Olesha Church of the Sacred heart constructed 1924, 8 miles north of Buchanan; R,M.304.
OLESHA — The church of the Sacred Heart is the second church of the parish.
The first church was constructed in 1904 on a four acre forest surrounded site eight miles north of Buchanan. The first Divine Liturgy in the church was celebrated by Rev. Damascen Popowich, OSBM. In 1924 this church was dismantled and that year, during the pastorate of Rev. Stephen Fedoronko, the second church was constructed. The church was blessed in 1925 by Bishop Nicetas Budka. Bishop Andrew Roborecki visited the parish on several occasions and celebrated Divine Liturgy in the church on July 28, 1963.
The church is a wood constructed rectangular structure, 50 x 40 feet, with a shingled gable roof and a centrally located small tower apexed by an open arcade cupola and cross. A similar but smaller cupola is found at the frontal roof summit of the adjoining porch-vestibule. The church stands on a low basement, has exterior and interior narrow wood siding which is painted a light color, and simple rectangular windows.
Its interior, as the exterior, is rectangular in form with the exception of the angulated sanctuary which appears almost semicircular in form. The church contains but the one main altar in the sanctuary, a choir loft, wooden pews seating approx. 80 persons, and has electricity andcentral oil heating. Between 1939 and 1940 the church was painted and artistically decorated by James (Yakiv) Huziak.
The church was constructed through the private funds and voluntary labour of the parishioners at a total cost of $3,000. Chief foreman of the construction was Antin Hrynkiw.
Near the church stands a wooden mission cross dating to 1941. The original belfry, which was constructed in 1924, was destroyed by a storm on June 23, 1970. Subsequently the parishioners constructed a new belfry in the southern section of the site. The bell in the belfry was purchased in 1905 for $50.
North of the church, in continuation of church property, is the parish cemetery. The combined parish church and cemetery site was donated by Stefan Tkachuk.
Ukrainian settlement in this area began in 1901 from the Buchach county. The parish founding members were: Fedir Madarash, Sobko Madarash, Andriy Hadubiak, Hryhoriy Prystay, Bartko Rudnytski, Yakiv Cherkavsky, Pylyp Mykytyshyn, Franko Tulik, Ivan Trach, Semko Dron, Matiy Madarash, Mykhaylo Baver and Stefan Tkachuk. The first pastors to serve the settlers were Rev. Achille Delaere, CSSR, and Rev. Henry Boels, CSSR, from Yorkton. Later the parish was served by pastors from Canora.
In 1941 the parish consisted of 40 families with 60 children (Prop. Knyha) in 1961 there were 70 souls (Directory) and in 1975, 69 individual members were accounted for. In 1976 the parish was under the directorship of: Rev. Peter Hardybala, pastor, Walter Statchuk, Tom Trach, Adolf Rudnytski, Tom Rudnytski and Dmytro Tratch.
The Ukrainian Catholic parish of the Sacred Heart, Olesha, is under the pastoral charge of Canora
This church of the Sacred Heart is the second church of the parish. The first church was constructed in 1904 on a four acre forest surrounded site eight miles north of Buchanan. The first Divine Liturgy in the church was celebrated by Rev. Damascen Popowich, OSBM. In 1924 this church was dismantled and that year, during the pastorate of Rev. Stephen Fedoronko, the second church was constructed. The new church was blessed in 1925 by Bishop Nicetas Budka, who was met at the C.N.R. station at Buchanan by a procession of twelve “Kozaks” on horseback. They were: Paul Mykytyshyn, Anton Trach, Steve Hrynkiw, Harry Pankewich, John Statchuk, John Latta, John Madarash, Frank Cherkowski, John Rudnitski, Peter Hadubiak, Anton Pozniak and Wasyi Krywy. There were also two cars driven by Metro Rudnitski and Peter Bilak. The church was painted and artistically decorated by James Huziak. The church has electricity and central oil heating. The chief foreman of the construction was Antin Hrynkiw. The combined parish church, parish hall and cemetery site was donated by Stefan Tkachuk.
Ukrainian settlement in this area began in 1901 from the Buchach county in Ukraine. In 1941 the parish consisted of 40 families with 60 children. “Olesha” is a name of the Ukrainian origin originating from the village of Olesha in the Buchach county whence came the first members of the parish. In the last few years ca. 2000 we renovated the church: new siding, new shingles, new doors, new signs, new fence, new mission cross and a new bell tower.
The members of the 2002 Parish Council are Pastor Fr. Joakim Rac, President Peter Cherkowsky, Vice President Russell Rudnitski, Treasurer Eleanor Hadubiak. Now there is just one service a year in our church on “praznyk”, and the remaining members worship on a regular basis in Preeceville, Canora, Buchanan, Wasyliw