Whitesand – Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Whitesand church of the Patronage of the B.V.M. constructed 1937, 10 miles north-east of Springside; R.M. 274.
WHITESAND — The church of the Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the second church of the parish.
The parishioners constructed the first church in 1911 at a total cost of $1,000. Initially the parish was served by the Presbyterian clergy; from 1913 it came under the pastoral charge of the Redemptorist Fathers from Yorkton. The parish was visited twice by Bishop Nicetas Budka who blessed the church in 1914. Archbishop Basil Ladyka honoured the parish with a visit in 1933. In 1937 the church was dismantled and a new structure was constructed on the site.
The two acre hilly and partially forested church and cemetery site was donated by Vasyi’ Shpyley and is ten miles north-east of Springside. The church was constructed in 1937 by the parishioners under the foremanship of W. Huziak of Arran at a total cost of $3,500. It is a wooden cruciform structure measuring 64 x 38 feet with a large central dome and three smaller cupolas; two cupolas are above the frontal towers, the third is at the frontal apex of the gable roof.
In the interior of the church the main altar is in an elevated sanctuary; two small side altars dedicated to the Holy Mother of God and Christ Who Loves Mankind are found along the lateral walls of the nave. Opposite the sanctuary, above the vestibule, is a choir loft. The interior ceiling is vaulted and merges into a high central dome supported by a drum with four windows. Wooden pews found in the nave provide seating for approx. 120 persons. The church does not have electricity, central heating is accomplished by wood burning.
The church was blessed by Bishop Neil Savaryn on Sunday, September 3, 1944; Bishop Andrew Roborecki celebrated Pontifical Divine Liturgy in the church on May 17, 1959 and May 18, 1969.
The church grounds contain a mission cross installed in 1933 and a belfry constructed in 1939; the bell was acquired in 1920 for the sum of $380. A parish hall, which was purchased in 1949 from the Yorkton Airport, is also located near the church on parish property.
Ukrainian settlers arrived in the Whitesand area in 1903 predominantly from the village of Lytsivka in the Dolyna county. The founding members who established the parish were: Nykola Bybliv (Byblow), Y. Shpyley (Spelay), Illiya Kucher, N. Shumay, Mykh. Byblow, V. Stefanyshyn, T. Spelay, T. Senkiw, V. Senkiw, Ivan Byblow. Teodor Spelay, Nykola Dyriv (Derrow or Derow), Iv. Diakow, V. Lachmanec, Dm. Shiyakhetka (Shiahetka), Iv. Pawliw, V. Derrow, Illya Derrow, Yu. Popowich, N. Diakow, Ivan N. Pawliw, M. Popowich, M. Stefanyshyn, Tymko Byblow, V. Skalivsky, Iv. Kucher, Semen Popowich, Yu. Lozynsky, M. Tsyupa, V. N. Spelay, V. Byblow, 01. Byblow, V. Shumay, N. Spelay, N. Lachmanec, N. Fedun, Iv. Shpelchyn (Spilchen), T. Shiahetka, V. T. Spilchen, P. Stefanyshyn, M. Trisch and Yu. Shumay. The first Divine Liturgy was celebrated by Rev. Noel Maria Descamps, CSSR, on June 8, 1913. The Rev. Basil Shumay, Rev. Joseph Senkiw, OSBM, Rev. Dmytro Byblow, CSSR, Sr. Mechtilde, M. Byblow, SMI, and Sr. Frances E. Byblow, SMI, originate from this parish.
In 1941 the parish consisted of 75 members with 200 children (Prop. Knyha). In 1961 there were 200 souls (Directory) and in 1975, 38 families and 15 single members remained. In 1976 the parish was under the directorship of: Rev. Roman Muzychka, CSSR, pastor, Mike Shumay, John Shumay, Mike B. Byblow, Lawrence Derrow, Pauline Spelay, Margaret Diakow, Emily Spelay, Pearl Byblow, Mike Diakow and John Popowich.
The Ukrainian Catholic parish of the Patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Whitesand, is under the pastoral charge of Yorkton.
In 2003 there are 11 family members and 14 widows, widowers and singles. Total membership is 25 and total persons are 36. Board members for year 2002 are Mr. John Popowich, Mr. Peter Kucher, Mr. Paul Byblow, Mr. Lawrence Derow and Mr. Emil Byblow.