Historical Highlights

On October 8 1957, an exploratory meeting was held for the purposes of investigating the possibility of establishing a new parish of the Ukrainian Orthodox faith in the southeast area of the city. The initiative was taken by Mrs. Tillie Kurysh along with individuals who resided in the area and who were active members of St. John’s Cathedral. Among them were Dr. and Mrs. Leo Faryna, Mr. And Mrs. Steve Cybak, Mr. And Mrs. Max Kanasewich, Mr. And Mrs. Tom Hnatiuk, Mr. And Mrs. John Nikiforuk, and Mr. And Mrs. Nick Bodnar.

At a formative meeting held on January 27 1958, a membership of $1.00 was agreed upon and those in attendance became the first members. St. Andrew’s Parish was formally incorporated on December 22 1959, electing Mr. John Nikiforuk as president. Following incorporation, the church acquired its present site as a gift from Mrs. Tillie Kurysh. Mrs. Kurysh was always a very generous donor to the Ukrainian Orthodox Churches of Edmonton as well as St. Andrew’s College and St. John’s Institute.

At the Parish’s first Annual General Meeting held in November 1960, the following were elected to the Executive Board.

Mr. Russell Dzenick President  
Mr. John Makar Vice-President  
Mr. Orest Mulka Treasurer  
Mr. Mike Skitsko Assistant Treasurer  
Mr. John Nikiforuk Secretary  
Mrs. Marian Hnatiuk Assistant Secretary  
Mr. Nick Dowhaniuk Saxton  
Mr. Max Kanasewich Audit Committee  
Mr. Ray Faryna Audit Committee  
Mr. William Dymianiw Audit Committee  

During the summer of 1961, an architect was engaged to prepare preliminary drawings for a cultural building. Subsequently, plans for construction of the first phase of the building program, which included classrooms, hall, and small kitchen were formally approved. Prior to the construction of the cultural facilities, occasional church services were held at Forest Heights Community Hall. These services were conducted by Very Reverend Michael Fyk from St. John’s Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral and other Edmonton clergy.

By 1963, the Parish had a membership of 107 family members. On June 23 1963 the church site was blessed and consecrated by His Gace Bishop Andrew. Following the service, construction of the Cultural Building formally commenced.

In the fall of 1963, Very Reverend Hryhory Wasyliw was assigned to serve both St. Andrew’s and St. Michael’s Parishes. In addition during the ensuing two years, Very Reverend Stephen Symchych from St. John’s Institute provided our Parish with services on alternate Sundays.

The newly constructed Cultural Building was officially blessed by His Grace Bishop Andrew on February 16 1964. The building contained Sunday School facilities and provided a temporary location for holding church services.

With new facilities and a rapidly growing parish, the need for a full-time parish priest became eminent. In the summer of 1965, Very Reverend Michael Yurkiwsky was assigned to serve St. Andrew’s Parish on a full-time basis.

The following is a chronological listing of other significant events that occurred in the history of St. Andrew’s Parish.

