Kelliher – Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (closed)
Church of the Nativity of the B.V.M. constructed 1942, 5 miles west and 7 miles south of Kelliher; R.M. 247.
KELLIHER — The church of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the first church of the parish.
Propam’yatna Knyha, published m 1941 on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of Ukrainian settlement in Canada, 1891-1941, states on p. 232 “Mission Post in Kelliher, Saskatchewan. The Post is visited by the Redemptorist Fathers from Ituna who celebrate Divine Services in private homes.” One year later, 1942, this mission post evolved into a parish, the parishioners constructed a church under the patronage of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and have remained to this date under the pastoral charge of the Redemptorist Fathers.
The church at Kelliher, as in all other parishes, was constructed through the voluntary labour and financial resources of its parishioners. Construction costs totalled $5,000 and the work was directed by Theodore Buchko. The four acre church and cemetery site was donated by Theodore Benn.
The wood constructed rectangular church, 56 x 24 feet, has two frontal towers apexed by small cupolas. It is east-west oriented with an east sanctuary, a south adjoining porch-sacristy, and a west choir loft which is entered from the nave; near this stairway entries lead to two small rooms at the base of the towers which serve a multitude of purposes as the church does not have a basement or separate rectory. The nave contains fourteen wooden pews which seat approx. 60 parishioners. Near the church stands a metal mission cross, on a concrete foundation, commemorating the Holy Mission of July 21, 1957. The parish cemetery is included in the church site.
The first Divine Liturgy in this church was celebrated by Rev. Volodymyr Korba, CSSR, on September 27, 1942. Bishop Andrew Roborecki blessed the church on May 25, 1950.
Ukrainian settlers arrived in this area between 1928 and 1934 from various parts of Canada. The parish had twenty-nine founding members. In 1961 the parish registered 135 souls (Directory) and in 1975, 12 families were accounted for (questionnaire). In 1976 the parish was under directorship of: Rev. S. Ivanochko, CSSR, pastor, William Romanson, William Nakonechny, Leonard Romanson, Joe Nakonechny and John Olinik.
The parish of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Kelliher, is under the pastoral charge of Ituna.