Swan Plain – Ascension
Swan Plain church of the Ascension constructed 1938, 18 miles north of Norquay; R.M. 333.
SWAN PLAIN — The church of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ is the second church of the parish.
The founding members of the parish constructed the first parish church in 1912 on a three acre site on the homestead ofMaksym Matiece. The church was a small wooden structure measuring 24 x 16 feet. In 1937, it was moved to a different location on the site and altered into a parish hall. In its place, the parishioners constructed the present church. Bishop Andrew Roborecki visited the parish on several occasions and last celebrated Divine Liturgy in the church on July 9, 1972.
The church is a wood constructed cruciform structure, 59 x 34 feet, with a large central dome and two smaller domes above the front towers. Both the exterior and interior walls are finished with narrow wood siding, the roof is shingled while the domes are covered with white sheet metal. The church is east-west oriented with an east elevated sanctuary containing the main altar;
entries from the sanctuary lead into the adjoining sacristies which have exits to the church grounds. A choir loft, which is reached by a stairway originating in the nave, extends over the west end of the church. In 1942 the church was artistically decorated by I. (J.) Sych whose work is preserved to this date; the large church patron painting, the two traditional paintings of the Holy Mother of God and Christ the Teacher, both in a standing pose, and several other paintings decorating the church were painted in the oil on canvas technique and then mounted onto the wood siding; the smaller paintings, angels and ornamentation were painted directly on the church walls including the vaulted ceiling and central dome; this central dome has four windows through which sunlight illuminates the entire church interior. The church contains wooden pews seating approx. 100 persons, it has electrical lighting and central oil heating. The floor is constructed of wood and is painted; the center aisle, the area before the main altar and surrounding the main altar, is carpeted. The parishioners constructed the church through their voluntary labour and private donations during the pastorate of Rev. Peter Kryworuchka. Chief foreman of the construction was W. Huziak of Arran while the construction costs totalled $3,000.
Near the church, a cross commemorates a Holy Mission of the parish and adjacent to it stands a belfry with the bell donated by Oleksa (Alex) Matiece. A short distance away is the somewhat remodelled first parish church which is no longer used. In 1958 the parish purchased a local school structure and placed it in the vicinity of the church. This structure now serves as the parish hall. East of the church, adjoining the church property, is the parish cemetery.
Ukrainian settlement in this area began in 1904 predominantly from the Borshchiv county. The founding members of the parish were: Yurko Olynyk, Oleksa Matiece, Demyd Sorochuk, Dmytro Sapach, Danylo Kovch (Kowch), Wasyi I. Kowch, Lavrentiy Soroka, Yakiv Wasylyniuk and Nykola Tataryn. The parish chronicle preserves for posterity the names of the most generous benefactors of the parish who were: Yurko (George) and Anna Olynyk, Demyd and Anna Sorochuk; also included is the parish executive under whose auspices the second parish church was constructed and which consisted of: Dmytro Ostroverkha (Ostrowercha), Oleksa Nahachewsky and Wasyi P. Kowch.
In 1941 the parish registered 76 member families with 125 children (Prop. Knyha), in 1961, 180 souls (Directory), and in 1975, 26 families were accounted for. In 1976 the parish was under directorship of: Rev. Zdzislaw Karcz, MSF, pastor, Michael Holodniuk, Stanley Holodniuk, Ernie Polowich, Nick Holodniuk and Wasyi (Bill) Sapach.
The Ukrainian Catholic parish of the Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Swan Plain, is under the pastoral charge of Norquay.
Swan Plain Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ Church and Cemetery
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