1961 Ladies Auxiliary officially organized
Church membership campaign launched
1962 First vesper service conducted at Forest Heights Community Hall March 25
Men’s Club officially organized
First choir practice held November 12 at the home of A. Oleskiw, with Charles Tymchuk as director
1963 Very Reverend Hryhory Wasyliw assigned as Parish Priest to serve St. Andrew’s and St. Michael; Parishes jointly
First Divine Litrugy held March 24 at Forest Heights Community Hall
Blessing and Consecration of the Cultural Building site, June 23
Commenced construction of Cultural Building
1964 Cultural Building officially opened, February 16
Honorary Life Membership bestowed upon Mrs. Tillie Kurysh
Men’s Club registered with the Societies Act
Marshall Muzyka appointed choir director
First Saturday Confession and Communion breakfast for children during the Great Fast period
1965 The first and full complement of delegates attend the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada Sobor in Winnipeg
Metropolitan Ilarion visits St. Andrew’s Parish, September 12
Very Reverend Michael Yurkiwsky assigned parish priest
CYMK organized, elected Dennis Yurkiwsky as president
Ukrainian Dance Program organized under the direction of Gerald Metrunec
Sadochok organized with Nadia Bodnar as teacher
1966 Sunday Church School records and enrollment of 164 students, William Labatiuk is director
Men’s Club President becomes a member of the Parish Executive Board
1967 Ladies Auxiliary launch first cookbook, “Cooking Favorites”
1968 Very Reverend Michael Yurkiwsky leaves St. Andrew’s Parish to continue pastoral studies
1969 Reverend Meroslaw Kryschuk assigned as Parish Priest
Parish Manse purchased
Family membership fee $20.00
1970 St. Andrew’s CYMK registered under the national CYMK structure
1971 Phase II renovations to the kitchen
1972 Site for church proper consecrated by His Eminence Archbishop Andrew
Newly constructed Church officially consecrated by His Eminence Archbishop Andrew, November 5
Church pews acquired from old Courthouse
1973 St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Dance Program organized senior dancers under the name “Zirka”
1976 Organized a Ukrainian Language Program for high school credits
Junior CYMK officially organized
Church library established
Golden Age Club organized
1977 Sod turning ceremony for St. Andrew’s Selo officiated by His Grace Bishop Boris, November 13
1979 St. Andrew’s Selo officially opened, September 30
Senior CYMK performed Operetta “Vinok” (Wreath) at the Shoctor Theatre
1982 Stained Glass windows with icons dedicated
CYMK publishes a church calendar which included church Holy days, members’ birth dates and anniversaries
Ladies Auxiliary launches 2nd cookbook, “More Cooking Favorites” with sales reaching Best Seller status
1983 Senior CYMK presented with “Perepeliuk Trophy” as the most active CYMK branch in Canada
1984 St. Andrew’s celebrates its 25th Anniversary
Reverend Damjan Hohol ordained as a Deacon of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
1985 Blessing and dedication of Iconostas, Holy Table and placing of Holy relics inside the Altar, and electronic chimes, October 6
St. Andrew’s Parish granted “Sobor” status
Reverend Damjan Hohol ordained as a Priest
1986 Participated in the Western Diocese Celebration of the 1000th Anniversary of the acceptance of Christianity in Ukraine
Youth Orchestra organized
1987 Kitchen renovations completed, September 20
Church mortgage paid-up
Blessing of chandelier, December 13
1988 Year of the 1000th Anniversary of Christianity in Ukraine. Parish members nd Choir participate in the All-Canada Celebration in Hamilton
CYMK (Alberta, British Columbia) History Book, “Pathways” is published
1989 Conducted a study “Into the New Millennium” of St. Andrew’s Parish
1990 Results of study “Into the New Millennium” published
Development of atrium and other renovations undertaken by Men’s Club
1991 Golden Age Club re-organized
1993 Atrium with Boardroom and office completed, elevator installed
House between Church and Parish Manse purchased by Men’s Club
1994 St. Andrew’s Parish celebrates 35th Anniversary – “Homecoming”
1995 Very Reverend Victor Lakusta assigned to St. Andrew’s Parish
1996 St. Andrew’s Kiosk established by Ladies Auxiliary
1997 Parish Endowment Fund instituted
Security system installed
Additional parking- Phase I commenced
1998 Bell Tower completed, consecrated by His Eminence Archbishop John
Reverend Deacon Cornell Zubritsky ordained as Deacon and assigned to St. Andrew’s Sobor for one year
1999 Additional Parking – Phase II commenced
Very Reverend Mykola Sawchenko “attached” to St. Andrew’s Sobor Parish
Parish celebrates 40th Anniversary
Metropolitan Wasyly awards St. Andrew’s Parish with “Metropolitan’s Hramota” (certificate)
Into the New Millennium
2000 Rev. Deacon Cornell Zubritsky ordained into the Holy Priesthood of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.
