Church of St. John the Baptist constructed 1925 in northerly Arran; R.M. 301.
ARRAN — The church of St. John the Baptist is the second church of the parish.
In the fall of 1916 the parishioners poured a concrete foundation for the first church. This foundation, however, was too small for the church and consequently was removed. Between 1917 and 1918 a large church was constructed; its construction costs were liquidated within a few years through the parishioners’ private donations and loans. In 1924 the church as well as the Metropolitan Sheptytsky parish hall were destroyed by fire. The present church was constructed in 1925 on the site of the first church.
Bishop Nicetas Budka blessed the cornerstone of the first church in 1918; Archbishop Basil Ladyka blessed the present church in 1936; Bishop Andrew Roborecki honoured the parish with several visitations and last visited the parish and celebrated Divine Liturgy in the church on July 7, 1970 on the occasion of the church patron’s feastday.
The church stands on a one and a half acre site in northerly Arran. It is a wood constructed cruciform structure, 70 x 40 feet, with exterior and interior wood siding, a large centrally located octagonal dome apexed by a cupola and a three-armed cross, and two frontal towers also apexed by cupolas with one-armed crosses; a third frontal cross appears at the apex of the gable roof.
The church is west-east oriented with an east main entrance, which is sheltered by an open porch, and a west sanctuary. The sanctuary is elevated, rectangular in form and has two adjoining sacristies. Directly opposite the sanctuary, extending over the eastern end of the nave, is the choir loft which is reached by a stairway at the north wall. The central area of the church is dominated by a high well-illuminated dome supported by pilasters and arcades of the cruciform vaulted ceiling. Preserved to this date are three paintings and the ornamentation decorating the church done in 1936 by Stepan Meush; the three paintings are the center mural of the three painting composition behind the main altar and the two side altar icons. All other murals and icons were painted in the 1950’s by Theodore Baran. The church has a wooden floor and wooden pews seating approx. 100 persons, electrical lighting and central oil heating.
The parishioners constructed the church for $2,300 through private financial donations and countless hours of voluntary labour. Chief foremen of the construction were Wasyi Huziak and the Semeniuk brothers. The church site was also purchased through the collective funds of the parishioners.
Near the church stand the rectory and the Metropolitan Andrey Sheptytsky parish hall; this second hall was constructed in 1935.
Ukrainian settlers arrived in the Arran district in 1907 predominantly from the Zaiishchyky and Borsh-chiv counties. The founding members of the parish were: Hnat. Nimets, Petro Shumka, Antin Zahariychuk, Teodor Demchuk, Kindrat Boyko, Iliya Chorneyko, Vasyi’ Zahariychuk, Klym Babiuk, Yosyf Lyiyk, Lev Boyko. Prior to the construction of the first church, holy services were held at the private homes of the founding members and were served by: Rev. Adelbert Saburen, Rev. Klaulu, Rev. John Dumych and Rev. Emilian Andruchowicz. The second church was constructed with the assistance of Rev. Nestor Drohomyrecki.
Until 1931 the parish was spiritually served by the pastors of the Canora pastoral district; from 1931, the-Arran pastoral district has had a permanent resident pastor, the first being Rev. Peter Kryworuchka with whose assistance the parish was able to liquidate the church construction loan and construct the parish hall.
In 1941 the parish registered 45 members with 180 children (Prop. Knyha), in 1961, 175 souls (Directory) and in 1975 there were 26 families and 13 individual members. In 1976 the parish was under the directorship of: Rev. Zdzislaw Karcz, MSF, pastor, John Hataley, Bill Dedio and John Hrycenko.
The Ukrainian Catholic parish of St. John the Baptist at Arran is the seat of the pastoral district of Arran with satellite parishes at Arran-Vesna, Pelly, Whitebeech and Maybridge. The pastor for this district is Rev. Zdzislaw Karcz, MSF.
Arran St. John the Baptist Church
Arran St. John the Baptist New Cemetery
Arran St. John the Baptist Old Cemetery
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