Our Parish, Holy Family Ukrainian Parish

About Holy Family Parish

Holy Family Ukrainian Catholic Church was established in 1934, providing a place of worship in south Winnipeg for Ukrainian (Byzantine rite) Catholics. Since then, the parish family has grown to over 240 families, old and young.

We are a close family and a vibrant community with many family and children’s ministries, a active youth ministry, a seniors club, the queen of peace prayer group, 3 choirs, pastoral care and organizations such as the Knights of Columbus and the UCWL (Ukrainian Catholic Women’s league. We hold monthly perogy suppers from fall through spring, along with many special events throughout the year. Our spiritual life includes the celebration of Divine Liturgies Sundays and throughout the week, along with moleben, akafist and special feast observances. Everyone is welcome to come and check us out, be it for a liturgy, a perogy supper or just to meet new friends.

History of Holy Family

Many Ukrainian families began to settle in the Fort Rouge area in the early 1900’s. Almost all of the families were Ukrainian Catholic and most attended church services in north Winnipeg some five miles away. Since very few families owned a car, the distance presented a problem. In 1932, they presented their problem to Bishop Ladyka who assigned Father Pantelemon Bozyk to look into the matter. The Ukrainian cultural society of Kobzar was very active in Fort Rouge. The organization owned a hall on the corner of Lilac and Lorette. Father Bozyk agreed to hold Divine Liturgy at the Kobzar Hall on an irregular schedule beginning in September 1932. Father Bozyk was followed by Father Luhovy who after examining the situation, asked the bishop to request financial assistance from the Catholic Church Extension in order to begin construction of a church in south Winnipeg. It was a time of economic depression in Canada and money was scarce. However, a donation of $500.00 dollars, a sizeable sum of money at the time, was received from a member. This helped to boost the spirit of the parishioners. Shortly after, a committee was formed that consisted of the following: Michael Dybka, Dmetro Chablo, Nichola Bidochka, Nichola Zadorozny, Harry Drabot, Wawro Michalchuk and Ivan Pobidynsky. Members of the Ladies’ Auxiliary were: Katherine Czerny, Mary Drabot, Mary Chablo, Mary Zadorozny, Petrunela Dubowec, M. Chernish and Katherine Dybka.

In 1934 the Ukrainian Catholic parish of Holy Family was officially formed and recognized. The newly formed committees made immediate plans for the construction of a church. A site was acquired as a donation from Mr. Czemy and Mr. Bidochka across from the Kobzar Hall. A frame building with three domes was erected by contractor Alex Romanchuk, large enough to accommodate 110 people. The cornerstone was blessed by Bishop Ladyka on August 4, 1935.

From 1942-1944 a basement was dug by hand under the church. In 1948, Father John Kristalovich was appointed as the first permanent pastor. In 1949, a residence was added to the church and in 1959, the Kobzar Hall property was transferred to the church. As the Ukrainian population in Fort Rouge increased, it was necessary to have three Divine Liturgies every Sunday to accommodate the faithful. The parishioners decided that it was time to build a new and larger church.

In 1960, property for the new church was acquired from the City of Winnipeg on the comer of Harrow Street and Grant Avenue. In April 1962, the construction of the new church began and the blessing of the cornerstone took place in October of the same year. On March 1963, the new church was officially opened and blessed by Metropolitan Maxim Hermaniuk.

From its beginning in 1932 to the present, the following priests served this parish: Rev. Pantelemon Bozyk, Rev. Anthony Luhovy, Rev. John Kalusky, Rev. Wasyl Charney, Rev. Michael Syrnyk, Rev. Peter Servetnyk, Rev. Wasyl Shumay, Rev. Volodymyr Bozyk, Rev. John Kristalovich, Rev. Yaroslaw Rudachek, Rev. Michael Winn, Rev. Andrew Wach, Rev. Mark Gnutel and Rev. Darren Kawiuk, Rev. John Mostivsky, Rev. Volodymyr Bashutskyy