Archives committee for St. Andrews Sobor Parish formed under the leadership of Dr. Bert Hohol.
St. Andrews Pyrohy Suppers initiated.
St. Andrews 1000th baptism takes place- Matthew Loren McLean.
2001 Rev. Fr. Benny Ambrosie received into The Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada by His Eminence Archbishop John and is assigned to St. Andrews as an assistant priest.
St. Andrews Ladies Auxiliary celebrates its 40th Anniversary.
Church Choir assists the clergy with singing the Divine Liturgy through the summer months
2002 Development Appeal Board of the City of Edmonton approves the Bell in the Bell Tower to sound.
2003 Pochaiv Orphanage project initiated with parcels of clothing and purchase of shoes for orphans in Ukraine.
Rev. Fr. Benny Ambrosie assigned to a rural Parochial District in Alberta.
Fr. Deacon Boychuk ordained at St. Andrews.
Kitchen improvements and cultural building ventilation renovations undertaken.
St. Andrews Ukrainian Orthodox Sobor Parish Website under development.
2004 "Pochaiv Project" expands to construct a trade school for the orphans in Ukraine.
2005 Wild Rose Foundation matches St. Andrews $5000.00 for the Pochaiv trade school project.
Membership fees set at $150.00 per adult.
2006 The Main Dining Hall is named in honour of one of our founding members- "The Tillie Kurysh Hall".
St. Andrews Sobor Parish gifts His Eminence Metropolitan John with the Metropolitans Staff- "zhezlo".
Food Vouchers purchased for distribution to individuals and families in need.
"St. Andrews Ukrainian Orthodox Sobor Parish" is registered with the province of Alberta.
St. Andrews Divine Liturgies during each month are to be conducted 3 times bi-lingually and once a month in English.
2007 Rt. Rev. Mitred Archpriest Fr. Victor Lakusta celebrates his 40th year in the Holy Priesthood of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.
St. Andrews launches a fund drive to provide a "Safe House" in Ukraine to house orphans in Ukraine.
Fr. Deacon Peter Haugen is ordained into the Holy Deaconate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.
2008 Fr. Deacon Timothy Chrapko attached to St. Andrews Sobor parish.
Fr. Deacon Timothy Chrapko ordained into the Holy Priesthood of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada and assigned as assistant priest at the Parish of St. Volodymyr in Calgary.
Fr. Deacon Peter Haugen is ordained at St. Johns Cathedral, into the Holy Priesthood of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada and assigned to St. Michaels Parish in Edmonton as an assistant priest.
Wild Rose Foundation matches St. Andrews fundraising of $20,000.00 for a total of $39,671.00 toward The Klynovy Lyst (Maple Leaf Project) Pochaiv Safe House Project in Ukraine.
Members from St. Andrews attend the Special Sobor-2008 in Saskatoon to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the UOCC. They accepted revised bylaws and elected two new Bishops- His Grace, Bishop Ilarion, Bishop of Edmonton and the Western Eparchy and His Grace, Bishop Andrij, Bishop Vicar of Saskatoon and the Central Eparchy.
2009 Rt. Rev. Protopresbyter Fr. Victor Lakusta leaves St. Andrews for Winnipeg to become the Acting Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.
Rev. Fr. Dr. Jaroslaw Buciora assigned to St. Andrews for June and July, 2009.
Computer upgrade with server, wireless network and two computers installed in the Parish office.
Rev. Fr. Volodymyr Bilous becomes the supply Priest to St. Andrews for Sunday Divine Liturgies August to December, 2009.
St. Andrews hosts a very successful "Klynovy Lyst" fundraiser dinner, silent auction and live auction featuring Victor Malarek, noted CTV journalist and author speaking on "Human Trafficking".
St. Andrews Ukrainian Orthodox Sobor Parish celebrates its 50th Anniversary on December 13, 2009.
2010 Two additional memorial candle stands purchased for the church
Rev. Fr. Volodymyr Bilous continues as Supply Priest/Priest in Charge through to August 29, 2010.
Rev. Fr. Yuriy Suchevan uis assigned to St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Sobor Parish as parish priest effective September 1, 2010. Fr. Yuriy’s first Divine Liturgy takes place on September 12, 2010.
St. Andrew’s hosts the Western Eparchy Conference, October 28-31, 2010.
Fr. Volodymyr Bilous attached to St. Andrew's as Supply Priest for Edmonton and District.
Fr. Deacon Michael Faryna ordained into the Holy Priesthood of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada on December 12, St. Andrew's Patron Saint's Day celebrations.
2011 Roof Replacement Fund Initiated.
St. Andrew's Ladies Auxiliary purchases two commercial upright freezers with shelving.
2012 Parish contributes to His Grace Bishop Ilarion Orphanage Fund for Orphanages in Ukraine.
Parish sponsors a Youth representative from St. Andrew's to accompany His Grace Bishop Ilarion's Youth Assistance program to assist Orphanages in Ukraine, during August, 2012.
St. Andrew's Ladies Auxiliary replaces the two commercial convection ovens.