Wednesday August 20, 2014

St. Mary's Ukrainian Catholic Church celebrating 100 years

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On January 3, 1904, Father Achilles Delaere, along with other Roman Catholic Belgian Redemptorists, arrived from Brandon, Manitoba to serve both Polish and Ukrainian, in Yorkton. These Redemptorists first established the Roman Catholic parish — St. Gerard's in their monastery chapel on Third Avenue North for the few English-speaking and Polish Catholics who lived in Yorkton at that time. Fr Delaere worked in the outlying districts where the majority of Galicians had settled on farms. In 1910, St. Gerard's parish built a new church and the rapidly growing Catholic community split, with the few Ukrainian Catholics using the old monastery chapel and the Roman Catholics using the new church. To accommodate the Ukrainian Catholics who had come to Canada without their priests, Father Delaere and those Redemptorists who had adopted the Byzantine rite built a second monastery in 1913 — the building we see to the left of St. Mary's Church where the Ukrainian language and the Byzantine rite were to be used. In 1914, the Redemptorist Order built St. Mary's church. Ukrainian Catholics were only a small number in Yorkton at the time, but the impressive church building was erected also to serve the large numbers in the region. St. Mary's became the spiritual centre for eastern Catholics from the Manitoba border to Wynyard and down to the American border.

Happy Easter.

Contact Terri Lefebvre Prince, Heritage Researcher,
City of Yorkton Archives,
Box 400, 37 Third Avenue North,
Yorkton, Sask. S3N 2W3



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