 1946, is on a two acre site two miles west and two miles south of Weekes. Bishop Andrew Roborecki visited the parish in 1957 and 1962.
The small wooden church on a concrete foundation, 30 x 14 feet, has painted wood siding on its exterior and interior walls, a shingled gabled roof and a similarly roofed adjoining porch-vestibule. The sanctuary is separated from the nave by a wooden divider with royal and deacon doors which imitates an iconostas. The church structure has a high angulated ceiling, a wooden floor and contains pews which seat approx. 32 persons. It is lighted by candles and heated by a wood-burning iron stove.
The early history of this parish appears in the Propam’yatna Knyha under the heading “Mission post at Doncrest”, a Post Office in this area. Once the parish was established, it became known as the Weekes parish in reference to a small village in the vicinity. The early days of the parish were described by Joseph Padalec, one of the four still surviving founding members of the parish. Settlement in this area began between 1927 and 1928 from various areas in Saskatchewan. The land was forested, swampy and covered with boulders and there were no roads. The first holy service was held by Rev. P. Kryworuchka in 1932 at the home ofV. Grywachewski. The two acre church site, purchased from an English settler for $50, was paid for in labour. Permission was obtained to cut down trees which were sawed into boards and used to construct a tiny structure measuring 20 x 14 feet. In it the parishioners held meetings and attended holy services. When it became evident that the parish was not growing and consequently no future possibility existed to construct a larger church, the existent structure was enlarged and altered to the requirements of the Ukrainian Rite. The following parishioners worked on the construction of the church: V. Zeienetsky, V. Grywachewski, V. Makuch, P. Kowal, M. Shawaga, P. Rudeychuk, H. Bilovus, I. Lemko, I. Rudniski, H. Burdeniuk and J. Padalec. Later, in addition to those already mentioned or their children, N. Pointrys and N. Vynovych helped in construction and clearing of the church and cemetery site. The women, united in a society “Tovarystvo”, maintained the appearance of the church, embroidered, sewed and purchased all the necessities. The “Tovarystvo” consisted of: V. Shawaga, R. Rudeychuk, P. Burdeniuk, M. Makuch, M. Grywachewski, Ya. Kowal, A. Bezuhio, K. Zolkavich, Z. Vynovych, A. Stadnyk, M. Zeienetsky. Some items in the church were donated by the Pidperyhora family of Elfros.
The parish at Weekes was established by nine founding members. Between 1961 and 1967 the parish grew to its largest membership of thirty. After that date the numbers decreased rapidly as the younger members moved
away and the older members passed on to eternity. In 1975 only four members remained. Every summer Rev. W. Kostiuk serves holy services at the grave sites of those who now rest in peace and several times a year he celebrates Divine Liturgy in the church. In the words of the previously mentioned pioneer Joseph Padalec: “For as long as we live and as long as our strength permits, we will serve in the holy services here and maintain this small, but very dear to us, church”.
The Ukrainian Catholic parish of St. Nicholas, Weekes, is under the pastoral charge of Hudson Bay.