History

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 DzenickPresident
Mr. John MakarVice-President
Mr. Orest MulkaTreasurer
Mr. Mike SkitskoAssistant Treasurer
Mr. John NikiforukSecretary
Mrs. Marian HnatiukAssistant Secretary
Mr. Nick DowhaniukSaxton
Mr. Max KanasewichAudit Committee
Mr. Ray FarynaAudit Committee
Mr. William DymianiwAudit 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

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.
  • Reverend Fr. Yuriy Suchevan assigned to St. Andrew’s
  • Bethlehem Flame is delivered to St. Andrew’s on January 7, 2010
  • Hetman Award Recipients – Dobr. Nadia Kryschuk; Taras Uzwyshyn (posthumous)
  • Parish Sustainability Committee drafts plans for 2011

2011

  • Roof Replacement Fund Initiated.
  • St. Andrew’s Ladies Auxiliary purchases two commercial upright freezers with shelving.
  • St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Ladies Auxiliary celebrates its 50th Anniversary
  • St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Ladies Auxiliary publishes “A Labour of Love”. A 50 Year History of St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Ladies Auxiliary”
  • Parish holds an initial brainstorming workshop session the future and sustainability of St. Andrew’s Parish; workshop is led by Dr. Eugene Ratsoy and Harry Nichiporik

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.
  • Hetman Award Recipients – Pauline Lysak; Victor Pysyk
  • Volunteer Appreciation Night held in June
  • Rachelia Pawluk, student and Patricia Pawluk, Chaperone are sponsored by St. Andrew’s for Mission work for orphanages in Ukraine with Bishop Ilarion

2013

  • Hetman Award Recipients – William Dymianiw; Olga Alexandruk (posthumous)
  • Parish holds a second brainstorming workshop session on the sustainability of the Parish New sound system installed in church
  • Dustin Wardrop, acolyte is funded for exchange trip to Ukraine
  • AGM motion passed to conduct bilingual Divine Liturgies
  • ESL classes are offered to newcomers from Ukraine

2014

  • Roof replaced on Cultural building
  • Parish members attend a symposium in Toronto titled “Ukrainian Orthodoxy in the Global Family of Orthodox Churches”
  • Funding provided for youth attending Orthodox Youth Retreats

2015

  • Parish honours Fr. Yuriy Suchevan in his 5th year of service since Ordination
  • “TIME FOR CHANGE: Future Directions for St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Parish” authored by Dr. Eugene Ratsoy and Harry Nichiporik is published, report is based on the brainstorming sessions held in 2011 and 2013
  • Lawrence Dary chairs a committee comprised of Gordon Haug, Michael Luchak, George Tkachyk, and Pat Shabatowski to review the future of the Parish manse

2016

  • Fr. Yuriy Suchevan begins conducting services at Holyrood, Hardisty and Devonshire Seniors Residences
  • First Summer Day Camp is held for youth with 17 registrants
  • Congregational singing during Divine Liturgies, with choir members taking the lead
  • Petro Kostenko is sponsored for orphanage mission work in Ukraine with Bishop Ilarion
  • Challenge Group (addictions recovery) is granted use of cultural hall for weekly meetings
  • AED unit installed

2017

  • St. Andrew’s Parish organizes and co-ordinates the Edmonton screening of the film “That Never Happened” – a film about the internment of ethnic Ukrainian immigrants who were deemed enemy aliens under the 1914 War Measures Act
  • Parish donates $14,000.00 to the renovation of Camp Bar-V-Nok
  • Summer Day Camp for Youth continues with 24 registrants

2018

  • Roof replaced over Church
  • Parish manse undergoes partial renovation
  • St. Andrew’s resumes its Family Week-end gathering at Bar-V-Nok
  • Members of the Parish attend the Special Sobor in Saskatoon celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada
  • UOCC St. Andrew Centenary Award Recipients – Gordon and Marion Ostapchuk, Andrew Suchevan, Anthony Suchevan
  • Parish donates $10,000.00 to the renovation of Camp Bar-V-Nok
  • His All-Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I appoints His Grace Bishop Ilarion, Bishop of Edmonton and the Western Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada as Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to Ukraine

2019

  • Hetman Exemplary Volunteer Award Recipient – Eugene Luchka
  • Ukrainian Self-Reliance League of Canada Award of Excellence Recipients – Kathy Buchanan, Lesia Perritt
  • UOCC St. Andrew Centenary Award Recipients – Reverend Fr. Yuriy Suchevan, Iris Blower, Mary Dymianiw, Johanna Dzenick, Alexandra Hohol, Lesia Perritt
  • UOCC St. Andrew Centenary Award Recipients (posthumous) – Judge Russell Dzenick, Dr. Harry Hohol, Dobr. Nadia Kryschuk, Tekla Kurysh, Stephan and Wasylena Rokitsky, Michael and Tena Tkaczyk
  • UOCC St. Andrew Centenary Award Recipients – Founding Members of St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Sobor Parish, Golden Age Club, St. Andrew’s Mixed Choir, St. Andrew’s Men’s Club, St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Ladies Auxiliary
  • St. Andrew’s acknowledges the 30th continuous year of offering the Ukrainian Language For Adults program
  • St. Andrew’s Ukrainian Orthodox Sobor Parish celebrates its 60th Anniversary on November 3, 2019
  • At a Special General Meeting, upon the recommendation by special committee, a motion was passed that the schedule of Divine Liturgies for each month be delivered as follows- Ukrainian, Bilingual, Bilingual, English.