Church of St. Michael the Archangel constructed 1939-1943 in Alvena; R.M. 402.
ALVENA — The church of St. Michael is the first church of the parish.
The parishioners constructed the church between 1939 and 1943 on a level two acre site in north-easterly Alvena. The first Divine Liturgy in the uncompleted structure was celebrated by Rev. Michael Olenchuk. Archbishop Basil Ladyka blessed the church in 1945;
Bishop Andrew Roborecki visited the parish in 1956, 1963 and 1966.
The church is a wood constructed rectangular structure, 70 x 30 feet, with three small frontal cupolas. The exterior and interior walls are finished in narrow wood siding and are painted a light color. In 1945 the church was artistically decorated with murals by Paul Zabolotny. In 1961, when the front entrance was enlarged, the basement finished and the exterior and interior repainted, all the artistic decoration of the church was lost. Presently the church contains the church patron icon and two additional oil on canvas icons of the Holy Mother of God with the Christ Child and Christ the Teacher which are the artwork of Theodore Baran.
The sanctuary is elevated, it contains the main altar and has two adjoining sacristies. The church has a wooden floor, a vaulted ceiling and a choir loft which extends above the nave. Entry into the church is through a small separately roofed porch-vestibule. Wooden pews provide seating for approx. 120 persons. Lighting is by electricity and central heating is by oil. The finished church basement serves as a parish hall with kitchen facilities.
Construction of the church was accomplished through the financial donations and voluntary labour of the parishioners under the foremanship of Nykola (Nick) Zary; the church crosses were made by the blacksmith Peter Hawryschuk. The parishioners purchased the site for $150.
Near the church stands a cross in commemoration of the Holy Mission of 1950. The rectory nearby was constructed in 1944. The parish utilizes the community cemetery which is one-half mile west of the church.
Ukrainian settlers arrived in this area in 1899 from the Borshchiv and Sokal counties. The founders of the parish were: S. Romanko, I. Yatsyshyn (Yacyshyn), Yo. Yablonski, A. Bayda, S. Yuzek and M. Hrytzak. During the construction of the church the parish executive was headed by pastor Rev. Michael Olenchuk and consisted of: Joseph Yablonski, Stefan Romanko, liko Yatsyshyn, Michael Kyryliuk, Michael Hrytzak, Michael Tratch, Dmytro A. Bayda, Nykola Yuzik, Andrew Bayda and Nykola (Nick) Shawaga.
In 1951 the St. Michael parish at Alvena became the seat of the pastoral district which spiritually served the parishes of Alvena (farms), Bodnari and Yellow Creek. The first pastors for the pastoral district were Rev. John Holowka and Rev. Roman Dobriansky.
Currently St. Michael’s parish is being served by Rev. Fr. Vasyl Hnatkivsky and is under the pastoral charge of Cudworth. In the year 2003 the parish council consists of Rev. Vasyl Hnatkivsky, Isidore Gayowski, Ben Maruschak, Michael Shawaga, Harry Scherbaniuk and Michael Kotleko
Alvena St. Michael the Archangel Church
Alvena Cemetery, Fish Creek RM
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